CMC Sessions – Follow My Lead: Accompaniment and Melody for Guitarists with Scott O’Day and Erik Pearson

Get better at playing with others! CMC Faculty Erik Pearson and Scott O’Day will lead two free guitar-centric workshops to strengthen skills needed for both supporting and leading roles of playing in an ensemble. Participants will explore varied techniques of accompaniment and melody through performance demonstrations and interactive exercises.

March 3
CMC Recital Hall

2:30pm – Accompaniment on the Guitar

Learn harmonic and rhythmic “comping” skills for playing a supportive role in an ensemble. This workshop will cover topics like arranging, chord voicings, reharmonization, incorporating bass lines, strumming patterns, and improvising rhythms that are used in a wide variety of musical settings and genres.

4:00pm – Melody on Guitar

Step into the spotlight and learn techniques for guitar soloing. This workshop will focus on fretboard knowledge, chord-scales, and improvisation to give players the confidence to find their own melodic voice. Get inspiration and hands-on practice by examining examples from well-known songs like George Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Open to: Intermediate and advanced guitarists—bring your instrument along! Other levels are welcome to observe from the audience Electric and acoustic guitars welcome, but please be mindful of others with regards to amplification. Students may take one or both workshops.

Scott O’Day received a Bachelor’s of Music in guitar performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s of Music in guitar performance from San Francisco State University. He attended La Escuela de Musica Popular de Avellaneda in Buenos Aires. Scott directs and performs regularly with his various tango ensemble projects, including his own group, the Scott O’Day Tango Trio.

Erik Pearson graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music with degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Music Composition. He has played and recorded in bands since 1990, written chamber music for local choreographers, and performs with internationally known storyteller Diane Ferlatte. Most recent projects include: Sonya Hunter, Mushroom, Crooked Jades, Nearly Beloved, and Billy Talbot.

About CMC Sessions 2024:

Expand your musical toolbox and get inspired with CMC guitar, piano, and cultural traditions faculty. CMC Sessions comes to life with a new series of in-person workshops, presentations, and masterclasses in a wide range of musical styles and traditions. Explore historical and stylistic performance practices, learn new techniques, and spark your creative interests through enlightening demonstrations, thought-provoking discussions, and hands-on experience.

Join us for a session:

  • February 24: Improvisation Made Easy: How to Enhance Music Styling
    • Embodied Piano Playing with Allison Lovejoy
    • Gospel Piano Stylings with Ken Little
  • March 2: Piano Performance Psychology with Grace Huenemann
  • March 2: Follow My Lead: Accompaniment & Melody for Guitarists with Erik Pearson and Scott O’Day
    • Accompaniment for Guitar
    • Melody for Guitar
  • May 11: Nuts & Bolts of Jazz Piano Improvisation with Erick Peralta
  • May 11: Rhythmic and Harmonic Structure of Traditional Cuban Music with Tony Martinez and Erick Peralta
  • May 18: Baroque Improvisation Workshop with Shirley Wong-Frentzel
  • May 18: Histoire du Tango with Will Ludan and Monika Gruber

Date / Time

March 2, 2024
2:30 pm
 – 5:00 pm
Cost: Free

Type of Event



CMC Recital Hall
544 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110