2016 Workshop Lineup

Feed the World Cafe in Anna Whitten Hall available for food and drinks from 10:00am to 5:00pm


Jay Gavan's "Getting Away from First Position: Simple and Moveable Three-Note Chords for the Guitar" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 305

11:00am - 12:00pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI


Jay Gavan discusses how to utilize some of the three-note, movable chords common in gipsy jazz and bossa nova, and how they can be useful to players in many genres and of various skill levels.


Gerald Ross' "Intro To Swing Ukulele" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 306

11:30am - 12:30pm

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Website: http://www.geraldross.com


The 1930s and 40s were a magical time in the history of popular music. Swing was mainstream. The ukulele was made for Swing music! Any ukulele song can swing and sound jazzy. It's easy to make your instrumental accompaniment more interesting through chord substitutions, syncopation, strumming patterns and single note 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 ukulele tuned GCEA is recommended.


The Red Sea Pedestrians' "Don't Fear the Speaker: An Acoustic Musician's Survival Guide to Live Sound" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 305

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Website: http://www.redseapedestrians.com


If you're playing gigs, you're probably playing through PA systems - something particularly challenging for the acoustic musician. How do we convey the natural soul of our music though the technological maze of microphones and cables. With a little knowledge and some practice, you can learn how to work with, and maybe even make friends with, the loudspeaker. We'll cover the basics of the equipment, working with sound people, preventing feedback, and ways you can improve your sound (and playing!) on stage.


Joel Mabus' "A Survey Of Country Blues Guitar" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 306

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Website: http://www.joelmabus.com


In this workshop we will explore many aspects of the acoustic blues guitar from rural America. Sort out the sometimes confusing terminology: Piedmont blues vs. Delta blues; what is meant by 12-bar, 8-bar and even 16-bar blues; and sort out the meaning of the blue scale and how it developed from the African pentatonic. Rhythm and repertoire will be addressed and along the way visit the music of some of the greats: Mississippi John Hurt, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee and more.

Joel Mabus grew up on the Illinois side of the Mississippi just across from St. Louis in a time when street singers still wailed the blues on city sidewalks while selling pencils. Joel has a long career singing folk and blues, as well as being known as a songwriter and other instruments. His latest album, A Bird In This World is focused on blues.


Schlitz Creek "History of Bluegrass - Monroe to the Millenium" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 307

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Hometown: Scotts, MI

Website: http://www.schlitzcreek.com


The Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band traces the origins of traditional, Bluegrass through the music and songs of several pioneers of this unique, American art form. Tunes written by Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass such as: Blue Moon of Kentucky, Sweet Blue Eyed Darlin and others, are presented along with the classic songs like: "Ballad of Jed Clampett", "Rocky Top", "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", "Dueling Banjos", "Old Home Place" and "Man of Constant Sorrow". The instruments we use and picking styles of Bluegrass are explained and demonstrated. Along with our typical down home humor and stories, the Schlitz Creek Band offers tales and historical insights into the music of Bluegrass greats like the Dillards, Del McCoury, The Osbourne Brothers and others. Rounding out this unique program the band demonstrates how they have adapted songs from the Monkees, Lynard Skynard, Elton John, Cheap Trick and other pop artists into Bluegrass. It's an educational and entertaining show you won't want to miss!


Dan Geib's "Bluegrass and Flatpicking Guitar" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 308

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Hometown: St. Joseph, MI

Website: http://www.FlatpickingTabs.com


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

The Pick.
Holding the Pick and Hand Placement
Picking Exercises with Metronome
Intro to Rhythm
Rhythm Samples with Metronome
Major Scales
Song demo with Major Scale Solos with Metronome
Pentatonic & Blues Scales
Song Demo with Pentatonic and Blues Scales Solos with Metronome
Open Discussion


Colin Killmer's "Phretboard Physics-The Science Behind Your Instruments!" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 309

2:30pm - 3:30pm

Hometown: Portage, MI

Website: http://cKillmer.site.portageps.org


Have you ever been curious about how your instrument produces sound? What makes one guitar sound different from another? Why don't we need a power supply for an electric guitar? Why do the fret spacings change size the farther up the neck we play? If sound and light are both waves, why do we see one and not the other? Why doesn't sound travel in space?
If you've asked these questions or others, you're a scientist. You're looking for knowledge about the cool world of strings. This session, taught by veteran physics instructor and musician, Colin Killmer, is designed to give you some fun and nerdy glimpses into the technological wonder that you strum, pluck, or bow. You will also explore the nature of waves, strings, and speakers. This is a no-notes, no quizzes, demo-packed lesson that will let your inner guitar geek and science nerd rock out together.


John Thomas' "Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of the Extraordinary Women and Gibson's Banner Guitars in WW II" Presentation

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 307

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Hometown: Hamden, CT

Website: http://www.kalamazoogals.com


When it comes to music, the human factor is all. Yet so many books on musical instruments obsess on the fine points of construction while neglecting the talented people who began the process: transforming planks and slabs and slivers into masterpieces of sonic beauty. That's understandable; many players and collectors live and breathe trivia. But it's an approach that misses the point. In Kalamazoo Gals, John Thomas has chosen to rise above that, fleshing out the most human stories without neglecting the techno-stat that guitar geeks crave.
The goal John set for himself in writing Kalamazoo Gals was monumental: illuminating the elusive history of a legendary group of WW II era Gibson guitars know in the trade as Banners because of the decal affixed to their headstocks.


Jason Walker's "Banjo Magic" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 308

3:30pm - 4:30pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI


The first time I saw a great banjo player I was convinced he was a member of a secret banjo society. I thought I would never know the secrets to those magic sounds. I have since discovered there are as many different ways to play as there are players! From Frailing, claw hammer and drop thumb, to picking, claw grass and all of their variations the banjo is a very versatile instrument! It is my goal, during this hour long workshop, to introduce new techniques and concepts to the beginning and intermediate banjoist.


Ry Charters' "Basic Modifications for the Electric and Acoustic Guitar" Workshop

...

Anna Whitten Hall Room 309

4:00pm - 5:00pm

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Website: http://kaltone.com


Musicians are often looking to get different sounds from their instruments. Luthier Ry Charters of Kal-Tone Musical Instrument Co. discusses what can (and cannot) be done to an already completed string instrument. Questions are encouraged, and advise can be given regarding DIY projects and when to take an instrument to a professional.

Topics include string type and gauge, adjusting for alternate tunings, material upgrades for nuts and saddles, replacing frets, pickups, electrical rewiring, refinishing, tuning machine upgrades, straplocks, replacing a bolt-on neck, setting up for slide playing, retrofitting electrics with tremolos, and options for banjo, uke, and mandolin.