Thursday, January 11, 2024

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, cruisers!

We're very excited about the cruise just a little over a month away; can you feel it?  We're putting the final wraps on workshop handouts and will be making them available to registered guests soon.  

We look forward to seeing some of you at the Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat as a precursor to our voyage.  See you soon!

Bing & Jae, Guy & Sharrie - 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Guy George's Workshops

 Guy George's Workshops

*Beginning Pennywhistle

Take it from the top! Learn this fun and easy-to-carry instrument and be playing in 2 keys! Refresh your skills if it’s been a while or if you just want to warm up for the cruise! A “D” whistle is needed for this class - NOTIFY me in advance if you need one on the ship!

1. Beginning/Warm-up on Steel Drum with Jimmy Buffett!Uke Chord & Strum Practice in D & G

Get All the basics on Jumbie Jam Steel Drum as we focus on the sounds of Buffett and the islands! We’ll team up with Ukuleles ***(And Mountain Dulcimers) who want to practice strums and chords in D & G.  All Levels welcome!
2. Jimmy Buffett on Pennywhistle! Intermediate Level

Learn some of the melodies of Jimmy Buffett’s music - perfect for cruising on the open seas! We’ll include melody, harmony, and some added parts for each tune, so we can practice later with the Castaway Music Crew! Tablature will be provided with each tune.
3. Easy Chords to add for Back-up or Improv on Pennywhistle - Intermediate Level

Learn some more challenging tunes on the penny whistle as we fill in with chords and embellishments. All will be explained and written out so you can apply this to other tunes. Tablature will be provided with each tune.
4. Pennywhistle and Steel Drum - Tunes, Licks and Tricks! 

Learn some new tunes switching from Lead to Back-up and gain confidence playing in a group! We’ll trade off and use our chord and improv technique to find more fun in the music! Ukes (and Mountain Dulcimers)are welcome to join and help with backup and rhythm!

Sharrie George's Workshops

Sharrie George's Workshops

Beginning Ukulele -- EXTRA Workshop for Beginners! - For those who have never played a Uke before - We’ll cover all the basics, learn a few tunes, have fun, and be ready for workshops ahead!

1. Ukulele All levels— Essential Chords and Strums 

Learn, review, and master some of our “necessary” chords and strums. Too often we try to learn “songs”, but don’t focus on the rhythm and how they actually sound when we play. Gain confidence to really ‘play out” even if you’re just strumming chords! Make each tune sound different and great! We’ll learn some fun tunes while we focus on really sounding good!
2. Ukulele - All Levels - Uke Melodies, Licks, Picking, &Tricks

Learn where your notes are, how to read tablature, how to play a single-line melody. When strumming, it's always fun to be able to embellish the melody as we play back up.  We’ll learn a few easy melodic “licks” to add when strumming at the end of a phrase. We’ll start working on melody and parts for some tunes to play around the ship and at home after the cruise! 
3. Ukulele Finger-picking Magic

Find the musical magic in picking single and 2 note patterns using all 4 strings on the ukulele as back-up for tunes. We’ll work on some easy finger-picking patterns to take home with you, and practice the patterns on some beautiful tunes. A great way to add to a different way of playing back-up. Works great on high or low G-tuned Ukuleles.
4. Buffett Melodies & Musings on Ukulele

Grab some island tunes of Jimmy Buffett and add them to your repertoire! We’ll learn some melodies, harmonies and back up for a few of his greatest hits - Volcano, This Land Is Your Land Buffett Style, and some newer tunes; Like My Dog, Bubbles Up, and more! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Workshop registration is open!

If you haven't booked your cabin yet for our 2024 Castaway Music Cruise, see this post for details on securing your passage!

Once you've got your at-sea lodging locked in, be sure to register for workshops. We're offering more than 20 classes for mountain dulcimer, ukulele, pennywhistle, Native American flute, and steel drum.  The registration form is located on the top right of each page here on our site.

$299 per person covers all workshops, jams, open stage, meet-ups, flash mobs, and excursions.  All handouts will be made available for download prior to sail.  Additional workshops and "suite sessions" can be scheduled with instructors individually.  

Contact us with any questions.  We're so looking forward to cruising with you again!

Workshop/Meet-Up Schedule

Monday - February 26:

  • 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Orientation & Jam (Workshop #1) - Conference Room (Deck 5 Next to the Photo Gallery Area)
  • 4:00 pm: Castaway Music Cruise Set Sail Party on Pool Deck 11 - (Near the Upstairs Pool Bar)
  • 5:15 pm: Dining - See your Set Sail Pass - It’ll be on your Cabin Door - for Table # - Cascade Dining Room - Deck 4 or 5 Aft
  • 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Workshop #2 (Conference A) - Mountain Dulcimer - Play the Most Popular Chords in the World
  • 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Workshop #3 (Conference B) - Uke & Steel Drum Essential Chords & Strums - (Pennywhistles welcome)!
  • 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Jam

Tuesday - February 27: At Sea!

  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (Royal Suite # 1558): MD - How to Make Stuff Up!
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Workshop #4 - Buffett Melodies on Ukulele!
  • 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm: Workshop #5 - Mountain Dulcimer - Buffett Tunes
  • 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm: Workshop #6 - Jimmy Buffett on Pennywhistle!!
  • 9:00 pm - Midnight: Jam - Bring Buffett Tunes!

Wednesday - February 28: Puerto Costa Maya

  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Workshop #7 - Beginning/Warm-up on Steel Drum with Jimmy Buffett Uke & MD Chord & Strum Practice in D & G - Pennywhistles welcome!
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Workshop #8 - MD Fun in Fundamentals
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Workshop #9 - Chords for Back-up/Improv on Pennywhistle!
  • 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm: Workshop #10 - Ukulele Melodies, Licks, Picks, & Tricks
  • 9:00 pm - Midnight: Jam

Thursday - February 29: Cozumel!

  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Workshop #11 - Ukulele Finger-picking Magic!
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Workshop #12 - Bing - Ukulele - What’s Up, Chuck?!
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Workshop #13 - Pennywhistle and Steel Drum - Tunes, Licks, and Tricks - Ukes welcome!!
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Workshop #14 - Steel Drum - Tunes of the Islands - Ukes, Pennywhistles, and MD who can play chords without tab are welcome!!
  • 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm: Workshop #15 - Flash Mob for All Instruments!
  • 9:00 pm - Midnight: Jam 

Friday - March 1: At Sea!

  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Workshop #16 - PennyWhistle & Ukulele Duets!
  • 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm: Workshop #17 - MD - Play the Most Popular Chords in the World in 3 Different Keys!
  • 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm: Jam 
  • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Farewell Jam (Last Night Event)

Bing Futch's Workshops

Bing Futch's Workshops

Mountain Dulcimer - Putting the FUN in Fundamental!

This workshop for all levels focuses on the basics of playing, from counting and strumming rhythms to playing scales and melodies over the drone.  It’s a great place to start, or a refresher for those that have been playing for a while.  We’ll learn a few exercises to develop memory, and we’ll play some tunes to try them out.

Mountain Dulcimer - Play the Most Popular Chords in the World in 3 Different Keys

In the jam, you may’ve heard the term “1-4-5 chords” and wondered what that meant, or you may be somewhat familiar with scale degrees, but are still not sure how to work with them.  This workshop presents a simple method of playing these chords in the three keys most likely to turn up in the jam: D, G, and A.  All skill levels welcome to sit in!

Mountain Dulcimer - How to Make Stuff Up (and Never Be Wrong)

Improvisation is a fancy word for “flying by the seat of your pants”, and believe it or not, this is not some kind of superpower that is only given to specific musicians.  Anyone can improvise, and I’ll show you an easy way to begin making it up as you go.  This will empower you to not only play along with any song confidently, but you’ll hold the keys to creating your own original music for fun!

Mountain Dulcimer - Buffett Tunes

This intermediate to advanced workshop is still open to all levels, but we’ll be taking on a couple of my arrangements of tunes from the late great Jimmy Buffett.  Those who didn’t attend the Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat can still learn “Margaritaville”, and I’ll also be teaching “A Pirate Looks at 40”, which will require the 1+ fret.  I’ll also show you quick-and-easy riffs on some of his classic tunes.

Ukulele - What’s Up, Chuck?

The chuck is a powerful rhythmic tool that brings solid groove and dynamics to your playing, yet it is an elusive skill to bring into your toolbox.  I’ve developed a method for getting the chuck into your hands and your music in just one lesson!  We’ll work on the technique for the first half of the class, and then we’ll apply it to a number of groovy tunes that showcase its versatility.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, cruisers! We're very excited about the cruise just a little over a month away; can you feel it?  We're putting the f...