WeBe3: Workshops

Workshop descriptions below.  Additional info

1. Inside WeBe3 — David, Joey and Rhiannon

Using a lecture/demonstration format with plenty of time for questions, these longtime collaborators will describe in detail their artistic development, process, music, recordings, live performance and teaching methods.

2. Sing for a Change — David
In this interactive class participants will be introduced to the concept of improvisation over existing chord changes. Students will apply intervallic scale technique over basic one chord ostinatos, blues progressions and more advanced musical landscapes. Students will learn to analyze bass lines and navigate intervals in order to understand the relationship of the chord progression and scales inside the song itself. A must class for vocalists who want to “push the envelope” of their sound.

3. Beat Box and Beyond — David
Explores the new exciting world of vocal percussion. We’ll go from learning the basic elements of vocal percussive articulation, to combining the individual sounds necessary to produce the sounds of a whole drum kit. The workshop will also explore drumming instruments, rudiments and patterns indigenous to Western and European music as well as polyrhythm from around the world. .This exploration will help singers become comfortable with various meters and time signatures by understanding the contrapuntal relationships that make up these rhythms. This study can also help strengthen phrasing, establish a sense of song form, and equip the singer with the ability to add a new dimension to their singing arsenal.

4. The Vocal Rhythm Section: Assimilating Bass and Drums  -- David and Joey
In this workshop we will be discussing and showing examples of the Vocal Rhythm Section that we have been presenting for over 25 years with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra, SoVoSo and currently, We Be3.This workshop will present ways of achieving proper sounds, and tones of both instruments, while explaining the synergistic relationship between them when covering authentic musical genres. Styles in Rock, Funk, Blues, Latin, and Jazz  will be illustrated. Musical punctuation fills for melody movement, odd metered grooves and soloing will also be explored. We will also examine proper microphone technique and how to achieve “pocket ” in your playing .This presentation will be an interactive exchange, allowing students, through demonstration to participate in their own rhythm sections. Come and get yo’ groove on!

5. The Instrumental Singer — Joey

This workshop is designed to help each participant develop an understanding of the role of each instrument in a traditional rhythm section, as it relates to specific styles of music and their ensemble instrumentation. Students will then learn the proper technique necessary to recreate these ensembles vocally. There are many ways to create music vocally, and they do not all require the use of melody. The voice can also be used as a paintbrush to create textures and soundscapes, providing a visual, mental and emotional experience for the listener. The ultimate goal is to give each participant a renewed sense of freedom, discovering their own style of vocal expression and improvisation. We also intend to break down barriers by reinforcing each singer’s confidence in the ability to take risks.

6. The Voice in the Digital World — Joey
This class is designed to help aspiring singers develop their knowledge of digital recording and signal processing for the voice. The new developments in digital technology have provided all of us with the tools necessary to self-produce recorded music at a professional level. Joey will explain and demonstrate techniques to apply this new technology in a live or recording studio situation. We will also demonstrate the proper mic technique as it applies to each setting.

7. Introduction to Improv — David
In this interactive class, participants will be introduced to the concepts of basic vocal improvisation. Students in the class will be applying intervallic scalar technique over basic one chord ostinattos, blues progressions and more advanced musical landscapes from popular song. Students will learn to sing and become familiar with bass lines and specific intervals of a tune and scales, and to understand their relationship to improvisational navigation. A must class for vocalists who want to push the improvisational envelope of their sound.

8. Learn with Looping — David
With Loop Mania sweeping the world, this class offers looping technology as a way of understanding beginning concepts in improvisation... Students will learn how to create melody, musical phrasing, harmony, learn the concept of time signatures, and counterpoint with the aid of an easy to use looping device. Basic concepts of looping will also be offered in this class. Let the looping begin!

9. The Mystery and Method of Improvisation — Rhiannon
Rhiannon has built her process for teaching vocal improvisation on the idea that we must be solid in musical skills, develop intuition and be available to the mystery and grace that exist when creating music spontaneously.
In this class we create our own music in a safe and dynamic circle of singers. We each find our unique and personal sound, working alone, in pairs, and in ensemble as we meld intuition and invention with skill and heart. We delve into connecting the forms of spontaneously composed music and storytelling. Rhiannon’s many years in the theater as well as her life in music have resulted in this being a dynamic and natural blend.
We hone our skills in melody, harmony and rhythm as well as vocal tone, texture, and dynamics, stretch our intuitive courage, tell our stories, then take our voices wherever we have always wanted to go.

10. The Improvised Performance — Rhiannon
Because Rhiannon believes that improvisation belongs in performance, she has developed a process to make improvisation stage-worthy. This series of exercises unfolds in a carefully articulated progression. Working in circle, students first improvise melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint and interlocking parts in solo and small ensemble games. Then in learning to improvise as an ensemble, with exercises using the natural connection of body and voice, they learn to reveal a vulnerable, authentic sound. They also practice using language, both invented and in their native tongue, sung and spoken, as part of their musical repertoire. Many of these games become strong performance pieces and teach the singers how to invent a group sound without a leader. Learning to improvise as an ensemble with shared responsibility and power teaches deep listening, generosity, courage and musical awareness.

11. Vocal River: The craft, spirit and community of voice and body in improvisation --: Rhiannon
With her new instructional/autobiographical book, Vocal River, in hand, Rhiannon  creats music in a safe and dynamic circle of singers. You will find your place in the world of song and invention. Working alone, in pairs, and in ensemble, meld intuition and invention with skill and heart. Delve into the possibilities of spontaneous composition and the language of storytelling. Strengthen harmony and rhythm, vocal tone, texture, and technique. Hear your own song and learn new ones.Listen for songlines and sing your way back to your authentic voice. For sixteen strong singers with solid, inventive skills in rhythm and pitch. You must be comfortable singing in a group setting.

12. Inspirational Choir-Joey
This workshop is designed to give each participant an introductory look into the world of choral singing. We will explore several styles as they pertain to choral singing, in addition to learning and understanding blend, harmony, rhythm and stylistic interpretation and delivery. This would include Gospel, World music and other more traditional choral styles as well as:R&B,Country western,Spiritual, Blue grass and Jazz. Students will discover all the different parts of there voice and how to apply them in each specific choral situation. We will also explore the importance of rhythm as it relates to vocal delivery in a choral situation.

13. Circle Singing— David, Joey and Rhiannon
This bold experiment in music making is a participatory ritual, allowing a sharing of culture through the medium of music, the voice in all its forms and colors. Singers gather in a circle with a conductor in the center. Four improvised patterned parts are given to the Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass sections. These patterns are changed and shifted by the conductor so that the singing continues for long stretches, creating a rich, deep and joyful experience. This form calls forth a wonderfully primal connectedness among the singers, strengthening relationships and developing leadership. Singers are invited to solo over this hearty vocal orchestra which requires both courage and musical focus. Working this way stretches both individual and ensemble capability, a synergistic approach to music making. Because we sing in an invented language in this form, it is accessible across borders and cultures, making it possible to create this musical magic anywhere on the planet. Improvisation is a beautiful musical force and a wonderful life- changing tool because it teaches us to stay awake and be present in every moment to our options, gifts and challenges.

14.  Vocal Grab Bag  ---David
To begin with, this workshop will explore vocal, percussion rudiments and patterns associated with the drum kit. .This exploration will help singers become comfortable with percussive qualities of the voice, understanding the contrapuntal relationships that make up vocal rhythms. This study can also help strengthen phrasing, establish a sense of song form, and equip the singer with the ability to add a new percussion dimension to their singing arsenal. Throughout the class, participants will also be introduced to the concepts of basic vocal improvisation. Students will learn to sing and become familiar with bass lines and scales, to understand their relationship to improvisational navigation
To help with these relationships Looping technology will be employed as a way of introducing these beginning concepts in vocal percussion and improvisation, and a way for students to create in the moment Students will learn how to conjure their own musical phrasing, harmony, rhythm and counterpoint with the aid of easy to use looping devices. This will be fun!

15. The Solo Inside the Song--Joey Blake
In this course we will explore the various ways to include improvisation within the song form.
Each musical genre has a specific harmonic and culturally influenced delivery style. We will investigate how to recognize these things and learn how to use this information to improvise inside these musical forms
Listening to how you would improvise in a Jazz song vs. and Rock song
The typical R&B improvisational delivery verses gospel even though they have similar elements the thought behind and how in appears is very different.
Identifying these elements will help each participant to better understand how to fuse these elements and develop their ability to apply them to their own individual performance situations.