Mendocino Guitar Workshop 2021 Goes Online

The Mendocino Guitar Workshop normally takes place every July at the Albion Retreat and Learning Center in Albion, just 7 miles south of the historic town of Mendocino on California’s stunning north coast. However, due to the constraints and uncertainties of the pandemic, this year we will conduct our first ever virtual workshop on July 12-17, 2021. We will continue to offer many of the same components we have been offering for the past 20 years but, unfortunately, without all the good food and the recreational activities. The upside is that we will be able to take a deep dive into group and individual instruction without the logistics and expenses of travel, which just might make the prospect of attending much more convenient for many of you.

The workshop will focus on performance, technique, arranging, and composing for fingerstyle players and singers who play guitar, but we welcome players of all backgrounds. Alex and Sean and special guest instructors will share their insights into the techniques and inspiration that have become an integral part of their unique styles. Workshop attendees will also have the option to participate in an ensemble piece that will be rehearsed and recorded using online methods that will allow everyone to hear themselves and play along with a pre-recorded track. The finished recording will be streamed at the end of the workshop for an online audience. And, because it’s online, this year we will be offering an a la carte menu to anyone that would like to audit selected sessions of interest to a wider audience. 

Please see the program below, and to register, simply click here. Should you have further questions, please contact us at We hope to see you in July!


We will meet Monday through Saturday for 4 plus hours a day—depending on the yet to be confirmed schedule–and the time will be divided between five activities:

  • Master Class: Students will each perform a piece (or two) for the group and receive constructive critical feedback from both Alex and Sean.
  • Lecture Demo: Alex and Sean will each deconstruct an arrangement/composition and demonstrate the salient idioms and techniques that give the piece continuity.
  • One on One: Each student will receive a private lesson with both Sean and Alex.
  • Ensemble: Participants will have the option to rehearse and perform—record their part—for a composition by the instructors to be live streamed at the end of the workshop.
  • Guest artist workshops: We will be updating our special guests as they are confirmed.

Guitarists of all backgrounds are welcome, but should be at least intermediate to advanced fingerstyle players. The workshop is limited to 20 participants. Each participant should be prepared to perform one piece in the master class and another piece informally with the group and/or during the one-on-one session with Sean or Alex. You should be prepared to play:

  1. A composition or arrangement by a known composer or fingerstyle performer.  
  2. An original arrangement or composition, or a theme to be assigned by Alex at the time of registration.

The ability to read music or tablature is not required, but it will be useful. Alex and Sean will present music and written exercises in standard notation and/or tablature, so some experience with one or the other will be a plus.

Past instructor Andrew York gives feedback in a master class


With generous support from our sponsors below we offer tuition-free scholarships to qualifying students under 25 years old who can demonstrate financial need.


Occasionally, I have had the pleasure to perform with some of the workshop participants outside of the workshop. In 2009, Jeff Titus and his amazing nephew, Noaa Rienecker (about 15 at the time), and I played a few gigs together and Jeff very generously donated his proceeds back to the workshop. We used that money to sponsor our first scholarship student and got to thinking we should be doing more of that. I contacted my friend John Wunsch, guitarist extraordinaire, former instructor at the prestigous Interlochen Arts Academy, and more recently, owner of Strings by Mail in Traverse City, Michigan about getting a scholarship program going. John was all in, and SBM became our very first official scholarship sponsor. Since that time, Lowden Guitars, Elixir Strings, and individual donors Diana Coryat & Ashok Khosla have very generously become scholarship sponsors as well. String Letter Publishing has joined the team as our media sponsor via Acoustic Guitar & Classical Guitar magazines, and the Arts Council of Mendocino joined us by becoming our fiscal sponsor. Thank you all for your continuing support!

Fees & Registration

Workshop fee: $995. Fee includes 6 days of online instruction and performance. Register with your $500 deposit by clicking the PayPal button below.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions, please email us at or call us at 707-318-7932.

Alex & Alison de Grassi
Mendocino Guitar Workshop
PO Box 772
Redwood Valley CA 95470