Just back "home" (hotel!) from my day of teaching where I pretty much Blue-Ridge-Cabin-Homed my intermediate classes to death today. In the morning class, we worked on first position Roly Polys, getting all the way through two upgrades: the tag lick; a hammer-on in the C lick, and the D lick from Foggy Mountain Breakdown. In the afternoon class I didn't think I could bear another hour of Roly Polys, so we did an up-the-neck break to BRCH. (Blue Ridge Cabin Home! I don't even want to write it anymore!) It included the choke lick and an up-the-neck tag lick and was rather successful, if I do say so myself. After learning all that, we had 20 minutes left in the class and since everyone was too tired to learn anything else (and I was too tired to teach anything else!) we played Foggy Mountain Breakdown in G and I Saw The Light in A and let folks take solo breaks.
Here's something funny from the morning class. I was dividing the group into "vampers" and "pickers" so we could trade breaks on BRCH. I was trying to find some quick, easy way to refer to each group. I started with "Group One" and "Group Two" and that sounded boring so I said, No, let's make it Team One and Team Two and then, because I have a grandson who loves Dr. Seuss, those names immediately morphed into "Thing One" and "Thing Two!" Obviously there were other grandparents in there, because everyone loved the names. This led to me saying stuff like, "Okay, Thing One, y'all play the lead and Thing Two, y'all do the vamping."It was too much fun! So much fun, in fact, that I had to take pictures just so I could caption them! So, here they are. (Apologies to Ricky for cutting you out of the picture.)
One of the teaching highlights for me came at the end of the morning class when we were playing Boil Them Cabbage Down for fun. We were going around the circle and everyone who wanted to took a solo break. Well, the last guy to take a break was using the Roly Polys and it looked to me like he was making the break up on the spot, so when class was over I went over and told him I liked his break. He said, "It wasn't very good. I was just doing forward and backward rolls in the chords." I said, "Did you already know that break or were you making it up?" He said, "I was making it up. I was just doing that roll we had learned in class." I told him I couldn't have been prouder, that that's exactly what I hoped would happen.
And here's a funny from the afternoon class. I was showing the folks the two-finger G chord at the 12th fret. I call it the Lonesome Road Blues G chord because that's the position you slide into at the start of LRB. I suggested that they make the chord with the ring finger and middle finger of the left hand. I demonstrated that position. Then I said, "I like to do it like that because it allows me to swing both ways." And as I'm demonstrating what I mean by moving my little finger higher on the neck and my index finger lower on the neck, I hear chortles from Val and Pattie. And I realize I have just said something about "swinging both ways." The whole class catches on and we have a HA HA moment before we move on to playing the Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll what seems like 500 times!
I wish I could provide a catchy ending to this blog, but I am mentally whipped. Too tired to even walk across the parking lot for a Texas Roadhouse supper. I'll see if I rally but I strongly suspect I'll be curling up with a Clif Bar and my iPad and the fresh blueberries that Patti gave me. I just started the new Diana Gabaldon book, Written In My Heart's Own Blood. Bluegrass tie-in: Alison Brown got Casey and me hooked on this Outlander series. Catch you later!