This article by Linda Ratcliff in Dulcimer Crossing is a very encouraging read for those who feel they have been left out of the talent thing. It certainly applies to many beginners on the mountain dulcimer, but it also applies to beginners on any instrument. Music did NOT come naturally to me! I had to work very, very hard and deliberately to learn rock and blues guitar when I was 13 or 14 years old. I had very little encouragement from my family and I had a very shaky sense of rhythm at the start. Playing along with some of the greats helped, but it was a long, hard struggle.
Now maybe music shouldn’t be a such a struggle, but there can be a confidence that comes from the right kind of training – and especially rhythmic training – so go ahead and read this and see if it helps:
Source: Natural Talent vs. Hard Work
Due to some extreme family pressures, it has been next to impossible to get any of my handmade dulcimers built. Now that seems so be changing some, in that I have a few instruments on hand, and I’m hoping I can continue in this rhythm for at least the next two or three months. Let me know if there is something you are interested in or if you’d like some pricing info — email is jcrockwell – the “at sign” – gmail.com (you know the deal- no spaces: everything run together)
North Carolina Hourglass (NCH model) with cherry back, sides, and fingerboard with spruce top. 26″ nut-to-bridge string length
I was messing with one of my descending aeolian scale studies last night, and found a section that I thought might go well with some noter sliding or portamento effects. I think this one worked out pretty well (the noter stuff starts about halfway through):
Mary and I are about to sample the splendor of at least two of the Finger Lakes near Penn Yan in upstate New York. Tomorrow we will arrive in Latham, NY for the 39th Cranberry Dulcimer and Autoharp Gathering. I will be teaching three workshops and also doing a featured concert set on Saturday night. If you are in the area, please check it out: it is a great festival with a long and wonderful history, and this year there are so many great workshop leaders:
2015 Cranberry Dulcimer & Autoharp Gathering