Steve Kaufman, guitarist and three-time winner of the National Flatpicking Championships, will offer workshops in Dothan from Sept. 25-27.
The workshop on Sept. 25 will be for beginner and intermediate mandolin, and a workshop for all skill levels of flatpicking will be offered from the 25-27. The workshops will be at Metro Music Shop in Dothan at 155 S. Andrews St.
Kaufman was born into a family of musicians in 1957; his father was a jazz piano player and his mother was a classically trained pianist.
Kaufman started having an interest in the piano at age 4, then the electric guitar at age 10 and going on to the cello and acoustic guitar later.
After getting into bluegrass through playing rhythm guitar to help his younger brother’s banjo playing, Kaufman brought home a Flatt and Scruggs LP with Doc Watson on guitar, and was immediately hooked on flatpicking.
At age 18, Kaufman entered the National Flatpicking Championships in Winfield, Kansas, for the first time and placed in the top 10. He tried again the next year, but did not do as well. In 1977, he took second place to Mark O’Connor, and won the championship the next year.
The National Flatpicking Championships prohibit winners from participating for five years after their wins. Kaufman returned in 1984 to win the championship for the second time.
In 1986, the Championships were open to everyone, including the recent winners, and Kaufman returned to become the first to win the Championships three times, and even more so, he won three times in a row.
Kaufman started producing instructional books and videos in 1989, after teaching for almost 20 years.
Kaufman started going around the world in 1990 for concerts, workshops, clinics and other educational events.
In 1995, he began “Steve Kaufman’s Flatpicking Kamp.” Over the years, he added more camps under the name “Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps.” They have old-time Banjo, bluegrass banjo, and mandolin camps to go along with their flatpicking camp.
Kaufman is now a top author with over 100 books and DVDs for teaching music. He travels to a new town every week for his “Kamp.” He is currently in Pittsburgh, and will be going to Kansas next week, and then finally here to Dothan.
The Thursday mandolin workshop will be from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Kaufman will cover various topics, such as learning chords and rhythms, and how to bring out your talent.
The Friday flatpicking workshop will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will cover core skills and techniques. Saturday’s workshop will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It will cover right and left hand techniques, drills and skills, and other important skills for flatpicking guitar.
Kaufman will provide handouts and clear information to build off of for the future.
Pre-registration is required for both the mandolin and flatpicking workshops. The price is $50 for the mandolin workshop and $90 for the flatpicking workshop.
An evening concert will be held on Sept. 27 in the same location. To make reservations, call Greg at 334- 792-0883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concert will be a bluegrass concert with many traditional and classic songs.
When asked about tips for getting started on flatpicking, Kaufman said: “Don’t wait until tomorrow because tomorrow never gets here. If I can do it, then anyone can.”