Back To Basics Training


It was a beautiful morning as I rode with Richard Ash into Woodburn where Folkcraft Instruments has its home base.  The rising sun resembled the yolk of an egg and cast tendrils of orange through the misty shrouds of cornfields and lakes.  By 8:30 a.m., a hardy crew had assembled for Dulcimer Boot Camp and we got right down into the fundamentals, something that I never grow tired of teaching.  How to choose and hold your pick, basic rhythm cadences and selective strumming, reading tablature and capoing into different modes to find the various shadings of color within the mountain dulcimer fretboard were all presented in an unhurried manner despite the imagery associated with the event.  I like to think of "Boot Camp" as "back-to-basics-training" that focuses on the things that we often take for granted when playing the instrument.

Time seemed to fly over the course of an eight-hour session; part one of a two part intensive offering that will continue tomorrow with some long studies in tunes, techniques and tidbits designed to help beginner players, as well as the intermediately skilled, fill up their virtual toolboxes with the stuff that will help them realize their goals of becoming more expressive and accomplishment musicians on the mountain dulcimer.  

I'm a bit tired.  A long travel day and a late dinner at JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House with Richard probably contributed a little to that.  But I'll be sure to get a good night's sleep tonight in anticipation of not only tomorrow's climactic session, but also the preparation for this weekend's Indiana Dulcimer Festival.

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