January 6 - 8, 2017
Ramada Plaza Louisville, KY

Friday 7:45 – 9:00 PM (Class 1, Part 1) and Saturday 9:00– 10:15 AM (Class 1, Part 2)

Mountain Dulcimer
Dave Haas B Learn how to hold, tune, strum, and fret the dulcimer, as well as read dulcimer tab, play backup chords and participate in a jam session – all while learning great songs you already know! Add the “big finish” to complete the experience! DAD
Jessica Comeau B/I Riddle Songs. This class will explore the mysterious stories behind several of the riddle songs that originated in England (some of which were carried over into the Appalachians). Songs will include Scarborough Fair, False Knight on the Road, and The Riddle Song: I Gave My Love a Cherry. Bring a capo.
Gary Sager B/I Play In Other Keys Using a Capo! We will discuss using a capo at the first, third and forth frets to play accordingly in the keys of E minor, G and A. We then will work on some old time and traditional tunes in those keys playing chords and playing melodies with chords.
Bing Futch I Pick A Little, Strum, Strum, Strum A Lot, Pick A Little More! We’ll look at dynamic touches like changing tempos and varying the volume, but we’ll mostly focus on changing up right-hand styles by mixing strumming with flatpicking. We’ll touch on selective strumming, palm-muting, anchoring/posting, the nature of the sweet spot and the dangers of the strum hollow. There will also be cross-picking exercises to create muscle memory for rhythms. Come get your groove on!
Gary Gallier I Chord Method, Chord Melody, Picking Thru Chords. Every chord is a self harmonizing melody note, 3 individual single melody notes, while strums and patterns of picking are used to access that potential. We will learn the right and left hand techniques, efficient fingerings for making these chords, AND their inversions, as well as repertoire in the style.
Stephen Seifert I/A - A Grand Ole Opry Classics! We’ll learn some classic instrumentals from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s including string band fiddle tunes, songs, hymns, and more!
Hammered Dulcimer
Rick Thum B Finding Your Way Around the Dulcimer. Make sense of it all! Basic beginning skills will be taught in this fun class including tunes and embellishments. Rental instruments are available.
Ruth Smith I Tricky Hammering. This class will focus on deciphering music with more complex hammering patterns. We’ll untangle several tunes including a rollicking Ruth original tune, “One Room Schoolhouse” on our road to making trickier music more fun to play.
Mark Alan Wade I/A Chord Substitutions Made Easy. This class teaches you how to make interesting and unpredictable chord changes AND we’ll practice applying those ideas on a group song and on one of your own! To help us all get to the application step easier, please familiarize yourself with Westphalia Waltz in G. Email Mark for a free version if you need it!
Steve Smith B Basic Beginning Skills. Starting with the basic terminology of the ukulele, how to place your left and right hands property on the uke, moving on to begin forming basic open chords in several keys and how to play them cleanly so that they ring true. Simple right hand ukulele strumming will be taught while learning a few simple songs.

Saturday 10:45 AM (Class 2, Part 1) – 12:00 PM and 1:30 – 2:45 PM (Class 2, Part 2)

Mountain Dulcimer
Anne MacFie B Learning MD in Ionian Mode. Although not “standard” tuning for modern dulcimer players, Ionian Mode (DAA) is a simpler one for beginners to understand, and they can jam right along with players tuned to DAD. Learn the basics of fretting and strumming with an emphasis on playing by ear to get you started playing the music that interests you.
Dave Haas B/I Slow & Pretty Melodies. Learn to play slow and pretty melodies by plucking the notes (with pick or fingers) one note at a time! Learn left and right hand techniques to facilitate smooth playing. Add this wonderful technique to slow songs you already know. You’ll need a capo and a smile! New tunes from previous years.
Bing Futch All Blues Church of the Mountain Dulcimer. Learn the secret to playing authentic blues in this special, in-depth class. We’ll start with the form, chords and melody notes for Mississippi Delta Style blues and kick it up a notch with up-tempo rhythms of Detroit and Chicago style blues. All skill levels are welcome!
Stephen Seifert I Dulcimer Trios. We’ll work through some fun, great-sounding arrangements that make use of lead, back-up, and three part instrumental harmonies!
Gary Gallier I/A The Amazing 1.5. We’ll use the 1.5 fret to play in different keys without re-tuning, use it to play blues, rock, and jazz, as well as learn how it can “color” melodic expression. Of course, some repertoire, too!
Jessica Comeau I/A - A Dulcimer Picaresque: Highwaymen, Gypsies, and Rogues. Bring a capo because we will be playing lots of E minor songs! Participants in this class will be setting off on an adventure on which we will meet a variety of colorful characters: pirates, gypsies, highwaymen (or highwaywomen) and other roguish sorts! Songs will include Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Sovay, and High Barbary.
Hammered Dulcimer
Martha Richard B Location, Location, Location! While learning about musical intervals we will see that there are patterns that can give us the sounds we want all over the dulcimer. The “locations” will be our building blocks for playing chords and harmony notes.
Mark Alan Wade B/I Songs That Teach Concepts. We all want to get better at making music but we want it to feel like less work and more fun. Mark does, too! This workshop carefully selects songs to teach musical and technical concepts! You’ll learn new tunes AND you’ll be learning transferable skills at the same time.
Rick Thum I Syncopation Techniques and More. We’ll learn how to use syncopation as embellishment and explore using syncopation to fancy up your playing. It really puts a fun lilt to your music and it is really not that hard to do. We’ll learn the tune “Pleasure House Rag” – a great tune to help learn syncopation skills and a fun one to play.
Ruth Smith I/A - A Duets for fun! The best part of playing music is getting to play with others! In this fun class we’ll learn several parts to duets that you can take home to play with other hammered friends, plus you’ll have chords for guitarists as well as music for other instrumentalists. We’ll explore duets ranging from Classical and Celtic to hymns and jam tunes.
Steve Smith B/I and Up Ukulele – The Universal Instrument. Learn the variety and styles of music that can be played on this wonderfully simple instrument with an assortment or chords, melodies, strums, rolls, and fingerpicking patterns. You’ll learn to use these techniques on several popular songs.

Saturday 3:00 (Class 3, Part 1) – 4:15 PM and Sunday 10:45 AM – Noon (Class 3, Part 2)

Mountain Dulcimer
Jessica Comeau B Getting to Know Your Dulcimer. You’ll get acquainted with your instrument as we introduce the skills of tuning, reading tablature, strumming, basic flatpicking, and identifying and playing melody notes and basic chords in D-A-D. We’ll also explain use of a capo and focus on fretting skills such as sustain, smooth transitions, and clean fingering.
Stephen Seifert B/I Simple To Play and SO Beautiful! You don’t have to be fancy or fast to make good music. We’ll learn some lovely tunes and improve your playing at the same time.
Bing Futch B/I Kind of Obscure Little Tunes! Learn some neat tunes from around the world that you may or may not have heard. Along the way we’ll explore different time signatures, strumming styles, approaches to rhythm, some different keys and perhaps a retuning or two. Bring a capo as well!
Gary Sager I Smooth Up Your Playing! We’ll work on maintaining an even tempo strum and flat picking techniques to play more efficiently without having to speed up and slow down.
Gary Gallier I Duet & Group Playing. We’ll arrange ideas to play outside of just unison playing for multiple instruments so that parts actually interact with each other. We’ll add varied articulation to the melody by different parts playing in different “regions” of the fretboard, or simple counterpoint, and techniques to make a part fill a more distinct role. In some cases we will simplify a melody for players of different skill levels.
Dave Haas I/A - A Celtic Callings. Add some wonderful tunes to your Celtic repertoire. Jigs, reels, slow airs, and more! Learn left and right hand techniques that facilitate smooth play. Bring your four-leaf clover and a smile. No blarney! DAD
Hammered Dulcimer
Martha Richard B Songs for New Players. We will play some simple melodies and music will be provided. Melody, chords, and harmony will be covered as we learn lots of new tunes!
Ruth Smith B/I Beautiful Beginnings. In this class we’ll focus on playing with feeling right from the start. We’ll learn some lovely music as we build an arrangement “bag of tricks”. Repertoire will be drawn from waltzes, airs, hymns and Celtic tunes.
Mark Alan Wade I Instant Arrangements. All songs are constructed in similar ways. We’ll learn to recognize the pattern and manipulate them to make instant arrangements. We’ll learn what to look for and Mark will give you lots of ideas for making arrangements on the fly without sounding predictable. We’ll apply these techniques to a song as a group (Simple Gifts in G because it’s easy and most people know it). You’ll leave class ready to make new and interesting arrangements on all of your tunes!
Rick Thum I/A - A Set List Design & Other Performing Needs. We’ll learn how to make a powerful set list. Just being able to play good music doesn’t guarantee a good performance. Rick will teach you the tricks to making your performance the best it can be. We’ll also open the class to your performance questions. We’ll add some songs to your repertoire as well including Benton’s Dream and Old Yellow Dog, two old-timey tunes.
Steve Smith B-B/I Foundations of Clawhammer Banjo. Getting solid on the basic right-hand clawhammer stroke, simple left-hand chords, pull-offs, and hammer-ons will be covered. Learn the three most used tunings to begin to play the old-timey way.

Sunday 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM (Class 4)

Mountain Dulcimer
Gary Gallier B/I The Very Basics of Flatpicking! It’s more simple than you think! With less hand movement you can improve your speed and it will give you new tools and voices to add to your established playing skills. We’ll take advantage of all the notes on all the strings with picking method, scale study and repertoire.
Anne MacFie B/I - I MD for Alto Singers! If you would love to sing with your MD but the key of “D” puts those melodies above your vocal range, this class is for you! We’ll cover the “baritone” tuning (AEA) and a quick-change tuning – DGD (reverse Ionian) to get you into keys you can enjoy. Lots of singing and song sheets will be provided.
Bing Futch I Secrets in The Key of “A”. Bring your capos for this one! We’ll learn a few tunes in the key of A as well as Am, and find some tricks that we can use. This is a great workshop for getting you familiar with playing in A including basic chords and learning when to use the 6+ fret. This key can also be a training ground for using the 1+ fret!
Dave Haas I Singing the Jam Tunes. Many tunes played in jam sessions have wonderful lyrics and are fun to sing. Experience the energy of mixing vocals and instrumental playing. Learn chords and how to play smoothly and accompany others. You do not have to be a singer to enjoy this workshop! DAD
Jessica Comeau I - I/A Lords & Ladies. Lords & Ladies is a musical survey of songs celebrating figures of nobility in the music of the Appalachians, England, and Scotland. These songs paint dramatic portraits of love, longing, and loss and share a glimpse of an earlier age. Songs include Lord Randall, Lord Lovel, and Lady Keith’s Lament. Bring a capo.
Stephen Seifert I/A Favorite Aires of Ireland. I’ve done a lot of digging and have arranged these gorgeous melodies for dulcimer. We’ll play them slowly with plenty of ornaments and expression!
Hammered Dulcimer
Ruth Smith B-B/I Did You Get It? Did you learn all you wanted to this weekend? If not, this class is for you. In a “no judgment zone” you’ll be free to ask any questions and review anything you’d like to cover. No questions are “too dumb” and we want you to go home with solid footing upon which to continue your dulcimer journey.
Rick Thum B/I - I Jam Tunes! We’ll learn techniques, including how to add variations to your jammin’ as we enjoy playing some great jam tunes! We’ll play as many tunes as time allows. It’s a great way to end your weekend!
Mark Alan Wade I/A - A Technique Freak! Mark will be your personal trainer for your dulcimer technique. In this fun class you’ll learn Mark’s easy daily practice routine that covers all of the basics of dulcimer playing in short little sessions. You’ll leave with instant results and exercises that you can repeat at home to see immediate improvements in your musicianship.
Steve Smith B/I - I Ukulele Music of Hawaii. Learn to play the Hawaiian way by learning some traditional Hawaiian “Hapa Haole” songs (those that have Hawaiian melodies and mostly English lyrics). Steve lived and played professionally in Hawaii for 15 years and brings that experience into this class.

Definitions of Class Levels


Beginning to “just a little past beginning” players would be best to choose this level. This is for those with no playing experience, or for those who can play just a little but need a lot of help.

B/I Beginning Intermediate to low Intermediate level players should choose this level.  If you can play melody comfortably and some chords and are ready for more technique and songs, jamming, more!
B/I - I

This level is for those “almost” intermediate players starting to explore more difficult techniques and styles.

I This level takes playing to the next level with more advanced techniques and tunes.
I - I/A

High Intermediate Into Advanced. This class is for the more experienced player who is able to play with a variety of tempos as well as dynamics, bringing feeling into their music.

A Advanced. This level is for the advanced player wanting to learn more! Advanced skills and techniques will be taught in these challenging classes.