Acoustic Guitar: Beginning Lead Playing
Mac McCurdy

When Mac achieved a good handle on the chords and progressions commonly used in folk, country, and traditional songs, he started trying to unravel the mysteries of playing scales and melody patterns up the neck. In the course of this he found some relatively understandable and easy-to-learn concepts and techniques to get there. His workshop covers these and, he hopes, provides the student with the understanding and techniques to start playing melodies and improvising in lead playing up the neck.

Included are some basic chord theory and several useful scales. Workshop handouts will explain everything covered and provide the students with enough material to get going on their own.

To get the most from this workshop, it will helpful for workshop attendees to have a reasonably good ear (doing some singing is good, and being able to sing/hear harmony is even better) and have some basic skills in playing chords on the guitar.

Mac is pretty much a self-taught guitarist. In college, he played tenor banjo in a Dixieland band, where he absorbed a practical understanding of chord progressions and how they work. He started teaching this workshop at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival around 1988, and has done so most years since then. He has written a number of country and folk songs, and occasionally performs for friends.