Tosin Abasi & Duke Robillard to Lead Special Seminars at Guitar Workshop Plus' Toronto Session

[![Tosin Abasi](/content/images/2018/06/tosin2-300x200.jpg)](/content/images/2018/06/tosin2.jpg)Tosin Abasi
Guitar Workshop Plus has released the scheduled guest artists and seminars for its 2018 Toronto session, which will be taking place from July 23-28 at York University. For this, Animals as Leaders guitarist and legendary blues guitarist Duke Robillard will be leading special seminars for the Toronto session students.

Tosin Abasi, who is best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. Before founding Animals as Leaders, he was the guitarist for the technical metalcore band Reflux. He recorded the first Animals as Leaders release with Misha Mansoor (of Periphery), who produced and recorded the album with Tosin. He has since released four albums with Animals as Leaders. Guitar World ranks Abasi on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time and featured Tosin as a cover story. Tosin also joined Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and Zakk Wylde, as part of the Generation Axe tour.

Abasi will lead the Modern Rock Guitar seminar in Toronto. This class will examine the many aspects and influences of modern rock guitar and provide students with tools and methods to advance their playing to the next level of musicality and chops, including speed picking, sweep picking, tapping, contemporary harmony, rhythm and composition.

[![Duke Robillard ](/content/images/2018/06/Duke-Robillard-300x195.jpg)](/content/images/2018/06/Duke-Robillard.jpg)Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard one of the most acclaimed blues guitar players alive, with even B.B. King calling Robillard “one of the greatest players.” The Blues Music Awards have named Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” four years in a row making him the second most honoured guitarist for that award!! Other awards include Grammy nominations, three Maple Blues Awards for “Best International Blues Artist,” The Blues Foundation’s “Producer of the Year,” as well as “Album of the Year” and “Guitarist of the Year” awards. He has worked with Roomful of Blues, The Legendary Blues Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Witherspoon, Ronnie Earl, Herb Ellis, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, John Hammond, Joe Bonamassa, and Jimmy Vaughan.

At GWP’s Toronto session, Robillard will lead the So You Wanna Play the Blues seminar. This seminar is designed for players who love the raw energy, feel, and power of blues music in all of its forms, from swing, Delta, and Chicago to Texas and electrifying blues/rock sounds. This course explores the styles of some of the greatest blues guitarists, including Muddy Waters, T. Bone Walker, Albert, B.B., and Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and others. The course will work on improving each participant’s playing and help with soloing from the ground up. Good rhythm playing is the most important part of any guitarist’s playing and this will be dealt with in depth. Topics include various blues progressions, chord voicings, various rhythm patterns, turnarounds, phrasing, scale and arpeggio usage, double stops, developing solo ideas, and how to achieve a good blues tone. Students will also learn how to improve their bending, vibrato, sliding, and legato techniques to put some more ‘feel’ into their playing.

For more information, go to

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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