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The Singing Messenger

You gave quite different and fresh taste to this familiar classic song. Very beautiful! B.S. on House of the Rising Sun……

Hi Jerry, I really enjoyed listening and I wanted to run down stairs and grab up my dulcimer! This would have to be my favorite version ever! U. O. on House

That’s very beautiful. We are always looking for ambient/chilled versions of rock or older classics. This is definitely that! Ocean Radio Chilled on House

Beautiful playing Jerry – the old tune is reborn T.R. on House

5 months in to comments pages…..

Now – per tune on new album:

Really wonderful interpretation of a classic. And classic in its own right as well. Pianissimo Tim on House

Very cool music , it seems to me i’m in nature , listening to all tiny sounds , seeing nice passiflore flowers ! your music speak to me , nice track ! C.L. on Singing Messenger

Contemplative, serene, and touching. Wonderful work. Tim P on SM

Beautiful sound, has some resemblance to a Weissenborn, but brighter. Beautiful instrument, fantastic music! T.B. on SM

amazing sound and work – not only from the instrument but the recording. B.T. on SM

Great music Jerry – calm, meditative, accomplished. A.C. on SM

a great chilled sound. And that dulcimer is lovely. Having made the instrument yourself makes your music all the more entriquing and beautiful. thanks S.F. on SM

Love your style, very fine composition and nice playing C.S. on SM

this is one of the more delightful tracks i’ve listened to recently O. on SM

this instrument that sounds beautiful, truly magical, very nice !! …most beautiful music, you’re a great artist, success and thanks J.F. on SM

wow! such soothing, peaceful sounds, Jerry. thanks for the touch of tranquility : ) L.T.P. on SM

Beautiful piece ! Soothing and relaxing. One man music laboratory indeed. Great work. N. Z. on SM

blessings emanate from your Tone n Flow…… 😀 A.N. on SM

Thank you for six minutes of total freedom, Jerry. WVPG on SM

Amazing sound!! Really beautiful & unique!! Great track! P.T. on SM

Lovely, so very soothing and gentle, real feelgood sound! T.T. on SM

Brilliant sounds and arrangement, Jerry! Incredibly soothing, calming the soul … thank you! S.S. on SM

What a beautiful sound! I think your music has healing effect. You maybe living surrounded by beautiful nature. I feel your love for nature from your tunes. B.S. on SM

A unique sound and such an elegant production. I’m captivated. Thanks for sharing Jerry M.B. on SM

Really loving this Jerry. Wonderful sounds!! Craig K. on SM

What a nice track to start thhe day with! Really interesting sound…I play dulcimer as well, the latvian one, but never recorded it…maybe I should give it a try soon:-) Really good feel on this piece of music! Best regards D.V. on six tones

Haunting, yet a serene vibe at the same time. Beautiful! D.B.A.

Am enjoying the smooth sound, and it made me sing along with this track. Love it! – Kori C.

Arrestingly beautiful–sad but uplifting and peaceful!! Great track! P.T.

hello Jerry, the music you make with the Mountain dulicimer you handcrafted is so important in our strife ridden world. S.A.C.

This is so transparent and fragile. Beautiful! H K

Love the harmonics..this also has a ‘music box’ vibe. Peaceful and a kind of lullaby. played well! D.B.R.

floating down the river of life, around the rocks and through the eddy pools 🙂 …..just great! M.W.

Such a haunting and arresting piece and I can’t say I heard you breathing as I stopped breathing myself. What a powerful piece M.B. on Thugamar……..

Really like this soft music, Very nice to to ear!, keep it up Jerry. Healing music it is. M.G. on Thugamar………

Waves of summer washing over….Yes, its a lovely tune Jerry, but you have taken it to a new level with the pacing, and delicate touch. C.O. on Thugamar……

 

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Tapping at the Edge of Paradise

What is the sound of paradise? It is of course impossible to get a precise answer to that question. But I think that Jerry Rockwell on his new album Tapping at the Edge of Paradise has found a unique, almost heavenly sound. It is beautiful beyond words, and a worthy follow-up to 2013’s Nine Meditations for Dulcimer – (BT Fasmer from his review)

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Nine Meditations for Dulcimer

In today’s world, where everything seems to go faster and faster, it feels like a privilege to slow down and experience something genuine and heartfelt. These two words sum up the essence of Jerry Rockwell’s Nine Meditations for Dulcimer. And when you take the time, you’ll see that there’s a poetic depth here too that makes this into a remarkable album. (BT Fasmer, from his review)

Here’s what listeners are saying about Jerry’s restful dulcimer sounds:

Wonderful, Jerry. Its relaxing flow gives me a peace of mind 🙂 F. G……

This is a joy – meditative……. A.W……..

wow, what a clear sound and pure melody! S. W. ……….

Such an atmosphere:) Wonderful tune! B. R. Green on Twinkle Variations……..

I found you and I love this track and I am adding it to a big playlist I am making of those I follow – Sunni ………

this makes me feel wonderfully relaxed! G. W. F……..

A beautiful piece and very much enjoyed! A truly beautiful dulcimer in your Masthead! D. S……..

Think I’ve just become a big fan of electric dulcimer….. 🙂 E.P………

Beautiful layers and so easy on the ears. I have to listen to more of your work Jerry. Thanks for sharing M. B. on………..

Lovely to hear an ambient waltz ..!! D. D………

An outstanding mood piece. Keep ’em comin’! L.Z. on twinkle variations……

Well, you’re certainly right about it being addictive…I could listen to this for a while and wind up feeling a lot better. H.T. on twinkle variations…………

 

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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 the original melody has, but you are connecting them with passing tones, sometimes moving them around a bit in the measure, and sometimes going up or down a 3rd (two frets on the dulcimer) for a bit of harmonic color.

Before we get to the two full variations on the pdf, I’d like to show you a little bit of the process I use — with just the first two measures in TAB on the melody string (tuning DAD):

original:

0—-0—-4—-4—-|5—-5—-4———|

one possible variation:

0—-2—-4—-4—-|5—-7—-4———|

or another:

0—-2-3-4—-7—-|5—-7—-4—-7—-|

So it’s not really that hard: you just keep some of the main notes in place where they should be and throw in a few different ones of your own choosing—connect a few notes of the original with eighth-note connectors. Try it!! The sky’s the limit, really…..see what you can come up with!

Here are my two 12-bar variations in music and TAB, with a blank second page so you can continue on your own. Try playing this as slow and dreamy as you can:

2twinklevariations

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On the way to Cranberry!

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

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A Country Waltz Project

Here are a few 32-bar arrangements of a little country waltz I wrote in the last week. The first one is in D out of DAD tuning, and the second one is in G, while still in DAD (with no capo). These are both bare-bones arrangements, though the one in D has more fills added on the TAB, but not in the music itself. The one in G is really bare-bones, allowing you to use your imagination with what you might add.

Country Waltz #1 in D

Country Waltz #1 in G

Enjoy these!

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Just Starting Work Here

I’m just getting started now with a mountain dulcimer oriented blog After some research and reading of some other blogs (as well as reading the excellent WordPress the missing manual, by Matthew MacDonald, I have decided to make a kind of “blog-in-progress” and let the structure and categories gradually sort themselves out.

We’ll see what happens with this. In the meantime, you may want to check out my main web site:

http://www.jcrmusic.com

As time goes on, I’ll try to share lots of stuff about mountain dulcimers and dulcimer music with you. Thanks for reading!

Jerry