Workshops & Retreats

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Music Festival Intro to Honky Tonk Electric Guitar – G18052-4

Workshop ID: G18052-4
Dates: May 16 - May 20
Price: $560.00 - $1,100.00

We will start with Maybelle Carter’s acoustic strum, then check out the players who made the electric guitar as its own instrument. We will learn from the hot players of several eras and areas (arias, not so much): Eldon Shamblin and Jr Bernard with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys; Grady Martin and Hank “Sugarfoot” Garland, two kings of the emerging Nashville scene in the 50s and 60s; and from the West Coast, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and their mighty Telecaster guitar men: Don Rich, Roy Nichols and Louisiana-born James Burton, who rocked everyone from Ricky Nelson to Elvis to Emmylou. We will check out Merle Travis, and Johnny Cash’s Luther Perkins. We will also listen to some of the players whose influence runs through this music – Charley Christian, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley.

I’ll show you some useful rhythm styles, some hot licks, and how to fill in between the vocals. You’ll get the tools to really learn the neck, and I will try to help each one of you fill in whatever gaps in your understanding or technique that might be holding you back. We will be shooting for that Eureka! moment, when you find the missing link and it all falls into place. And we will learn my guitar hook from our 1972 Commander Cody hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Bring an electric guitar, and either a tiny amp or no amp at all. Unplugged electric works best. Almost all that we learn is doable on an acoustic, so if that’s what you have, it’s just fine.

Rolling Stone – “Opening night was particularly special due to the presence of Les Paul and Albert Lee, … Bill Kirchen cranked up his Tele for a set that gave the crowd a hotfoot, sparked by his epic cover of [‘Hot Rod Lincoln’]. (review of Danny Gatton Tribute, New York, Tramps)”

Learn more about Bill Kirchen.


Package Price
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath$1,100.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath$1,090.00
All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath$775.00
Camping w/Electricity$670.00
Camping RV$670.00
Bill Kirchen

Bill Kirchen’s career began in 1967 when he co-founded Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. They recorded seven albums for Paramount and Warner Brothers, one of which (Live From Deep in the Heart of

Registration for all workshops and retreats closes two weeks prior to the start date so that we can be adequately prepared for your arrival. Please note that our workshop price structure packages your tuition, course materials, lodging and meals together in a single rate. Prices are presented for each of the types of lodging available for the workshop you select. Some art workshops will have an additional list of course materials and supplies that can be purchased or you will be asked to bring with you.
  • Note:  Some courses (especially studio courses and plein air painting courses) can carry an additional material list or expense.
All rates are Per Person, Double Occupancy unless otherwise specified. Single Occupancy: Single occupancy rooms may be reserved for an additional $50 per night when space is available. The fee will be charged when space is confirmed. Single occupancy lodging is generally not available during June and July. If you are a single person and do not specify a roommate, a roommate of the same gender will be assigned to share your lodging space or you can request the single occupancy and be charged the supplement of an additional $50 per night (based on availability). For more information or if you would like to attend this workshop, but do not need lodging, please call the Registrar's Office at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1001 ext 4155 or toll-free at 877.804.4678 — available SundayFriday8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. MST.

Three ways to register:

  1. Download printable registration form and mail to: Ghost Ranch Registrar, 280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, NM 87510. OR scan and email your completed form to:
  2. Register by telephone at 505.685.1001 or 505.685.1017 or toll-free at 877.804.4678, ext. 4155 or ext. 4121 — available Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. MST.
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