Jack Tuttle has taught thousands of kids and adults to play bluegrass for over thirty years. A multi-instrumentalist, Jack teaches fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar. Nationally recognized for his well-developed bluegrass curriculum, including twelve instructional books, many of his students have gone on to prominence in the bluegrass world. Jack teaches private lessons as well as group classes. His bluegrass jam classes have been a mainstay at Gryphon for thirty years.
Jack is an honorary lifetime member of the California Bluegrass Association and teaches at numerous music camps. He performs with many Northern California bluegrass luminaries as well as his own talented children. Jack’s recordings include albums with The Gryphon Quintet, and two recent bluegrass CDs, Molly and Jack Tuttle’s The Old Tree and Introducing The Tuttles with AJ Lee.
Jack’s teaching focuses on developing technical skills, using the correct finger, hand and arm movements and postures. He has developed lesson programs that build skills in a graduated, orderly fashion. Above all, Jack’s goal is to help students develop total musicianship – getting them to the point where they can think for themselves on their instrument. While students will learn how to read, Jack incorporates learning to play by ear and developing the skills necessary for improvisation. At the intermediate level, Jack builds skills for playing with other musicians by jamming one-on-one with the students. Students are also encouraged to develop their voices.
Jack’s has a very in-depth website at www.jacktuttle.com which includes information about his lessons and classes, printed music, advice for practicing, bluegrass history, music theory, suggested listening, mp3’s, and much more. He also offers an online calendar for scheduling one-off lessons.
Jack teaches a variety of American fiddle styles, including Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Western Swing. He has published three fiddle instructional books which he frequently uses with students.
Beginners: Jack will focus on basic fundamentals including proper hand and finger posture, bowing mechanics, and playing in tune with good tone. He also works on developing reading skills as well as playing by ear. Technique is taught through standard American fiddle tune repertoire.
Intermediate/Advanced: A major emphasis is on developing proper bowing patterns and playing stylistically in the correct genre, especially important for violinists turned fiddlers. Jack has transcribed countless solos from many of the greatest fiddlers for use as lesson material. A major focus is on developing improvising skills and learning to interpret melody.
Jack teaches Bluegrass, Old-Time and Western Swing mandolin. He has published two mandolin instructional books which he frequently uses with students.
Beginners: A major focus is on basic fundamentals, including understanding pick movement, left hand fingering techniques and developing the proper manual dexterity. Jack uses both tablature and standard music. Techniques are taught using classic bluegrass repertoire and includes both soloing and chording.
Intermediate/Advanced: Jack teaches more advanced soloing techniques including the scales necessary for bluegrass improvisation and understanding melody interpretation. Solos from many of the mandolin players will be learned as well as Jack’s arrangements. Fills licks and strumming techniques are also taught.
Jack uses his own book with all of his bluegrass banjo students. He focuses on the style of bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs, but breaks it down to a logical series of graduated rolls and licks that make up the bluegrass banjo idiom.
Beginners: Using a methodical approach that introduces right-hand rolls, he gradually introduces techniques necessary to get the Scruggs bluegrass sound. Learning to hear chord changes and playing behind vocals is emphasized.
Intermediate/Advanced: Jack uses a combination of tablature and playing by ear. He teaches note for note solos from the greats of the banjo world, including, Earls Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and J.D. Crowe. Improvising techniques are also taught as well as the famous backup licks that all banjo players should know.
Jack specializes in bluegrass guitar, teaching a very in-depth approach to rhythm playing as well as soloing techniques. He also teaches Western Swing and Texas rhythm guitar.
Beginners: Jack covers techniques such as correct hand and finger posture, getting good tone and proper use of the pick. Using Jack Tuttle’s Bluegrass Guitar Collection, he teaches standard fiddle tunes and how to take solos over bluegrass singing pieces.
Intermediate/Advanced: Jack teaches solos from great players like Tony Rice, Clarence White and Doc Watson as well as his own arrangements. Interpreting melodies by ear and understanding the great bluegrass rhythm players like Jimmy Martin and Tony Rice are emphasized. Improvising is a major focus and Jack has developed a scale methodology specifically for bluegrass guitar players.
Private lessons with Jack are $50 for 1/2 hour. He teaches Monday through Saturday, day and evening times. Group class rates can vary, but are usually $180 for nine weeks.