Song Writing

All Levels

This will be an extremely hands on session. In the course of the week, participants will find themselves writing a number of songs. We will be demystifying the creative process and hopefully opening the door where each student will write songs without being intimidated by the process. I have always felt that music is a great way to dialogue. The really good songs are songs that when you hear it…there’s just something about it that touches your heart, and you don’t know why. I will mentor each of my students on how to keep their heart and ears open always listening for the story that needs to be told.

*This class requires that all students have fundamental guitar skills and a guitar.

  • 01/27/20 – 01/31/20
  • Song Writing
  • FPR On The Road, Sanibel Island
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

Still Got The Blues

Level 3

Still got the blues… and you will too if you join us for this class. I’m going back to the blues well. It’s a deep well that set me on fire as a young musician. From Muddy Waters to Jesse Fuller I was inspired to find my own voice which I did with the help of my old Gibson. Drawing from a lifetime of blues excursions, I will take you back to that place and break down some of my most treasured blues songs. Though this is a level 3 fingerstyle class, we will be addressing advanced technique and execution in addition to, “just learning the songs.” If you have taken one of my level 2 classes in the past and are ready to step up your game, this would be a great class to consider. 

  • 02/03/20 – 02/07/20
  • Still Got The Blues
  • FPR On The Road, Sanibel Island
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

The Entrance Ramp with David Wolff and Tom Feldmann

Level 1/2: Beginner/Intermediate

This workshop will provide a solid introduction to fingerpicking guitar, including development of that reliable thumb so essential to mastering this style.

This pianistic style of playing often characterizes the music of Master Instructor Jorma Kaukonen, and is typical also of the great country blues artists such as Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and other seminal musicians that have deeply influenced 20th century guitar styles.

We will emphasize the thumb’s job in holding down the alternating and often syncopated bass line, against a picked melody. We’ll venture out of first position, and work with chord shapes up the neck, as well as with related licks that add color and personality to songs. And it is, after all, about the songs!

This special workshop will have a triple threat of instructors, so that participants will receive individually tailored attention. Along with the Captain, singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Feldmann will provide expert instruction focused on fretboard navigation and songcrafting, and BreakDownWay maven David Wolff will guide students in the careful rendering of some country blues favorites exemplary of this genre.

It will be assumed that students have familiarity with first position “cowboy” chords, and may even have substantial experience as lead or rhythm guitarists, but are relatively new to the fingerstyle approach to picking.

  • 06/26/20 – 06/29/20
  • The Entrance Ramp
  • Apply Now!

Get A Double Dose of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady with a Special Acoustic Duo Workshop!

Level 2/3

A special Fur Peace Ranch class for serious guitar and bass students. Jorma and Jack will combine their teaching efforts and give this rare guitar/bass class. Guitar and bass classes will be held separately at times, other times the classes will join up for a unique duo workshop that brings together the music the classes have worked on.

If you want to learn the secrets of this dynamic duo’s 50+ career….this is your chance.

Open to guitar and bass players. An equal number of each will be accepted. Limited to 8 students per class. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Working Without A Net

Level 3

Every now and then I get invited to sit with one of my musical pals whose musical universe is a distance from mine. At times like these I am usually not encouraged to become an ad hoc band member, but to rather interject ‘Jorma-isms’ in the mix. Given an assignment like this, the task is to learn the song so that it is easily recognizable and yet maintain and accentuate the personal idiosyncrasies that each of us might bring to the table.

I will bring four or five such songs to the table for this class and we will all examine the various possibilities for bringing our own musical vision into another’s musical setting where everyone benefits in an artistic way. Since this is a Level 3 class, you should have a working knowledge of the neck of your guitar. Meaning, chords, runs and being able to play in odd keys without a capo. Yes we will be fingerpicking but we might flat pic too so be sure to put a couple flat pics in your pocket.

  • 04/24/20 – 04/27/20
  • Working Without A Net
  • Apply Now!

Breaking Bad

Level 3/4

So you’ve worked out a song and you love your arrangement. The vocals are done and the arrangement tells the story perfectly. What next? Breaks… solos… vignettes… What do you need? What will work best? When is enough, enough? These are questions we all deal with when we bring a new tune to the stage for the first time.

Tom and I will help you all examine the possibilities for inserting an artful instrumental relief into a song. This class will not be limited to the blues genre. We will be looking at songs in general regardless of category. We will be using some of my songs, Toms songs and your songs as a lunching point. We encourage each student to find a path that suits their abilities and their spirit.

This is a level 3-4 class so it presupposes your fingerstyle skills are well established. If you have never taken a class from me prior to this, you may be asked for a submission to be considered. This class will be taught with Tom Feldmann.

Been So Long

Level 2/3

What’s the secret to pushing through to the next level of your guitar playing? It first starts with perfecting what you already know. The transition can be enlightening and I will guide you through visualization of your fretboard so your right and left hand techniques are steady and strong.

We will be working from some of my classic arrangements that will ultimately enhance your own ideas with your own material. I’ll provide simple frameworks to help make you a more expressive and solid fingerstyle player.

  • 08/09/19 – 08/12/19
  • Been So Long
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

Going Further

Level 3/4

What I’ve learned from playing with Janis and Jerry was the importance of consistent basics at the most elemental level. That being said, we are all guitarists and we cannot help but try to inflect our arrangements with more complex harmonic passages that detract from the essence of the song. I will be teaching songs that illustrate this somewhat odd but totally relevant dichotomy and hopefully wake up your playing so you reestablish your self expression. We are going to learn some more complicated melodies over the course of the weekend so be prepared to learn, practice and perform.

  • 10/18/19 – 10/21/19
  • Going Further
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

Jorma Electric

Level 3

Jorma Kaukonen is one of the most important guitarists of our time with a body of work lasting over four decades. His brilliant fretwork and songwriting, a compelling blend of rock, blues, folk and country influences, has defined the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna with his signature sound. From the mind bending psychedelia of the mid 60′s to his dizzying electric guitar gymnastics, Jorma has remained both of and ahead of his time. This workshop will give you a rare opportunity to learn his electric guitar sound and also study with him in an intimate setting as this class is limited to eight (8) students.

  • 11/01/19 – 11/04/19
  • Jorma Electric
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

The Way I See It

Level 3

As a young musician/performer, I wrote no songs of my own but learned many of them from the Masters I held dear. Each one of these songs was a portal that guided me to the level I was seeking. I will break down the techniques and styles from many of these tunes and you will see what very long legs this music has and how it directly inspires your own journey.

  • 09/20/19 – 09/03/19
  • The Way I See It
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

Carnegie Hall: Fingerstyle Guitar

Level 4: Master Class

This is a master class for the experienced fingerstyle player with a substantial repertoire, and performance experience. The class will focus on certain essential aspects of musicianship, and assume that technical skills, picking hand prowess and knowledge of the fretboard are already securely established. By working on a few exemplary songs, the class will dig deep in exploring how these may be turned into performance pieces with emphasis on dynamics, timing, tasteful improvisation and feeling. It is expected that participants will have taken previous level 3 “proficient player” classes with Jorma, or on occasion, demonstrate clearly equivalent experience based on a screening of submitted material. Tom Feldmann will be assisting Jorma with this workshop.

  • 11/08/19 – 11/11/19
  • The Way I See It
  • FULL

This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.

About Jorma Kaukonen: Master Guitar Player

In a career that has spanned over a half century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and an innovator at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll.

Jorma was a founding member of two legendary bands: The Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, The Jorma Kaukonen-Jack Casady duo created much of the Jefferson Airplane’s signature sound, and Jorma’s lead and fingerstyle guitar playing characterizes some of the band’s most memorable tracks.

Over the last three and a half decades Hot Tuna has performed thousands of concerts all over the world and released more than two dozen records. Jorma and Jack continue to tour as Hot Tuna, in recent years with mandolin virtuoso Barry Mitterhoff. The group has played with many of the legends of the music industry. Jorma was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1996, along with the other members of The Jefferson Airplane.

Jorma has also had more than a dozen solo albums, beginning with 1974’s “Quah” and continuing through “Blue Country Heart” in 2002 and “Stars In My Crown” in 2007.

Jorma’s Grammy-nominated “Blue Country Heart,” pays tribute to the rich, deep aspects of American roots music with Jorma performing the works of his favorite blues and country legends, “Stars In My Crown” is more personal. It features an abundance of original songs, such as, “Late Breaking News,” “A Life Well Lived,” “Living In The Moment,” and the deeply moving “Heart Temporary,” It isn’t entirely original compositions, though, with songs of many styles, from Johnny Cash’s chilling “The Man Comes Around” to a reggae song, “By The Rivers Of Babylon,” to the celebratory title cut, “Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown.”

At Fur Peace Ranch he’s known as “The Captain,” but for music enthusiasts all over the world Jorma Kaukonen is known as the leader of fingerstyle guitar playing, particularly of American roots music.


  1. “Quah” (1974) with Tom Hobson
  2. “Jorma” (1979)
  3. “Barbecue King” (1980) with Vital Parts
  4. “Too Hot To Handle” (1985)
  5. “Magic” (1985)
  6. “Embryonic Journey” (1994) with Tim Constanten
  7. “Magic Two” (1995)
  8. “Land of Heroes” (1995)
  9. “Christmas With Jorma Kaukonen” (1996)
  10. “Too Many Years” (1998)
  11. “Live” (2001) Jorma Kaukonen Trio
  12. “Blue Country Heart” (2002)
  13. “Stars In My Crown” (2007)
  14. “River of Time” (2009)

Fur Peace Ranch 39495 St. Clair Rd. Pomeroy, OH 45769 · Information 740-992-2575 Tickets 740-992-6228