The one, the only, Jim D’Ville!

dville_promo_shotJim D’Ville is, without a doubt, one of the ‘ukulele’s greatest ambassadors. For nearly a decade, he has traveled the world spreading his Play by Ear gospel, and come this May, he will be spreading it at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat, in Pacific Grove, California, May 17 – 21.

From Canada to Australia, and coast-to-coast across the USA (in an Airstream trailer, no less), Jim has made it his mission to get people’s noses out of their songbooks so they can start playing music by ear. And while some of you may have already attended one his energetic workshops, few get the opportunity to spend three consecutive days working on this singular skill, a skill that is vital to your progress as a musician. And that’s what Jim will be offering at this year’s West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat.


jim-dvilleJim’s Play Ukulele By Ear approach will teach you how to listen to, and identify, the sounds of basic chords and how those chords are used to form the most-used chord progressions in popular music. You’ll learn a systemic approach to learning songs by actually listening to them, as opposed to trying to remember the letter names of the chords or simply playing them from a book. Here’s what a former student had to say:

“In the last couple of weeks I am realizing that my ears really DID receive some training in Jim D’Ville’s workshop! I am hearing more and becoming more aware of the chords in the music I listen to, and tonight I was messing around on my ukulele and realized I could pick out the chords for Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’. Just becoming aware of the common chord progressions used in many songs was an invaluable thing to learn!”

But that’s not all! Jim will also be offering a number of one-off workshops at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat (so you’ll have lots of opportunity to practice what he preaches) such as:

Why were The Beatles the greatest band ever? Blame it on the chord progressions! The Beatles songs that were written in the breakout years of 1963 and 1964 showcase Lennon and McCartney’s exciting use of cadence and colorful extended chords. Get out your Beatle boots as we learn immortal pop classics including I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, Tell Me Why, and more!  All by ear! (For advanced beginner/intermediate level players)

dville-promo-shotLet’s build on our Beatles theme and explore how they employed every trick on the Circle of 5ths to write some of the most ear-catching musical phrasings in popular music. In this workshop we’ll learn the structure behind over 25 Beatles songs and examine how they used the emotional values found in chords to write some of the most popular music of all time:  “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “Hey Jude,” “Ticket To Ride,” “Eight Days A Week,” “Taxman,” “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da,” “Nowhere Man,” “Revolution,” “You Won’t See Me,” “Good Day Sunshine,”  and many, many more! (Intermediate)

Learn to pick the melodies to your favorite songs without tab! (And if you don’t know what tab is, don’t worry. You don’t need to!) You will, instead, learn to use the solfege syllables (do, re, me, etc.) to train your ears to hear and pick out the melodies to your favorite songs. Topics will include playing scales, arpeggios, rolls and fills, and of course songs! This workshop is the first step to being able to play anything that comes into your head!  (All Levels)

Buddy Holly changed the face of rock and roll, and he did it in just 18 months! With blues-based classics like That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, and Oh Boy, Buddy Holly melded the best of rock, rockabilly and blues into his own style of music. Other classic songs you’ll learn include Everyday, Maybe Baby, It’s So Easy, Rave On and Heartbeat. Jim will also share his experiences in visiting the Norman Petty studio in Clovis, New Mexico where many of these timeless classics were recorded. (All Levels)

dvilleThe Four Seasons exploded onto the music scene in 1962 when their first three singles, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,”  and “Walk Like a Man,”  all rocketed to #1 on the Billboard chart! They were swept back into the limelight more recently with the Broadway musical and film Jersey Boys. Who doesn’t want to channel their inner Frankie Valli, in or out of the shower? In this latest workshop from Jim D’Ville, you’ll not only learn to sing and play the music of one of the most popular vocal groups of all time, you’ll discover the underlying structure that made their first three hits,  along with “Dawn,” and “Rag Doll,” immortal classics. We’re going to have some fun in this one! (Intermediate)

Jim D’Ville is just one member of an all-star cast that includes Gerald Ross, Dave Egan, Craig McClelland, Rhan Wilson, Rick Zeek, and at least one more “surprise” instructor.

Registration is still open and Asilomar has just released some more single and double rooms for us.  So, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to register soon!

Register for the 2017 West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat.

~ by UkuleleLady on January 25, 2017.

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