Jerry Rockwell Mountain Dulcimer Newsletter 4/15/15

One Life Study in 4/4 – Lower Part

Here is the chord progression on which I based my 2008 study:

Bm / / / | / / / / |D / / / | / / / / |G / / / |D / / / |A / / / | / / / / :||

Last time we had the upper or melody part, and this time we’ve got the lower part:

One Life Study in 4/4 – Lower Part

NOTE: last time I lowered the melody part one octave, so that it falls within the most comfortable mid-to-lower range of your DAD dulcimer. If you want to play these two parts together, I suggest trying to take the melody part one octave higher. Remember: starting at the 7th fret, your dulcimer begins again one octave higher than the open position.

Here is the music and TAB for the upper melody:

One Life Study in 4/4 Melody Part

E Minor Hexatonic Jam-A-Round

This is probably THE MOST FUN I’ve had with the Jam-A-Round concept, where you can plug-in a whole bunch of new parts just about anywhere the form begins: usually over a simple descending scale (and the chords generated by that scale).

Only this time, instead of a diatonic (7-tone) scale, we have a 6-tone minor scale without the 6th degree. It isn’t E Dorian, because it doesn’t have the Major 6th or C#, and it isn’t E Aeolian, because it doesn’t have the minor 6th or C. So we’ll just call it E Minor Hexatonic.

This time around we’ll just get a start on the reference structure, but soon we’ll be showing you some melodic parts that go with it. Here are the basic triads for this exercise:

Em / / / |D / / / |Em / / / |D / / / |Em / / / |D / / / |Em / Bm / |Em / / / :||

This progression will go great with either the descending form of the scale:

fret numbers on bass string:

8 – 7 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1-5-1

or the ascending form:

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 7 – 8-5-8

For some more insights into how this mostly-two-chord stuff works, try this workout on the round Hey, Ho, Nobody Home from a post on my blog:

Ideas for Hey, Ho, Nobody Home

…..and here’s another blog post showing how the Em and D triads “interlock” in an almost mystical way: each triad bringing to the table three unique notes, magically completing the hexatonic scale:

Hexatonic Scale with Em and D Triads

As always, let me know what you think, and send me any questions you have on any of this. I am experimenting with posting back issues of this newsletter here on my blog the following Wednesday of the newsletter date, and I may also post the older ones as time permits. Your suggestions are welcome!

Happy Spring!