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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2020 in all areas

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    Welcome, glad to have you with us!
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    Welcome to Everything Dulcimer Kevin. You may recall that I welcomed you to FOTMD as well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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    An easy to play classical piece. The Four Seasons - Spring.pdf The Four Seasons - Spring.mid
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    How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 9 The Pentatonic Scale The majority of dulcimer jams that I have attended are usually fast and furious. There are a lot of songs played that you may not be familiar with. Someone calls a song and they start playing immediately Either you know the song by heart or don’t. For the most part, written tab is usually not used at a jam. So what is a person to do? 1. If there is a guitar player at the jam and you can visually recognize the chord changes, you can play backup chords. 2. You can try playing the melody by ear (if the song is played often enough). For whatever reason, songs are usually played three times. OR 3. You might try playing within a pentatonic scale. What is a pentatonic scale? A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave, in contrast to the heptatonic scale, which has seven notes per octave (such as the major scale and minor scale). For our purposes we will use the key of D and the key of G. D Pentatonic Scale: D-E-F#-A-B On the melody and bass string of our dulcimers this equates to the following frets: 0-1-2-4-5 On the middle string of our dulcimers, this equates to the following frets: 0-1-3-4-5 What do these number have to do with playing at a jam? I am glad that you asked. If you don’t know the melody or don’t know the chords, you can play any of the notes within the pentatonic scale for that key and it will usually sound OK. You won’t be playing the melody; however, it will let you participate in the jam. The song itself does not have to be within the pentatonic scale; however, many songs have been written that fall within that category. The following list contains some songs that are pentatonic: A La Claire Fontaine (French Canadian ) Amazing Grace Auld Lang Syne (Scottish) Cotton-eyed Joe Derby Ram, The Git along little dogies (trad cowboy) Go Tell It On the Mountain How Can I Keep From Singing Land of the silver birch (Canadian) Loch Lomond Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (spiritual) “Old Chinese Song” by Marcel Grandjany (based on Chinese trad. tune) Old gray mare, The Old MacDonald Rain, Rain, Go A Way Ring-A-Round The Rosie Sakura (Cherry Blooms, Japanese) Skye Boat Song Sukiyaki Swing Low, Sweet Chariot The Cherry Tree Carol They Stole My Wife Last Night (Scottish pipe tune) Wha wadna fight for Charlie? Wayfaring Stranger Ye Banks and Braes …. plus numerous other spirituals, Scottish pipe tunes, Japanese and Chinese songs, etc. Give it a try! It will let you participate in a jam and will help you become a better dulcimer player.
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    How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 7 Guitar Chord Shapes Do you ever feel left out at some dulcimer jams when you didn’t know the song? You could play backup chords if you knew them and knew when to play them. If you are fortunate enough to have a guitar player at your jam, your problem is solved. You have probably heard at some point in your dulcimer career “to watch the guitar player for the chord changes”. That is all well and good; however, you first have to know what the guitar chord shapes look like. I have attached four PDF files showing the major chords for the Key of D (D-G-A) and for the key of G (G-C-D). Yes, there are more chords within each key. Learn the other chords if you want to. The three basic chords for each key will let you play your dulcimer in that jam.   . Learning these guitar chord shapes will take a little time to commit to memory; however, the effort is worth it to be able to play in a jam. Amaj.pdf Cmajf.pdf Dmaj.pdf Gmaj.pdf
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    Here is one book that is all classical music. https://www.folkcraft.com/collections/sheet-music-tab-books-and-tablature/products/larry-conger-the-classical-dulcimer-1 If you look through the books list at Folkcraft you will find a few other books that contain some classical music pieces. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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    Attached is an original jig composition, "Sixes and Eights". Permission is granted for all to play. Sixes and Eights.pdf Sixes and Eights.mid
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    Welcome! Feel free to discuss stick dulcimers / backpack dulcimers here. There are strong opinions on what is and is not a dulcimer. From a technical/taxonomic standpoint they don't fit the definition. From a practical standpoint they're closely related enough that I see no reason to exclude them (open tuning, diatonically fretted, usually tuned some variation of DAd). Certainly close enough anyone playing these would benefit from the tabs and many other techniques that are used on the mountain dulcimer: drone-melody, chord-melody, modal tunings, etc. My first diatonic instrument was a Merlin before I bought a dulcimer. The response I got when asking questions in the dulcimer community nearly put me off the instrument and dulcimers too. Which is a shame because they're one of the best/easiest instruments to learn on and the community is generally very friendly and supportive. I don't want that be someone else's first experience, so again welcome. Feel free to poke around and ask questions and we'll help out where we can 🙂
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    During Table Hill's last performance of 2019, @Adrian and I were playing for tips at the Blueberry Cafe in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and someone tipped us with a fruitcake! Have you ever received anything weird in your "love bucket" (that's what the tip bucket is called in Clarksdale)? Luckily, it was a really tasty fruitcake!
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