Posted on Leave a comment

Magical, Peaceful Instrumentals Playlist

This is one of my favorite playlists of the ones I curate myself on Spotify. It has a wide variety of instruments and genres, but the common theme is a simple, folk-oriented approach to melody and harmony. You’ll hear some minimal pieces on piano by some of my favorite players, some great accordion work by the amazing Maria Kalaniemi, or some mesmerizing modal compositions by Whalebone (UK-based ensemble).

Posted on Leave a comment

New Release on Spotify!

I have just released a dulcimer instrumental track on Spotify!! It is a great Irish traditional waltz that is very mesmerizing and circular. I learned it many years ago from a recording by the English guitarist John Martyn. He played his guitar through a Leslie tone cabinet to get the swirling, almost psychedelic effect. My take is a little more meditative and is probably more relaxing:

Posted on Leave a comment

QuaranTUNE 4.0 Registration!!

I’ll be teaching 4 workshops at this June’s virtual dulcimer festival:

Ideas, Tips, and Musical Devices You Can Use Right Away (Level 4)

In this session, you’ll make some interesting and unique music using only 5 tones. You’ll try some easy chord substitutions, and learn some of my favorite 4-chord loops to jam around. You’ll discover the power in changing up the time signature, tempo, and groove of a familiar folk tune. And you’ll try some “riffs” that you can move around to any chord you want. Tuning DAD. Friday Session 2

“Scarborough Fair” and Two More English Folk Song Melodies (Level 4)

I love the haunting modal character of many traditional English folk melodies. In addition to “Scarborough Fair”, you’ll learn a wonderful melody from Cornwall called “I Love My Love”. “Dives & Lazarus” is another great tune similar to “Star of the County Down”. You’ll get the bare-bones melody and chord-melody style on this one, as well as a carefully-arranged chord study. Tuning DAD. Saturday Session 2

Great Scots Melodies – “Kelvingrove” and “Willy O’Winsbury” (Level 3)

You’ll learn “Kelvingrove” in the Key of G while tuned DAD. This is a slow waltz that has a grace and gentle beauty that’s hard to beat. “Willy O’Winsbury” is one of my all-time favorite Scots ballads. You’ll get both of these tunes in chord-melody style, and I’ll share my left-hand fingerings with you as much as possible. Tuning DAD. Saturday Session 6

Easy Irish Airs and Lullabies (Level 3)

You’ll be totally enchanted with these slow, meditative airs from Ireland. “Baidin Fheilimi” (“Phelim’s Boat”) is a 3/4 time lullaby that we’ll be doing in a simple, sparse arrangement using a lot of open strings. “Ebhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhaill” (“The Fair and Charming Eileen O’Carroll”) is much more mesmerizing and circular. Finally, my original “Irish Lullaby No. 1” gets more of a chord-melody treatment. Tuning DAD. Friday Session 5

Here is the link to register:

QuaranTUNE 4.0 Info and Registration

And you can listen to some of the tunes I’ll be teaching here:

Posted on Leave a comment

Piano Meditations

Most of the playlists I curate on Spotify contain tracks of guitar and plucked string instruments (including mountain and hammered dulcimers). However, since I’m connected to an outstanding international network of musicians who also curate their own playlists, I have made a special playlist of my favorite meditative pianists. Have a listen!! These instrumentals will take you on a journey!!!

Posted on Leave a comment

QuaranTUNE 3.0 Workshops I’ll Be Teaching In February

Quarantune 3.0 is right around the corner! In this post I want to give you a little sample of some of the tablature I’ll be using for each of my workshops. There will probably be much more tablature when we do the workshop, but this will give you an idea. Here is the QuaranTUNE web site where you can get registered for classes:

QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Festival

Level 2 (Novice) – Slow Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:

Level 3 – Simple Chord Progressions (that may be new to you):

Level 4 – Skip’s Heavenly Round:

Level 5 – Dorian, Aeolian, and Mixolydian Modes (relative to DAD, or parallel for Mixolydian, so no retuning):

I’ll be happy to provide you with more info if you need it. Please see the Contact page.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Green Leaves of Summer

When I was about 10 or 11 years of age, my mom took me to see the movie The Alamo. The soundtrack included a really powerful song called The Green Leaves of Summer

This is my first experience (that I can remember, anyway) of being overwhelmed by the emotion of a piece of music. Goosebumps galore for sure!!

So…..starting in chronological order — roughly — I’m starting a Spotify playlist that shows my musical influences over the years: This is Jerry with his “curator’s cap” on 🙂

The playlist will also include my guitar teachers and mentors over the years, and a few musicians I’ve had the pleasure to play some gigs with. Eventually I want to bring things up to the present day. ENJOY!!!