December 22, 2014

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:

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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.

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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.”


Last Day to Sign up and Save!

Back2SchoolSpecialGraphicToday is the final day of our Back-To-School-Special, which saves you $21 off of our regular low rate of 67¢ a day for full access, all of the time to all of our lessons!

If you’ve been thinking that you want to get better at playing your dulcimer (either mountain or hammered!) our supportive and knowledgeable instructors may be just the tool you need to help you take your music from where you are to where you want it to grow!

Click here before Midnight and get your access for just 53¢ a day!


The Right Hand Fingerstyle Technique of David Massengill

by Steve Eulberg

At the Gebhard Woods Festival I was given a tutorial by David Massengill about his right hand finger-style technique for playing mountain dulcimer.  Take a look!

There are many different styles of playing our beloved instruments and being able to witness the variety always inspires my creativity!

DavidMassengillRightHandTechnique from Linda Ratcliff on Vimeo.


David Massengill and Reverse Ionian Tuning

by Steve Eulberg

On the road as part of my country-crossing-summer-tour, I got to visit with David Massengill at the Gebhard Woods Festival in Morris, Illinois in June.

David has a long history with the mountain dulcimer and developed some playing styles that pre-date the 6-1/2 fret, DAd world that has been more common since the instrument was brought in from the “free-range.”   Here he demonstrates the beautiful of what he calls “Reverse Ionian Tuning“.   5 – 1 – 5 are the relationships between the strings, the tonic being in the middle string, rather than on either outside string.  Do starts at the 3rd fret of the melody string and the major (Ionian) scale continues to the 10th fret (omitting the 6-1/2 fret)

Playing this way is very reminiscent of the 1 – 5 – 5 or DAA tuning which is common today, but David is playing  F – C – F and creating some beautiful, fluid melodies and harmonies, while standing a playing with the dulcimer flat, or parallel to the ground.

David Massengill: Reverse Ionian Tuning from Linda Ratcliff on Vimeo.