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Category Archives: hammered dulcimer

posts that are designed specifically for hammered dulcimer players

Holiday Tune Lessons

Holiday Tune Lessons

by Steve Eulberg

To help get you into the spirit and to further equip your musicianship, we have several lessons for playing Christmas Holiday tunes on both kinds of dulcimers in several different tunings!

(Click on each title to see the sample lesson page)

Remember that both Basic and Premium Members have access to ALL the lessons ALL the time! Join Here


Angels We Have Heard On High (Mountain & Hammered) DAA, DAd tunings Key of D Steve Eulberg

Breaking Up Christmas (Mountain & Hammered) Keys of A and D Tunings: AEa, EAA, DAd, DAd capo 4; dddd; dddd reverse capo 1) Steve Eulberg

Children’s Song of the Nativity (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of G Linda Thomas

Comfort, Comfort (Mountain Dulcimer D’DAd tuning) Key of D Steve Eulberg

God Rest Ye… (Hammered Dulcimer, in 5 different keys) Steve Eulberg

Good King Wenceslas (Mountain Dulcimer DAd tuning) Deborah Hamouris

I Wonder as I Wander (Hammered & Mountain Dulcimer) DAC tuning Keys of Am and Dm Steve Eulberg

Jingle Bells (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of G Linda Ratcliff (Mountain Dulcimer) DAA, DAd, DGd tunings Keys of D and G Steve Eulberg

Jolly Old St. Nicholas (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of G Linda Ratcliff (Mountain Dulcimer DAA, DAd tunings Key of D Steve Eulberg

Joy to the World (Hammered Dulcimer) Keys of D and G Linda Ratcliff (Mountain Dulcimer) DAA, DAd tunings Steve Eulberg

Little Drummer Boy (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of D Linda Ratcliff

O, Mary Had A Baby (Mountain Dulcimer) DAC Steve Eulberg

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of D Linda Ratcliff

Silent Night (Mountain & Hammered Dulcimer) DAA, DAd tunings Key of D Steve Eulberg

Still, Still, Still (Mountain & Hammered Dulcimer) DAA, DAd tunings Key of D Steve Eulberg

Stir Up Your Power (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of D Steve Eulberg

Up On the Housetop (Hammered Dulcimer) Key of D Linda Ratcliff (Mountain Dulcimer) DAA, DAd Key of D Steve Eulberg

We Three Kings (Hammered Dulcimer Keys of Em-G Linda Ratcliff (Mountain Dulcimer) DAC Keys of Dm-F Steve Eulberg

 

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Musical Advent Devotion featuring dulcimers.

Musical Advent Devotion featuring dulcimers.

by Steve Eulberg

The season of Advent, the time of preparation before Christmas, is upon us. In the Christian world it begins to and continues until the twelve days of Christmas begin on December 25th.

I have created a series of daily emails with Advent music that you can receive as a focusing accompaniment during this season. And they feature a LOT of dulcimers, too!

Sign Up Here to begin receiving them today!

My dulcimer colleague, Ariane Klauer, from Germany has created another way to do this as well!

Following the tradition of an Advent Calendar which has doors to open on each of the days of Advent, she invited dulcimer players across the world to provide a video playing their favorite Advent/Christmas Tune.

Advent Calendar, each door opening to provide a video of a dulcimer playing a seasonal tune!

Bookmark this URL so you can return to it daily and have a new blessed surprise!

 

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Spotted Pony for Hammered Dulcimer!

Spotted Pony for Hammered Dulcimer!

by Steve Eulberg

At DulcimerCrossing.com we seem to love riding the ponies because here we are, announcing the new hammered dulcimer lesson for this tune, Spotted Pony.

Steve first learned this from Erin Mae Lewis at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield Kansas (mumble, mumble) years ago! It’s stepwise and skipping melodic phrases make it a favorite to us in teaching students to play hammered dulcimer.

Here Steve introduces the tune:

Remember, Members of DulcimerCrossing have ALL the access to ALL the lessons ALL of the time!

 
 

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New Fiddle Lesson!

New Fiddle Lesson!

by Steve Eulberg

DulcimerCrossing is excited to announce the release of a new fiddle lesson by our own guru, Vi Wickam.

Spotted Pony is a fun Old-Time Missouri fiddle tune. Vi introduces this tune below.

We also have lessons for this tune for Mountain Dulcimers (Erin Mae) and (Butch Ross), and (Erin Mae & Steve Eulberg on standard and baritone dulcimers) and Hammered Dulcimer, too.

Remember, Members have ALL the access to ALL the lessons ALL the time!

 

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Is the Mixolydian Mode a Major Mode?

Is the Mixolydian Mode a Major Mode?

by Steve Eulberg

Dan Evans, English-dulcimer.com, recently explored this question from his own experience, and posed the question to (3) other professional musicians/scholars of his acquaintance and shared their responses and his conclusions in his blog.

Dan is both a fingerstyle guitarist and a fingerstyle mountain dulcimer player.

Dan plays a standard mountain dulcimer with no 6+ fret.

As you can see here, this is an important question because his instruments do not have a 6+ fret. The only way for him to play the “major” (Ionian Mode) scale is to play between 3-10 on the melody string. When he starts at “0” and plays to “7”, he’ll hear the Mixolydian Mode (which has a flatted 7th step.) Sometimes this note is called the “Old Joe Clark” note because that tune requires that interval and note.

As Dan concludes, the binary, either-or, categories of Major or Minor simply are NOT descriptive enough when talking about songs, scales, modes or music. We must have (or “get to have”) a broader frame of reference in order to experience the music we love to play in its delicious complexity and beauty.

Click on the links above to read Dan’s blog post and then let us know what YOU think.

 

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New Class for Premium Members in 2020

New Class for Premium Members in 2020

Christmas is coming, and you’re probably thinking about what to buy your children for Christmas. What about a mountain dulcimer? If you’ve already gotten everyone a dulcimer, what about a 6 month membership to Dulcimer Crossing? It’s time to start thinking about these things, since it’s almost that time of year again!

Or you might gift yourself with a membership. 

Dulcimer Crossing will be offering something new for our Premium Members in 2020.

We’ll begin with a 4-week special course taught by Erin Mae and Steve Eulberg on Thursdays.

These will be hour-long, live, interactive sessions beginning at 4 pm PDT | 5 pm MDT | 6 pm CDT | 7 pm EDT on January 2, 16, 30 and February 13.

Then we’re lining up other teachers to offer a once-a-month live lessons after that group of lessons ends. This will be a special benefit for our Premium Members. (Sign up for Premium Membership now and you’ll get to have all the benefits immediately!)

Start planning now to attend. You will find this to be an easy way to follow through on that New Year Commitment to practice more in a regular and scheduled way. 

 

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Higgedy Jig for Hammered Dulcimer

Higgedy Jig for Hammered Dulcimer

by Steve Eulberg

We are excited to announce a new Hammered Dulcimer lesson for our subscribers: Higgedy Jig

Steve Eulberg demonstrates this tune and introduces this lesson series.

A fun jig, this tune was composed by Steve’s fiddling buddy, Vi Wickam for his 2012 Fiddle Tune A Day video series. Here he plays the tune for Day 181.

Vi plays his new tune for Fiddle Tune a Day in 2012.

Together Steve and Vi are Fiddle Whamdiddle. They have released two recordings Old School Old Time in 2012 and Not My Monkey in 2017.

Remember DulcimerCrossing Subscribers have full access to ALL the lessons ALL the time! Sign up today.

 

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New Lesson: Cold Winter Night

New Lesson: Cold Winter Night

by Steve Eulberg

Bill Robinson, one of our hammered dulcimer instructors on DulcimerCrossing.com, introduces his original tune, Cold Winter Night, composed during the cold winter of 2014 in his Illinois home.

Bill teaches this tune in a new lesson series released in August aimed at Intermediate Level players.

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing.com and you can have access to ALL the lessons in this and every other series, too!

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2019 in hammered dulcimer, lessons

 

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Say NO to Boring

Say NO to Boring

by Linda Ratcliff

Are you bored of being bored, because being bored is BORING?

Say NO To Boring
 

Have you ever been to a jam session and wondered how many times they’re going to repeat the same tune?

Have you ever gone to the nursing home to share your music, and watched your audience nodding off to sleep – bored by your performance?

Just as “gorgeous” is the ultimate compliment for a woman, “boring” is the most dreaded description of a performance a musician can hear.

So let’s say “NO” to boring, and spice up our playing with variations and ornamentations.

When playing a tune, try to think outside the box to create something that’s all yours and totally fresh.  As a matter of fact, why don’t you just throw away the box? Keep your audience (and yourself) on their toes. If you’re playing through the tune three times, don’t feed them the same arrangement each time.

Here’s some suggestions on how to do this.

  • Play the melody an octave higher.
  • Play the melody an octave lower.
  • Change up the rhythm.  Add syncopation.
  • For one verse, change the melody to a minor key if it was written in a major key. Or turn the minor key melody into a major key melody.
  • Add chords, instead of just playing the melody line alone.
  • Add a drone. On the hammered dulcimer, this can be a high octave drone, a low octave drone, or a 5th drone.
  • Play chords as arpeggios, especially where there is a half or whole note.
  • Listen to fiddlers playing the tune on YouTube. Note how they go over-under-and around the melody line. See if you can duplicate that sound.
  • If you know it, use it. Take a trick you learned for another tune and apply it to the song you’re arranging.

Challenge yourself to turn a well-known song into something completely different that represents your own musical influences and tastes better. At Dulcimer Crossing, we offer two lessons for our hammered dulcimer players on how to arrange and embellish a tune.

Keep in mind, if you’re playing with others … play WITH the others. Don’t use any variations you created that might clash with what the group is doing. Save those ideas for when you’re playing solo.

And here’s one final piece of advice. Arranging should be fun, so don’t get bogged down with trying to make your arrangement too difficult. Stretch your abilities so you will grow technically, but also know your limits and play within them. 

 

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Something Else New! Sarah Armstrong

Something Else New! Sarah Armstrong

by Linda Ratcliff

The key to success is so simple … just practice and then practice some more.

We have another new lesson ready for you this week – this time for our hammered dulcimer players. The tune is known by the name of the person who played it, Sarah Armstrong.

Sarah Gray Armstrong (3/18/1883 – 8/12/1957) was a well-known fiddle player in Pennsylvania. She began playing the fiddle when she was five, and learned most of her tunes from her uncle and father who were also accomplished musicians.

Here is the last video in this lesson series, with Steve Eulberg playing it up to speed with ornamentations.

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing and you’ll have access to the whole series!