RSS

Category Archives: lessons

Posts about dulcimercrossing lessons, free stuff, learning mountain and hammered dulcimers

Introducing New Fiddle Instructor

Introducing New Fiddle Instructor

by Steve Eulberg & Linda Ratcliff

DulcimerCrossing is pleased to introduce our newest instructor: Vi Wickam  (Learn more about Vi on the Teacher’s Page or click on the video below:

ViIntoCover

Vi Wickam is a 3rd generation fiddler from Colorado. He has finished in the finals at the Grand Master Fiddling Championship and has also taught there. Together with Steve Eulberg, he is the other half of the band, Fiddle Whamdiddle. He is also the host and owner of mytalentforge.com which features in-depth fiddle lessons, guitar (and some dulcimer lessons by Steve.) Click HERE to see Vi’s introductory video.

Vi is starting off by teaching several of the fiddle tunes that were recorded on the Old School Old-Times albumn by Fiddle Whamdiddle.
Fiddle Whamdiddle
Are you saying, “I know what a fiddle is but what is a whamdiddle?”  The whamdiddle is a slang name for the hammered dulcimer; “hog fiddle” is a slang name for the mountain dulcimer, both are traditional American folk instruments.  Together with the fiddle they make for a porch-picking, knee-slapping good time.

 

To purchase the CD only

To purchase the Book

To purchase the Downloadable Book & CD Combo
Here is the list of the fiddle lessons uploaded so far.

 

 

Tags: , , ,

My Grass Is Blue

My Grass Is Blue
by Linda Ratcliff
Steve is introducing a new series of lessons at Dulcimer Crossing –
I’ve gone camping to attend bluegrass festivals, and in the evening – all the musicians like to gather around the campfire and jam.  
But, I have to be honest, my hammered dulcimer has been less than welcome at jams.  
People look at me with suspicion until they’ve heard my backup style.  In this series of lessons,
Steve demonstrates how dulcimer players can fit right in with bluegrass jammers – by learning to play chop chords like a mandolin player.

My favorite part of this lesson comes when Steve teaches  (Read More)

Join DulcimerCrossing today and have access to the 20 video lessons in the first part of this ongoing series!

 

Tags:

Take More Risks

Take More Risks

by Linda Ratcliff

The biggest risk a person can take is to not take one at all.


Take More Risks

The great thing about New Year’s resolutions is that you can set new goals to improve yourself. That being said – this year, why don’t you take more risks with your dulcimer playing. Here are just a few ideas.
  • Learn to play new tunes.
  • Try picking out a tune by ear, instead of relying on your tablature.
  • Take a song you already know, and make it your own with a new arrangement.
  • Practice with a different tuning on your mountain dulcimer.
  • Better yet, buy a second mountain dulcimer, so you can keep one in each tuning.
  • Learn a new style of music on your dulcimer, like the “Blues” or “Bluegrass.”
  • Play your first solo in front of friends.
  • Play your first solo in front of strangers.
  • Go to an out-of-town weekend dulcimer festival, and meet other dulcimer players.
  • Sign up for private dulcimer lessons. If there’s not a teacher in your area, you can always Skype with one of our instructors.
  • Most important of all … have fun with your dulcimer.

You have an entire year – go for it!

If you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.

Happy dulcimering,
Linda

Bridging the Gap Between What You Know … And Where You Want Your Music to Go

GO FOR IT!  JOIN DULCIMERCROSSING.COM

Featured Image from:

http://alidavies.com/taking-risks-essential-part-success/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 1, 2017 in lessons, subscriber news

 

Tags: , ,

“Prepared to be Lucky”

“Prepared to be Lucky”

luckyjoesinteriorby Steve Eulberg

Lucky Joe’s Sidewalk Saloon, in Fort Collins, Colorado, is one of the places I began honing my craft of performing in live venues at the end of the last century.

As soon as church was over in the morning, I would phone in to get my name put on the Open Mic list for what I hoped would be the prime time after the weekly Acoustic Open Mic began at 9 pm every Sunday Night.

Sometimes I was “lucky” and my name was earlier on the list, so I could listen to a few of the other players, play my set and get home to take my shower (this was before the local Clean Air Act banned smoking in bars in 2003).  If I didn’t take that shower, my sensible wife would not let my smoky-smelling self sleep in the same bed!  (I guess, twice lucky–the couch was none-too-comfortable for a night’s sleep.)

Other nights, the list was nearly full when I called in and I got to play much closer to closing time….which made the required shower much e-e-e-arlier in the morning.

Many of the performers were guitarists and singer-songwriters, although I do recall a stride pianist coming in and playing some mean Jelly Roll Morton, too.  Sometimes I would bring my guitar and try out some new songs, to test them in front of a rather discerning audience.

Many other times, I brought my mountain or hammered dulcimer up on that little stage (which provided the host and sound guy the opportunity to learn how to amplify these feedback boxes on the fly!) to introduce their delicate and lively sounds to the beer-sipping audience.  (To their intrigue and delight.)

I don’t know how the other performers used the time they were not performing, but this was a laboratory for me.

I studied them, their material, how they presented it, how the audience did (or didn’t) respond.  I prepared my nervous heart to calm itself as my time slot neared and I tried to make my set up time be efficient.  I listened to (and made internal comments on) everyone’s stage patter, and tried to edit my own in light of my quick reflections on theirs.

And I was lucky.

Joe (half of Lucky Joe’s) booked me to play for a couple of St. Patrick’s Day gigs and one year I rode on the saloon’s float in the pre St. Patrick’s Day Saturday morning parade in March (this is Colorado, remember, and March is one of the big snow-dump months every year!), playing my hammered dulcimer, wearing finger-less gloves as the float bounced down College Avenue.

But mostly I was lucky because I learned that all this preparation is what made me lucky.

(with thanks to Twyla Tharp for sharing E. B. White’s quote:

“Habitually creative people are prepared to be lucky.”

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.)

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Backing Tracks Library is growing!

Backing Tracks Library is growing!

We keep adding to our Library of Backing Tracks which are available to our Premium Members.

backingtracklibraryexanding

The two newest are the chord progressions in the Keys of D and G which match the Albert Brumley tune:  I’ll Fly Away.  These were created for the new Bluegrass Dulcimer series taught by Steve Eulberg.

We are continuing to produce these and other resources to assist you in your goals to “Bridge the Gap Between What You Know and Where You Want Your Music to Grow.”

 

 

 

“Music Confounds the Machines”

“Music Confounds the Machines”

tboneburnettby Steve Eulberg

Focusing on the challenges that artists face in the current digital and mechanistic day and age, T Bone Burnett gave the keynote address at the AmericanFest in September of this year.

I found these words echoing in my soul:

“Music is to the United States as wine is to France. We have spread our culture all over the world with the soft power of American music.  We both have regions- France has Champagne, we have the Mississippi Delta.  France has Bordeaux, we have the Appalachian Mountains. France has Epernay, we have Nashville. Recorded music has been our best good will ambassador. The actual reason the Iron Curtain fell, is because the Russian kids wanted Beatles records. Louis Armstrong did more to spread our message of freedom and innovation than any single person in the last hundred years.  Our history, our language, and our soul are recorded in our music. There is no deeper expression of the soul of this country than the profound archive of music we have recorded over the last century.”

This is my experience of the power of music to bring people together across the divides of background, experience, age, culture, gender.

I see it six days a week in my Music Together classes with preschool children and families who speak languages from Korea, Russia, Greece, China, Serbian, Japan, Israel, India, Pakistan, Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil, Germany, Australia, England, Canada and the USA (and probably several more that I can’t even identify!)

But what confounds the machines and the census takers is what T Bone said, which is the reason for what we pursue in music:

“Art is a holy pursuit.

Beneath the subatomic particle level, there are fibers that vibrate at different intensities. Different frequencies. Like violin strings. The physicists say that the particles we are able to see are the notes of the strings vibrating beneath them.

If string theory is correct, then music is not only the way our brains work, as the neuroscientists have shown, but also, it is what we are made of, what everything is made of. These are the stakes musicians are playing for.”  (read the entire address here: keynote address)

These are certainly the stakes that I am playing for.

What experiences do you have to share which relate to these descriptions?

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 8, 2016 in history, lessons, subscriber news

 

“I Have to Practice every day…

“I Have to Practice every day…

by Linda Ratcliff

…to play as bad as I do.    —Woody Allen

Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg) is a passionate fan of jazz, and jazz music has often been featured prominently in the soundtracks of his movies. He started playing the clarinet when he was a teenager and actually chose his stage name, Woody, after the famous clarinet player Woody Herman.

Woody will be 81 in December, and these days he is performing with the Eddy David New Orleans Jazz Band.  They play every Monday night at the Carlyle Hotel.


What made me take a closer look at Woody was a quote by him about his own playing: “I have to practice every day to play as bad as I do.” I love his statement because it mirrors the way I feel about my own playing.We all need to practice – and not just to prepare for the next jam session or performance.

Practicing an instrument sharpens your brain, increases your eye-hand coordination, teaches you perseverance, and creates a sense of achievement when you overcome the challenge of learning a new tune.
I’ve also discovered a lot about the history of our country and its musicians by researching the stories behind those old fiddle tunes dulcimer players enjoy.
 (This post originally appeared in the DulcimerCrossing Newsletter.  You can subscribe here)
 

Tags: