(includes gratuitous resource materials!)
1 Hour Workshops
$25 per person
$40 for two workshops
$55 for three workshops
$70 for four workshops
Bing can teach as many as four workshops in one day, with breaks for lunch and supper, ending with a concert and post-concert jam.
Enjoy an intimate concert with Bing!
Bing provides the sound system and brings his award-winning live act to you! Whether literally taking place in a house or in a church, music hall or city/state park, Bing brings stellar entertainment!
And how much does that cost? Depending on the length of the show, Bing typically asks for a donation of whatever the audience feels is appropriate.
For more information, contact Bing directly.
Workshops aren't just for festivals anymore! In fact, anyone who has a few musical friends and the desire to learn can arrange for Bing to visit and work with the group on whatever subject you like! From rank beginners to advanced players, all skill levels are accommodated. Below, you'll find a sampling of subjects that Bing has taught over the years alongside some new curriculum. However, if you or your group has a direction in which you'd like to go, custom lesson plans can be created on the spot, thanks to Bing's mobile resource center (read: laptop, printer and motorhome.)
Mountain Dulcimer Workshops
Beginning Mountain Dulcimer
You've got to start somewhere and we'll do just that, beginning with the basics of strumming, picking, playing melody against the drone and how to read tablature. You'll learn a few tunes and get to know your instrument a little bit better as we cover subjects like putting on strings, tuning, how to practice and learning the fretboard. Ask about loaner instruments! (Beginners - Novice)
Mountain Dulcimer - Learning The Fretboard
Even if you don't know how to read music, you'll hear lots of musicians talking about different notes, keys and chords. Music is, after all, a language and one that's not all that hard to understand once you can wrap your head around it. This beginner-level course serves as an introduction to a proven method that will help you learn the notes of the fretboard while also shedding some light on how basic music theory works. (Beginners - Novice)
Primal Mountain Dulcimer
Or, as Bill Schilling calls it, "mountain dulcimer Zen." This workshop is about getting spirit, mind and body ready to work together for a simple approach to playing mountain dulcimer. Relaxation and breathing techniques, visualizations and affirmations will be introduced to help conquer fear of public playing as well as develop good playing and practicing habits. You'll learn rhythm basics and how to create your own grooves using phonetics. We'll also make improvisation (making melodies up on-the-fly) easy to understand and less scary. Getting out of the way of the music is the key here, and there's always plenty of smiles and laughter during this wildly refreshing session! (Beginners - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer Boot Camp
Everything you've always wanted to try on a mountain dulcimer but were afraid to attempt. This is a comprehensive session of exercises involving right-hand rhythm training, major and minor scales, chord shapes and performance techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, accents and harmonics. We'll introduce and play through some tunes that will utilize these tips and tricks. (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - How One Little Fret Will Change Your Life
More and more players are adding the 1+ and 8+ frets to their dulcimers and loving it! In this workshop, you'll discover how these frets can be useful for not only playing tunes, but also understanding the basics of music theory. Includes a spin through a couple of really cool tunes that really take advantage of those extra frets.(Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Classical Mountain Dulcimer
We’ll take some of the music from great composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Pachelbel, Haydn and an original piece by Bing, we’ll assign parts to different sections and then, together, we’ll make a joyful noise in triumphant harmony! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Classical Mountain Dulcimer: Second Movement
This is a continuation of the highly popular workshop “The Classical Mountain Dulcimer.” We’ll, once again, take music written by some of the great composers and play them in three-part arrangements with the mountain dulcimer. Along the way, we’ll get living demonstrations of melody, harmony and rhythm working together in concert! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Magic Of Inversions
One of the nicest things about DAD (1-5-8) tuning is the ability to easily invert chords to change the way they sound. But inversions are also excellent shapes to know for the purpose of percolating melodies and lovely descending bass lines. You’ll learn three basic shapes and then, through exercises, learn how to harness the hidden power of the inversion and add great expression and colors to your playing! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Taking It To The Next Level
Alright, you’ve been working very hard at this mountain dulcimer thing and you feel pretty good about where you are and how far you’ve come. But you’ve hit a plateau and you’re not sure what to focus on next. Does this sound like you? Looking for a little inspiration? This workshop will cover all the basics, from self-analysis and critique to good study practices. We’ll get a consensus of what the group needs and then create and follow a lesson plan for success! (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Crooked Fiddle Tunes: Crookednado!
And if you get that reference, then you’re probably twisted enough to enjoy this workshop featuring a whole bunch of crooked fiddle tunes. A tune is “crooked” if it has uneven beats and/or measures, so it’s not “squared.” Crooked tunes have an appealingly janky sound and have been described as “instinctively right, not technically right”, so come join us for a bunch of fun, addictive, off-kilter jams! (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - 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 for each song you play. We'll also get into some techniques that will help you put a "pinch" of pizzaz in your songs! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Breathing New Life Into A Tune
Would you like to take a simple tune and make it into something that is truly a living, breathing creation? I'll show you the steps to take when fleshing out a piece, from adding rhythm and snap to expanding upon the melody and throwing in some chord back-up. For this exercise, we'll use the great ol' tune "Down The River I Go Uncle Joe." (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Key Changes Made Easy!
Key changes are an exciting element of music and you don’t need a chromatic instrument to make them happen! Taking a simple tune in one key and then switching keys somewhere in the song is a fabulous way of adding depth, complexity and emotion to your playing. We’ll look at the so-called “truck-driver modulation” and the “parallel modulation”, but will focus mainly on the stealthy “pivot chord modulation” for changing keys mid-song. You will need a 1+ fret for this workshop and a capo! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Evolutionary Exercises That Will Boost Your Playing
If you’re looking to break out of your rut with the mountain dulcimer, come to this workshop and fill your skill-level toolbox with some brand-new gems! We’ll use selective strumming for ultimate melodic control, work with inversions for variety and sizzle, and apply cross-picking for rhythmic punch. All exercises will be put to use on a really good tune! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Tune Writing Masterclass
This workshop is for anyone who has ever wanted to write their own instrumental tune. From idea to first attempts through editing and notating the music for printing, Bing will take students through the entire process as he composes a brand-new tune in class, based on their suggestions! Everyone will leave with the beginnings of a tune (or a complete one.) (Intermediate-Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - A Groove In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush)
Learn this one easy trick for turning your strum from “meh” to “magnificent”! We’ll run through special cadences that will give you hands-on experience with a number of different grooves. Then, I’ll show you the secret of the groove and we’ll apply it to a number of popular jam tunes to see what a difference it makes. (Beginner-Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Dulcimers of the Caribbean
Avast, matey! There be pirate songs ahead! We'll explore swashbuckling on the high seas with a selection of tunes that will bring out your inner Jack Sparrow. These be easy songs, savvy? So say "yoo-hoo" to a hearty "yo-ho!" and learn to use strumming and flatpicking to navigate the cursed course of chords and melody that come straight from Davey Jones' Locker. Arrrgh! (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - "Ashokan Farewell: A Study In Song"
Jay Ungar's classic and emotional piece has been captivating folks since 1982 when it was composed and it gained a new generation of appreciative fans when it was featured as the theme song to the 1990 PBS series "The Civil War." This lovely tune is quite simple to play and we'll approach it with a simple arrangement using partial strums in pure chord-melody style. We'll also work on smoothing techniques to make this piece sound as sweet as it can! (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - "Da Slockit Light: A Study In Song"
This haunting piece by Scottish fiddler Tom Anderson is a favorite among fiddle players everywhere and Ken Bloom likes to perform it on bowed dulcimer. It sounds quite lovely on standard mountain dulcimer and we'll use a chord-melody style to navigate its looping melodies. We'll explore the composition of the piece and see how even chords that aren't native to our tuning (DAD) can still be arranged. Come learn a tune that you've heard before and perhaps have always wanted to learn! (Intermediate)
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! (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Wonderful World Of Disney
If you're like me, then you're a big Disney fan, and what would be more fun than picking some Disney tunes on the mountain dulcimer? We'll have a good time with classics as well as recent hits from films like "Mary Poppins", "The Jungle Book", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Little Mermaid" and "Frozen" as well as take a look at some of the music from the various theme parks. Along the way, we'll learn techniques to help you play these tunes "in a most delightful way!" (Beginner - Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Flatpicking Irish Fiddle Tunes
We'll dive in with this workshop and pick through some of the most popular Irish fiddle tunes including "Swallowtail Jig", "The Road To Lisdoonvarna", "Kesh Jig" and others that will get your fingers flying and your toes tappin'! I'll show you special finger placement and scale exercises to help you when it comes to learning new jigs, reels, hornpipes and more. Bring a capo! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - "My Heart Will Go On: A Study In Song"
This incredible composition by the late James Horner won the 1997 Academy Award for "Song Of The Year" from the motion picture "Titanic." It was a huge hit for Celine Dion and went to number one all over the world. We'll learn to play this sweet piece while also breaking down the elements to discover why it works as well as it does. (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - A Pick Is Worth A Thousand Notes
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. (Beginner/Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Making It Look Easy
What makes a good arrangement great? We've all hacked our way through a piece of tablature, but the real trick is in smoothing out the rough spots and being able to identify when extra care is needed when plotting fingerings and strumming/picking techniques. We'll take a challenging arrangement, play through it, take note of "trouble spots" and then I'll lay some secrets on you for turning a shaky presentation into a deceptively breezy performance. (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Seven Modes For Seven Dulcimers!
The mountain dulcimer was created as a modal instrument and, in this workshop, we'll take a grand circle tour through each of themYes, there will be re-tuning! Discover the history of the modes, why we tune to DAD and DAA, hear and play some familiar tunes that were written using the modes and also learn to use a capo (required) for playing in seven different keys without re-tuning. You'll be more confident in the jams and know a lot more about your instrument after this one! (Beginners - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Traditional Dulcimer Tuning - CGG & DAA
Learn to play your dulcimer in the traditional way by taking this workshop, which gets back to the roots of the instrument. You'll get familiar with the 1-5-5 tuning and explore new territories within this versatile mode. Deeper drones and fuller chords lead the way into a sound made popular by Jean Ritchie's "The Dulcimer Book." We'll learn chord shapes, harmony building and gorgeous chord melodies. Yes, DAA and DAD can play happily together! (Beginners - Intermediate)
Rockin' and Rollin' With Mountain Dulcimer
Are you ready to ROCK?! After this workshop, you will be! Learn the basics behind one of the most popular forms of music on the planet, starting with the power chord. That's right! The power chord is the key to freeing your dulcimer from the confines of a diatonic fretboard. Once we explore a variety of familiar chord progressions, we'll turn it up to 11 and learn how to get in the groove with a solid right-hand rhythm, use a combination of palm mutes, accents and finger lifts to shake things up, explore extended chords for added color, learn about playing in different keys and stage-dive right into the secrets of successful solos. Besides working through some old-school rock 'n' roll and some new-school rock, we'll even let you plug into an amplifier and stomp box as we talk tone, effects and how to wake the neighbors. Not for the faint-of-heart or folk purists. This WILL get loud! (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Three Irish Ballads
Learn three lovely Irish ballads while incorporating playing techniques such as slides, turnarounds, hammer-ons, pull-offs and vibrato. We'll also get into the dynamics of rhythm and volume to bring tremendous emotional power to tunes like "Danny Boy." (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - "Hallelujah: A Study In Song"
Have a blast in this classic workshop that builds Leonard Cohen's haunting masterpiece "Hallelujah" from single melody plucked on the mountain dulcimer to adding, bit by bit, chords, harmonies, arpeggios and strums. We'll also learn how to "feel" the song, which is so important for any piece of music, but especially this piece! (Beginner to Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Secret To Chord Melody Style
There is a secret to creating a compelling arrangement on the mountain dulcimer. It involves keeping the melody as the focus while still allowing for dynamics of countermelody and rhythm. In this workshop, you will learn how to take a simple melody into a full-fledged arrangement. (Intermediate to Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer Delta Blues
2016 International Blues Challenge Finalist Bing Futch offers up this fun and fascinating class on playing authentic Mississippi Delta Blues on the mountain dulcimer. Three chords and heartbeat rhythms lead to us adding layer upon layer of new elements, all while strumming and playing the blues! Bing won the "Best Guitarist" award in the solo-duo category at the International Blues Challenge while playing the mountain dulcimer! (All Skill Levels)
Mountain Dulcimer - A Spoonful Of Blues
Brand new workshop but perfect for those who want to learn the blues on the mountain dulcimer. We'll go quickly through the basics of Delta blues on the instrument and then shift focus to the one-chord modal strut of the song "Spoonful" which has been recorded by Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Cream. We're gonna do a whole lot of playing in the key of E, first barreing and then capoing at the first fret, so don't forget your capos and get ready to have some juke jointin' time with some blues on the mountain dulcimer! (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - "Make 'Em Laugh/Make 'Em Cry"
It takes more than just melody and chords to make a great tune. By playing expressively, filling each strum, pluck, pick and arpeggio with feeling, you can make music with emotional impact; the very best kind. We'll look at things technically, using hammer-ons and pull-offs, vibrato, bends, chops and other tricks to ape the human voice. Then, we'll sing through the instrument. Sound like fun? We have a blast in this workshop! (Beginner to Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - How To Play "Juke Joint Hen"
Alright, you asked for it. This workshop will endeavor to teach you how to play my version of "Cluck Old Hen" which I call "Juke Joint Hen." It's on "Dulcimerica: Volume 2" and I've played it on-stage with the likes of Stephen Seifert and Butch Ross; it's one of my most requested tunes and many people have given their own spin on my roadhouse blues approach to this ancient old tune. In any case, I'll teach you how I do it currently, note-for-note, with all the bells and whistles including bends, staccato accents, rapid slides, one-handed tapping, right and left hand palm muting and, finally, a two-octave solo on the bass string. This workshop will not @#$%! around; we will be getting after it so bring your game face and a dulcimer with a 1 1/2 fret (you'll need it for the walking bass. But otherwise, you won't need it. Oh. Yeah.) (Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Amazing Dulcimer Band
If you've never played with a mountain dulcimer ensemble before, here's your chance to explore yet another fun facet of playing this wonderful instrument. We'll work through arrangements of familiar tunes that feature three specifically different parts. The result is like that of a hearing a small orchestra perform. During the workshop, we'll touch briefly on the why's and how's of arranging, covering melody, harmony, counterpoint and special notation symbols with a special look at using TablEdit to create your own arrangements. (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - It's A Minor Thing - DAC Tuning
We'll get warm and cuddly with this dark and mysterious tuning both by re-tuning and also via capo (1st fret.) We'll learn scales, chords and popular traditional tunes written in this mode including "Shady Grove", "Road To Lisdoonvarna" and "Cluck Old Hen." Must have a capo. (Intermediate)
Mountain Dulcimer - Chromatic Dulcimer 101
More and more people are taking up the chromatic mountain dulcimer and for good reason! It allows you to freely explore the wide world of music without leaving out notes or "cheating" chords. It's also not as hard as you might think. We'll work out of DAD tuning and get right into playing with chord shapes, scales and basic tricks to help familiarize yourself with the fretboard, take any piece of music and perform it! (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Chromatic Dulcimer 102
The focus of this workshop is freeing yourself from tablature and being able to pick out and play tunes using standard music notation. It is, in fact, part music theory training and also tips and tricks on how to find and play Major, minor, seventh, Major seventh, minor seventh, sixth, minor sixth, suspended, ninth, diminished, augmented and other "extended" chords. (Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Get Rhythm!
The heartbeat of nearly every tune is its rhythm. In this workshop, we'll cover fundamental aspects of groove, from counting beats and exercises designed to get you strumming fluently to mixing and matching poly-rhythms and incorporating stops, accents, mutes and strum variations to create vibrant and dramatic percussion as you play! (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Jamming Without A Net
Learn how to jam by the seat of your pants with confidence! How to play tunes that you don't know. Rhythm and melody creation, harmony, counter-point, chops and arrangement support are all covered in this workshop that focuses on improvisational skills. Capo required. (Intermediate - Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Rhythm Machine
Get ready for a workout! We're going to move through a number of rhythms, mostly by ear, "feeling the beat" without looking at tablature and then looking at what creates the groove. More than your usual rhythm workshop, this one is a hands-on journey into the wild beat! (All Skill Levels)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Technicolor Mountain Dulcimer
Melody meets harmony and drone becoming chords of color. There's more than just notes on the fretboard; there are emotions! Subtleties and grey zones, bright splashes of chords and dim shadows of earth tones. Know the terrain of your mountain dulcimer as you explore through scales and chord shapes, the use of different tunings and extra frets to bring out the colors. You'll need a capo for this workshop. (All Skill Levels)
Mountain Dulcimer - The Oh! Of It
More than playing the mountain dulcimer, you want to express yourself through the instrument just as you would express yourself by speaking. Your voice has a rise and fall, certain words are accented, there's a speeding up and slowing down all tied to your emotions. Your music can be the same way, and should be! We'll go over the many different ways to achieve expression through your playing including techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs, slides, bends, vibrato, palming, harmonics and more!
Mountain Dulcimer - Repertoire Building - "O Holy Night"
A beautiful song any time of the year, but since the holidays are always just around the corner, it's a good time to begin practicing some tunes that you can play for friends, family, church, hospice or at your busy weeks of Christmas gigs! This arrangement of "O Holy Night" was based on my recollections of Holiday Illuminations at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Simple in basic concept, but requires a delicate touch to play and make it look easy. I'll show you the tricks to getting this arrangement under your fingers and ready to perform!
Mountain Dulcimer - Picking Your Destiny
It all starts easy enough, with careful consideration of which picks we should use for what kind of playing (this includes fingerpicks, so please invest in a set!) and then goes crazy from there. We'll work on left-hand exercises in cross-picking and flat-picking, drilling the scales and doubling the melodies. There will be some fiddle tunes with all the notes left in, but it'll be easy once I show the "the trick." (Advanced)
Mountain Dulcimer - Two Crooked Fiddle Tunes
Crooked tunes drive dancers crazy, because those off-kilter bars of beats throw them off their groove. But they are great fun to play. In this workshop, we'll tackle two crooked fiddle tunes; tunes in 4/4 time that feature strange little extra measures of 2/4 thrown in. They're highly addictive and usually have killer riffs that make for lots of fun jamming, once everyone gets the hang of it. We'll engage ear-training through learning the tunes by hearing and imitating at first. Then, we'll look at the music and see what makes each tune crooked and why. (Intermediate)
Native American Flute Workshops
Learning 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. (Beginner to Intermediate)
The ukulele craze is back on track and many are just now starting to pick up this fun and engaging instrument. We'll start with the basics, including anatomy of the uke, how to hold it, tuning and changing strings. Then, we'll move into fundamental strumming techniques, 1-4-5 chords in different keys and look at my method for memorizing the notes on the fretboard.
Let's see how much fun we can have with this thing, eh? We'll play with chord progressions and traditional Hawaiian turn-arounds, trade strums with a little finger-picking, work the CHUCK into the right-hand, explore colors and maybe even do a little soloing! (Intermediate)
Chording Tricks and Tasty Licks
Learn the secret behind finding chords on the fretboard and develop patterns for moving them around. Hear some of your favorite songs and see how they're built. Learn how to transition and add color, throw in some cool licks and make each song your own! (Intermediate)
Take notes as I show you how to play some of the most magical Disney songs ever written. Easy accompaniment to timeless tunes from "Mary Poppins", "The Lion King" and even the Disney parks! Bring your mouse ears, your ukulele and note-taking tools as we analyze and demystify the magic of Disney music! (All Levels)
Ukulele Study In Song - "Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World"
Nuff sed. A low-G string helps to make this song from Bruddah Iz sound just right. I'll teach you the strum pattern and chords for this beloved medley. (Intermediate)
Baritone Ukulele For Rock and Pop
It's just a tiny guitar, but it's got a great voice for mainstream music. Bring your baritones and we'll run through some fun tunes that will get any party going! (Intermediate)
Getting Started With Chord Melody Ukulele
So, you're sick of strumming and want to break things up a little with some tasteful fingerpicking on the uke in a chord melody style. We'll start with finger placement and assignments then move into scales and the importance of a low G string in running bass lines. You'll end up with a dynamic new way to approach the ukulele! (Intermediate)
Ukulele Study In Song - "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?"
From the ashes of the Great Depression in the 1930's, this song smoulders and smokes in a slow-strummed slink with the ukulele. We'll look at the tasty chord changes together and work up a nice, jazzy rendition. (Intermediate)
Ukulele Study In Song - "Sway"
This groovy song has been a big hit for artists like Dean Martin and Michael Buble'. Now, you can learn it too! We'll begin with learning the chords and then I'll teach you the secret of the "chuck" in order to get a percussive, slapping beat into your strums which will propel the tune into the dance floor mode. Of course, we'll warble the song as well. (Intermediate)
Ukulele - Beyond Chord Diagram
Many ukulele players learn using chord diagrams and are happy with just that. But others are curious about knowing the notes on the strings, what the reference dots are good for, how to make chords and move them around, recognizing the changes in the music. It'll make you a better player to think about what lies beyond! (Intermediate)
Ukulele Study In Song - "White Sandy Beach"
Not his big hit, but still much-loved by many is the Israel Kamakawiwo'le tune "White Sandy Beach." We'll use this tune as a quick-study also on the I-IV-iv progression. (Intermediate)
Ukulele - You Da Drummer
Your strumming hand has a lot of work to do, especially when playing different styles of music. From bouncy island tunes to driving rock and roll and ska, there's more than one way to strum a uke. We'll get into many different techniques using chucking, muting, splaying and more. (Beginner - Intermediate)
Performance, Practice, Songwriting & Recording
Step On It!: A Beginners Guide To Stompboxes For Performance
More and more people are plugging in their dulcimers and connecting them to controllers that allow for lots of cool stuff. I'll go over basics like tone quality and "signal", e.q., reverbs and delays, distortion and, in an extended focus, loopers. Learn to stack layers of performances to create nifty grooves. There will be gear here - but bring your gear if you want to know how to use it best. Your own small battery-operated amplifier is purely optional but highly encouraged. If you're thinking about plugging in, you should already be looking for your first little amp. Anything from a HoneyTone Mini to a Roland MicroCube, it's a good investment. (All Skill Levels)
Understanding Home Recording
I've been recording in a home studio environment since 1985, worked with tape and came on board with digital in the 20th century. Now, we've all got the means to run our own little recording studio out of our houses, how cool is that? Where to start and where to go once you're off? Bring your laptop loaded with functional multitrack recording software (Garageband, Audacity, Acid, ProTools, etc.) and get ready to get the lowdown. Using overhead displays of the Garageband software program, I'll walk through recording set-up, inputs and levels, mic placement, how to get a good performance and how to mix it all together and sell it in Apple iTunes next week. (After you practice at it.) (All Skill Levels)
Practical Applications For Looping
This is a new workshop that ties together the performance aspect of looping with the practice time at home aspect, which is key to working out arrangements, songwriting, practicing solos or simply creating walls of sound just for the simple exploration of it. I'll also cover performing with a looper, some basic bullet points, details you might've missed, as you attempt to work the machine into your set (take it from someone who has, and continues to, run that ragged road.) If you take this workshop, you must know what a looper is. If you've got one, bring it and a small battery-operated amplifier (can be something like a Roland Micro-Cube for $120 or even the little Danelectro Honeytone N-10 Mini Amps for $20) because part of understanding your looper pedal is using it. I'll have my rig set up for those who want to give it a go, which is always fun the first time someone gets to layer tracks and play off of your self. No wonder more and more people are starting to loop! (All Skill Levels)
The Songs Of Lead Belly
The music of Huddie Ledbetter, aka Lead Belly, has spanned decades and influenced many performers in all genres. Songs that he wrote or popularized have been recorded by mainstream artists such as Harry Belafonte, Van Morrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beach Boys, The Weavers, Johnny Cash and Nirvana, just to name a few. In this workshop, we'll learn a handful of tunes, singing and stomping along the way! Oh, lordy! (Intermediate)
Arranging A To Z
If you've ever wanted to create your own arrangements of tunes, then this is the workshop to get you started! Whether you've just stumbled across an interesting tune or have had a favorite rolling around in your head and don't know how to translate it into an instrumental arrangement, we'll cover the basics. How to plot out a tune and find the key, if you don't already know it, will be covered as well as identifying bass lines which lead to chord progressions. Each 90 minute workshop will take one song from simple melody and chord accompaniment to full-blown arrangement and performance-smoothing techniques. (Intermediate - Advanced)
Performing For Others
Playing your instrument is one thing. Playing in front of people is a whole other matter entirely. Add to that a set-list designed to entertain, stage business and poise, mindful dynamics and an unpredictable audience. If this gives you the butterflies just reading the description, then join us for a fun and encouraging introduction to live performance. This workshop is designed to get you prepared for taking your show to the people, from repertoire and rehearsals to a well-defined check list of things to handle and be aware of, like how to gauge audience response and adjust your show, dealing with distractions, tuning issues, working with amplification, building self-assurance and handling not only those aforementioned butterflies, but hecklers as well. Whether it's bedside in a medical or assisted living facility, in the church, at the park, or the fair, in a pub or a club, on open stage at a festival, under the hot lights somewhere in a music hall or even simply presenting your music on YouTube, come see why this is one of the more popular workshops that Bing teaches! All instruments welcome! (Beginner - Advanced)
Songwriter's Crash Course I (Beginners)
Covers song basics such as chord progressions, melody, arranging and lyric-writing. By the end of this class, you will have written your very own original song!
Songwriter's Crash Course II (Intermediate)
For songwriters now looking to make the next step. Goes over the basics of tablature and standard music notation. Re-writing and fleshing out first drafts, incorporating harmony and counter-point, performance approaches and recording tips.
Songwriter's Crash Course III (Advanced)
For the hardcore songwriter who has been actively writing for awhile, this master's class is designed for exclusive one-on-one time with Bing, an award-winning songwriter with over 20 years experience, radio airplay, record sales and song commissions. Bing will work with each person on one song of their choice - workshopping it and analyzing the tune.
Taking A Bite Out Of Apple's Garageband
Many of you have Mac laptops or desktops with Garageband pre-loaded on there. Some of you are already mucking around with it while others aren't sure where to begin. In this workshop, I'll demystify Garageband using a video screen so everyone can see the details. What kind of equipment do you need? What all can you do? What are plug-ins and why are they so important? What's a loop and how do you use it? Everything from basic recording to advanced sound equalization and mixing techniques. If you've ever wanted to record your own albums you'll have a good head start by the end of this class! Laptops running the latest version of Garageband are encouraged but not required. If you're not running Apple, the basic instruction applies, no matter what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you're using. (Beginner - Advanced)
Learning Logic Pro X
For many who are pursuing their own home recordings, the next step up from Garageband is Logic Pro X. Apple purposely designed LPX to look like Garageband and have even included a simplified user interface for those new to the program. But switching to the advanced interface unlocks some of the very powerful tools that LPX has to offer (and what makes it worth the upgrade.) Using your laptop as a view screen, I'll demonstrate the many features of LPX by recording sample projects and walking through every step, from setting up your recordings to mixing them down. (Intermediate - Advanced)