Categories
improvising

Two Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

This time we’ll have a go at some variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I’ve been improvising over this one for decades, and it’s always fun. When you’re doing variations on a well-known folk melody like this, the process is a little “tighter” than improvisation: you are working with some of the main pitches that […]

Categories
music theory random thoughts and things I like

The Dulcimer Capo and How It Works

  Dulcimer capos are interesting devices, because they work very closely with the modal nature of the mountain dulcimer’s mostly diatonic fretboard. I had an GREAT question from one of my email newsletter subscribers recently: “I am intrigued by the notion of using a capo on my dulcimer as you mention in your recent post. […]

Categories
play-under diatonic instruments

Other Instruments with Diatonic Fretboards

I’m curious about what other dulcimer players and builders think about the whole range of dulcimer-like diatonic instruments that you basically strap on and play underneath like a guitar. There are some interesting new instruments that have gotten on my radar recently: http://seagullguitars.com/seagull_merlin.html http://www.folkcraft.com/druid-moon-dulcileles.html …and of course the well-known McNally Strumsticks, which have been around […]

Categories
music theory

Music Theory for the Mountain Dulcimer

In this video, Jim Miller shows you some of the basics of music theory, and how it relates to the mountain dulcimer. I can’t believe it took me so long to find it!