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Category Archives: mountain dulcimer

posts that are designed specifically for mountain dulcimer players

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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Chicken Reel New Lesson

Chicken Reel New Lesson

Larry Conger teaches a new mountain dulcimer lesson series on DulcimerCrossing.com

(I can’t hear this tune without also hearing the memory of the cartoon character, Foghorn Leghorn’s voice saying, “boy, I say boy, ya BOTHer me!”)

Here is a demo of Larry playing the tune.

This fun tune makes use of hammer-ons and pull-offs and is a delight for both performers and listeners!

Subscribe and have access to the whole lesson series and learn Larry’s tricks and tips!

 

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Historic Dulcimers in England

Historic Dulcimers in England

by Steve Eulberg

I was honored to be the American mountain dulcimer tutor for the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club’s Fall Festival in Malvern, England last month.

Thanks to Geoff Reeve-Black, I was also able to see some historic mountain dulcimers from his collection that I am pleased to show to you here:

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This one was built by Edd Presnell from North Carolina.  Some people find the traditional wooden tuning pegs to be a challenge (and a chore!) but these operated smoothly, AND accurately, even though I was coaxing the instrument into a couple of different tunings.

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The second instrument was built by Sam Carrell of Tennessee.   Like the Presnell dulcimer, this one also had friction pegs, but has the classic “fiddle” shape that Mike Clemmer also builds with in Townsend, Tennessee.  Like Mike’s, this one is also built to be strung as a 5-string instrument, but Geoff had it set up as a 4 equi-distant string instrument.

As I took the photo of Geoff, holding the Presnell dulcimer above, he quipped:  “Ah, a photo of two fossils.”

That makes me one grateful dulcimer paleontologist for sure!

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And here is a view of our multi-instrument jam in the Lawnside Room on the first night!  (This was just a harbinger of all the good music shared throughout the weekend.)

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And this photo is the clear evidence that this dulcimer festival was taking place in England.  Where tea (and coffee) were served twice a day, and after tea-time, the bar opened for the rest of the evening, throughout dinner and the evening jam session.

 

 

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Habits Announcement (Ends 9/30/18)

Habits Announcement (Ends 9/30/18)

“Hi, this is Steve Eulberg with another Habit for Your….

….well, it’s not exactly a Habit, it’s an announcement:

For people who are developing their Habits for a Healthy Music Habitat.

My patrons, on Patreon, have been able to support me so that I can finish this collection in a digitized fashion. Southern Harmony shape-note tunes arranged for Mountain Dulcimer Trios.

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And what I’m excited about is they were able to do that, and THAT let’s me get to work on the NEXT one, which is shape-note Fuguing tunes, from the Sacred Harp collection.

As a way of just thanking patrons and inviting YOU to be one of those patrons also, I want to give you a chance to get your name into the THANK-YOU PAGE of the digital book!
Of THIS one…AND…the NEXT ONE.

This is a special offer that only lasts until the end of September and I want YOU to have the chance to get in on it.

Patrons are also what help to support the creation of the Habits videos [for Your Healthy Music Habitat] and regular emails. [Habits from the Muse]

So, thank you for listening, for watching, for commenting, for suggesting ideas, and thank-you for your support.”

patreon.com/steveeulberg to sign up!

 

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How do I stay Logged In?

How do I stay Logged In?

by Steve Eulberg

At DulcimerCrossing.com we have several FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to provide a self-service way to gain and retain access to all of the lessons we have filmed and edited for you.

One of the most often-asked questions is “How do I move from lesson to lesson without ending up outside of the site?”

The video below explains how to do this for all instruments for both Basic (yellow) and Premium (blue) memberships.

We encourage you to visit the FAQ Page to watch the other videos, too.  (They are all succinct…we value your time as you do.)

If you have other questions that you don’t see answered here, or you have suggestions to offer, or lessons that you would like to see, please contact me or Linda.

 

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Baritone: New Lesson Series

Baritone: New Lesson Series

by Steve Eulberg

The Baritone Mountain Dulcimer, tuned A-E-a, lower than the standard, adds a rich voice to the tonal range of dulcimer playing.

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I won my Baritone in 1998 at the Walnut Valley Festival and it began my journey to explore how this instrument, tuned in a familiar way (1-5-8) could play with others when it sounds so different.

This brand new lesson series, Introduction to the Mountain Dulcimer has just been added to DulcimerCrossing.com.  I am excited to be joined by my duo partner Erin Mae Lewis for this series.

Click on the video to watch in the introduction.

Become a subscriber and have access to ALL the lessons in this new series!

 
 

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Face Your Fears (at home!)

Face Your Fears (at home!)

by Linda Ratcliff

Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it.
That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to CONQUER fear.
– Dale Carnegie

Face Your Fears (at home)!

 

It will surely happen eventually if you attend jam sessions.  The lead will go all the way around the circle and finally, to your dismay, it will be your turn.  You try to laugh it off and pass the lead on to the next person in the row, but the others won’t hear of it.  They are insisting.  It is your turn to take the lead and they want you to get started.

Even though you aren’t literally on a stage, you are immediately struck with stage fright. Your mind goes blank and you can’t even think of a tune you know. Your heart is racing, your mouth is dry, your voice is shaky, and you are blushing, trembling, and sweating all at the same time. As a matter of fact, you think you might just pass out.

To overcome your fear of leading a tune at a jam, I recommend that you practice for that moment. At home … alone. And you say, “How on earth is that going to help? There’s no pressure at home, and no consequences for mistakes. If I mess up, I can just start over again.”

Well, what if we created some consequences for errors at home too? Now, I’m not suggesting you be locked in the closet for an hour every time you play a wrong note. But there are things you can do to increase the level of tension at home, and that will get you more accustomed to playing under pressure. This process won’t eliminate mistakes you might make because you don’t know the piece well enough. But it will reduce errors you make simply because you are so nervous.

Here are suggestions that may sound silly, but I promise – they will work.

    • Play a game called “Almost Home.” Make a little game-board on a piece of paper with 4 to 8 boxes.  Name the first box “Start” and the last box “Home.” Then divide your tune into 4 to 8 phrases, matching your game-board.

      When you play through the 1st phrase perfectly, advance a coin one box. Now play phrases 1 and 2 together. If you make a mistake, you move the coin back to square ONE and start over. But if you play those two phrases perfectly, advance the coin one box, and try to play the first 3 phrases in a row … advancing the coin one box each time you succeed, but back to “Start” each time you fail. The closer you get to “Home,” the more the tension will build as you try to play the entire tune correctly and move the coin to the last box at “Home.” 

    • Set your iPad or cell phone up to make a video of yourself playing the tune you would play at a jam.  Pretend this is a video that is going to be on YouTube for 1,000’s to see.
    • Practice with and in front of another dulcimer player or family member.Play tic tac toe with that person, but you can only make a mark on the tic tac toe board if you play a section perfectly. Otherwise you miss your turn, and the opponent can fill in another box.
    • Fake it ’til you make it. Have you ever seen someone’s face when they’ve made a mistake? Even if your ear didn’t catch the wrong note, you know something happened by the horrified face. Practice playing all the way through, even if you make mistakes, but don’t flinch. Make a video of yourself to be sure you’ve succeeded.
  • Practice in the dark. One thing that often throws me off is, when the lighting is different from what I’m used to at home, I can’t see my strings. Get used to playing without having to visually monitor every move. Teach yourself muscle memory.

Well, that’s about all the ideas I can think of. Do you have any suggestions? 

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