Several young musicians took advantage of an opportunity to pick with — and pick the brains of — professional touring musicians during a stringed instrument master class held at the Earle Theatre on Saturday.
Sierra Hull and accompanying instrumentalists, Justin Moses and Ethan Jodziewicz, shared knowledge and experience gleaned both from musical training and life on the road.
Hull, a Nashville-based musician who studied at Berklee College of Music, is in the midst of a tour that includes shows in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Denver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
She kicked off the Tommy Jarrell Festival with a concert at Mount Airy Middle School on Thursday and was scheduled to close the festival Saturday night with a concert at the Earle.
Performing a sound check Saturday afternoon, Hull and company walked the audience through the process of a working band setting up for a show.
The trio explained the different techniques they used to make as authentic an acoustic sound as possible while amplified with electronic sound equipment, answering questions along the way.
Jodziewicz explained how the sound waves emitted by his upright bass differ from Hull’s mandolin, and so have to be amplified differently to get a true sound.
Hull brought out her octave mandolin during the sound check, explaining how she makes the most of its lower pitches and offering to let the students present play her spare.
After the sound check was complete, the group circled up for a jam session and launched into “Red-Haired Boy.”
It was a chance for Chaney Parsons, an eight-year-old mandolin player from Warren County, “to get some tips from Sierra Hull,” whom she said was one of her heroes.
Parsons added she hopes to be a professional musician and be on stage like Hull one day.
Presley Barker, of Traphill, brought his guitar. “He’s a really good picker,” he said of Moses. “I just wanted to come learn some licks and stuff.”
It was a unique experience for Hull as well.
“When we’re in concert we always try to come out and chat with the audience,” she said. “But to be here early and to interact is good. It gives you a little perspective on the event more than usual.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.