Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bing Futch's Bio and Workshop Descriptions

Bing Futch - Festival Co-Founder
Performer and Instructor

Futch's love for traditional music has resulted in a career on both sides of the folk and rock divide, first as guitarist for CCM post-punkers Crazed Bunnyz in 1986 and much later in 1999 as co-founder of Mohave on mountain dulcimer.  That band, with bassist Mike Burney and drummer McGyver, took off after their debut performance at the House of Blues at Walt Disney World and over the course of the next seven years would become a crowd favorite and open for the likes of Molly Hatchet, St. Somewhere and The Crests.

In 2006, Futch began performing solo at county fairs and festivals across the country, along the way opening for Grammy-award winning act The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Grammy-award nominated artists Sam & Ruby, bluesman Scott Ainslie and sharing the stage with Grammy-award nominated act The Dixie Beeliners among others.

Bing won the "Solo Artist" award in the 2014 Central Florida Blues Challenge competition, earning a coveted entry into the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Taking the mountain dulcimer where it had never gone before, Bing competed in the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals, gaining new notice and fans for himself and this unique instrument.

Futch's music has been featured in film and video productions, video game soundtracks and exhibits at the Orlando Museum of Art.  He was composer and musical director for" The Jungle Book: A Musical Adaptation"which ran for 66 shows at Stage Left Theater in Orlando, Florida.  He also contributed music to the soundtrack of The Castle of Miracles at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida. Futch can often be found teaching music workshops at various festivals and colleges, presenting music education programs at schools and libraries and producing episodes of his video podcast "Dulcimerica" which has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and is currently in its eighth season. He is also the host of "Rhythm Roots", an hour long video program on DittyTV, The Americana Music Network.  

In traveling over 19,000 miles a year, Futch's home away from home is a 21 foot long Winnebago Warrior that has been dubbed "Rita."  While off the road, he lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Jae, and a menagerie of critters.  
Workshop Descriptions

Beginning Mountain Dulcimer: The Basics

This will be a fun and fundamental class to get you well acquainted with the mountain dulcimer so that you can play and enjoy it!  We'll cover everything from proper posture, what the various parts of the dulcimer are called and basic strumming to picking out melodies, reading tablature and learning a few tunes.  Geared to the new player, but contains lots of great reinforcement for folks with a little more time on the instrument.  Everyone's welcome!

The Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers

Come learn three fun, easy songs and then thrill to a dress rehearsal before performing in the Saturday night concert with The Manatee Orchestra!  All skill levels are welcome and I've written a nice little arrangement for each of the tunes we'll be playing.  If you've done it before, you know what a BLAST this is!

Beginning Mountain Dulcimer: The Bridge To Better

So, you've been playing for a little while but feel stuck in a rut? Can't seem to get past the plateau and you just want to pick up a few new skills?  Then, this is the class for you!  I'll share with you some secrets of the mountain dulcimer, like boxes and selective strumming, chording and flatpicking will also be covered.  Upgrade your ability, take this class!

A Pick Is Worth A Thousand Notes - Beginner/Intermediate

Once you've strummed and strummed the dulcimer, there is only one place to go and that's into the world of flatpicking.  Picking one note at a time can create beautiful cascades of chords or flash a hot lick with a Nashville twang.  Mixed together with strumming, it's the next step in your evolutionary journey with the mountain dulcimer.  We'll cover proper pick selection and usage.  I highly recommend these.  Also these.  And these.  This one's cool, but only for flatpicking.

How To Play Native American Flute 

This beautiful, haunting and expressive instrument dates back 4000 years on the North American continent.  Originally used in courtship and later in ceremonies and, more recently, ensemble performance, the Native American flute now enjoys great popularity in all types of music.  You'll be surprised at just how easy it is to play!  In this workshop, you'll learn basics: flute anatomy, how to hold it, breath control, major and minor scales, ornamentation techniques and how to discover your very own spirit song.  If you don't have a flute, I will have a limited supply of loaners that are also available for purchase.  Key does not matter if you wish to bring your own. 

Mountain Dulcimer Blues and Slide

I've upped the ante on this workshop and we're going to get down and dirty with a Mississippi Delta holler.  We'll learn the basic 12-bar blues form, switch keys, alter the form, learn to solo while keeping the rhythm and, finally, we're gonna learn how to play slide. Bring a Shy-Slide or cigarette lighter, anything easily held in the hand will work.  You'll be playing the blues in no time flat!

Fingerpickin' Good

Once you've gained some experience with flatpicking, you'll want to broaden your musical horizons and begin to explore fingerpicking.  We'll use some pretty tunes that sound great when fingerpicked and I'll show you some patterns that will help you on your way towards creating your own plucking patterns for each song you play.  We'll also get into some techniques that will help you put a "pinch" of pizzaz in your songs!

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