Hammered Dulcimer Workshops - 2016

Combining Chords and Tunes – Karen Alley (MID) – Sat 11:30

“Music theory” is often seen as dangerous, forbidden territory.  In this workshop, we’re going to open up that territory to find that it’s much more accessible than you may imagine, and useful, too!  We will talk about chords from the very beginning – what they are, how to build them, and where to find them on your instrument.  Then we’ll move on to applying those chords to simple melodies, answering questions like: How do I know what chord to play?  Where can I add a chord in my arrangement?  What chords should I learn and expect in a tune?  The goal is to begin to teach you how to add chords to tunes on your own, rather than to learn somebody else’s arrangement of a tune.


Crooked Quebecois Tunes – Samantha Moffatt (ADV) - Sat 10:00

Sam will teach a straight and a crooked tune from Quebec, pointing out and instructing stylistic features that can make the tune sound more authentically Quebecois (even on a hammered dulcimer, which is almost non-existent in Quebec).


Dulci-robics – Deb Justice MID -- Sat 10:00

Some basic drills to get your hammers into better shape! These exercises are a great way to get your day started, and if you practice them regularly, they’ll start to make a real difference in your technique. You'll also come away with a good understanding of why your dulcimer is laid out the way it is.


Dynamic Control – Karen Alley (ADV) – Sat 1:45

We all want to make our music meaningful and connect to our audiences, but that’s not easy to do!  Half the battle is figuring out how you want to shape the dynamic line of your piece – the other half is getting your hammers to do what you want them to do.  This workshop will discuss how to use dynamics effectively in both fast and slow music.  We’ll also spend time working on exercises to help improve your hammer control so you can reliably produce the sounds you want.  If you’d like, bring a tune that you’d like to play with more dynamics and, time permitting, we’ll work as a group to help you develop ideas for how to shape the piece.


Finding Great Tunes, and Making Them Shine - Jon Weinberg (ADV) -- Sat 3:15

How to know if a tune will be a hit played on a hammered dulcimer, where to find them, ways to make them more interesting, and tips on how to make medleys of them to record or perform.


Hammered Dulcimer 101-Start Your Engines – Tom MacKenzie (BEG) – Sat 10:00

It’s always best to start at the beginning. How are all those strings organized? How do you find the note you’re looking for? How do you hold the hammers? Which hand should you use, when? What’s the best way to tune? This class will get you started on the Dulcimer Highway and answer any questions you may have.


Hammered Dulcimer 102-Keep On Truckin' – Tom MacKenzie (BEG) – Sat 11:30

A continuation of the Beginner Hammered Dulcimer I, we will delve farther into the mystery of this giant egg slicer. Patterns that you can use over and over, how to play along even without knowing the melody, and more.


Hammered Dulcimer Essentials – Rich Carty (BEG and up) – Fri 4:45


The main focus will be tuning the dulcimer, which will also give insights into the layout of your instrument. Other topics will include stand height and position, changing strings, and whatever questions everybody has.


Hammered Dulcimer in Hollywood – Deb Justice (MID) -– Sat 1:45

The hammered dulcimer has enjoyed a lot of attention on the silver screen and TV lately. Lord of the Rings, the BBC mini-series Sherlock, and Game of Thrones all use dulcimer to create powerful moods and themes. We'll listen to this use of the dulcimer and arrange some of these popular themes for ourselves.


Independence / Rudiments / Percussion Technique – Cliff Cole (ADV) – Fri 4:45


In this fun workshop participants are expected to already have a working knowledge of left-hand, right-hand independence. After a review of basic "alternating-base” techniques we will delve into to polyrhythms such a 3:2 and 2:3 cross-rhythms (More if time permits). We will explore ways of how syncopation and polyrhythms can find there way into your sticking patterns to make tuns more interesting. We will present a fun and challenging alternating base tune “Fine Spring Day” written by the workshop leader.


Klezmer for the Hammered Dulcimer – Deb Justice (ADV) – Sat 11:30

For a few years now, I've been working with amazing tsimbl player Pete Rushefsky on a book of "How to Play Klezmer on the Hammered Dulcimer." How can we dulcimer players sound more like our klezmer cousins? What are basic ornaments, back-up patterns and some repertoire chestnuts?


Playing With Style and Grace - Samantha Moffatt (BEG) - Sat 1:45

Sam will show some of the ways she has worked on playing less "chop chop" and more with long, smooth, legato lines--Taking a few simple tunes to work on this, she will suggest some ways to increase the expressiveness and flow of your music on the hammered dulcimer.


Questions, Answers, and Extra Help – Cliff Cole (BEG-MID) – Sat 4:30

People who know Cliff, are aware of the fact that he has “all of the answers;-) Come hither and ask us your easy and hard questions; or tell us about any playing issues that you might have. We might not be able to resolve every problem, but we can certainly have a fun time looking for solutions. It is the most fun when this is a group participation workshop. We can all help each other out.


Put Some Bounce in Your Step - Tom MacKenzie (MID) - Fri 4:45

How to “feel” the music. How to make Old Time sound different from French Canadian or Scandinavian tunes. They all have subtle differences that we will explore and try to incorporate into our playing. Learning to listen is the key.


Rhythms! – Samantha Moffatt (MID-ADV) -- Sat 3:15

This workshop will be 2-pronged: First, we will do some "dulcimer-drumming"--treating our instruments as percussion, and learning some new ways to organize rhythms that can blend with 4:4 or 3:4 pieces, secondly, we will apply some of these rhythms to a common tune everyone knows or can learn quickly, using a few new ideas to upgrade your accompaniment skills in a rhythmic fashion.


Roadmap to the Hammered Dulcimer – Cliff Cole BEG – Fri 3:30

In this workshop we will map out the hammered dulcimer and explore common patterns to play scales and chords. We will navigate the layout of the      instrument by using patterns inherent to the hammered dulcimer’s layout. Workshop participants will learn how to better utilize redundant notes to make sticking patterns easier and faster to play. One goal of this workshop is for participants to become  comfortable playing notes over  the whole instrument.


Singing With the HD – Jon Weinberg (MID-ADV) – Fri 3:30

Easy techniques for accompanying yourself (or someone else) with the hammered dulcimer. To demonstrate these we'll learn and sing along with Jon's simple arrangement of the Beatle's song: "I'll Follow The Sun". Works best on a dulcimer with a super bass bridge but is playable on any sized hammered dulcimer.


Which Hammer, and Where? – Karen Alley (BEG) – Sat 3:15


For beginning hammered dulcimer players, choosing which hand to use and where to play notes throughout an arrangement can seem like a daunting task. We’ll break down the various common methods for choosing hammering patterns, and use example songs to understand the situations where different hammering techniques are appropriate.

Mountain Dulcimer Workshops - 2016

"Barre" Essentials for the Left Hand - Sue Carpenter INT -- Sat 11:30

Everything you need to develop your left hand starts with fingering a barre chord. We’ll examine several chord shapes as well as the barre chord and learn a “mystery” tune that surprisingly puts it all into practice. Chord charts provided. DAD


Carol's Chamber of Wonders - Carol Walker (INT-ADV) -- Sat 1:45

Bring a 2-3 minute piece that you play, or that you’ve been working on. Let Carol say, “I wonder what would happen if …” See how much you can gain from a master teacher’s one-on-one feedback. Similar to a “master class,” everybody in the room learns from everybody’s pieces.

     If you want Carol to work on one of your pieces in this class, the workshop selection form will allow you to sign up for a slot. Though the number of these slots is limited, there is no limit on the number of people who can be at this workshop, and no limit to what you could learn from watching and listening.


Choose and Care for the Right Dulcimer for You - Jeremy Seeger (ALL) -- Sat 10:00

We'll discuss how to pick and choose among the many options out there these days to get the sound you want. Playing style, repertoire, details of construction are all factors.  Care and feeding as well as repairs.  Bring me your tired and hungry! 


Creating Harmony Parts – Nina Zanetti (ADV) -- Fri 3:30

A good knowledge of chords on the dulcimer is recommended.  Harmonies can enhance a beautiful melody, in the form of simple accompaniment chords, or in the form of separate harmony parts to accompany singing or in duet with other musicians. This class will cover creating simple back-up chord parts, determining what chords to use, and using different back-up styles for different music types in arranging for the dulcimer. We’ll also cover counter-melodies, descants and some simple counterpoint. Music demonstrating the above techniques will be distributed.


Dulcimer to Accompany Any Song – Magpie (Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner) (INT-ADV) -- Fri 4:45

Terry and Greg will discuss and demonstrate how they arrange Terry’s dulcimer parts for songs and the various approaches one might take to create good accompaniments.


Dulcimer + Guitar = ♥ … Magpie (Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner) -- Sat 10:00

Terry and Greg will teach how they bring the dulcimer and guitar together in songs and instrumentals, so as to highlight the distinctive sounds of each instrument and yet work together as a whole.


Dulcimers Can Rock, Too – Rudy Gabrielson (BEG) -- Fri 4:45

Just as dulcimers are great for folk music, they’re also great for rock & roll, and it’s very easy to play. Surprise your family members! Add more fun to your playing?


Finding Chords – Laurel Schwartz (BEG) -- Sat 1:45

Ready to move from playing just the melody?   We'll learn easy ways to make songs sound fuller by adding chords.


Four Strings: Tricks, Kicks, and Licks - Sue Carpenter INT-ADV -- Sat 10:00

Learn how easy and full-sounding four equidistant strings can be with occasional simple chord fingering adjustments for the 4th string. We'll build on what you already play 3-string style and learn a lovely 4-string arrangement of a traditional tune. Discover the difference and the possibilities.


Getting Started (or Re-started) – Terry Leonino (BEG) -- Fri 3:30

Even if you haven’t played the dulcimer before, by the end of this hour, you’ll know how to play a simple melody against drones using a “noter,” and some simple two-note interval chording.


Innovative Ways of Playing – Dian Killian (ADV) -- Sat 11:30

The dulcimer has a long history and been played in various ways since it first developed from its Medieval origins. Come explore new sounds and voices for the dulcimer via bar chords (both lap and guitar style), using a dobro slide and/or bottleneck slide, and bow. If you have a fiddle or psaltery bow, or a bottle neck or dobro slide, please bring it along.


Intro to Fingerpicking - Sue Carpenter NOV -- Sat 1:45

Whether you’re a first-time player or have been playing for years, if you want to learn how to fingerpick, this class is for you. Focus will be on right hand technique and basic fingerpicking patterns through a step-by-step approach using simple exercises to get you started and some easy tunes to make your dulcimer sound oh so sweet. Let Sue’s instruction and exercises be the beginning of your fingerpicking delights. DAD


Mountain Dulcimer 101 – Susan Trump (BEG) Sat 10:00

Get started the right way.  We'll start at the very beginning-how to hold it, how to strum, how to fret properly for the best sound, how to play some simple tunes and how to have fun while we're doing all that!  


Mountain Dulcimer 102 – Nina Zanetti (BEG) – Sat 11:30 

A continuation of the previous session, helping you to become more comfortable with the dulcimer, learn your way around the instrument, and develop more basic skills. DAD tuning.


Multipart Music in Small Dulcimer Groups – Mack Johnston (NOV-ADV) -- Fri 4:45

This workshop will provide concepts and tools for groups of 3 or more dulcimer players to play multipart music together.  Our class time will be spent playing together arranged in small groups, while illustrating the following: parts and roles, music sources and resources, and the nuts and bolts of playing together in small ensembles. The workshop is open to players from novice level to advanced; standard dulcimers and DAd tuning will be used.

Playing in "Non-Dulcimer" Keys – Sam Edelston (ADV) -- Sat 3:15

What if you don’t have other dulcimer players to play with where you live? Or what if you just want to branch out into other, broader musical crowds? You don’t need to sit out every song that isn’t in D or A. We’ll look at ways to play in a wide variety of keys. Extra frets won’t be necessary for this workshop, though some of the time will be spent talking about them.


Punk Dulcimer – Dian Killian (INT) -- Sat 3:15

Who says we can't rock out? Come learn basic chords, riffs, strum patterns, and tips regarding amplification and how to arrange punk covers by holding the dulcimer like a guitar (no need to re-string) and also bar chords lap style. There's a long tradition of blending folk with punk (Billy Bragg, PJ Harvey, The Pogues). Come take that to the next level---dulcimer style!


Putting Chords to Work – Melanie Johnston (NOV-INT) --Fri 3:30

As beginning players, you were likely taught basic forms of A, D and G chords. You may have been taught to use these chords in a jam setting or as rhythmic back-up. In this class we continue from there and use arpeggios and rolls to create background texture and interest when playing solo or when two or more people are playing a simple tune.  


Questions, Answers, and Extra Help – Laurel Schwartz (BEG-NOV) -- Sat 4:30

Learned something new, but need clarification? Come to this informal session and get help.  No problem to big or question too small!


Rhythm for Beginners – Melanie Johnston (BEG) -- Sat 3:15

Understanding how to correctly read, feel and play musical rhythm is essential for learning new music and playing well with others. In this class we will work with basic note values, different time signatures, recorded music and percussion to get you “feelin’ the beat!”


Rise Again – Rudy Gabrielson (INT) -- Fri 3:30

Nearly 30 years ago, Sing Out created the iconic “Rise Up Singing,” which has become a popular source of folk songs and modern repertoire within the folkie community. Now, there’s a new follow-up, titled “Rise Again,” with 1200 more songs. Learn how you can use it as a dulcimer player.


Running a Dulcimer Orchestra – Mack & Melanie Johnston -- Sat 11:30

This workshop will address orchestra operations including director and member recruitment, repertoire (vision, selection, arrangement), rehearsal planning and management, and performance.  We have lots of information to share and encourage you to bring your questions.


TablEdit Tricks & Techniques (for users) – Melanie Johnston -- Sat 1:45

If you have taken TablEdit I or have been using TablEdit and have questions, this class is for you. We will cover adding modules, embellishments and special characters, entering lyrics, several ways for adding special formatting and emphasis to selected tab numbers and more. We will look at some examples of tablature that needs improvement. Bring your questions.  No computer required for class.


Three Ways to Play in Minor Modes – Nina Zanetti (INT) -- Sat 1:45

Tunes in minor modes have a lovely, sad, haunting sound, but sometimes require thinking outside the box of standard DAD chords. We’ll use a couple of lovely minor tunes, to explore three different ways of playing them on dulcimer: by using a capo, by retuning, or by chording in DAD in minor keys.  We’ll touch on a tiny bit of music theory related to minor modes and the occasional challenge in finding the notes for minor tunes on dulcimer.  


Understanding Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Slides – Susan Trump (NOV) -- Fri 4:45

These techniques can add some zip to your playing.  We'll work on the “how to's” and then apply them in a few pieces. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be, and what fun you'll have!  DAD Tuning


Using a Capo  Susan Trump (NOV-INT) -- Sat 3:15

It's not as scary as it sounds.  I'll walk you through the basics-from how to put it on correctly why it's something every dulcimer player needs to know!  We'll learn a few beautiful tunes and you'll be convinced and comfortable with your capo.  DAD tuning


Welcome to DGD – George Haggerty (NOV-INT) -- Sat 11:30

Playing in G is a nice alternative to DAD that makes many tunes easier to play or sing. We will start slowly and learn some familiar tunes, and we’ll discover how to add some simple but lovely chords. Please come tuned DAD, and we’ll start by seeing how easy it is to retune into the key of G.


Zen and the Art of Reading and Writing Tab  Carol Walker (NOV-ADV) - Sat 10:00

There's nothing universal when it comes to writing dulcimer tab -- you will encounter many different styles of tab, depending on the software (or handwriting!) that was used to produce it.  This session will demystify all those variations, and help you pick out what's important when you start to play.  We'll also experiment with the basics of how to write out your OWN tab.

Other Workshops - 2016

Fast Jam - Deb Justice -- Sat 4:30

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Fun, fun, fun!


Fingerstyle Guitar – Greg Artzner -- Fri 3:30

Basic finger style techniques such as alternating bass, drone bass and arpeggios, and how to apply them in accompaniments and instrumentals.


Improvising With Triads (All Instruments) – Sam Crawford – Sat 1:45

From folk to rock, from jazz to blues, there is a rich tradition of improvisation in American music. In addition to being the most basic chord structure, triads are the most basic element of truly melodic improvisation. In this workshop we will discuss diatonic triads, finding them on your instrument, and a few simple guidelines to using them in an improvised melody. Come prepared to play and to have some fun!


Making Friends With Your Sound System – Don Briggs – Sat 4:30

Learn what you really need. Learn what you really don’t need. Learn what you should have extras of. And learn about some pesky laws of physics that sometimes prevent you from doing things the way you wish you could.


Meditation – Dwain Wilder – Sat 11:30

What are the real wells of creativity? They reside deeper in your mind than rational processes of thinking. They lie in "the peace that passeth understanding."

In this workshop we will explore the peace that passeth understanding through meditation. A simple practice will be introduced briefly for anyone who doesn't already have a meditation practice. After a brief round of sitting silently practicing, we will wrap up with a go-around about our creative processes, speaking "out of but not necessarily about" our experiences in the meditation we just finished.


Open Jam – Unmoderated – Friday 4:45

All instruments and all levels of players matter.

Playing With Time (All Instruments) ¬– Sam Crawford – Sat 10:00

A musical performance requires an accurate sense of time. An expressive performance requires something beyond accuracy, something we call "feel," or "pocket." In this workshop we'll explore some different concepts of feel, how they vary across genre. We'll be trying out these concepts together so make sure to bring your instruments.


Positive Practice (All Instruments-- Carol Walker -- Sat 3:15

Until someone invents a magic pill that will automatically allow you to play every piece perfectly, you will need to do the work yourself!  I’ll share my 65+ years of practicing various instruments as we explore tried and true methods that you can apply to any song you want to learn, on any instrument you play.  In the process, you’ll develop skills that can be applied to many other songs, you’ll build your repertoire, and you’ll be more confident when you perform for others.


Round Robin – Don Moore – Saturday 4:30

A chance to try out all those new tunes and techniques you’ve been learning this weekend … or to relax and un-fry your brain … or just share some music because you feel like it. All instruments, all voices, and all levels are welcome.


Singing Jam (All Instruments) – Rudy Gabrielson -- Sat 4:30

All together now!