Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

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It sounded good, as a title ; sometimes, I forget that I have blog options, so hopefully I won't forget and will actually remember to add stuff here on occasion.

Anyway, on to fingerdancing which is pretty much what it looks like, to me, at least, I came across Duelling Banjos played on the MD and was captivated by it, and so, I have decided to give it a shot. I realise that many would wisely suggest starting with more basic tunes but I have this theory that every tune is "basic" to a degree and it's just a matter of learning it, plus the added incentive of really enjoying the tune itself should, in theory make it somewhat easier to learn. I tried a few measures on hubby's mandolin, earlier today, and I don't play any instrument but it went well, so well in fact that he picked up the mandolin (which he doesn't play either, yet) and started strumming it out as well...which was great.

I'm looking forward to getting down to playing it on the dulcimer from Saturday, let the fingerdancing commence...

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Comment by Babs Greene on May 21, 2013 at 6:05pm

I haven't been up to much, due to health and other issues but did give Sukiyaki by Ryu Sakamoto a trial run through on the dulcimer...hehe, I need to alter some of the notes, still learning how to best arrange things which is fun in itself, but on the whole it did sound pretty good.



Comment by Babs Greene on March 8, 2013 at 3:56pm

Today, I finally managed to put a "strap" on the dulcimer, after weeks of thinking about it and trying different ideas. I know people say that a luthier would put a small hole in and attach a pin/screw for a strap but, and it's a big but, we don't have a luthier either on the islands or indeed anywhere within find one, alone, would cost an arm and a leg to get too before the outlay for work even began, it just wouldn't be worth it.


So, anyway, strap now in place and working well.

Comment by Babs Greene on February 26, 2013 at 4:12pm

Have been dealing with a bad head all day but had a stab at Beautiful Dreamer on the dulcimer, earlier; I remember playing it as a child on the Stylophone, if anybody remembers those, and have always liked the tune. I found a tabbed version on the internet in DGdd which worked nicely, not sure that I have it in SMN anyway.

Comment by Babs Greene on February 20, 2013 at 8:15pm

I should have mentioned he played the 7 versions on the guitar

Comment by Babs Greene on February 20, 2013 at 8:13pm

 Looking through this, I just realised I like smileys a lot  


Today, many of the last pieces of the puzzle just clicked, with information and help from all the people on the forum, coupled with internet and book info. Thanks to everyone's helpful input


When the modes (steps and half-steps) dawned on me fully, I sat down with Silent Night which was the first tune I happened to pick up and changed it in to each of the 7 modes for hubby to listen to not for the dulcimer. I have a much better understanding of the modes, the tunings and the keys whereas before I would sit and scratch my head; not that they're overly important, as such, but it's nice to be able to understand what they're about and to be able to use them is even better.


No dulcimer session today due to a terrible migraine which has only just let up, even food was a chore, though I managed to get some down and keep it there, in the end.

Comment by Babs Greene on February 16, 2013 at 5:38pm

Information overload...head explosion imminent Haha, having a great time learning about the dulcimer as well as playing it and I'm sure it will all come in handy if only to be able to understand something of the set-up and the whys and wherefores.

Comment by Babs Greene on February 15, 2013 at 11:35am

Last night, I got to tinkering around with a Blues Riff and really had some fun. Additionally, I managed to have a quick dry-run at some SMN songs, a few measures of each, just to see how things went.


I have to say that putting the music directly onto the dulcimer via the SMN was extremely liberating instead of the normal painstaking tabbing that I would generally end up writing out for the song/tune that I'm intending having a bash at. I also wasn't aware that it could be done, so that came as a big surprise, though a very welcome one.


Now, I need to select a couple of songs and really get down to them...choices, choices...but I can ad lib blues away as the feeling takes me, for light relief.


Hubby enjoyed the blues on the dulcimer, though he did wonder if that's what he sounds like when he's trying a new song out...done over and over and over again

Comment by Babs Greene on February 8, 2013 at 7:59pm

With the capo now arrived, I've been tinkering with Duelling Banjos and enjoying it a lot; I've also branched out to Unchained Melody which I also had a bash at on hubby's Uke ...I can say, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, the dulcimer, I mean.


PS: I'm not musically inclined by any means, well, I wasn't a few weeks back.

Comment by Babs Greene on January 17, 2013 at 2:38pm

The Ron Ewing capo arrived, via Wales, so now I'm able to capo (is that even a verb ) but glad I found out where to get one because it looks like it is going to come in very handy.

Comment by Babs Greene on January 15, 2013 at 7:01pm

I've been messing duelling banjos and having fun; I added an extra note earlier and hubby thinks the tune sounds better with the extra note, so even though it was accidental, it worked out.


I also got some really weird sounds out of the dulcimer, lots of bending and generally not following a chord pattern but having fun by ear...

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