Swing Guitar Workshop (via Zoom)
Thursdays, January 20 – February 17
12:30 pm – 1:45 pm EST (still has open spots)
or 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm EST
Cost: $199 Register Here
Swing Guitar Workshop with Greg Ruby
This five class workshop will dive into the essentials of swing guitar. Each class will use a different song to develop a specific technique and concept. This will enable you to both learn new techniques and simultaneously deepen your repertoire. From rhythm accompaniment, single-note soloing, chord soloing, chord melody playing and memorizing repertoire, this approach will provide the “how-to” of swing guitar playing alongside the immediate and practical application. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or more advanced student, this class will expand your skill set and make you a better swing guitar player right away.
The classes will progress as follows:
Class 1, “The Mighty Engine of Rhythm” will address the techniques and nuances of rhythm guitar playing including chord shapes, voice leading, strumming techniques, movable chords and effective practice routines. We will dive into the nuances and differences between Django’s “La Pompe, ” Freddie Green’s “Four to the Bar,” Danny Barker’s “Rigamaroll” and how to keep which rhythm going when and why.
Class 2, “Navigating the Fretboard” will focus on decoding jazz chord names, creating inversions, using passing chords and playing “active” accompaniment style (ala Eddie Lang & Oscar Alemán.)
Class 3, “Swing That Melody” will work on single note melody playing and how to use the melody as a foundation of improvisation while getting to know new locations on your fretboard.
Week 4, “Melodic Rhythm” will develop soloing by connecting chord tones using rhythms. Combining a few simple techniques will create complex sounding ideas that are manageable to play and even easier to create. This class will also look at Oscar Aleman’s approach to using this technique when he composed his contrafact “out-choruses.”
Week 5, “Chord Melody” will expand your chord vocabulary using an easy technique to generate chord inversions. We will use these voicings to learn a chord melody and develop a structure for you to create your own.
Prior to the start of the session, each participant will receive a listening list along with PDF lead sheets for the songs we will use in each class. These lead sheets will include standard notation, tablature and chord diagrams enabling you to familiarize yourself with the repertoire.
Questions? Email Greg Ruby
After registering, you will receive a welcome letter that will include your Zoom link, PDFs and listening list.
Having seen Greg Ruby teach in person for years now, and then watching him teach online at one of my camps last year, confirmed in my mind and those who studied with him, that he is a wonderful educator. Greg is impressively organized, thorough, accessible… and he connects with enthusiasm, humility and humor.
– Joe Craven, director of Wintertunes and Rivertunes
The first time Greg Ruby taught at Django in June his classes were, by our standards, way overcrowded. I tried to tell the participants that others were much smaller and that they were welcome to switch. Nobody did.
-Andrew Lawrence, director of Django in June
I have admired Greg Ruby’s musicality ever since I first saw him perform with Pearl Django more than two decades ago, and I have benefited tremendously from taking a series of week long swing guitar courses with him on two occasions. The first was a course on jazz guitar fundamentals, and I still work with the excellent resources he circulated as part of that course. In fact, the packet for that course remains the most useful jazz guitar primer that I own. The second course I took with Greg included a focus on the virtuosic playing of the Argentine maestro Oscar Aleman (1909-1980), and I’ll never forget the joy I felt as Greg walked the entire class of people through the mind-bending runs that kick off Aleman’s classic recording of “I Got Rhythm.” Newsflash alert: Those runs involve using your thumb to fret some bass notes, but fear not, Greg will show you what you’re capable of playing! A world class musician and an enthusiastic teacher, Greg Ruby is an ideal guitar instructor for jazz beginners and accomplished players alike.
Jeffrey A. Keith, Ph.D., Professor of Global Studies, Warren Wilson College