Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Fiddle Tunes from Cape Breton and PEI on Clawhammer Banjo with Ken Perlman!

February 1, 2021 @ 8:00 am 5:00 pm


If you’ve been playing Clawhammer Banjo for a while you’ll likely have the bum diddy down pat. The trouble is if you walk into a Contradance, Irish or Northeast Fiddle session the bum diddy doesn’t always cut it. You need to up your game! Ken is a master pioneer of the melodic clawhammer method. This class will get you primed for all those sessions you’ll be sitting in on once the Pandemic is over!

Ken will focus specifically on on accessible and highly playable tunes from the Cape Breton/ Prince Edward Island repertoire. He spent over two decades collecting tunes from traditional fiddlers on PEI and translating those tunes to banjo, so he really knows his stuff! Here’s how the classes break down:

– First session (Feb. 1). Set-Tunes & Simple Reels. Ken will teach a selection of catchy and accessible tunes in 4/4 time

– Second session (Feb. 8). More Advanced Reels. We’ll aim to capture the authentic feel of traditional dance fiddling from the Canadian Maritimes.

– Third session (Feb. 15) Canadian-Style Jigs. Fiddlers on Cape Breton and PEI play lots of jigs that originated in Scotland and Ireland, but there’s as whole class of whimsical, happy-go-lucky 6/8 tunes that is unique to the region. You’ll love these!

– Fourth session (Feb. 22) Marches & Strathspeys. You can’t play a Cape Breton style medley without understanding marches and strathspeys. We’ll learn how to play the Scotch snap and some characteristic rhythmic figures on banjo, and try some simple examples of both genres.

Every banjoist is welcome to participate, but you will get the most out of this series if you’re at least at an intermediate level with clawhammer style. In particular you should be reasonably comfortable with such fundamental techniques as drop-thumbing, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Classes will be presented in a lecture style, but there will time interspersed for Q&A and a 15-minute Q&A period will be scheduled at the end of each class. Don’t miss this rare opportunity!

Class tuition is $95 for four 75 minute sessions.