Across many Christian worship traditions, tunes from Welsh composers are favorites. The Ash Grove comes to mind, but from my survey, when researching and writing my book Dulcimer-Friendly Worship, Vol 1: the season of Advent, the tune that won the popularity contest of being the setting for so many hymns in so many ecumenical traditions is HYRFRYDOL by Rowland Prichard.
We are excited that our instructor, Karen Mueller, has provided us with both a strummed AND a fingerpicked lesson for our students. Watch as she introduces this tune and the lesson series:
This tune also appears on Steve’s Hark, the Glad Sound! recording which you can listen to here. (The 2nd tune in the Medley on track #12)
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If you want to play your Appalachian mountain dulcimer in the old traditional style, you will use a noter on the melody string(s), leaving the other 2 strings open to create a drone sound. We have developed several lessons that use a “noter,” so we decided to add a new separate category for these at Dulcimer Crossing: Traditional Noter Style.
If you have never used a noter, you should start with our introduction to the Traditional Noter Style here. In this series of 14 videos, Steve introduces the traditional noter/drone style of playing, shows us some of the tools (noters) that he uses, and explains how to use the noter with different tunings.
Here is the complete list of the lessons lessons we offer that use a noter.
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.
Vi Wickam has provided us with a new lesson on DulcimerCrossing.com for the Fiddle Series. He and Steve play the tune at the Swingfingers studio above while recording for their duo, Fiddle Whamdiddle’s debut CD Old School Old-Time
Cold Frosty Morning is a wonderful old tune in a minor mode. Take a look at Vi’s Demonstration here.
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We see the trophies, not the sweat. We see the diplomas, not the years of study and homework. We see outstanding performances, not the hours and hours of practice.
by Linda Ratcliff
The Iceberg Illusion I came across this illustration and it really resonated in my heart. There is this glamour around success that seems to appear when you have “made it.” Although I work behind the scenes – writing newsletters, uploading lessons, and answering student inquiries, the rest of our Dulcimer Crossing teachers are “out there” in the public eye – teaching workshops, leading jams at festivals, or performing in concerts. We all look up to them, admire their skill, and dream of the day we can play as well as they do.
Our teachers performing at the Colorado Dulcimer Festival The iceberg illusion would have you believe our teachers never went through failure, never struggled, never felt discouraged. They seem to play with ease, flying through sections of tunes we STILL haven’t mastered at top speed. And they appear to be totally relaxed, not at all nervous, actually very comfortable when playing in front of a crowd.
How do they do that???
The truth is, their success has probably only come after challenges, days of discouragement, and even failures. They have learned the hard way that there are no short cuts, and there is no such thing as an overnight success. Our teachers have spent years developing their skills, practicing for hours, staying up nights developing material for workshops or private lessons. They have put in a lot of time and hard work, with dedication and self-discipline. This is the glue that holds it all together.
If you’re struggling, feeling discouraged, perhaps thinking you’re never going to succeed in playing through a tune without mistakes, don’t give up. Think of the iceberg! And keep building your repertoire – one tune at a time.