Special French Café Songs class preview (Free!) April 20, 2021 at 7:30pm.

No need to pre-register, just come in to the zoom session:


(more info at the Freight And Salvage web site)

I teach online or in-person. See the description of the types of lessons below.

(in case you're skeptical: yes online classes work fine: I, as well as many other teachers, have done that for a while. Different possibilities and mechanics than in person, but hey, these are special circumstances!)

French Café Songs

Learn to sing songs from the classic French Café Music repertoire (Piaf, Trenet, Montant, Brel, Brassens, etc.) as well as some more modern songs. For each song we learn, we'll work on the lyrics pronunciation and translation and we'll look at its meaning, history and cultural background, including obscure historical references embedded in those lyrics. And of course, we'll work on pronunciation, so in the end you'll even improve your French.

No prior experience required in singing, playing an instrument, or any music theory. Some basics of French would be helpful, but no worries, we will not talk (much) about grammar, conjugation or spelling, except to help with the songs.

Links to some songs we might do:

I also teach a similar class at The Freight And Salvage, here is a little promo video I made for it: French Café Class video , and some comments from past (and current!) students

"The class was fun! Olivier is an excellent teacher, singer and musician."

"It was well structured for both, more confident and less experienced French speakers ."

"Olivier was very responsive and engaging and a delightful musician who clearly knew his stuff."

Swing Guitar

If you are an intermediate / advanced player and have played bluegrass, country, folk, Americana, or of course swing, this class is for you. If you are more of a beginner, but you already are able to comfortably play the "standard" chords (a.k.a. the "campfire" or "cowboy" chords!), don't worry we'll review the basics as well.

We'll study and practice swing rhythms, including La Pompe, right hand technique, swing and jazz chords, gypsy jazz-style 3-note chords, familiar chord patterns and changes, how to get the "swing feel", and of course, soloing. And most importantly: how to play swing with others in a band or jam. Plus of course what YOU want to dive into.

We'll use as little theory as possible. In fact, prior theory, scales and sight reading not required. The only prerequisites are 1) know at least the basic chords -- swing chords a definite plus, 2) be interested in playing swing.

I also teach this class at the Freight and Salvage, and here is the promo video for it: Swing Guitar class video, and a few comments from past students:

"Valuable information about pick/strum technique, chord substitutions, and how to make your solos more interesting and effective. This class has a good balance between talking and playing!"

"I've enjoyed the class and your teaching style, which I describe as practical and laid back."

"What I find valuable is the go-a-round which forces us to practice playing rhythm properly and to improvise. You are also a kind and encouraging teacher. "

Technical, Booking and Payments

For online, I usually use Zoom or Duo. For in-person lessons we can do it inside, with a comfortable 8ft distance, or if the weather is good we can do it safely distanced in my backyard.

I am available during the day or evenings, week days or week end.

Payments are possible via PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Bill.com.

Send me an email oaklandolivier@mandosoft.com if you want to talk about taking lessons, or when you're ready to schedule one.