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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:

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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!!!

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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.

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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!!!

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Sounds From The Circle XII Playlist on Spotify Is Here!!!!

I’m psyched to have my ambient electric dulcimer track Restful Mind included on this wonderful, peaceful playlist by the amazing Suzanne Doucet. I’ve been part of this anthology in a few previous years, and it is always such a joy to hear all the others!! This time around we really NEED this peace and anchoring…..

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Some New Tunes!

Golly, this quarantine has led to a whole bunch of creative work from so many artists all over the planet! I have been incredibly busy too: working on formatting block chord TAB in a table format on this blog (A LOT harder than you might think!!!), learning Finale (for the 3rd or 4th time!), and laying some new track ideas in Logic Pro X, which is the subject of this post.

Here is a tune I recorded a few days ago:

SummerTune No. 1
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May 2020 Dulcimer!

NEW RELEASE On Bandcamp!!!

Bandcamp is forgoing their share of revenue today, May 1st, so if you decide to download some of my new music, I will get 100%. This is a very helpful and generous gesture from a GREAT company! Many of us musicians and music teachers have been hit pretty hard by this COVID-19 Quarantine: we’ve had many gigs cancelled and festivals postponed or cancelled altogether. So this income helps a LOT!

My brand-new May 2020 Dulcimer EP just went live at around 7AM this morning. There are 6 tracks here representing some of my BEST work-in-progress. It is not available anywhere else (yet, anyhow) and all my recent EPs from earlier this year are “Pay what you want” including ZERO (you just enter “0” in the pay field).

Jerry Rockwell at Bandcamp

I hope everyone is getting through this COVID-19 Quarantine OK. Not much fun for us here in Northeast Ohio, but we’ve got some acres of trees around us, and life isn’t too different in many ways.

Skip’s Round (and Jam-A-Round!!) TAB and Music Download

This original tune is part of my 2017 Patreon lessons, and it is a FUN tune I keep coming back to over and over.

1.) The first page is basically the main melody (16 bars), with an 8-bar sparse bass part at the bottom. The latter may be used as sort of a ground for the whole tune, even though the next two pages have some specific “ground” parts to be used throughout – especially for group play.

2.) These next two pages are the parts for a round or a “Jam-A-Round” as I like to call it. This basically means that you can plug in any 8-bar part anywhere you want, so you have freedom to mix-and-match.

You’ll see some very “bare-bones” parts on these pages, consisting mostly of half-notes. These represent what you might call guide-tones or structural pitches. These are really cool, as they show us the overall contour of a melodic design: kind of the essence of a melody.

For me personally, they often serve as clues for when I want to change chords or harmony. For example, if I see a continually-descending melodic line, that’s my cue to try an ascending harmony part. This often creates a workable harmony with a minimum of “thinking” !!

The other use for these bare-bones parts is that they make a GREAT group playing experience, especially for players just getting started!

3.) The last two pages were the Intermediate Level when I first published them in 2017. As I’m looking back on them, and playing through them again right now, I’m getting oodles and boatloads of ideas!! I’m even writing some brand new parts!!! These color-chord harmonies add just a touch of jazz harmony with the minor 7th chords, but I have to be careful not to use too many — and not to use any Major 7th chords at all — because the result is often way too sweet and thick. (remember that much of my current music is extremely simple and minimalist, so that I’m really a less-is-more sort of guy. You may want to try more of the “tall chords” like the seventh and ninth chords for your own arrangements).