Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

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Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Aussie70 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:26 pm

Hi, have been working through book “First Lessons Dulcimer” by Joyce Ochs. I should say slowly working through.
Can you recommend for me a lesson book that I can use to take me further. Remembering total beginner and 70 with no musical experience at all...this has been a challenge to get this far.
No chance of lessons I’m afraid...I am in Australia plus in the country...even if I was to find someone.
I have accessed many videos which I find useful, but would like a book with perhaps on line audio.
Any suggestions will be appreciated. I don’t mind going back to the start if advice is so.
Will be in States in two weeks. Yeah! Hopefully buying 2nd dulcimer whilst there to leave till next visit and for my grandchildren.
Thanks
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Judy K » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:28 am

Aussie, I also used the Joyce Ochs book and felt it was great for beginners in DAd. What I did next was not lessons but just finding tab books with music that I liked, usually including at least one that was above my skill level. Shelley Stevens has a series of "Baker's Dozen" tab books that are good for chord/melody playing. She also has free tab on her website. (The link is just to the tab books; more is available on the main page.) For my more challenging books (as a beginner), I picked Larry Conger's Hymns of Faith and Christmas Duets for the Mountain Dulcimer, both written basically in DAd in a flat-pick style of chord/melody. Just learning to play songs that I love in the style I find most interesting worked for me. Lessons are hard to find in my area, too.

If you tell us what particular style of music (genre, playing style, etc.) you want, someone can probably point you in the right direction. Sorry I don't have any idea about teaching books ... old-fashioned hymns, Christmas and Celtic music are my main loves.

A warning, although I've been playing since November, 2006, I don't claim to be a great player -- just enough to please myself, the family and friends -- so take my advice with a grain (or two) of salt. :-)
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby dholeton » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:30 am

Aussie
You can browse through the Tablature section here on Everything Dulcimer and if a Tab file has a "LISTEN" icon, clicking the icon will provide a midi or mp3 sound clip of the tune. If I hear a tune, I can decide if I want to learn to play it and also learn while playing along with it. For example, check out Steve Smith's "Barbra Allen".

Also, Madeline McNeil has a book "You Can Teach Yourself Dulcimer". It comes with a CD and has many of the tunes that are played by dulcimer players.

https://www.melbay.com/Products/94304EB/you-can-teach-yourself-dulcimer.aspx

Best of Luck learning to playing and acquiring more dulcimers.
Dave
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Aussie70 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:38 am

Apologies for non response. I have opted for Madeline McNeill’s book. Purchased whilst in the States. I have found there is far more substance to the book. DAAA instead of DADD for a start. I like the strumming exercises and the guidance with fingering. Have left my June Apple dulcimer purchased from Carl with my daughter in Maryland. This gives me an opportunity to practice when with her. With regards to the “listen” icon I have not been able to get to play...as yet have not followed up to see why. I have however printed a few songs which I have a go at for a change.
Thank you both for your replies.
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby DulciBob81 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:25 pm

There are quite a few books out there to choose from. And much of it, from what I've looked at, seems to contain both dad and daa info. Some I have that I like are "Dulcimer Method" and "Dulcimer Chord Book" both by Neal Hellman and "Mel Bay's Complete Dulcimer Handbook" by Mark Biggs. Also, Larkin's Dulcimer Book is a favorite for many.
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Aussie70 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:52 am

I can understand how we can benefit from different books. I’m enjoying my latest...just need good eyesight to read tiny numbers....ah age!
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby KenH » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:15 am

Some of my musician friends are putting their Tab on their tablet computers where they can manipulate text size. Works great even for performances -- there are tablet clips that hold them to the microphone stand!
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby HD-Luers » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:56 pm

Hand's On Dulcimer and the Chord Enclyopedia have helped me greatly in the learning process. Really just picking a song I liked and meant something to me and then diving head first did more than anything. Red Wing for my 3rd song was a bit much but very happy I just finished it all together and up to speed. Let your wings stretch. Go beyond your comfort zone. Sure you can get another book. Always an advocate for learning more. However, My suggestion, simply find a song ya really like and break it down into small chunks. Keep at it. Things along the way during the song you won't know how to do perhaps. Go to your book(s) or online. Because you like the song it's motivation to learn it. Most importantly have fun playing your dulcimer!
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Aussie70 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:47 am

Thank you all. I’m certainly getting somewhere..slowly!
My main concern is the acceptability or not of the clacky sound when using pick. My ear hears it as loud...my husband says OK...but he has very poor hearing so I don’t put a lot of trust in that!
I’ve tried many picks...going between them all...revert back to finger nail. Trying to strum also with my thumb.
BUT...I am enjoying!
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby philips » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:21 am

Aussie, here's a great strumming technique that will get rid of all the clicks and extra sounds.

Firstly, don't use a flat pick or anything at all to pick with. Just use your fingers and thumb, but in a 'special' way. For outward strums just use the entire nails of your 2 longest fingers (the 2 middle fingers), and for inward strums just glide across the stings with your entire thumbnail. You don't need long nails to do this, short nails work perfectly.

If you've never does this technique before it'll take maybe a hour or so to get used to it. It's very efficient, can give great volume, can provide good variety when you get proficient at mixing outward and inward strums, gives you lots of speed and is close to 100% noise free especially if you strum mostly over the strum hollow. You just flick those fingers out on the outward strums and flick your thumb back towards your body on the inward strums.

It's no good for plucking individual strings though. That requires finger picking techniques or flat picking techniques.
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby KenH » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:09 am

There's nothing wrong with pick click. It's louder for your than your listeners. But you don't have to put up with it either. Pick click usually comes from two things: how tightly you hold the pick, and the angle of the pick to the strings.

You only want a little bit of pick sticking out between your fingers -- less than half an inch usually.

You DO NOT want the pick so rigidly held that it is 90 degrees to the plane of the strings. Rotate your pick hand at the wrist so that the pick attacks the strings at a flatter angle, both coming and going. Like this / and this \ but even flatter. Not like this | When you rigidly hold the pick vertical you get the click...click...click as the pick snaps from one string to another. If you rotate your hand so that the pick slides from string to string, you don't get the harsh click...click...

If you're old enough, you may remember using a clothespin to attach a playing card to your bicycle so that it "clattered" in the spokes as the wheel turned. To get the best clatter the card was set at right angles to the spokes. Flatter angles gave more of a purrr sound than a clatter.
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Re: Where to after....First Lessons ... Joyce Ochs

Postby Aussie70 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:14 pm

Gawd you guys are good! Thank you! Indeed I do remember the card on the bike...
Will review what doing with pick etc...plus nail..have been using index finger
Have printed out more songs from tablature and have surprised myself. Fingers actually starting to go to frets without looking. Couple stretches bit hard...small hand, short fingers plus bit of age and arthritis. (Even when younger had difficulty finding natural grip on hand guns...yep did have them..could only just get index finger inside trigger guard...but I was a pretty mean shot at targets....all in the past now)
Currently using DAA. I’m assuming transition between tunings not an issue? Once know what doing?
Again thanks
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