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Mountain Dulcimer Sighting!

Mountain Dulcimer Sighting!

by Steve Eulberg

It is always exciting to uncover or bump into another dulcimer sighting, in the course of one’s daily life (and/or internet searching!)

In this video there is a visual and audio sighting of Frank Profitt playing and singing the ballad Barbara Allen from 8:46-11:09.

His part of the video footage is from the Alan Lomax Collection

The Theme:  The Cultures of the Scots-Irish in the New world, the role that music plays on both sides of the Atlantic, during the passage across the sea and  today.

For further bio about Frank Profitt and his music see Folk-Legacy Records.

 

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“Try to Make ANYthing that happens…

“Try to Make ANYthing that happens…

by Steve Eulberg

…into something of Value.”

–Herbie Hancock

Jazz Pianist Herbie Hancock tells a story of something that happened when he played

a “wrong” chord during Miles Davis’ solo.

This video is from Herbie’s MasterClass.

This is some GOOD advice for more than just jazz music.  It is for ALL music.

And for life.

(Thanks to Lois Hornbostel for sharing this on Facebook!)

 

 

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Learn More from Mistakes

Learn More from Mistakes

by Linda Ratcliff

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
– John Powell


I Learn More from My Mistakes Than Successes.
Do You?

 
I love to play through a tune perfectly, time after time, but lets get real – in my world, that simply doesn’t happen.  I fail to play a tune perfectly more often than I succeed. But mistakes can be good. In every mistake, there is the potential for growth. They can help me, if I will just take time to do the work.  For example …

Mistakes help me to think laterally.  There may be a skip and a jump with my hammers that just isn’t working.  Repeating the same mistake over and over is just teaching my muscles to follow the wrong path.  So I usually try to think of another approach for playing the same run or chord.

Mistakes reveal my weak areas.  If we’re honest, we have to admit that we all have weak areas.  I still can’t do a smooth “multiple bounce roll” with my left hammer.  And I’ve tried.  I always have to plan my arrangements so that technique lands on the right hammer.  Wouldn’t it be better if I started developing that skill with my left hammer too?

Successfully correcting a recurring mistake builds confidence.  When I finally begin to play through a section correctly, and without slowing down through the part that was giving me a headache, I feel ready to give myself a new challenge.  I am encouraged by knowing my desired outcome is one measure or one section closer.

Mistakes build character. When we’ve “messed up” enough times, a musician can go one of two ways! We can choose to throw in the towel, pack up our instrument, and lean it in the corner. Or we can learn from the experience, gain confidence, build character, and become more of the musician that we ideally wish to be. 

I choose to keep on keepin’ on, until I can play through successfully.  How about you?

If you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda

 

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Slipping Dulcimer?

Slipping Dulcimer?

by Linda Ratcliff

Either you let your life slip away without doing the things you want to do, 
(like learning to play the dulcimer) or you just get up and do them.
– Roger von Oech 

Slipping Dulcimer?

Do you feel like you’re constantly chasing your dulcimer? I’ve heard and read comments from several people who can’t seem to get the dulcimer to stay put on their laps when playing. As a matter of fact, I am sure most of us experienced this problem when we first began to learn to play.

I have several suggestions for you that might help, if you’re having this issue.

  • The solution that I’ve seen most often is to attach a strap to the dulcimer and wrap the strap around your back.
  • Another trick that many folks do is to put a piece of non-slip shelf paper on their lap, and then set the dulcimer on top of that.
  • Some people raise their knees by resting their feet on a footstool. There are several varieties of footstools availabile online. But with a footstool or not, sitting in a chair that is at the right height is also a must.
  • I saw a performance by one dulcimer player who put his dulcimer case on his lap, and then put the dulcimer right back in his case and played that way. That looked awkward to me, but he did an excellent job.
  • On YouTube, you will see professional dulcimer performers standing up, with their dulcimer set on a dulcimer stand.
  • I’ve also seen people sitting on the floor cross-legged while playing. Now I can already feel my back aching, thinking about that idea – but look at Steve enjoying nature on the beach, and how his knee keeps the dulcimer in place.

If you’re having this problem … choose a solution. But whatever you do, don’t give up and put your dulcimer back in the case … just because it won’t stay put.

As always, if you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.

 

Happy dulcimering,
Linda
 

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Learn Something New

Learn Something New

by Linda Ratcliff

You will learn something new everyday if you pay attention.
– Ray LeBlond

Learn Something New

 

Sometimes the process of learning a new tune is sabotaged before you even begin. You allow a spirit of doom to hang over your head, because you think the piece is too difficult. You might say …

  • Part B seems complicated, and I’m looking for something easier to learn.
  • This piece is in an odd tuning (like D-G-d), and it’s a nightmare to retune.
  • This tune has hammer-ons and hammer-offs. I never did get those.
  • This song goes too fast. I’d rather learn one that’s nice and slow.
  • The rhythm is really tricky. I’ll just keep practicing songs I already know.

If you recognize any of these thinking patterns, we need to clean up your stinkin’ thinkin’.

Preconceptions can make you or break you when learning a new tune.
What if, instead of thinking the new tune is too hard, tricky, difficult, or a total nightmare … you saw the new tune as easy or a breeze to learn, and you said to yourself, “No problem!”
Learn Something New

Here are some new and TRUE preconceptions to get in your head whenever you begin a new piece.

    • All tunes are riddled with what I call “Easy Bits,” no matter how tough they might appear at first glance. Go find all the easy bits right away. Maybe even highlight them on your tablature, and see how much “yellow” paper there is.
    • Find melody or chord patterns you’ve played before, and say, “Oh, I’ve seen this before!” Call on your experience, and build on what you already know.
  • Play to your strengths. I love to learn slow tunes with long arpeggios, so I find myself choosing old-time hymns or love songs to learn. Identify your strengths and choose music that will highlight that.

Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

And to keep progressing musically, you must keep moving forward as well.
Be intentional in choosing music with a tricky section.
Don’t just stick with the easy tunes. 
Challenge yourself. 
One day you’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time.” 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda
 

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Sam Edelston in Concert

Sam Edelston in Concert

by Linda Ratcliff

Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.
– Arthur Ashe

Upcoming Live Concert
Sam Edelston
July 9th
8:30 p.m. EDT | 7:30 CDT | 6:30 MDT | 5:30 PDT

Sam Edelston

DulcimerCrossing.com will be presenting a FREE concert for all Premium Members streaming live via Concert Window. Sam Edelston is an entertainer with many facets. In recent years, he has been pushing the creative boundaries of the mountain dulcimer. He also performs on guitar, banjo, and occasionally hammered dulcimer, and sings. He does songs that span the rock & roll era and decades before that, plus folk, original songs, funny songs, shout-alongs, and more.

Sam Edelston is on a mission to make dulcimers as widely known as flutes and fiddles. His videos have been viewed half a million times, including his performance of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, which is one of YouTube’s most watched mountain dulcimer videos.

Sam likes to show how much a mountain dulcimer can do beyond its folk roots, so expect to hear some “old standards,” pop, rock, country, maybe some originals, and a few surprises – including many songs that he hasn’t previously posted online.
For more information about Sam, visit www.SamTheMusicMan.com.

Join Dulcimer Crossing as a Premium Member to receive the link!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda
 

Fiddle-Tune-A-Day

Fiddle-Tune-A-Day

by Steve Eulberg

In 2012, my buddy, Vi Wickam began a year-long project of recording a Fiddle Tune every day of the year.  An awesome goal…AND in a leap year!

I was privileged to play with him for several of these days.

Here is a gallery of those videos.

Vi has collected the audio of each of these tunes, and is in the process of transcribing them as well.

We have collected and recorded several of these on our FiddleWhamdiddle Recordings:

OSOTCoverOld School Old-Time (2012)  CD, Download and Book (hard copy and downloadable)

and

NotMyMonkeyCoverArt

Not My Monkey (2017)  CD and download (Book is presently under construction).