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Category Archives: hammered dulcimer

posts that are designed specifically for hammered dulcimer players

New Dulcimer Club Listing

New Dulcimer Club Listing

by Linda Racliff & Steve Eulberg

Dulcimer Club Listing: https://www.dulcimercrossing.com/dc_clubs.html
on DulcimerCrossing.com

As we’ve been watching all the dulcimer groups on Facebook, we have noticed the same question keeps popping up everywhere.  

People who are new to playing the dulcimer, and those who have just moved to a new community, are looking for a dulcimer club to join.  Since EverythingDulcimer.com is no longer active, our handy list for finding clubs has gone away.  

And so we have made it our personal mission to create a complete and up-to-date list of all the dulcimer clubs in existence – not only in the United States, but also worldwide.

As a beginning, we purchased the domain name www.dulcimerclubs.com, and that domain is linked to our Dulcimer Crossing website.  

You will see that we have listed as many clubs as we know about so far, but hesitate to also post the contact details as the information we have may not be current.

To publish accurate contact information, we have included a form on the Dulcimer Clubs page so you can send us the correct information for your group. 

It is best if you have a public “face” to which we can link.  If you could provide the link to your webpage or Facebook page, that would most suitable.  However, if you don’t currently have this set up for your club, we are requesting your permission to upload an updated name, phone number, and email address as the contact information for your club.  

We have already made great progress with the page for Texas (since Linda lives there), so you could click on that state to see our vision for how the finished pages will look.

Any help you can give us with getting this worthwhile project off the ground surely will be appreciated.

 

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Concise Guide to Chord Symbols

Concise Guide to Chord Symbols

by Steve Eulberg

These questions get asked frequently so here is a guide to help you decode the chord symbols that you may often see above the musical notation:

A Chord (by definition a triad) is made up of 3 specific pitches (1-3-5 steps of the scale.)

A Chord Symbol is short hand for which steps are intended.

1. When a Single Capital letter is used, it indicates a Major chord (no alterations in the 1-3-5 plan)

e.g. C = C-E-G

2. If there is a lower case “m” next to the Capital letter, that indicates a minor chord (1-b3-5) with the 3rdstep of the scale lowered a half step.

e.g. Cm = C-Eb-G

Any combination of these notes, grouped as close together as possible (close voicing) or as far apart as possible (dispersed voicing) still produce these chords.

3. If there is a number added to the chord symbol it indicates an additional note added to the triad:

The most common is the dominant 7(b7 step of the scale) which is so dominant we don’t even call it dominant. The next most common is 6.

e.g. C7 = C-E-G-Bb (1-3-5-b7)

e.g. C6 = C-E-G-A (1-3-5-6)

Amajor 7 chord has the regular 7thstep of the scale (also called a “leading tone”) added to the triad:

e.g. CMaj7 or CM7 or C∆7 = C-E-G-B (1-3-5-7)

4. These numbers can also be added to the minor chords as well to indicate minor 7chords:

e.g. Cm7= C-Eb-G-Bb (1-b3-5-b7)

e.g. Cm6= C-Eb-G-A (1-b3-5-6)

e.g. Cm∆7 or CmMaj7= C-Eb-G-B (1-b3-5-7)

5. Sometimes a 2 is added:

e.g. C2 = C-D-E-G (1-2-3-5)

6. Sometimes a 9 is added:

e.g. Cadd9 = C-E-G-D (1-3-5-9)

7. A ninth chord builds on the Dominant 7thChord:

e.g. C9 = C-E-G-Bb-D (1-3-5-b7-9)

8. Suspended Chords means that the 3rd step has been replaced either by a 4 or a 2:

e.g. Csus4 = C-F-G (1-4-5)

e.g. Csus2 = C-D-G (1-2-5)

9. Diminished Chords means that the 5th step of a minor chord has been lowered a half step:

e.g. C° or Cdim= C-Eb-Gb (1-b3-b5)

10. Augmented Chords mean that the 5th step has been raised a half step:

e.g. C+ or Caug= C-E-G# (1-3-#5)

11. Slash Chords indicate a different bass note than expected. This is particularly important for Bass Players (instrument) or players of Bass parts in an ensemble:

e.g. C/D = C Chord with a D in the Bass (non-chord tone)

e.g. C/E = C Chord with an E in the Bass (chord tone, but not the tonic)

e.g. C/G= C Chord with a G in the Bass (chord tone, but not the tonic)

(This is also available on the Free Page at dulcimercrossing.com if you misplace this one.)

Questions? Write me at steve@dulcimercrossing.com

 

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Mark Alan Wade Live Event

Mark Alan Wade Live Event

by Steve Eulberg

We are excited to have national champion, Mark Alan Wade, aka the Professor, share music for our monthly Live Event for Premium Members of DulcimerCrossing.com 

Tomorrow Night: 

Monday, Dec. 10th 5:00 PST | 6:00 CST | 7:00 MST | 8:00 EST

This is a secret (ssh!) show, but you can tune in here.

The transition from competitor to colleague is often a very quick and smooth one in the dulcimer world.  I first met Mark as a competitor at Winfield this is certain true in our case.  We have worked together at several festivals and I am in awe of his performance, his teaching and tickle by his sense of humor!

Mark is a freelance musician based out of North-Eastern Ohio. An orchestral trumpeter by trade, Mark has a doctorate in Trumpet Performance from The Ohio State University and has played in a dozen orchestras in the US and in Europe.

Mark is also a National Hammered Dulcimer champion (1998) and performs all over the world on hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, trumpet, piano, guitar, and penny whistles.

Join DulcimerCrossing.com to have access to all of the lessons all the time, so you can play like Mark!

 

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Dulcimer Articles Archive

Dulcimer Articles Archive

by Steve Eulberg

Since appearing on the cover of Dulcimer Players News in 2002 (see above), Steve has been writing articles to share what he has learned with the dulcimer community.

Dulcimersessions.com was a website hosted by Mel Bay Publications and was coordinated and edited by Lois Hornbostel.  Sadly, the website is no longer hosted and all of the resources published there are lost to the bits and bytes of time in the internet age.

Dulcimer Players News is a quarterly magazine for enthusiasts of both kinds of dulcimer and has been in publication since 1975!  First under the direction of Maddie MacNeilthen Dan and Angie Landrum, it is now published by Ashley Ernst, who has recently taken the helm.

I have written several articles (15) for both outlets about a variety of topics, and because of the vagaries of the internet, I have compiled them on my website here.

  1.  The DulcimerSessions articles (Colorado Dutch Hop, ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime & Still, Still, Still) are all available as downloads to read there.

2.  The pre-2012 Dulcimer Players News articles are available in the DPN archives on issuu.com via clickable links.

The articles published since then are not yet archived, but can be found in back issues.

Topics include:

Playing a Scottish Strathspey

Jazzing it up:  Playing Jazz on dulcimers (1-3-5 tuning and the classic ii-V-I progression)

Playing Backup on Dulcimers (3-part series that features bass lines)

Creating Dulcimer-Friendly Arrangements for Dulcimer Ensembles (5-part series)

Playing Blues on Mountain Dulcimer

Improvising on the Dulcimer “Tweaking Twinkles”

If you missed an issue and can’t find the back issue but are still interested in the topic, contact me and I’ll be certain that you get what you need!

I also need to say, if you haven’t yet subscribed to the incredibly affordable and inestimably valuable resource that is Dulcimer Players News, I urge you hurry and to subscribe today!

 

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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

by Steve Eulberg

DulcimerCrossing is excited to announce and brand new Hammered Dulcimer Lesson set in time for the Holidays!

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen is a popular, minor mode English carol from the late 1800’s.  Here, Steve demonstrates 5 different locations and keys in which to play this carol, also demonstrating the Rhythmic Displacement that he used when recording this tune on his 2003 CD ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.  You can listen to the tune here.

It has also been added to the lesson set and the Backing Track Library for Premium Members.

This lesson series will go live in time for Christmas.  You can subscribe to have access to all of the lessons, all of the time!

 
 

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Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

by Linda Ratcliff

Your Thanksgiving dinner will not be complete without sharing these jokes!

What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock!
Why did the guys let the sweet potato join the band? So they could have a yam session!
What is the most musical part of the turkey? The drumsticks!

 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I have almost too many blessings to count. Being able to work with all of you who love dulcimers, and having the opportunity to share my thoughts about dulcimering every week, are definitely two of them. We appreciate the friendship and confidence you have shown in us by connecting with Dulcimer Crossing. Steve and I send our heartfelt Thanksgiving wishes across the miles from our houses to yours. May your homes be filled with laughter, happiness, and (of course) lots of dulcimer music.
Happy Thanksgiving
How to Care for Your Instrument in Cold Weather
With the weather turning colder, have you noticed a dramatic change in your dulcimer’s tuning? Well, a stringed instrument is a living thing. Since it is made out of organic materials, the woods, strings, and glues used when it was built interact with the atmosphere around them. And while these materials certainly work together to create beautiful music, they are also responsible for the reason that stringed instruments go out of tune, especially with sudden temperature changes.  Try to keep the temperature constant in the room(s) where you store your instruments.

Likewise, humidity will affect your dulcimers. Wood gains and loses moisture until it’s in sync with the air around it. When the air is humid, a piece of wood will swell as it gains moisture. When the air is dry, the wood will shrink as it loses moisture. This process happens fairly quickly with thin pieces of wood, such as dulcimer soundboards and backs, and if they get too dry, they can crack.

If you have started running the furnace already, the climate in the house may have become very dry. The widely accepted safe range for wooden musical instruments is between about 40% and 60% relative humidity. The only way to know if you’re in that range is to measure it by keeping a hygrometer near your instrument. (I found inexpensive ones on Amazon.) Also, I suggest that you consider purchasing a room and/or case humidifier for the good health of your precious instruments.
Hammered Dulcimer 

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

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New Fiddle Lesson!

New Fiddle Lesson!

by Steve Eulberg

Vi Wickam has created a new Fiddle Lesson for the Scottish tune Miss McLeod’s Reel.  that he and I like to play in our duo Fiddle Whamdiddle.  I have already created a mountain dulcimer lesson in the Galax style for this tune on DulcimerCrossing here.

You can also watch a couple of versions of this tune below:

Steve & Vi playing a hammered dulcimer and fiddle duet at the former Caffe Olé in Fort Collins, Colorado: (under the title “Have You Ever Gone to Meeting, Uncle Joe?” filmed for Vi’s Fiddle-Tune-A-Day project in 2012.)

And Steve playing Galax style with Vi and another DulcimerCrossing teacher, Don Pedi, at a house concert at Steve’s former home in Fort Collins, Colorado.

As always, you can become a subscriber at DulcimerCrossing.com and have complete 24/7 access to all of our lessons!

 

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