ResoSummit 2008: First Call


ResoSummit 2009
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Workshops for ResoSummit 2009


This page contains workshop titles, faculty, descriptions, and (for workshops offered last year) participant comments. For an update on workshop scheduling, see the FAQs on the ResoSummit 2009 page.

If you haven't completed your workshops survey, please contact us as soon as possible (contact info at left).

We use your survey to create the final workshop schedule, based on your interests and priorities, and will send you a tentative schedule for your review. You can print a printer-friendly PDF version of this page from the link at left. Be sure to print both PDFs, including the Supplemental List. We encourage you to use these workshop PDFs to help you choose the 10 workshops you want to identify on the survey as your highest priorities, plus an additional handful to list as alternates. The PDFs are also a good way to record what you sent in on your survey, since you won't have access to your survey once you've submitted it.

Note that a few additional workshop topics have been added that weren't on this Page as originally published. Look for the "Newly added" headings below for these workshops by Michael Witcher and ResoSummit volunteer Greg Booth. These workshops are also listed on the printer-friendly PDF available at left, "Workshops: Supplemeetal List".

In addition to the 10 workshop sessions, there will also be two "optional activities" hours when you can choose between a variety of activities without having to sign up in advance. We'll post those optional activities later.

Levels: Workshops will be assigned based on skill level (beginner, low-intermediate, high-intermediate, advanced) unless otherwise indicated, so that to the greatest extent possible, you'll be in a workshop with people at a similar skill level.

Styles of playing

Decoding Josh Graves (Michael Witcher)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Mike Witcher & Josh Graves? Can't miss with that combo. I took this last year, and it was just as entertaining and useful the second time around"; "I got a lot out of this class"; "Another excellent insight into Josh Graves innovative and inspiring playing"; "An excellent lesson on how to LISTEN to a recording for nuances of notation and timing, and how to include them in your style".

Decoding Gene Wooten (Lou Wamp)
Lou's description of this class: "As my mentor and someone i got to pick with a lot, I will share Gene Wooten's approach, technique, background and generally bring back some of his spirit and love for the dobro, and do so in his memory-- using his pre-war Model 27, one he restored during his days working in Sshot Jackson's music/repair shop on Broadway c.1981."

Decoding Jerry Douglas (Michael Witcher)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Mike is a great teacher.He has the ability to get you thinking about how to really listen to music and approach learning the instrument differently"; "Michael did an excellent job showing the subtleties of Jerry Douglas playing"; excellent class, really showed the slight differences that make a solo great, only wish we could have played along".

Hawaiian-Style Tunes & Techniques (Giegerich)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Great class!"; "I found Dave to be just excellent. Great person and teacher"; "I really enjoyed taking this class from Dave". Dave received a 5.0 rating for teacher performance for this workshop (with 5 being excellent).

Swing Workshop (Giegerich, Lou Wamp)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop with Dave Giegerich: "Dave is awesome. Please have him back. Lesson was geared to beginner to intermediate swing;" "Dave taught fast, I was barely able to keep up, more a comment on my skill level not his. But I did take written notes and recorded the session."
Lou Wamp notes: "I love swing music and our band does a lot of it. Dobro is a natural instrument for this genre."

Blues Workshop (Randy Kohrs, other faculty may include Sally Van Meter, Dave Giegerich)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop taught by Randy Kohrs: "Answered questions well and completely, but it seemed we had to draw him out"; Excellent player, performed great, but no exercises given"; "Randy was super".
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop co-taught by Sally van Meter and Dave Giegerich: "One of my best classes. I hope Dave can return as well as SVM. Great teachers"; "Five stars, best-of-RS for me."

Blues Workshop Level 1 (Orville Johnson)
Learn the blues scales in a few positions, shuffle rhythms, and how to apply them to a 12 bar 1-4-5 progression.

Blues Workshop Level 2 (Orville Johnson)
Explore more keys, 8 bar and 16 bar blues, some more intricate rhythms. 

Blues Workshop Level 3 (Orville Johnson)
Start seeing where blues crosses over into jazz, minor keys, more involved chord substitutions. tonal and percussive rhythms. 

Jazz Workshop Level 1 (Orville Johnson)
See how blues progressions morph into jazz thru chord substitution, work on a jazz standard that is heavily blues-based 

Jazz Workshop Level 2 (Orville Johnson)
Importance of melody in jazz playing, playing in all keys, work on a jazz standard that is not blues based 

Jazz Workshop Level 3 (Orville Johnson)
Improvisational ideas, how to find your own voice, more advanced chord analyisis.


Song arrangement, songs, fiddle tunes on the dobro

Fiddle Tunes: Cherokee Shuffle, Road to Columbus (Sally Van Meter) - involves a focus on hammer-on and pull-offs, pick-blocking and other techniques, as well as the tunes themselves.
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Very well done, great class"; "Her pick blocking techniques are invaluable"; "Sally is a great instructor and the highlight of ResoSummit as far as instruction is concerned. Her hands-on approach is effective and she was prepared"; "I found Sally to be a great instructor".

Fiddle Tunes on the Dobro (Michael Witcher, Curtis Burch)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop as taught by Michael Witcher: "Michael did a nice job of both adding to our repertoire of tunes and showing us an approach to laying out fiddle tunes on the dobro"; "I was very impressed with Mike's teaching skills".

Re-thinking how to arrange tunes: Sugar Foot Rag, St. Anne's Reel (Jimmy Heffernan) - focuses on finding different approaches to arranging a tune on the dobro, using a fiddle tune in A and one in D as examples.
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "This was a breakthrough class for me,jimmy showed me a right hand technique that opened up my playing from banjo to dobro! THANKS!"; "We tabbed out St Anne and all learned it together. more of this next year"; "Very focused. Sugar Foot Rag: I got it, and I like it!".

The Great Season Waltz: Tone, Lyrical Phrasing, Pick-Blocking (Sally Van Meter) Note: This workshop is offered only at advanced and high-intermediate levels.
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Dynamite session: Best instruction I've had on tone and eliminating extra noise; excellent pick blocking instruction; strict in a good way!"; "Wow! Sally! Great teacher. Tremendous presence in a classroom. 5-excellent isn't high enough a rating"; "Pick-blocking is a difficult to teach. It will take time before I can incorporate it into my playing, but the tone achieved is superb! Good class!"; "this was a standout class! Sally is a splendid teacher, mostly b/c she takes time with each of us, giving in effect mini-lessons as we played phrases".

Adapting a Song for Solo Dobro Performance (Rob Ickes).
Focuses on two of Rob's signature solos: How Great Thou Art; Old Rugged Cross.
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Rob did a great job breaking down 2 songs and reasons why he arranged them this way. Super class"; "a 'show and tell' session".

Composing for the dobro (Lou Wamp)
Making good use of this instrument's inherent limitations in song composition; demonstrations from some of Lou's compositions on his CD "ResOlution".

Backing Up a Vocalist (Cindy Cashdollar, possibly Lou Wamp, Randy Kohrs, Sally Van Meter) - Cindy Cashdollar has chosen this as her primary workshop focus for ResoSummit 2009, and she will also include creating dobro kick-offs and endings for songs. Abbie Gardner of Red Molly will provide vocal support for these workshops.
Comment from ResoSummit 2007 participant for this workshop as taught by Cindy Cashdollar: "Cindy was great in this class. She explained her techniques really well in a lot of different songs."
Comments from last year's participants for this workshop taught by Randy Kohrs, with vocals support from Abbie Gardner: "Great job by Randy and Abbie. Little problem w/ students getting off topic: 'in my band, we sometimes...blah, blah...blah..'." Note that Randy's workshop can also focus on backing up your own vocals, since Randy is the lead singer in his band.
Comments from last year's participants for this workshop taught by Sally Van Meter: "THE BEST! Sally was terrific, Abbie was excellent. Exceeds a 5-excellent"; "Sally is excellent at teaching this class. Involved class participation, took turns, gave helpful hints, etc."; "This class will change the way I play, and greatly improve it when I can put into use all the info that Sally taught us".

Creating Solos & Kickoffs (Cindy Cashdollar, other faculty TBD)

Newly added (not on PDF): Small group sessions with ResoSummit volunteer Greg Booth:
Specific Tunes (Panhandle Rag, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Folsom Prison Blues, Danny Boy)

Technique & theory workshops

Technique Boot Camp (Witcher, possibly Giegerich, Wamp) - Take a close look at your left hand and right hand, and focus on the fundamentals that are essential to clean, fast playing and great tone and technique!
Comments from last year's participants in Michael Witcher's workshop: "Michael is extremely organized and has developed some outstanding teaching techniques for teaching technique. He gets right down to the mechanics"; "This was a very useful class. Mike's a great teacher"; "This class was a repeat for me, but Mike covers the basics so well and we must have the basics to progress, that is why I was glad to repeat class"; "Excellent teacher. very well planned program and timed to perfection".
Comments from last year's participants in Dave Giegerich's workshop: "Another great one! Needed a digital recorder. I learned a lot of new things at the time, but retained little"; "Dave taught a laundry list of needed techniques and variations on them"; "a repeat of the basics, but with a different approach. Dave was a great teacher"; "what a hoot- great teacher".

Going Back to the Basics as an Intermediate Player (Megan Lovell)
A class for those intermediate players wanting to go back to the basics. Will be a broad sweep of technique, scales, rolls, warm ups, and practice routines.

Mastering the Fretboard-playing in any key in any position (Michael Witcher, Rob Ickes)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop by Michael Witcher: "Probably one of the best classes I took. The most take-home stuff to work on, most tangible"; "Michael is an awesome teacher, and he knows how to bring enthusiasm into the class experience for everybody"; "great class. one of my favorites".
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop by Rob Ickes: "One of the best classes I had"; "Another great Ickes class"; "Rob is a natural teacher. A little repetition here from an earlier class [Warm Ups, Exercises...], but that's not a complaint at all".

Playing without a Capo (Rob Ickes) - approaches to playing in B and other keys without a capo.
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Better than a 5-excellent"; "Great!"; "Glad I recorded this; I'll be working this one for months"; " I ended up in this class by mistake and I'm glad I did!"; "Rob Ickes is a wonderful instructor--he has worked hard at his craft and can explain his material in adequate detail. Can't miss with Rob!"

Warms-Ups, Exercises, Scale Patterns, Practice Workouts (Rob Ickes)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Great workshop. I can work on this stuff forever;" "great class. learned a lot. handouts very helpful".

Chords and Scales (Curtis Burch)
Study chords and scales, including a focus on minors.

Tuning, Tone, Timing & Taste (Curtis Burch)
Critical "T's" for every dobro player!

Techniques for Playing Solo (unaccompanied) (Jimmy Heffernan)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "This was a great topic, often neglected, but lots of value added. JH made up a 'song' on the spot and shared his thinking. Very useful!"; "One of the best, most useful workshops I attended. Jimmy really did a great job"; "The best instructor I had".

Song Writing on Dobro (Megan Lovell)
Writing melody, hooks, and lyrics for dobro players. Highly interactive

Playing In a Band (Megan Lovell)
Focus is on Jerry Douglas's backup for guitar, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle leads, and fill licks around Alison Krauss' vocal, using the "Alison Krauss + Union Station Live" DVD as a basis.

Electric Guitar on Dobro (Megan Lovell)
How to transfer electric guitar licks to the dobro and use them in solos. Focuses on the greats of electric guitar: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Derek Trucks...

Taming the Beast - How To Make Each Note Worth It (Megan Lovell)
A guide for crafting tasteful solos, knowing when to back off, and playing with passion.

Playing in Minor Keys (Jimmy Heffernan)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Another highlight of the weekend. Jimmy is a great teacher and this was a very informative class"; "This guy is awesome!!!!!!"; "Jimmy is a great teacher. He insists upon his students getting it"; "Jimmy is a great teacher - forces participation".

"What Am I Doing Wrong?" -ID'ing technique issues+improving your sound (Jimmy Heffernan)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Jimmy is great at identifying problems in your playing and giving practical advice for immediate improvement"; "JH was helpful and efficient"; "I learned some very important things from Jimmy".

Practical, Hands-On Music Theory for the Dobro (Sally Van Meter)
Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "Another great class. Sally is a very good teacher. She has you demo to her what she has taught to ensure you are doing it correctly"; "Among all of the instructors I interacted with Sally was definitely the best prepared and focused"; "Great to have Sally this year, she turned on the light in my head with several things she presented. Great job"; "Tremendous class, and realy great topic, delivered excellently by SVM. One of my best classes".

Practical Music Theory (Orville Johnson)
The three things you need to understand to help you communicate more easily with other musicians. Intervals, Scales, and Chord Construction.

Improvisation and Progressions for Advanced Players (Sally Van Meter)
Comment from last year's workshop: "Sally is a terrific teacher! Articulate, attentive and focused; "WOW what a great teacher and great contol over the class. she rocks in instruction. this was a very helpful class and very hands on"; "Sally is very good at identifying the level of the students, making them play and improving their playing. She has a well-thought out approach."

Rhythm Techniques & Approaches (Rob Ickes, Michael Witcher) (note that this topic may be offered during the optional activities hour, rather than as a workshop session, depending on indicated interest.)

Newly added (not on PDF):
The Singing Dobro (Michael Witcher):
Develop a vocal-like style. We will listen to recordings of different singers and slide players and talk about ways to sound more like the human voice. Intermediate and Advanced participants will listen and play.

Newly added (not on PDF):
Ear Training (Michael Witcher):
This will be a call-and-answer exercise, playing back the phrase Michael plays.

Newly added (not on PDF):
Ear Training - Chords (Michael Witcher):
How to hear when chords change and what they change to. Focuses on basic changes I, IV, V, II, VII, III and VI. Beginning / low intermediate.

Newly added (not on PDF): Small group sessions with ResoSummit volunteer Greg Booth:

Recording Workshops (see studio links at left)

OmniSound Studio Workshop (Rob Ickes, Ben Surratt) - held in one of Nashville's Music Row studios, Omni Sound, this workshop with Rob Ickes and engineer Ben Surratt takes you into the studio to learn about recording. This workshop does NOT involve participant recording. This workshop is standard length (75 minutes).
Comments from last year's workshop: "I was there to see how pros do it. Great!; "the studio was great and helpful"; "a nice explanation of how a recording studio works". Both Ickes and Surratt scored 5.0 (excellent) for teacher performance from the 14 intermediate-level participants who rated this workshop.

Randy Kohrs' Slack Key Studio Workshop (Randy Kohrs & his studio engineer) - held in Randy Kohrs' studio, this longer workshop involves hands-on participation, including participant recording and an opportunity to work with the engineer in the control room. Please note that this workshop will span two sessions, and involves travel by carpool to Randy's workshop.

Luthier Workshops

Tim Scheerhorn:

Extreme Dobro Makeover: remaking an instrument start to end (3-hr). This workshop will be offered twice: on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Please note that this is a three-hour workshop, so it occurs over two workshop sessions. This is the only formal workshop Tim will give at ResoSummit; he will also be available throughout Friday and Saturday for informal consultations.

Comments from last year's participants in this workshop: "The information gained from this class, alone, was also worth the time and cost of the trip for me"; "Great experience watching a master at his craft. Tim did an outstanding job. If I ever need to go into my dobro, I'll be much less intimidated"; "Fascinating and enlightening. Tim is as entertaining as he is brilliant. He packed 3 hours of history and technical discussion and we wanted more!"

Paul Beard:

Hot-rodding a Resonator Guitar: getting the most out of your instrument (Paul Beard) - focusing on getting the best possible sound out of your instrument by altering the setup.
Comments from a similar workshop last year: "Paul is very open to sharing his trade with our class-really enjoyed it!"; "Paul is great, even though I have a different style reso, his insight and experience with the reso was great to hear, well done."

An Hour with Paul Beard - an open-ended Q&A workshop with Paul Beard. Bring your questions!

The Beard Guitar Sound - a workshop focusing on Paul Beard's innovative approaches to contemporary resonator guitar construction.

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