Festival & Workshop Descriptions 2018
2018 Workshops: Beginner-Intermediate Friendly
Pentatonic Playground: Beginner to Intermediate Learning these 5 note "gateway" scales can unlock the secrets of improvising in various genres and contexts. Rock, blues, country, and folk music all make use of the pentatonic scales. This workshop has been very popular in ukulele clubs and classes in Canada and the US. Beginner and intermediate players welcome.
Hardly Lift a Finger: I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate Beginner to Intermediate This classic Tin Pan Alley tune is what I call a "ukulele fingering miracle." It uses similar shapes that move and progress easily by adding or subtracting a finger and yields a sound of great musical movement. It also gets us out of the common key of C for beginners and into the key of G.
Ukulele for Beginners: Basics Class #1 Beginner Perhaps you got a ukulele for Christmas? Maybe you inherited your Grandmother's ukulele from the 1950's? However you have come to the ukulele, this class will help you get comfortable holding, tuning, strumming and while playing your first song!
Ukulele for Beginners: Basics Class #2 Beginner Now your ukulele is in tune, you can name the strings, do a simple strum and play a one-chord song. What's next? This class is designed to learn some ways to approach playing, learn a few chords and play a couple of new songs!
Blues Ukulele Basics: Beginner to Intermediate Yes, the ukulele is a great instrument for playing blues! We will explore 12-bar blues forms, a blues scale, some riffs and a turnaround. This is a fun alternative to being reliant to books and paper to play our ukuleles. We will end the class with a blues ukulele jam session! (Don't fear, this class will give you the skills you need to jam)
Inside the Strumming Matrix: Beginner to Intermediate The top question that most ukulele teachers hear is "What is the strum pattern?" I want to take you inside the matrix of strumming to reveal some tools, tips and practice secrets to the art and science of strumming. Students will gain access to my online strumming practice software as a bonus. It won't be long until you are being asked "what strum pattern are you playing?"
Fingerstyle 101 Welcome to the world of finger style ukulele! Strumming is fun, melodies are phenomenal, but this approach adds a refined quality that is unexpected on the ukulele. This workshop will focus on introducing and developing patterns for arpeggiating chords; Travis-style picking as popularized by Mississippi John Hurt, Leo Kottke and Chet Atkins (among many others); and we will even examine some classical techniques. We will leave with 3 new approaches and some great new exercises to practice.
Fingerstyle 102: this workshop takes off where the first workshop ends. We will deepen our understanding of arpeggiated patterns; learn some Travis-picking variations; and, develop our classical technique. New songs and approaches will be shared and demonstrated.
Fingerstyle 103 This is a continuation of the popular series Fingerstyle 101 & 102. We will continue to deepen our practice and study of Dead-Thumb, Travis-picking and Classical technique.
Fingerstyle Meditations #1 All Levels We will dig into some of the meditative qualities of fingerstyle arpeggios and group arrangements. Inspired by Daniel Ward's Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele, this workshop takes a differentiated approach to PIMA as we play our strings together. The skills learned here are invaluable to the developing ukulele player and the ensemble aspect makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
Fingerstyle Meditations #2: International Music All Levels We will dig into some of the meditative qualities of fingerstyle arpeggios and group arrangements. Inspired by Daniel Ward's Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele, this workshop takes a differentiated approach to PIMA as we play our strings together. The skills learned here are invaluable to the developing ukulele player and the ensemble aspect makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. This workshop will introduce students to elements of Japanese and African music.
Fingerstyle Meditations-Classical Exercises We will dig into some of the meditative qualities of fingerstyle arpeggios and group arrangements. Daniel Ward's Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele provides the starting point for this workshop that will get us used to PIMA as we play our strings together. Be ready for some Bach and much more!
Understanding Moveable Chord Shapes All Levels Memorizing chords or trying to read the names or chord boxes while playing a song can really slow the musical process. This workshop will provide a 'big picture' approach to understanding 5 major and 5 minor chord shapes. Once we learn them, we will get practice moving them around the fretboard. As an added bonus, I will provide ways to 'connect the dots' of the chord shapes and their corresponding scale. This workshop is designed to be both a 'plateau buster' and a 'mind-blower' for students at all levels.
Strumming Tips, Techniques & Approaches The single most misunderstood and complex technique for most beginners? Strumming! We will take our time learning how to count, keep time, develop both straight and swing feel and much more in this 90-minute offering.
Arranging for Solo Ukulele All Levels If you are seeking the secrets of chord melody, then, this is the class for you. We will uncover some ways that rhythm, harmony and melody can come together to provide a well-balanced musical whole. Materials provided, Low-G recommended.
Intro to Hawaiian Ukulele All Levels Hawaiian turn-arounds in multiple keys, authentic Hawaiian 'anticipated" chords, and some sweet songs will be the focus of this 1st time offering.
Intro to Jazz Ukulele All Levels Swing feel, syncopation, 6th & 9th chords do not have to be difficult. Our final installment of the spring will get us into the sophisticated sounds of Jazz ukulele.
One Hand at a Time: All levels This 90-minute workshop will shine a light on the different roles of each hand in making music on your ukulele. The strumming hand brings great emotion, dynamics, melody, harmony, rhythm and ‘feel’ to our music. The fretting hand delivers tone, precision, shapes, intonation and accuracy to what we play. Learning to ‘divide and conquer’ in our practice can have an astounding effect on the growth of our music, sometimes beyond our wildest dreams. We will learn several strumming hand techniques that will add depth to our playing while making sure our fretting hands are moving freely and with proper form.
Uke Ellington: C Jam Blues All levels This classic Duke Ellington tune contains so many ukulele friendly features: it is in the key of C; there are only 2 notes in the melody; it can be played with simple or advanced chords; it presents an easy introduction to syncopation; and this tune can be played using straight, shuffle and swing rhythms. We will touch on all these aspects and put them together in a “ukestrated” package by the end of class.
2018 Workshops: Intermediate-Advanced Friendly
*Celtic Ukulele: This ensemble-style class will explore the Celtic music of Ireland, Scotland and the British Isles. Bagpipe drones, fiddly-bits, hammer-ons and pull-offs are just the beginning for this new offering. I have several tunes arranged in a ‘Ukestra’ style with a combination of single-note parts as well as chords. We will also try our hand at a couple of traditional “session” tunes where the ukulele will play Celtic fiddle melodies. Material will include Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan and a curated set of traditional music that has been tailored to fit the ukulele like a fine kilt. Prior note-reading and/or tablature reading experience highly recommended. Low-G tuning recommended, though not mandatory.
*Intro to African Ukulele This unusual offering (I have not seen this anywhere else!) introduces the hypnotic and expressive qualities of African music. The music of Mali will be highlighted as we get a feel for the forms and rhythms of this powerful music.
*Blues Rhythms Blues music is an amazing American art form. It has spawned both Rock'n'Roll and Jazz music. Within its simple forms are countless rhythmic patterns. We will be looking a few of these and will get some practice with getting an authentic blues feel.
*Intro to Bossa Nova Cool, breezy, stylish and sophisticated are a few adjectives I've heard used to describe Bossa Nova music. In the course of this 90-min. workshop we will get a sense of the elements of this rich and nuanced music from Brazil. Of course, Antonio Carlos Jobim's songs will be featured.
*Rock Strumming Rock'n'Roll has produced some amazing guitar players and many approaches to the instrument. We will take a look at a few pieces that incorporate inventive, dynamic chords and rhythms into memorable pieces of music. Keith Richards, Pete Townshend and Tom Petty will be among the featured artists in this workshop.
*Intro to Gypsy Jazz Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grapelli and local band Hot Club of Cowtown are proponents of this intoxicating music. Growing out of the 1920's Parisian jazz scene, this music is still revered by many today. Because this musical form lacked drums, the guitars had to create the groove and beat. We will play with both the rhythm parts and the lead parts to gain our first taste of this incredible music.
Riff & Rhythm: Connecting notes and chords with an infectious groove – Kevin Carroll “Riffs” define songs in multiple genres. Whether it’s Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, the Meters, Led Zepellin or the Black Keys, these short, repeated phrases create a song’s identity and stick in our heads. We will dissect a number of riffs from rock, jazz, soul, funk and blues. Some will be single notes and some will include chords. Use Me (Bill Withers), Kashmir (Led Zepellin), Flying Home (Benny Goodman) and The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie) will be included. We will also explore ways in which to create our own catchy riffs to enhance original songs, covers or jam sessions.
Arranging for Solo Ukulele If you are seeking the secrets of chord melody, then, this is the class for you. We will uncover some ways that rhythm, harmony and melody can come together to provide a well-balanced musical whole. Unlocking this approach can have you playing rich and detailed pieces of your favorite songs.
* new for 2018
2018 Ensemble-Oriented Workshops ALL LEVELS
Ukestra-Differentiated Ukulele Orchestra All Levels This has been a passion of mine for several years. This workshop will introduce your group to the great joy that comes from playing instrumental music in a "Ukestra." I will provide the arrangements in standard notation and tablature and lead you through a level-appropriate piece of music for up to 4 ukulele parts and U-bass. I'll even bring my baton and conduct the group.
The Art of the Ensemble: Maximizing the Sound of your Ukulele Group
It's not all about you, or your friend, or the bass player. It is about all of you. How the parts of the collective whole come together defines the sound of an ensemble. We will explore the concepts of differentiation, space, listening, dynamics, simplicity, and rhythmic unity as we bring music to life in 3 different approaches. We will play a song the group already knows, learn a song by ear, and work on a differentiated arrangement that I will provide. This workshop has been hailed as a plateau-buster and a paradigm-shifter.
Youth Ukestra-Differentiated Ukulele Orchestra All Levels This has been a passion of mine for several years. This workshop will introduce your group to the great joy that comes from playing instrumental music in a "Ukestra." I will provide the arrangements in standard notation and tablature and lead you through a level-appropriate piece of music for up to 4 ukulele parts and U-bass. I'll even bring my baton and conduct the group.
Celtic Ukulele: This ensemble-style class will explore the Celtic music of Ireland, Scotland and the British Isles. Bagpipe drones, fiddly-bits, hammer-ons and pull-offs are just the beginning for this new offering. I have several tunes arranged in a ‘Ukestra’ style with a combination of single-note parts as well as chords. We will also try our hand at a couple of traditional “session” tunes where the ukulele will play Celtic fiddle melodies. Material will include Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan and a curated set of traditional music that has been tailored to fit the ukulele like a fine kilt. Prior note-reading and/or tablature reading experience highly recommended. Low-G tuning recommended, though not mandatory.
Ukulele Jazz Band: Join this jazz-based workshop and learn about swing rhythms, syncopation, 6th and 9th chords as we dig into a classic Duke Ellington tune, uncover ‘chord secrets’ and put it all together as we tackle the jazz standard Autumn Leaves. This workshop will have something for everyone, but, is best for advanced beginners and beyond. High and low-G friendly.
Ukulele Blues Band: We will get low-down and funky with shuffle rhythms, 7th chords, triplets and 12-bar progressions. To get the full blues experience there will be blues scales to allow for deep expression. We will dive into a classic blues song or two to keep it real. All levels welcome. High and Low-G friendly.
Custom-designed Workshop for your Group Please ask if you have any specific genres or songs you'd like for me to arrange for your ukulele ensemble. Classical, jazz, rock, folk, country, soul, funk, Celtic, African are among the possibilities. I can even differentiate the parts to correspond with your group's skill range.
September 26-October 1 2017
Port Townsend Ukulele Festival
Port Townsend, WA
November 3-5 2017
James Hill's Ukulele Hot Springs
Harrison Hot Springs, BC CA
January 19-21 2018
4th Annual edUKEcation Workshops w/Bob Guz
January 20-22 2017
3rd Annual Austin edUKEcation Workshops w/Bob Guz
West Coast Ukulele Retreat
Pacific Grove, CA
June 6-8 2017
Kerrville Folk Festival
Ukulele Camp Director (w/James Hill & Victoria Vox)
July 6-7 2017
Rocky Mountain Ukulele Festival
March 27-31 2017
Menucha Band Camp
January 11-15 2017
Private & School Workshops
Ajijic, Jalisco (Mexico)
May 4-8, 2016
West Coast Ukulele Retreat
Pacific Grove, CA
March 28-April 1, 2016
Menucha Band Camp
January 15-17, 2016
Austin edUKEcation Workshops
7004 Rufus Dr. Austin, TX 78752
September 11th, 2015
May 13-17th 2015 West Coast Ukulele Retreat
Asilomar Retreat Center
June 10-13th 2015 Austin edUKEcation Workshops: Master Classes
Kimo Hussey, Zanuck Kapala and Kevin Carroll
July 21&22 JHUI Toronto
July 28 & 29 JHUI Vancouver
February 19-22 Folk Alliance Music Camp
Kansas City, MO
October 3-5 2014 Langley Ukulele Workshops
Langley BC Canada
September 4-7 2014 Wine Country Ukulele Festival
St. Helena CA
August 16 2014 Uke Ellington
Dallas Ukulele Headquarters
July 8 2013 Finger-picking #1
Folk Alliance Music Camp 2014
Kansas City, MO
"...Kevin Carroll.....was a joy to work with and received very high marks from the students. Thanks to him for helping us make the first pancake of the griddle actually taste great!"
-Mark Rubin, Music Camp Director Folk Alliance