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News for dulcimercrossing subscribers

Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude for dulcimer!

Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude for dulcimer!

by Steve Eulberg

I’ve always been drawn to this lovely prelude by Frederic Chopin, and being able to arrange it and play it on mountain dulcimer feels awesome!

I have been been hard at work filming and editing this lesson for mountain dulcimer players on DulcimerCrossing and am delighted to report that it is finally ready!

Chopin wrote this piece in the key of Dflat, and I am playing it in that key, tuning everything 1/2 step lower to Db-Ab-db, but the musical score is written in the more familiar key of D (D-A-d tuning).

This piece requires the use of the 1+ or 1-1/2 fret for the C Part, and a couple of bent notes.

As always, you can access all of the lessons in this series by subscribing to DulcimerCrossing here.

 

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Blue Water Thinking

Blue Water Thinking

by Linda Ratcliff

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.
– Dorothy Parker


My husband and I moved this week, and we now live in our RV on Watts Bar Lake in Tennessee. We have a beautiful view of the lake, right out our back window. Actually, we’re parked on a peninsula, so we can see water from every window in the RV.

I began to wonder if the change in scenery would have any impact on my creativity, so I did some research. I found an article about how our surroundings impact creative thinking by Professor Juliet Zhu. She says that environmental factors such as color, lighting, and noise can trigger our creative thinking processes and productivity.

 

With regard to color, after in-depth research, Prof. Zhue determined that if a task is detailed and accuracy-orientated, red is more helpful. But when the main task is more creative in nature, blue is better. Her suggestion for sparking creativity is, when there is a creative task to do in your computer, change the background image on your desktop to blue skies. She calls this “Blue Sky Thinking.”

And so … I’m wondering if I apply a “Blue WATER Thinking” approach to my practicing, would there be a similar effect? I’m going to stand in front of the dulcimer with my hammers at attention, look outside at our beautiful view of the blue water, and see what happens. Anyone want to make a prediction?

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

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Original Music on DulcimerCrossing

Original Music on DulcimerCrossing

by Linda Ratcliff

Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.  


Original Tunes by Steve Eulberg

Sometimes we forget to count our blessings.  And one very BIG blessing we have at Dulcimer Crossing is Steve Eulberg.
He is our co-founder, teacher, performing artist, and song-writer.  Several of our lessons feature original tunes by Steve. 

Plus, ALL but 15 of the backing tracks for Premium Members are original tracks.

I think my favorite tune of Steve’s originals is Elk in the Meadow because we have lived with elk right outside our RV.

When we spent the summer in Estes Park, every day the elk would come spend time in the meadow where we were parked and lay down for a nap. Our little dog inside would go crazy with them laying right outside her window. Sometimes the baby elk would peek in the back window to see who was making all that noise.

And now, take a listen to a song Steve wrote called (6 String) Mail Order Bride! My husband and I like to sing every chorus along with him.

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

 

 

 

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Are You Hooked on Dulcimers?

Are You Hooked on Dulcimers?

by Linda Ratcliff

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
– Unknown


Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” So what do you think about the most? What’s close to your heart?  For many of you – it’s all about your dulcimer and dulcimer music, dulcimer events, dulcimer friends, dulcimer accessories. Here’s a little test to check your dulci-meter.

You might be hooked on dulcimers if …

  • When you get in the car, you pop in a dulcimer CD.
  • You have a 10” 3-ring binder full of tabs for your favorite tunes.
  • Before you step out the door, you have pick up your dulcimer and play a minute or two.
  • You get cranky if you can’t find time to play your dulcimer.
  • When friends come over, they have to listen to you play your dulcimer.
  • If your spouse says, “Let’s take a trip,” you google “Dulcimer Festivals.”
  • Every time you go to a dulcimer festival, you buy more dulcimer books, accessories, and CDs.
  • The majority of (all?) your FB friends are people who play the dulcimer and you follow all the dulcimer groups.
  • If you play hammered dulcimer, you have 25 sets of hammers.
  • You’ve watched every single YouTube video with a dulcimer in it.
  • You own a mountain dulcimer, a chromatic dulcimer, a dulci-bro, a bass dulcimer, a courting dulcimer … you get the idea.
 

Now this is just my personal opinion but, as far as addictions go, this isn’t a bad one to have. But that’s because I had to answer “yes” to … well … to be honest … just about every one of those questions. I think Steve would answer “yes” to quite a few as well. What about you?

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

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Rich Chords Part 1 & 2

Rich Chords Part 1 & 2

by Linda Ratcliff & Steve Eulberg

Your life will be richer when you use rich chords. – Steve Eulberg

Recently, we uploaded a new series of lessons about how to play Rich Chords on the hammered dulcimer.

Rich chords are chords that have other notes added to them, in addition to the 3 notes that go with either the major or the minor chords. To set the stage for building rich chords, in this video Steve begins the series by explaining the basis or construction of major and minor chords.

HD Video streaming too slowly? Try the standard definition.As you work your way through Rich Chords Part 1 and Rich Chords Part 2, you will learn to identify and play major 7th chords, dominant 7th chords, 6th chords, minor 7th chords and more.

Toward the end the series, Steve applies everything we’ve learned to the old familiar tune, “You Are My Sunshine.” The arrangement in his final video of the series was my favorite – where he used dominant 7th chords to create a “bluesified” rendition of this well-known song.

As always Members of DulcimerCrossing.com have access to all of the episode in this lesson series.  Join here

 
 

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You Are What You Practice

You Are What You Practice

by Linda Ratcliff

The effort you put into your practice time will either
advance your skills quickly, or drag you down gradually.

– Linda Ratcliff


We’ve all heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” In other words – if you eat fat, you may become fat.  If you frequently indulge in sugar, you run the risk of becoming diabetic.  If you skip your fruit and vegetables, you could become deficient in minerals and vitamins.

In a survey taken in May of 2016, 75% of Americans claimed that they are eating properly.  But when they completed the questionnaire, the truth came out. The fact is, 80% of Americans actually fail to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, and too many Americans overeat refined grains and sugar.

Now let’s apply this to your music. Are you practicing correctly? Or do you figure as long as you are running through your jam tunes at home every now and then, you’ll be ok. I imagine a great percentage of you think your practicing is just fine as is.

But if your system of practicing is to quickly play through each jam tune a time or two, you may not improve as quickly as you would if you focused on what you want to achieve or improve in each song, one by one.

  • Do you need to pick up the tempo?
  • Are you rushing? Do you need to slow it down?
  • Are you too dependent on the tabs? Should you memorize the tune?
  • Are you making too many errors? Should you slow it down to improve accuracy?

If you’re having fun practicing, but making a lot of mistakes, you could significantly improve your playing by considering these questions. Practice intentionally, with a goal in mind for each tune you review.

As always, if you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.
Happy dulcimering,
Linda
 
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Posted by on December 18, 2017 in music theory, subscriber news

 

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Holiday Special at Dulcimer Crossing

Holiday Special at Dulcimer Crossing
Dulcimer Crossing Holiday Special
December 16, 2017 – January 3, 2018

Sign up starting Saturday to claim the discount!

This is also a great Christmas gift idea, for your friend or relative who likes to play the dulcimer.

Click HERE to take advantage of these special prices, before the last day.

 

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in subscriber news