What you get!

  • notation supplied in advance of the workshop (posted online).  Some materials will be issued on the day of the workshop)
  • audio practice files (good quality recordings of the material giving you a chance to prepare in advance.  Also yours to keep after the workshop).  
What I do!

I have been running mandolin and guitar workshops - and mixed instrument classes - for many years.  The workshops are designed to draw students attention to one  or more aspects of performance, and they will suit mixed instrument ensemble playing or classes made up of only one type of instrument (eg, mandolin, bouzouki, guitar).  

All my classes will cover some of the following topics, but I would say my main interest is in helping groups to improve the quality of their ensemble presentation - making it all work.

Topics, themes and projects

Hire me!

Contact me at for details of costs and conditions
Here's a list of possible workshop topics, but feel free to suggest your own, especially things that may enhance the performance of your class.   

The Music

You might just want me to come along and present you with a good selection of tunes.  There are loads of good tunes around and I'll be able to assemble an interesting selection for you to try out.
    • old Scottish music (I'm very fond of the Aird's collections)
    • Scottish reels and jigs - dance music!
    • Irish music - all the usual traditional types and including O'Carolan and other less well-known material
Group Skills
    • ensemble playing - how to glue it all together and make a good sound
    • playing and arranging sets
    • learning how to harmonise tunes, choose chord sequences, write parts and use counterpoint 
    • creating textures - a specialty of mine - great for presenting an interesting backing for tunes
    • working with rhythms and time signatures
    • understanding modes (in Celtic music)
Instrumental Skills
    • using the plectrum for effective rhythmic playing (immediately improve your style)
    • playing triplets - a tricky plectrum technique
    • ornamentation - slides/hammer-ons/rolls/double stops and more
    • relaxing skills that will enhance your playing