This post is designed to be a listening resource for my new workshop on how you can make your dulcimer playing more interesting and varied by using some common musical devices and tips. These tracks are all on Spotify, though you can find them on Apple Music and other streaming platforms if you wish. This workshop is being given at the amazing North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Virtual Fest.
Chord Substitution Ideas on Skip’s Jam-A-Round (Lullaby for a Starry Night)
This part of the workshop deals with easy chord substitution ideas: D to Bm, G to Em, and A to F#m. We’ll use my Lullaby for a Starry Night to illustrate this principle.
Riffs and Sequences
This topic is best illustrated by some tablature and music: an excerpt from my first book of Patreon lessons.
Here is a brand new EP for you at Bandcamp, where I have finally recorded some of my best takes of two pentatonic originals that go back a few years: Five Tones of Wonder, and Koehler’s Pond Meditation. There’s also some brand-new recordings of a few Celtic traditional tunes that have been great fun. These recordings have a bit more color and harmony than usual, and in the case of Ballinderry, I have revamped the tune into a kind of minimalistic, but jazzy round (even though it does not work as a traditional round in its original form). Another Irish tune in this collection is the ever-popular waltz South Wind. Red Is The Rose is a Scots melody attributed to Robert Burns.
This one started life as “Skip’s Round” in 2015, and the ambient and ethereal takes became “Skip’s Heavenly Round” and now we have the new “Lullaby for a Starry Night” – which is quite similar to those more ambient versions.
I’ve been curating this playlist on Spotify for a few years now, and it really is one of my favorites. It started out as a very dreamy and sleepy set of tunes, and has evolved into more of a sunrise cycle — a “greet the new day” kind of vibe…..
This is a brand-new version of an original tune from about 1993. It is in the spirit of an Irish slow air, and it has strong modal flavoring throughout. The original recording was just solo acoustic mountain dulcimer….fingerpicking style and just some open string drone in spots. This new recording uses a few tracks of electric dulcimer, along with some ambient wash in the background. I have also added more chords: making it a bit less of a dronal texture.
Here is the link for doing a pre-save on the major streaming platforms:
Well now…..I have to say that I’m on a bit of a roll with some new compositions and musical experiments….. and I am delighted to share these with you here!
Starting with some of the most recent tracks, I’ve been busy working through the long chord progression that is quite similar to the one in Pachelbel’s Canon in D – but it is not exactly the same. Also the melodic structure is very different: these are kind of “meditative studies” that are very relaxing to play as well as to listen to, and they have a way of evolving over the months and years that I’ve been at this project.
Here is one of my latest tracks, called Canterbury Dreams:
Andy Salvanos, a fantastic Chapman Stick player from Australia, has posted a nice Apple Music playlist of peaceful, ambient music – guaranteed to slow you down to a healthy, natural pace during this stressful time. What a charge to see my tune Bright Field of Stars starting things off!!
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