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Busted & Rusted

Busted & Rusted

by Linda Ratcliff

Practice will clean up the rust and put the shine back in your playing.
– Linda Ratcliff


Busted & Rusted

Call me old-fashioned, but I love old things with a bit of rust on them. Sometimes we wander into antique stores, and I always gravitate to the instrument section. I wonder about who owned the instruments, how they ended up in the store in such bad condition, and whether or not I could restore one of them.

Some of you may recognize the guitar below – its name is Trigger and it belongs to Willie Nelson. The frets are so worn it’s a wonder any tone emerges at all. The face is covered in scars, cuts, and autographs scraped into the wood. Next to the bridge is a giant hole that looks like someone took a hammer to it.

 

Is restoration possible? I don’t think Willie would want to. When asked about his guitar, Willie said, “Trigger’s like me, old and beat-up.” Willie knows every square centimeter of Trigger, and even though Willie has had carpal tunnel surgery on his left hand, a torn rotator cuff, and a ruptured bicep – he still plays like a pro. Trigger may be old and busted, but Willie’s musical skills have not rusted.

What about yours? Have you set your dulcimer aside, to grow old all by itself in the corner? Instead of giving it the cold shoulder, you should pick up your instrument and start practicing again. I think about 90% of playing an instrument is mental – you just need to get your fingers moving again. You will be able work the rust out and put the shine back in your playing – sooner than you imagine.


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

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing.com to get access to all of the lessons, from the convenience of your own computer or tablet in the comfort of your own home at the time of your choosing!

 

Don’t Take It Personally

Don’t Take It Personally

by Linda Ratcliff

Don’t let compliments go to your head, and don’t let criticism go to your heart.


 

In today’s culture, people feel free to say whatever is on their mind, whether it will hurt someone’s feelings or not.  If you ever get negative feedback about your dulcimer playing, it can feel like a personal attack. Sometimes it’s very hard for musicians to separate themselves from their work. (And yes, you ARE a musician.  It hurts because we put our heart and soul into our music, no matter if we are beginners or quite advanced.

Get Some Distance.            

The last thing you need to do is keep rehashing the criticism over and over in your mind.  

If you find yourself feeling hurt by something said, just put it out of your mind. Don’t let words drag you down, or make you quit playing. Shake it off.
Learn From It.                  

Once the sting has worn off, ask yourself if there is anything you can learn from this critique. Maybe there is an area of your practicing that you have been neglecting, that you should be working on. Proverbs 28:23 (NLT) says “In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.”

Look To Your Idols.

Go ahead, pull up YouTube and find your favorite artist (can be ANY genre). Now scroll through the comments. Yikes, did you find any nasty remarks? Every musician faces criticism at some  point.

Brush It Off.

Don’t let cruel words have power over you and your state of mind.  You never know what people are going through personally.  Maybe they just had a rough day.

You Can’t Please Everyone.

Guess what!  Even JESUS couldn’t please everyone.  But He never let that slow Him down.  Don’t let anyone steal your joy in playing.  Just keep on keepin’ on … and you’ll do just fine.  

 If you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing.com to get access to all of the lessons, from the convenience of your own computer or tablet in the comfort of your own home at the time of your choosing!

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2017 in lessons, subscriber news

 

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Squire Parsons new Hammered Dulcimer Lesson by Linda Thomas

Squire Parsons new Hammered Dulcimer Lesson by Linda Thomas

Linda Thomas has provided us with a new lessons series for hammered dulcimer players featuring a tune by the blind Irish harper, Turlough O’CarolanSquire Parsons.

Linda’s introduction and demonstration video is above.

Subscribe to DulcimerCrossing in order to have access to all (15) fifteen videos in this lesson set.

 

Introducing New Fiddle Instructor

Introducing New Fiddle Instructor

by Steve Eulberg & Linda Ratcliff

DulcimerCrossing is pleased to introduce our newest instructor: Vi Wickam  (Learn more about Vi on the Teacher’s Page or click on the video below:

ViIntoCover

Vi Wickam is a 3rd generation fiddler from Colorado. He has finished in the finals at the Grand Master Fiddling Championship and has also taught there. Together with Steve Eulberg, he is the other half of the band, Fiddle Whamdiddle. He is also the host and owner of mytalentforge.com which features in-depth fiddle lessons, guitar (and some dulcimer lessons by Steve.) Click HERE to see Vi’s introductory video.

Vi is starting off by teaching several of the fiddle tunes that were recorded on the Old School Old-Times albumn by Fiddle Whamdiddle.
Fiddle Whamdiddle
Are you saying, “I know what a fiddle is but what is a whamdiddle?”  The whamdiddle is a slang name for the hammered dulcimer; “hog fiddle” is a slang name for the mountain dulcimer, both are traditional American folk instruments.  Together with the fiddle they make for a porch-picking, knee-slapping good time.

 

To purchase the CD only

To purchase the Book

To purchase the Downloadable Book & CD Combo
Here is the list of the fiddle lessons uploaded so far.

 

 

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Tuning Hack for Scroll-Headed Dulcimer

Tuning Hack for Scroll-Headed Dulcimer

by Steve Eulberg

The Snark™ tuner is very popular with mountain dulcimer players, for good reason.  It is quick, accessible, accurate and it’s display is very readable.

(This is not an insignificant feature as those of us who continue gathering service stripes in the playing of our dulcimers experience with eyesight that gets weary over time!)

IMG_2445And the handy clip-on feature works very well with flathead mountain dulcimers.

However, players of instruments with the traditional scroll have sometimes struggled with how to attach the tuning clip to the dulcimer so that it can “read” the vibrations and convert them into electricity which then displays how close our vibrating strings are to the desired pitch.

Therefore, when one of my students whose dulcimer has a beautiful, traditional scrollhead showed up for her lesson displaying the tuning hack here, I was delighted and decided I needed to share it right away!

IMG_2444By using her capo on the scroll, she had a location on which to clip her tuner that picked up the vibrations directly and accurately!

She clipped on tuned up and was ready for her lesson in no time!

(This is all the more important, because dulcimers players have taken and adhere to the dulcimer pledge which commits them to the joys of playing their instruments in many different tunings!)

 

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My Grass Is Blue

My Grass Is Blue
by Linda Ratcliff
Steve is introducing a new series of lessons at Dulcimer Crossing –
I’ve gone camping to attend bluegrass festivals, and in the evening – all the musicians like to gather around the campfire and jam.  
But, I have to be honest, my hammered dulcimer has been less than welcome at jams.  
People look at me with suspicion until they’ve heard my backup style.  In this series of lessons,
Steve demonstrates how dulcimer players can fit right in with bluegrass jammers – by learning to play chop chords like a mandolin player.

My favorite part of this lesson comes when Steve teaches  (Read More)

Join DulcimerCrossing today and have access to the 20 video lessons in the first part of this ongoing series!

 

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Take More Risks

Take More Risks

by Linda Ratcliff

The biggest risk a person can take is to not take one at all.


Take More Risks

The great thing about New Year’s resolutions is that you can set new goals to improve yourself. That being said – this year, why don’t you take more risks with your dulcimer playing. Here are just a few ideas.
  • Learn to play new tunes.
  • Try picking out a tune by ear, instead of relying on your tablature.
  • Take a song you already know, and make it your own with a new arrangement.
  • Practice with a different tuning on your mountain dulcimer.
  • Better yet, buy a second mountain dulcimer, so you can keep one in each tuning.
  • Learn a new style of music on your dulcimer, like the “Blues” or “Bluegrass.”
  • Play your first solo in front of friends.
  • Play your first solo in front of strangers.
  • Go to an out-of-town weekend dulcimer festival, and meet other dulcimer players.
  • Sign up for private dulcimer lessons. If there’s not a teacher in your area, you can always Skype with one of our instructors.
  • Most important of all … have fun with your dulcimer.

You have an entire year – go for it!

If you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda

Bridging the Gap Between What You Know … And Where You Want Your Music to Go

GO FOR IT!  JOIN DULCIMERCROSSING.COM

Featured Image from:

http://alidavies.com/taking-risks-essential-part-success/

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in lessons, subscriber news

 

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