Friday, March 13, 2020

Dulcimerica Feature - "2 Weeks Of Magic"

Today's Dulcimerica episode features moments from the 8th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat and 3rd Annual Castaway Music Cruise.

It truly was a magical time! Thanks to Guy & Sharrie George, Richard & Aly Ash and Jae Futch for all of the planning, hard work and fantastic energy! Thanks to the staff of the Homosassa Riverside Resort and crew of the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas for working with us so wonderfully. Thanks to our fabulous helpers, volunteers and 2nd camera folks for going above and beyond!

And very special thanks to everyone who joined us for the retreat or cruise or both! There were so many extraordinary moments that you shared with us, and this video features just a few of them, from workshops, jams and fun meals to cruise ship flash-mobs, shore excursions and lots of sweet music. THANK YOU! I hope you enjoy this fond look back at "2 Weeks Of Magic." ARRRRRRR! <3

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

THANK YOU for a fun week in Homosassa!

What an AWESOME week!  Our 8th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat was another wonderful week on the Homosassa River with workshops, jams, concerts and great food. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the fun!

We're happy to say that we'll be back in 2021 at the newly-christened Florida Cracker Riverside Resort and we're looking forward to working with the new owners as we celebrate our 9th year in this uniquely Old Florida setting!

The dates for next year are February 25th - 28th, 2021.  There's still time to go all in and join us right after the retreat for our 4th Annual Castaway Music Cruise!

Your Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat Leaders,
Bing & Jae, Guy & Sharrie, Richard & Aly

Friday, February 21, 2020

Workshop Handouts Are ONLINE!

Hi, everyone!

Just a note to let you know that workshop handouts are online and the link/password has been sent out to registrants.  If you didn't get the e-mail for some reason, please contact Bing Futch at

We're less than a week away and getting real excited about this year's retreat!  Watch this site for some more details as we get closer.  See you soon!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Watch For Downloadable Workshop Files!

We're a little more than a month away from the retreat and we're all very excited to see you down here in sunny, warm Florida!

Just giving you a heads-up that we'll be making all of the workshop materials available online, so you can either print them out and bind them, or download them to your tablet.  We'll be sending all registrants a password-protected Dropbox link where you can access PDF files for all the workshops from all four instructors!

Watch your e-mail boxes - we'll be sending the link soon!

Friday, October 25, 2019

2020 FGCDR Schedule!

All workshops will take place in The Manatee Ballroom unless otherwise specified! The Manatee Ballroom is the main room where registration, vending, most workshops, jams and concert take place.


8:30 am - 9:30 am - Absolute Beginning Ukulele - Sharrie (UKE)
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Beginning Pennywhistle - Guy (PW)
11 am - 12 pm - Beginning Mountain Dulcimer - Richard (MD)
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers - Bing (MD)
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Manatee Orchestra - Hammered Dulcimer & Pennywhistle - Guy (HD, PW)
3 pm - 4 pm - Manatee Orchestra - Ukulele - Sharrie (UKE)
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Metronome Fun - Richard
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Jumbie Jam Steel Drum For All - Guy (SD) [Location TBA]
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm - Happy Hour With the Steel Drum - Guy (SD) [Move to Manatee Ballroom]


8:30 am - 9:30 am -  Tab|Edit Basics - Richard
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Absolute Beginning Hammered Dulcimer - Guy (HD)
11 am - 12 pm - The Easy Rhythm Method - Bing (MD)
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Ukulele: Playing Between The Chords - Sharrie (UKE)
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Looping Pedals For The Non-Technical - Richard 
3 pm - 4 pm - The Classical Mountain Dulcimer - Bing (MD)
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Sound Better with Syncopation - Guy (HD)


8:30 am - 9:30 am - Beach Tunes - Guy & Sharrie (HD, PW, UKE)
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Learning Native American Flute - Bing (NAF)
11 am - 12 pm - Ukulele Standards - Sharrie (UKE)
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Mississippi Delta Blues - Bing (MD)
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - Advanced Rhythms: Reading and Counting - Richard
3 pm - 4 pm - Manatee Orchestra Rehearsal

The Manatee Orchestra will open up the Saturday evening concert at 7 pm


8:30 am - 9:30 am - Sunday Morning Coming Down - Bing
9:45 am - 10:45 am - Gospel Tunes For All - Guy & Sharrie (HD, PW, UKE, MD)
11 am - 12 pm - Novelty Songs - Richard

Richard's Workshops

Richard Ash's Workshops!

Beginning Mountain Dulcimer

Aimed towards the NEW player, but experienced players are welcome to participate, and gather ideas for THEIR next beginner classes, too. From “head to the left, strings up” to some more advanced skills, our focus will be on making music fast, with minimal technique problems to “fix later”. The focus is on learning enough to go to a local club meeting, sit in on a jam, and have fun.

Metronome Fun

Practicing with a metronome doesn’t have to be boring. Richard will bring a metronome and amp, so we can all play along, and use the metronome as a group. He’ll point out common tempo mistakes, and show how to use a metronome to unlearn bad habits, and to make you into a more consistent (rhythmically) player.

TablEdit Basics

Richard will bring his laptop, and a projector for the screen, so you can see as he walks you through making a really simple piece of tablature. This isn't about creating an arrangement, but is more about using the software (TablEdit) to make something that can be shared, legibly, with your friends. 

Looping Pedals For The Non-Technical

Using a Boss RC-30 (the most popular choice) looping pedal, Richard will walk you through simple steps to record yourself and play back the recording so you can play along. Bring your own RC-30 (with a small practice amp) if you have one, otherwise you can just watch and listen. 

Advanced Rhythms - Reading And Counting

All instruments - we'll be clapping rhythms, tapping toes to keep the beat. Combinations of “down-up”, “out-in”, and “one-and”, all working together to help demystify counting for the uninitiated, and provide a great review for the trained musicians. Bring your dulcimer, guitar, or ukulele - we'll incorporate real-world strumming into our newly-revitalized rhythm-reading skills.

Novelty Songs

When you need something a little “lighter” than a murder ballad, and maybe not so dry as an English folk ballad with 112 verses, maybe this'll fill the need to tickle your funny bone. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Guy and Sharrie's Workshops!

Guy George Workshops

Beginning Pennywhistle - Learn to play the easiest instrument to carry in an hour!  We’ll teach you all the basics everything you need to know  have you playing in 2 keys in less than an hour

Absolute Beginning Hammered Dulcimer - New to the Hammered Dulcimer?  Or want to refresh your skills if it’s been a while since you played?  Join us as we learn where notes and chords are while learning a few melodies on this great instrument!  If you’re a more advanced player, I’ll have stuff written out that you can add to the tunes we’re learning.

Hammered Dulcimer & Pennywhistle - All Levels -  Manatee Orchestra - Have fun learning parts for our Manatee Orchestra - 3 great tunes that will have parts for all instruments. Join the Manatee Orchestra at the Saturday night concert - lots of fun!  

Jumbie Jam Steel Drum for all - Bring your Jumbie Jam and join us to learn a few island tunes on this fun little instrument.  If you want an instrument to be there for you for the class, contact Guy at to purchase one for the Retreat.  (Sorry, no loaners)

Sound Better with Syncopation Intermediate Hammered Dulcimer- Hop on the syncopation wagon as we learn just what it is and how to do it.  I’ll show you ways to syncopate music you already play as well as some new tunes.  Add style and swing to your playing!

Happy hour with the Steel Drum!  Learn a few more tunes on the Steel drum - Grab a beverage and come join the fun!  Lead sheets will be available for any instrument wanting to strum chords as we play! 

Guy & Sharrie Workshops

Intermediate Level HD, PW, & Uke
Mix HD & PW & Uke and add Water:  Beach Tunes! - Have fun learning some new beach sing-along tunes! Switch instruments and learn the tunes on all.  Mountain dulcimers are welcome to come and strum chords. (Tunes will be in “D” and “G”)

Ukulele, Pennywhistle, & Hammered Dulcimer - Gospel Tunes for All - Learn some old time Gospel and a few newer and not so well known tunes with parts - all with chord pictures, music notation, lyrics and tablature for each instrument. Mountain dulcimers are welcome to come and strum chords. (Tunes will be in “D” & “G”)

Sharrie George Workshops

Absolute Beginning Ukulele - If you haven’t tried the ukulele yet, now’s your chance!  No experience necessary!  We’ll start with the basics, adding chords, strums and songs in a no-stress environment.  Workshops will progress each day; look for past beginner level and join in!  Singing is a plus, but not required! 
Not sure you want to invest but want to try the ukulele?  Contact me AHEAD of time and I will have a loaner for you for this 1st workshop! (Loaners will be available for purchase afterward) Call, txt or email me: 440-478-1302 or  (Make sure you get a response from me so you know I got the message!)

Ukulele - All Levels - Manatee Orchestra  Learn a part that you would like to play and join the Manatee Orchestra as we perform on Saturday night!  Music will have chord pictures and notation with tablature for all parts.  We’ll have parts for Beginner and above!

Ukulele Intermediate and above - “Playing between the Chords” - (Must be able to read tab and play melody)  Sometimes called ‘fills’, riffs, or licks; we’ll learn some easy (and some not-so easy) lines that can be used in different keys, between specific chords, and in many different tunes when you are playing.  We’ll apply these to a few tunes to see how they fit into other music. Also a great exercise for your hands to become more “fluent” at playing solo arrangements! 

Past Beginner & Above “Ukulele Standards” we all know and love! - Learn tunes that the ukulele is famous for - the tunes people always want to hear and sing along!  You’ll be surprised find out how easy many of them are to learn.  We will learn as many as time allows!  All music will have chord pictures, lyrics, melody, and strum suggestions.