The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25806 Message #309903
Posted By: Pinetop Slim
01-Oct-00 - 08:34 PM
Thread Name: Dulcimer for dummies
Subject: RE: Dulcimer for dummies
Some stray thoughts while I wait for that PM (it's not something painful, is it?) Jean Ritchie's instructional tape at Homespun, if memory serves, takes the student through "I'm Going Downtown" and an uncommon version of "Old King Cole" in Ionian tuning; "The Cruel Sea" in mixolydian, and "The Cuckoo" in Ionian. It's a real kick to have the best give you a lesson. Her "The Dulcimer Book" covers a lot more ground -- history of the instrument, a couple dozen songs, tips on finger pickin' (though she advises you to try a different instrument if that's what you're after) and thumb strumming of a descant or two. Also at Homespun is a videotape by David Schnaufer, where he'll walk you through "Wildwood Flower," "Tennessee Waltz" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." Nice stuff. I defer to Walnut on Lorraine Lee Hammond's series of audio tapes from Homespun. As for "Magic Dulcimer," I'd have been lost without it. The best dulcimer instruction book to be had, IMHO (I haven't seen Larkin Bryant's, but you can take 'spaw's praise of it to the bank. It's got to be real good). She has the best right brain-left brain balance of anybody I've ever met -- can shift seamlessly from cold logic to artistry, and it shows well in this book. One hitch -- it's written for a three-string dulcimer equipped with light-gauge strings. There's a "rule for tuning" at the start of each chapter that makes it very easy to adapt, but you do have to adapt.