The Folk Project (tm)

New Jersey's premier acoustic music and dance organization

Workshops

Uke 101 - Ro Foster Beginner

Just starting out on the uke? Here's the workshop for you! You'll learn ukulele basics and essentials, everything you need to get started on your ukulele journey. We'll cover beginner "musts" like chords, strums, and tuning, and put them to work right away in lots of beginner-friendly songs. In addition to learning ukulele tips and tricks, you'll learn how to add to your repertoire, develop your skills, access numerous resources, and make the most of your Uke Fest experience as a beginner.

Fingerpicking for the Beginner - Rachel Manke Beginner

You have mastered 3-5 chords and are confident moving back and forth between them. Here you will learn how to get started with finger picking. Excellent for slower songs and adding an instrumental break in your songs. If you've felt intimidated by the idea of picking, this is the class for you.

2 (Chords) or Less - Heidi Swedberg Beginner

Learn how easy it can be to feel chord changes, play and sing confidently at the same time while enhancing your repertoire with a stack of really cool new and old one, two and "no chord" songs! Keeping the chording simple allows players to focus on rhythm techniques. It's like taking vitamins.

Three-Note Chords - Gerald Ross Confident Beginner

Just because the ukulele has four strings doesn't mean you have to play them all! Many times, you can say more musically with two or three notes than you can with four. We will learn how easy it is to finger three-note chords that sound much more bluesy and jazzy than their four-note counterparts. Simple Blues songs will be used to demonstrate this very effective, very hip-sounding style. No music theory needed, no music reading required, no knuckle-busting chord shapes to learn… just fun!

Jamming: Unlocking the 1-4-5 - Rachel Manke Confident Beginner

Heard people say "it's a one-four-five!" while jamming and wonder what the heck that means? Wish you had some help figuring out how to play along without the paper in front of you? We'll take a basic look at what the I-IV-V is, common keys, and try out using our ears to make use of it all. We won't go too deep into the theory but the goal is to get you going and more comfortable trying to jam with a little extra know-how.

Leaping Out of Beginnerhood With Chord Transitions - Mark Dutton Confident Beginner

Prerequisite: Know a dozen chords and 3 strums.

By recognizing the physical relationships between chords, you will learn how to increase the speed and skill with which you can transition between chords flawlessly without practice. (Okay, without MUCH practice.)

Take It! Single-Note Soloing the Easy Way - Gerald Ross Confident Beginner

Have you ever wondered how musicians play just the right notes when it's time to take a solo? Do they randomly pick notes out of thin air or is there some logic to the musical lines they play? Have you ever been to a jam session and when it's time to take an instrumental solo everyone looks at you says "take it!". We will learn what to do when that situation arises. It's not as difficult or scary as you may think. You can do it! Single note soloing is easy. We'll learn some tricks and techniques that will have you playing more than just chords. You will be soloing within the first fifteen minutes of the class – guaranteed!

Playing Up the Neck Using the Theory of Four - UncleZac Intermediate

Prerequisite: Knowledge of and ability to make barre and four-finger chords recommended.

Using his using his Theory of Four method and his Ultimate Inversion Chart, UncleZac will walk you through various steps to easily recognize and play chord inversions that will help you begin your journey into chord solo and chord melody. Using the whole fretboard is the ultimate goal of this course, and getting you there is the ultimate goal for UncleZac.

Blues and Oldtime Ukulele - Christopher Davis-Shannon Intermediate

Prerequisite: Must be comfortable with basic open-position chords and strumming.

While the ukulele is not an instrument usually at the forefront of the blues and old time world, it can be adapted to lend itself nicely to American folk genres. This workshop is split into two parts, the first is focusing on clawhammer ukulele (High G tuning required) a traditional banjo style typical to the old time world. This technique is quite a bit different than standard strumming but utilizes man common chords. (chord sheets as well as tablature will be provided). Second we will focus on a few strumming patterns that lend themself well to accompaniment for early blues not just a simple twelve bar by working through two tunes indicative of the style.

Ragtime and Swing Ukulele - Christopher Davis-Shannon Intermediate

Prerequisite: Must be familiar with basic quarter- and eighth-note strums, and be comfortable with fully closed chord voicings.

In 1926 Roy Smeck wowed movie audiences in the first sound recorded movie 'His Pastimes'. Roy's right hand techniques on have remained a mainstay in the ukulele world. Coupled with the strong right hand of Johnny Marvin and George Formby we will explore the techniques that give Ragtime ukulele its distinicitve sound. This workshop will break down, basic swing strumming, split stroke, triplets, fan stroke, as well as the claw strum. We will also dive further into barre chords to approximate the rhythm guitar techniques of Eddie Lang and Freddie Green for accompaniment.

Jazz Chords - Frank Sole Intermediate

Prerequisite: Some experience reading chord tabs and to be able to follow verbal directions. Be prepared to learn and memorize new chord forms and progressions. Please bring a music stand to class. A low-G Uke will sound best.

Playing jazz on the uke is easier that you might think! Learn chords, progressions, and a few songs so you can start hanging with the cool cats. This is a rhythm comping course where you will learn how to play a basic jazz chord accompaniment to blues and swing tunes. You will be introduced to the concept of movable chord forms as well as 4 note fretted chords. We will attempt to break away from looking at chord diagrams while playing which will free up your ability to play rhythm and sing as you accompany yourself when you perform.

Latin Montuno Fiesta! - Daniel Ward Advanced

Prerequisite: Ability to change most of their chords quickly, read tab fairly well, and have some fingerpicking ability.

The "Montuno" is a super fun Latin rhythm that cycles over and over, characterized by a happy syncopated arpeggio. It is found in Salsa music, but can also be plugged into any song or section of a song to give that special Latin feel that makes people jump up and dance. You will learn the Harry Bellafonte classic "Shake Senora" and use the song to implement the Montuno pattern. If you can already do any type of "Travis" folk picking, you will be ahead of the game picking this one up.

Do the Fandango! - Daniel Ward Advanced

Prerequisite: Ability to change most of their chords quickly, read tab fairly well, and have some fingerpicking ability.

The fandango is a 12-count rhythm that requires some thumb work and fancy strumming, with temolo, scales, and rageuados for the right hand, to get that traditional flamenco sound. With a traditional flamenco fandango under your belt, you'll be set to play on your own for hours and sound simply amazing. A low-G uke is a plus if you have one, but skills and techniques learned here will work well with re-entrant tuning as well.

Spice Up Your Arpeggios - Mark Dutton Advanced

Prerequisite: Ability to play basic arpeggios.

Tired of playing the same boring arpeggios? Add some spice to your arpeggios, and you'll be amazed at how your fingers can color a song!

George Harrison: The Solo Years - Dave Kleiner All Levels

Celebrate the great songs of uke-lover George Harrison. Dave Kleiner will lead the group through several Harrison solo favorites.

Lei Making - Debi Velasco All Levels No Uke Needed

Make a lei wristband or head peice with real flowers!

Learn to Hula - Debi Velasco All Levels No Uke Needed

Learn a hula dance and then perform at the beginning of the Saturday evening concert!

Children's Hour - Heidi Swedberg All Levels No Uke Needed

Working with children is both challenging and rewarding. Understanding childhood development markers and having a fluid repertoire can go a long way to making the experience joyful. Heidi teaches children's music classes and is passionate about sharing the techniques, songs, and concepts she has honed, and getting you prepared to sing and play with the wee folk.

Ukulele Maintenance - Tyler St. Clare All Levels No Uke Needed

Afraid to tinker with your instrument? Ukulele builder Tyler St. Clare will cure your fears as he teaches you the fundamentals of uke care and repair. He'll cover restringing, tuner adjustment, action setups, fret filing, and more