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.
and comfort for the picking hand (demonstrated by the right) … while the fingering hand (demonstrated by the left) moves in a predictable pattern between chords.
We will be using Beethoven’s familiar Ode to Joy as our Theme.
It is said that it takes 21 days to ingrain a new habit, and there are 30 days in the month of April.
We’ll EMBED this habit for good in 30!
What do you get?
(32) different Fingerstyle Exercises Demonstrated in a Video, with a pdf handout, and an Audio demonstration tracks, each delivered every day.
At the end of the class you get an interactive PDF Workbook with all of the Class Materials, a zip file of all the audio files and access to the video archive.
You have all of the exercises, because of your daily practice, wired into your hands, ready to play any song that you decide to play.
How do you access these lessons?
There is a new lesson posted in the Patron Feed on Patreon for your special tier of sponsorship AND Daily delivery to your inbox.
Once a week Zoom Webinars (Sundays 4/7, 4/14, [SATURDAY 4/20 at 2-3 pm PDT] and 4/28 from 1 -2 pm PDT) You can record these on your computer for future reference.
Email consultation–ask the questions which arise. I’ll get back to you with responses as soon as I can.
Upload your video for comment and guidance
Continue your New Year’s Resolution and use this class to keep it!
Is this Class for me?
It IS for if you are frustrated with your stop-and-start, or 1-step-forward, 2-steps-back “progress.”
It IS for you if you are ready to dedicate 10-20 minutes a day, EACH day in April, to develop the skills that have been eluding you.
There is a Limit of 25 Students so that I can give each student the attention they need and deserve.
It is only offered in April, so the successful student will be able to dedicate the time and attention to invest in their fingering skill development for just ONE MONTH, with results that continue for years. There is a Limit of 25 Students so that I can give each student the attention they need and deserve.
We are excited to announce that we have a new Fiddle Lesson posted on DulcimerCrossing.com. The 8th of January is a tune that was written to celebrate and commemorate Andrew Jackson’s victory over the British in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
This tune appears on Steve & Vi’s Fiddle Whamdiddle recording Not My Monkey. (The mountain dulcimer lesson is on the production list for recording.)
In the 1936 Jimmy Driftwood was teaching high school in the Ozark mountains of his home state of Arkansas and he wrote lyrics and set them to this tune in order to interest his students in learning history. The Battle of New Orleans won the 1960 Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
Jimmy Driftwood’s commercial success helped to bring resources to the northeast corner of the state of Arkansas and established the Ozark Folk Center with its Ozark Opry Stage in Mountain View, AR. (Steve has performed on that stage and taught for several festivals there.)
Watch Vi’s introduction above and subscribe to DulcimerCrossing.com to have access to all of the episodes in this lesson set.
A New Year is like a blank book, and your dulcimer is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself.
By Linda Ratcliff
New Year’s Resolutions for Dulcimerists The New Year is coming up in just a few days, and now is the perfect time to make some musical resolutions! As usual, I’ve made a list of resolutions that are fun, and they will support any practical music goals you’ve set for yourself.
Establish a regular practice time. It’s not as easy as it sounds to get into a regular routine. Too often, life gets in the way and practice falls on the back burner. But try to find a window of time you can dedicate to practice.
Expand your practice time by just a little. If you normally practice about 20 minutes, try playing for 30 minutes. If you play for 30 minutes, consider playing for 45 minutes. You will see very steady growth in your skills.
Start taking lessons, or start AGAIN. There are so many benefits to having a music teacher, If you feel like you’ve come to a dead end, gone about as far as you can go, find a teacher in your area or join Dulcimer Crossing for online lessons.
Explore new repertoire. We all have a few favorites when it comes to music genres. But if you always play pieces that sound the same, it can slow down your progress. Step outside the box. Try learning to play the blues, classical music, or bluegrass.
Play more with others. Jamming with a small group of peers gives you extra practice. In addition, you will probably get some valuable feedback – especially if there are sections that are tripping you up.
NO MORE SELF-JUDGMENT! Your fear of making mistakes is holding you back. Connect with your music, and don’t worry about who might be listening.
The sky is the limit when it comes to learning to play your dulcimer. Whatever resolutions you decide to make, the hardest part will be sticking to them. We believe in you! Happy resolution making, and Happy New Year!
This fall I decided that I wanted to put together some one-month class offerings that would let people take a single class with daily lessons to work on a specific skill, figuring that if it takes 21 days to set a habit, in 31 days we galvanize it!
So, today I launched my first class: 31 Days to Fingerstyle Mastery (this focuses on 6-String Guitar, but the same principles apply to any plucked, stringed instrument. I have already begun putting together the plans and resources for a mountain dulcimer class along these lines, so keep you eyes peeled for that.
If you are like many of us who play many instruments and have always wanted to play Fingerstyle Guitar, there is still time for you to join the class. Click here for all the information. It is not too late for you to join (But all the back-row seats are taken, don’t you know?!)