Do you play banjo, mandolin, guitar, acoustic bass or fiddle? Maybe you are just starting to play one of these instruments and have an interest in learning how to play with others. Whether you're just a beginner or have played for a couple of years or more, a class entitled "Playing Bluegrass & Acoustic Music With Others" is an ideal way of learning to perform with others.
On Wednesday nights in Jupiter, Florida, Fretmentor teaches a weekly bluegrass class from 7:45-9:00pm, held at the Jupiter Academy of Music. The class has grown in popularity and regularly attracts 30 or more instrumentalists of various skill levels. The primary function of this class is for students to play acoustic instrumentals and songs in groups. David Jakubiak, the instructor, demonstrates how to perform with other musicians with an emphasis towards playing bluegrass. The class also learns how to play basic twelve bar blues. David has studied, taught and performed music for over 40 years. He utilizes a guitar, banjo and mandolin in explaining music theory, back-up, rhythm and lead techniques. As part of the curriculum, students learn how to play approximately twelve traditional bluegrass tunes in various keys.
All participants are divided in small groups, depending on their experience. Students with the following instruments are encouraged to register for this class: acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle/violin, and acoustic bass. Beginners are encouraged to attend, so not one students should feel intimidated about joining the class. In fact, many students start as beginners, only to continue to return each term to gain valuable experience playing and performing with others.
A recent post in the www.fretmentor.com public forum mentioned the following about this class: "I have developed a great deal of appreciation for the things we have, in particular, our group class. I have also developed a great deal of appreciation for the creativity of Dave, our instructor. We are very fortunate, because as I understand it from looking around, this whole concept is really rare".
The bluegrass class is indeed a unique concept and it is not commonly found around the country. This is not a local jam but is a class for students with a passion and desire to learn and not to just play their instruments. Those players who come to the class to learn from other will get the most our of this class. Others, who want to show off their skills or play to impress their classmates, may leave disappointed. In other words, there are open jam around the country but it is not common to find a class such as this one, where students work together and strive to develop their performance skills as a group.
If you are interested in becoming a part of an exciting group of musicians, please register for the the next class and share in the fun. If you do not live in the area but want to learn more from the students, you can always participate in the fretmentor forum to learn about their weekly performing experiences. If you are an instructor or would like to start a class of this type on your own, David is welcome to answer any or your questions. I look forward to having you join us soon.
A gallery of class photos for the bluegrass performance group can be seen by clicking on the following: PHOTO GALLERY