Volume 62 -Passing of a good friend

Written by Patrick Podpadec on . Posted in Northcoast Voice

Stay in Tune  vol#62

By Luthier Patrick Podpadec

This article is hard for me to start because I have a heavy heart from the loss of a good friend. Dennis Roeder passed over on Tues evening Jan 24th . Many people knew him as one of the most solid bass players, great guitar player, terrific singer, healthcare professional, dedicated husband, father, humanitarian, cool dude, and the best friend a lot of people have ever had. Dennis taught many musicians (me included) a thing or two or three about how music is supposed to be played and heard. He had a way of explaining things in a simple manner that made it easier to figure out. Music flowed effortlessly through Dennis like the blood that flows through the rest of us. He could automatically play whatever genre of music that was put in front of him with a style and finesse’ that sounded like he had played it forever. His latest endeavor in music was with“Marion Avenue”. He had expressed to me many times how much he enjoyed playing with his friends Erin and Jason in the band. I (along with everyone that knew him) will think of him every time I hear songs like “Willin”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay”, and countless others. Dennis is one of the best “all around” humans I’ve been blessed to meet in my lifetime. I asked him to save me a seat next to him when he gets up to the “Big Gig”. The world is truly a better place to have known such a good soul! There will be a great celebration of his life with plenty of good music scheduled in the near future (please keep your eyes and ears open for the details) so that we can show our gratitude for the friendship that he gave to so many during his all too short existence on this planet. I know Dennis would like for me to talk more about my repairs than him so I will tell you a little bit about the latest things in the shop.

I’m not sure if it’s the new year or what, but I have had this uncontrollable urge to“purge”, or maybe just to try to get more organized. I have been spending some time trying to clean and rearrange my shop so that I can be more efficient in what I do. I’m also trying to create space for future teaching classes that will be starting next month. Remember that there will only be 3 students at a time in the shop but considering the size (400sq.ft.) it can still feel crowded with all of the other stuff I have in there. The small 12 x 20 building that I erected a couple of months ago is quickly filling up. I mentioned in the last article about starting “repair classes” and I’ve been trying to work out all of the details. I want to stress that these classes will be small, personal,and packed full of great learning experiences for those of you interested in repairing instruments. I will be adding new classes every month such as nut replacement, saddle replacement, fret leveling, the proper way to change strings and tune them (at least the way I do it) and many more. So, if you see a particular repair you’re interested in or a suggestion of what you might like to see in the future, please contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can make this learning journey happen. I want the classes to be very interactive so that students will learn better. It has been my experience that I learn things better by “doing”, more so than by reading or being shown. I’m also trying to wait until the classes are filled before posting the scheduled times because I want to give the students the opportunity to pick the most convenient times for their availability. Having said that, most classes will be held one or two nights a week for a couple hours and possibly a couple hours on Sat morning. The more responses I get will determine class schedules and availability. Starting in March,I would like to offer two classes for the beginner which will include “Tools and Luthier Techniques” and “Jigs and Fixtures”. Each of these classes will be two hrs long and will explain and show all of the tools and prices of getting into the long lost art of Lutherie. Many of you will be surprised about what there is to learn. The next two classes will be geared around the person who has a limited education of instrument anatomy and at least some wood working or craft skills. You will be required to use some sanding and cutting tools. These intermediate classes are “Building a Bone Nut” and “Leveling and Crowning Frets”. These classes will be 4 to 6 hours respectively and will probably span a 2 wk time frame. For more information, details and registration to the offered classes please checkout my website at www.liamguitars.com. As a good friend of mine used to say,”Keep on Smiling!” and as I always say, “Stay in Tune!”

Thanks Again!

Patrick from Liam Guitars / Wood-n-Strings