Dave Egan

Photo by Craig Chee 2If there was an unsung hero of the ‘ukulele, it would have to be Dave Egan. He not only consistently ranks right at the top in the eyes of his students, he also delivers the fabulous sound we have at most of our events. (Just one of the reasons you all sound so good.) As a sound technician, he has worked with artists such as The Rastafarians, Everette Harp, Jackson Browne, and Gregg Rolie, and he has a carpetbag full of behind-the-scenes stories that tell all.  But, there’s another reason we have included Dave in Hawai’i Island Ukulele Retreats and the Yankee Invasion of Great Britain: he loves to teach. And he is as enamored with teaching beginners as he is with tackling the hot shots. He has even achieved “faith healer” status among those who have taken his workshop on “ukulele ergonomics” and claim to be pain-free for the first time in years. In a rut? Take a workshop from Dave. Is your hand cramping up when you play? Show it to Dave. Need to know how to make that tune you’ve been working on sound just a little bit better? Ask Dave. Got a question about anything related to music, your playing,  or your instrument? Bring it to Dave, our all-around, ‘ukulele super-hero, and one of the gentlest beings on the planet. Here’s what he’ll be teaching this year:

MYSTERY CHORDS UNRAVELED

At last!  The mystery surrounding all those minor-seven-flat-five and sharp eleven chords will be solved! No, this is not a complicated workshop in music theory–just a down-to-earth description of the function of each chord family.  We’ll go over some “rules” for how to simplify mind boggling arrangements and learn how to jazz up arrangements that have no flavor, at the same time. And that is just the beginning! You’ll come away with a whole new understanding of chords, how they’re named and what their function is, and plenty of ideas for making them work for you.  (Level 3-4)

UKULELE ERGONOMICS REVISITED

One subject that falls through the cracks in so many instruction books and classes is how to properly hold, fret, and strum the uke.  This lack of correct technique often leads to painful joints and slow, awkward changes. But, in this workshop you will learn  a series of simple adjustments that will yield amazing results in forming a relaxed and efficient playing style. But, not only will you learn to make smooth, easy chord changes, any soreness you are experiencing in your thumb, wrists, or fingers can be a thing of the past.  This workshop will benefit total beginners as well as the most advanced players among you.  But, for best results, you should have a uke strap for this workshop. (Straps will be available for purchase at the festival and Rick Turner will be available for installing strap buttons.)  (All Levels)

SWING THAT UKE

In order to really swing with your ‘ukulele you need to learn that irresistible, gotta get up and dance rhythm and how to strum it with a beat. And that’s where we’ll start.  Then we’ll take a look at the best movable chord shapes to get that jazzy swing sound. And finally we’ll tie it all together with a couple of classic standards and put our new-found swing into action. To get the most out of this one you need to be able to play a couple of barre chords (or be willing to learn how) and be able to make smooth chord changes….and you’ll be swinging in no time. (Level 3 – 4)

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