By Linda Ratcliff
Technology can be an amazing aid — as long as you don’t get too dependent on it.
There are free or low-cost apps you can load on your cell phone and iPad, such as a metronome and a tuner, which are essential tools for practicing.
And, of course, Dulcimer Crossing’s online lessons include videos and flash animations – which make practice time fun. (That link is for hammered dulcimer players. Here is one for Mountain Dulcimer players.)
However, some students are TOO DEPENDENT on the technology aids. They feel discouraged if they can’t play a tune exactly the way it is demonstrated in the videos.
I believe you can feel good about yourself if you can make a tune your own, play it in your own style, with your own variations.
If there is a lick in the video that proves to be too difficult for you at this time, make up your own to fill in the same number of beats.
Study the videos, but then turn them off and see if you can play what you are hearing in your head and heart.