Monday, September 12, 2016

2017 Retreat Workshop Schedule and Descriptions!

Hello, everyone!

With summer over and everyone tucking into Fall, it's time for us to start looking towards our 5th Annual Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat! Here is the schedule and below that are the workshop descriptions.  This will be available as a link from the main site.  There's no need to register for classes, just show up!


8:30 am - 9:30 am - (Guy) Absolute Beginning Hammered Dulcimer
9:45 am - 10:45 am - (Guy) Pennywhistle - Beginning
11 am - 12 pm - (Bing) Beginning Mountain Dulcimer: The Basics
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm - (Sharrie) Uke From The Ground Up - Absolute Beginner
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - (Bing) The Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers 
3 pm - 4 pm - (Guy) Manatee Orchestra for Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle and Steel Drum! 
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - (Sharrie) Manatee Orchestra - Intermediate Ukulele


8:30 am - 9:30 am -  (Richard) Traditional Tunes Brought Back From Obscurity - All Level Mountain Dulcimer
9:45 am - 10:45 am - (Sharrie) Ukulele Chord Strum Marathon - Beyond Beginner
11 am - 12 pm - (Bing) Learn To Play The AutoBass
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - (Guy) Innovative Chord Shapes, Back-Up & Technique - Intermediate Hammered Dulcimer
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - (Richard) Songs That Have Stories - All Level Mountain Dulcimer
3 pm - 4 pm - (Bing) How To Play Native American Flute
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - (Guy) Crazy Intermediate Pennywhistle


8:30 am - 9:30 am - (Sharrie) Uke-A-Robics - Beginner/Intermediate Ukulele
9:45 am - 10:45 am - (Bing) “Goodbye Is Not Forever” - Intermediate Mountain Dulcimer
11 am - 12 pm - (Guy) Beginning Pennywhistle
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - (Guy) Building a Repertoire on the Hammered Dulcimer - Intermediate
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - (Bing) - Fun & Easy Tunes For Beginning Mountain Dulcimer
3 pm - 4 pm - (Bing, Guy, Sharrie) Manatee Orchestra REHEARSAL - All Instruments!

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


8:30 am - 9:30 am - (Bing) Texas Style Blues - Mountain Dulcimer - Intermediate/Advanced
9:45 am - 10:45 am - (Richard) Murder Ballads II - All Level Mountain Dulcimer
11 am - 12 pm - (Sharrie) Jammin’ On A Uke - All Levels

Bing Futch Workshops

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 Basics

This is a “strings-side” up class and we’ll introduce the mountain dulcimer, learn how to change strings and tune them, then learn some scales and chords to play some simple songs.  We’ll cover reading tablature, basic rhythm, strumming and plucking.  If you’ve just started playing, or need a refresher course to get playing again, this is the workshop for you!

Fun & Easy Tunes For Beginning Mountain Dulcimer

We'll learn a whole bunch of fun tunes that don't require a whole lot of fancy picking, but still sound great when you mess around with them.  We'll do a little traditional and even learn a couple of modern songs as well!

Learn To Play The AutoBass

If you’ve ever wanted to have a bass player in your jam, but didn’t want to learn how to play the bass or have to buy an expensive instrument and then lug it around, then check out the AutoBass!  This fun workshop will give you hands-on experience playing this revolutionary new instrument that allows you to be the bassist in no time!  Basic music theory instruction and practice time will give everyone the chance to be the bass player they’ve always wanted to be!

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. 

“Goodbye Is Not Forever” - Mountain Dulcimer - Intermediate

I wrote this tune in the summer of 2016 and began performing it while on tour.  I get more requests for tablature on this tune (which makes me happy) so I’ve decided to teach it by popular demand.  For those not familiar with the piece, it starts off very gently flatpicked and then transforms into a chord-melody style piece before returning to a melodic flatpicking at the end.  Sweet and somewhat sad, come learn one of my originals and get some insight on the composition and arranging too!

Texas Style Blues - Mountain Dulcimer - Intermediate/Advanced

We’re gonna learn a Texas swing blues in D, complete with sassy licks, sweet seventh chords, solo turns and, if you’ve got a 1 1/2 fret, some wild jazz chords to seal the deal!

Richard Ash Workshops

Traditional Tunes Brought Back From Obscurity - Some songs are “obscure” because they aren't great songs. Other songs were just “lost to time”, and deserve a widespread audience. I've (hopefully) chosen a selection of great tunes from that second category. Only time will tell... DAD, no retuning.

Songs That Have Stories - you all know the story of Thomas Dula (Tom Dooley), but do you know the story of Coleman's March, or Hangman's Reel? How about Angeline The Baker? I'll fill you in on the background of some popular tunes, and you'll have a few tales you can share with your next audience! DAD, bring a capo.

Murder Ballads II - a follow-up to my popular “Murder Ballads I” from 2015, MB II has even more tunes that tell a grisly story. Most of these songs are a vital part of the folk music repertoire, and while they're often sad, the melodies are usually beautiful, and the backstories to the songs are guaranteed to entertain your audience. DAD, bring a capo.

Guy George Workshops

Absolute Beginning Hammered Dulcimer - Always wanted to try the Hammered Dulcimer? Just learning but want to brush up on your basic skills? Guy will show you step by step, the way to play beautiful music on this exciting, and timeless instrument. Basics will be covered; locating the notes and playing some simple melodies and chords. Don’t have a hammered dulcimer? A few free loaners will be available. Contact Guy at to reserve. 

Pennywhistle - Beginning - Learn how to play the easiest instrument to carry around! We’ll have you playing and sounding good in 2 keys! We’ll have fun learning a few easy tunes to play right away. Inexpensive, great sounding “D” whistles will be available at our vending area and at the workshop before it begins. 

HD - Innovative Chord Shapes, Back-up and Technique - Intermediate - Find the right chord inversion. Explore different chord progressions and how to move chords around the dulcimer. Learn different chord patterns for back-up and fills. We’ll even sing with the dulcimer! 

Hammered Dulcimer, Pennywhistle and Steel Drum MANATEE ORCHESTRA - All Levels - Choose your instrument and have fun learning the tunes for the Manatee Or- chestra. 

NEW CRAZY INTERMEDIATE Pennywhistle - Not for Beginners! Learn new tunes in “Unfriendly Keys” to really stretch your skills as a pennywhistle player. We’ll address any concerns you may have in playing as we cover chromatics, chords, technique, tone, breathing, tonguing, wardrobe, tunes, and more! Get that upper register sounding good! Work on style and getting your own sound! 

Sharrie George Workshops

Uke From the Ground Up - Absolute Beginner - Never played the uke? Now’s your chance! Start with the basics or review if it’s been a while since you played, and learn some tunes and strums on this fun little instrument. We appreciate and encourage sing- ing, but it’s optional! A few loaners will be available to try just for this class! 
Uke-A-Robics - Beyond Beginner to Intermediate - Find your inner peace on your uke as we stretch and strengthen our skills with finger dexterity warm-ups, exercises and practice techniques to advance us to the next level of uke playing. Guaranteed to make you a better player! Review melody playing/reading tab to get us ready for the next workshop! All this while learning some great tunes! 

Ukulele - Intermediate - Manatee Orchestra - You are welcome even if you plan on playing a different instrument for the Orchestra! If you can read music/uke tab to play a little melody, this workshop is for you! Learn different techniques while learning tunes for the Manatee Orchestra! Each tune will have an arrangement with melody, at least one harmony, as well as some new back-up methods.
Chord/Strum Marathon - Beyond Beginner - A workout on strumming as we learn some great ukulele tunes. We’ll also learn the back-up for the tunes for Manatee Orchestra. 

Ukulele - All levels - Jammin’ on a Uke! - Learn and practice lots of tunes in “dulcimer jam-friendly” keys! For beginners: a great way to practice and learn some jam tunes and get up to ‘jam speed’ on chord changes; If you read music/uke tab, all melodies and harmonies to some of our favorite jam tunes will be provided. We’ll start out slow and work our way up to jammin’ speed! 

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