February 1, 2015

Playing Blues on Dulcimer

Someone once told me that I couldn’t play blues on the dulcimer.  “The dulcimer is too pretty for the blues.”  I disagree.

If you can have the blues, you can play the blues on whatever you want!

Look at these introductions to playing blues on hammered and mountain dulcimer and dulci-bro.

Mountain Dulcimer

Hammered Dulcimer

Dulci-Bro

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Dulcimercrossing.wordpress.com Blog Year 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thanks for reading and commenting and sharing this blog with others who love dulcimers!

Let us know  if there is something you’d enjoy reading about or find particularly helpful for your playing!


Got a New Mountain Dulcimer for Christmas?

We have just the thing to help you play it!

The String-Side Up Lesson Series is for Absolute Beginning mountain dulcimer players and assumes you have no prior experience with dulcimers.  This 31-episode series starts with the parts of the dulcimer, takes you through what is happening with your right and left hands, including strumming, picking (right hand), fingering or using a noter (left hand), playing chords, noodling for harmonies, learning tunes, playing in a linear fashion (up and down the fretboard) and across the string (flatpicking) and making practical use of portable chord shapes to be effective and flexible in your playing.

Our Goal:  When this series is completed, you are no longer a Beginner!

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing.com and have access to all of these lessons!


Jingle Bells for Mountain Dulcimer in 3 Different Tunings

This winter-time tune by James H. Pierpont has long been associated with Christmas, but actually is about riding in a fast sleigh through (and sometimes IN) the snow!

Steve first demonstrates and teaches how to play this song in the key of G from three (3) different tunings!

First we have chords to accompany singing in DAA tuning and then the melody in the lower octave:

Secondly we have both chords and melody in DAd tuning, making use of the capo at the 3rd fret:

Finally we re-tune to DGd for playing in “reverse ionian” of G and play the tune this way:

Become a subscriber at dulcimercrossing.com and you have complete access to all of these lessons (and more!) all of the time.


I Wonder As I Wander

by Steve Eulberg

This Appalachian tune, collected and added to by John Jacob Niles, is a lovely, haunting Aeolian melody that fits so well on the mountain dulcimer in DAC tuning.

Steve’s mountain dulcimer lesson series explores playing this tune in traditional drone-style, as well as in a flatpicked melody across the strings, and with chords for singing and a chord-melody version. There is a lot to explore that will help your wandering be filled with wondering.

Subscribe so that you can fully enjoy the benefits of this lesson!


Mission: Take the Dulcimer Pledge

by Steve Eulberg

I have a mission: I am seeking to equip, support, challenge and encourage musicians who play dulcimer.

As I teach across the US in clubs, festivals and workshops, I ask my mountain dulcimer students to raise their right hands and take this pledge.

So, stop whatever you are doing right now, raise your right hand and take this pledge with me. I will make a difference in your life!


Playing Expressively

Nina Zanetti’s 12 episode lesson set on playing expressively has all kinds of nuggets in it for musicians of every kind.

Her specific instructions and suggestions apply to the mountain dulcimer, but are applicable if one is a singer, or hammered dulcimer or harmonica player.

Check out the introduction to the series:

The rest of the series is available at http://dulcimercrossing.com/md_ex/exprs/dc_exprs_pre.html. Just sign up and you can see them all!


Harmonics Lesson by Nina Zanetti

You know those beautiful chiming sounds that you hear on recordings or watch people play on the mountain dulcimer?  Those are called harmonics and, when you know where and how to play them, they can be part of your toolkit for playing the mountain dulcimer, too.

Nina Zanetti, 2008 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion and DulcimerCrossing Instructor, is known for her lyrical instrumental finger-style arrangements of classical and celtic tunes.

In this 20-episode lesson set, Nina explains natural and artificial harmonics, teaching how to play them and giving suggestions about when to play them and giving you some exercises to use to become more proficient and confident in using them.


Using the Capo

EwingCaposThe Capo is a tool used by players of many fretted instruments and it is also useful for playing the Mountain Dulcimer!

In this new lesson series, Steve Eulberg demonstrates how to make the best use of the capo on your dulcimer in different tunings.  (DAA, DAd)

 


Standard Definition Now an Option!

We have sought to provide the highest quality video in the lessons that we prepare for the dulcimercrossing.com site.

While traveling across the country and talking with several subscribers, however, Steve has heard stories from patient (as well as frustrated) subscribers whose internet connections will not permit the videos to load in a timely manner.

With the project of re-rending all of the videos on our site and moving them to a new host, we have uncovered a solution that is helping these subscribers:

StandardDefinitionImageVimeo automatically creates a “standard definition” version of the video lessons that we upload, which means if you are having difficulty watching because of excessive buffering and long wait times, choosing the standard definition option (just below the video on the lesson page) may help alleviate this issue.

Vimeo also offers an automatic rendering of the same lesson video for viewing on portable devices.  This has helped to solve other issues experienced by other of our subscribers.

We are constantly working on improving the site so that the resources we provide can support your goal of “bridging the gap between what you know and where you want your music to go.”