2014 Workshop Lineup


Dan Geib's Bluegrass & Flatpicking Guitar Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 305

11:00am - 12:00pm

Hometown: St. Joseph, MI

Website: https://www.flatpickingtabs.com


With over 30 years of experience, Dan Geib has been touring the countryside with many bands doing his own unique blend of bluegrass and acoustic Americana. With deep roots in Bluegrass, County, and Alternative Acoustic, his music spans hard driving Bluegrass Banjo and Guitar to today's New Age Bluegrass, Swing, and Acoustic Rock.


In this workshop, Dan will cover:


1. Using the Pick and Hand Position

2. Basic Rhythm and Advanced Bluegrass Rhythm

3. Basic Bluegrass Licks

4. Bluegrass Licks Versus Fiddle Tunes

5. Major and Pentatonic Scales in Bluegrass and Flatpicking

6. Exercises to Build Right Hand Accuracy

7. The Value of the Metronome

8. Exploring a Bluegrass Solo G Licks, C Licks and D Licks


Jon Moody's Right Hand Technique for the Modern Electric Bassist Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 306

11:30am - 12:30pm

Hometown: Lansing, MI

Website: http://www.justmoody.com/


Traditionally, the bassist would use his index and middle finger to play, and sometimes his thumb.

In this class, we are going to go over many other options that the right hand has, including: using the ring and/or pinky finger in conjucntion with the other two, the upstroke of the fingers, using the thumb, slap bass, palm muting and the Damian Erskine method.

Attendees will walk out of the class with a number of new options and techniques to explore, to help expand their musical palette.


Jason Walker's Alternative Frailing and Banjo for Guitar Players Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 305

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI


The banjo is hundreds of years old and deeply rooted in American culture. As our culture changes this instrument changes with it. Its construction and styles of playing have evolved since its beginnings in Africa as a gourd attached to a planed stick, to the refined craftsmanship of makers such as Stelling. With many players opting to electrify the banjo, there is a blinding of styles and techniques making the musical options truly endless.

In this workshop, we will begin with a crash course aimed at guitar players by demonstrating how to transform common guitar chords and apply them to the 5-string banjo neck. Then, we will plunge into a mash-up of Appalachian, finger picking and experimental styles. Using frailing, claw-hammer and drop thumb techniques smashed with non-traditional methods for the modern banjoist, we will explore its diversity. Covering blues, jazz, rock, funk, fold and even a bit of bluegrass.

All skill levels welcome. A foundation in tablature and basic rhythmic notation will help, but is not necessary. a 5-string banjo tuned to open G [gDGBD] and a 6 string guitar in standard tuning [EADGBE] will be used. No picks! Educational material will be provided.


John Speeter's Fingerpicking Styles of Traditional, American Blues

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 306

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Hometown: Scotts, MI


A demonstration and study of American, traditional, fingerstyle blues, this workshop will feature music of the early blues legends.

Techniques of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill-Broonzy, John Jackson, Lightnin' Hopkins and others, will be analyzed and explained.

Delta style blues, Piedmont style and " Drop D " tuning will be performed along with historical notes on the roots of American blues.


Allen Bates' Dobro and Lapsteel Styles Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 307

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI


Allen Bates demonstrates and discusses Dobro and lap steel techniques, tuning and the music styles they are used in.

The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar, an instrument derived from and similar to the guitar. The player changes pitch be pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings instead of by pressing strings against the fretboard.

Dobro is a registered trademark now owned by Gibson Guitar Corporation and used for a particular design of resonator guitar.

The Dobro was the third resonator guitar design by John Dopyera, the inventor of the resonator guitar, but the second to enter production. Unlike his earlier tricone design, the Dobro as a singe resonator cone and it was inverted, with its concave surface facing up. The Dobro company described this as a bowl shaped resonator.


Marion Koleski's Ukukele Basics for Brand New Players Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 308

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI


If you want to make music, but don't know where to start, the Ukulele Basics for Brand New Players workshop is for you. The ukulele is an affordable instrument that is known for taking minutes to learn, a lifetime to master .

Marion Koleski, Editor at Large for Ukulele Player Magazine, will take you from the basic history and anatomy of the ukulele, all the way to playing a song. Bring your ukulele or just come see how easy it is to go from passive consumer of music to active participant.


Colin Killmer's The Viola: A Violin That Holds More Beer Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 309

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Hometown: Portage, MI


A presentation on the viola: the misunderstood and oft-maligned neighbor of the violin. This course will discuss the traditional roles of the viola, prominent pieces written for the viola, and its role in modern music.

We will examine its unique tone, as well as the techniques that a viola player uses to achieve those sounds.

Additionally, I will share my experiences as a 25 year veteran of the instrument and how I am trying to bring its relevance into modern music here in Kalamazoo.

Violists who attend should have a sense of humor about our traditional musical role!


John Thomas's Kalamazoo Gals A Story of the Extraordinary Women and Gibsons Banner Guitars in WWII

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 307

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Hometown: Hamden, CT

Website: http://kalamazoogals.com


John Thomas will give a multimedia presentation based on his book, Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson's " Banner" Guitars of WWII (American History Press, 2013)

The book tells the previously unknown story of the women who built Gibson's finest guitars. In the words of Jonathan Kellerman's foreword to the book, " The contributions of Rosie the Riveter and her cohorts to the survival of American manufacturing during the " Good War," are well known and beyond profound. But until now the contributions of a band of intrepid, unpretentious, stunningly skillful, thoroughly American women to both the war effort and to the endurance on one of the greatest musical instrument manufacturers ever known, has gone unheralded. Kudos to John Thomas for telling their story."

John's presentation will include photographs, video, and, or course, a bit of guitar playing, done on a WWII Gibson.


Rene Meave's Understanding the " Lingo" of Natural Notes on the 6-String Fretboard Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 308

3:30pm - 4:30pm

Hometown: Plainwell, MI

Website: https://www.facebook.com/rmeave


Rene Meave's objective is to discuss the connection of the natural notation of each string beginning with the 6th through the 1st and demonstrate in scale format how to find and identify the notes in each string. He will use his method of open strings to the 5th position, as well, for those folks who attended his " From the Open Strings to the 5th Position of the Fretted Board" Workshop last year. This is the next step in connecting the dots for those who want to learn the fretboard and play guitar.


Gerald Ross's Intro to Swing Ukelele Workshop

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Anna Whitten Hall Room 309

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Website: http://www.geraldross.com


(Class level - Confident beginner/Intermediate)

The 1930s and 40s were a magical time in the history of popular music. Swing was a mainstream and the ukulele was made for Swing music!

Any uke song can swing and sound jazzy. It's easy to make your instrumental accompaniment more interesting through chord substitutions, syncopation, strumming patterns and single not lead work.

The material covered in this class is not exclusive to the jazz/swing world - it can be used for all styles of music.

No music theory needed. No music reading required. No knuckle-busting chord shapes to learn. Just fun! A concert or tenor sized uke tuned GCEA is recommended.