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Country Ensemble

Instructors:  Peter May / Dianne Quinton

Country Ensemble

Instructors:   Peter May / Dianne Quinton

Course Description:

Level: 2 – 3  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

Through musical collaboration, playing and discussion, we will gain a deeper understanding of the timeless appeal and qualities of country music.

We will listen to, arrange and play several great country songs.  In doing so, we will share perspectives and gain skills specific to country music in areas such as rhythm, accompaniment, lead and harmony vocals, and basic soloing.

All instruments are welcome – including your singing voices!   The pace of learning will be targeted towards the level of the majority of students.  Technical material and coaching will largely be in the higher L2 to L3 range.  Students at L4 will also find opportunities to learn and be challenged.

Come and join us for a wonderful musical weekend!

NOTE:  This class is open to amplified acoustic basses.  You will need to supply your own small portable bass amp. Please see our Amplifier Policy for further information.

The Still Waters

The Still Waters (Dianne Quinton and Peter May connect with audiences through a combination of powerful songs infused with close soulful harmonies and evocative instrumentals. Their shows include original compositions and covers rooted in folk, country, and rhythm & blues.

Between them they have a long history playing and appreciating country music, and have performed in this style for many years in small intimate settings and large venues. The Still Waters have played at the Calgary Stampede, the Armstrong (BC) Interior Provincial Exhibition, several venues on Calgary’s Music Mile, Little Concerts, charitable events, house concerts and private functions. Dianne and Peter are also members of the Calgary based band Horizon Ridge.

Websites: The Still Waters, Horizon Ridge

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.