August Dulcimer Daze Workshops

Dulcimers, Dulcimers, Dulcimers!
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2018 Workshops

Beginner New player, no previous playing experience required.
Novice Familiar with tuning, knows some basic strumming, can play several songs with ease.
After Novice After Novice player but not quite Intermediate.
Intermediate Knows basic chording, has a growing repertoire in a variety of styles, jams some.
Advanced The accomplished musician, transcribes music, perhaps writes own.

- By featured and guest artists on their playing and singing styles and techniques. All levels of instruction will be provided from beginning to advanced.


See the schedule page for workshop times.

Beginner Workshops

#1   String Side Up (BEGINNER) - George Haggerty: New to the dulcimer? Strings on the right pegs? Have trouble tuning? Do I need a strap? Let George show you some easy tricks and you'll learn 3 easy, wonderful dulcimer tunes. Come tuned to DAA if you can. If not, George will help you tune up. Friday 3:30-4:30

#2 - Let's Get Started I (BEGINNER) - George Haggerty: George will teach you the basics to get you off to a good start. Come tuned to DAA (George will help you get to DAA if you need help). Saturday 9:45 - 10:45

#3 - Let's Get Started II (BEGINNER) - Bonnie Leigh: Bonnie will take you to the next level in your playing by teaching you three different strumming patterns and a couple of songs to practice with. Come tuned to DAA. Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

#4 - Strumming Through Strumming (BEGINNER) - Bonnie Leigh: Learn how strumming adds a new dimension to your songs. We will go over several different strumming patterns, figure out how to fit the patterns into songs and hear tips on how to make your strumming smooth, all while learning some new songs! Saturday 3:00 - 4:00

#5 - Switching from DAA to DAD (BEGINNER) - Lori Keddell: In this class, Lori will teach you how to retune from DAA to DAD. You will learn a few songs in this new tuning, too! Come tuned to DAA. Saturday 4:15 - 5:15

#6 - Basic Chords for Beginners (BEGINNER) - Lori Keddell: Lori will teach simple chords for accompanying tunes in either DAD or DAA tunings, and you will be able to strum along with some old favorite songs. Sunday 10:30 - 11:30

Novice & After Novice Workshops

#7 - Common Jam Tunes for Novice Players (NOVICE) - Carolyn Brodginski: Learn some jam tunes to play with a group of people. Carolyn will give you tab and chords so you can play with others. Great prep for the Friday night jam! Come tuned to DAD. Friday 3:30 - 4:30

#8 - That Cool Left Hand (NOVICE) - Sandy Lafleur: What tricks are up your sleeve? Learn how to add pizzazz to your playing by adding slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and more with your left (or non-dominant) hand. Come tuned to DAD. Saturday 9:45 - 10:45

#9 - Right Hand Techniques for Smoother Playing (NOVICE) - Brian Geldziler: We'll cover in-strumming vs. out-strumming, choosing and holding a pick properly, picking vs. strumming, changing the timbre by changing picking placement, the importance of metronome practice, right hand palm muting/dampening and more. Come tuned to DAD. Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

#10 - Christmas Songs in August? (AFTER NOVICE) - Carolyn Brodginski: Start your practice early for the upcoming holiday season. Carolyn will teach you some favorite holiday tunes so you will have plenty of time to master them before the holiday season. Come tuned to DAD. Saturday 3:00 - 4:00

#11 - Nimble Fingers (NOVICE/AFTER NOVICE) - Ellen Pratt: Learn the basics of fingerpicking with Ellen Pratt. You will focus on the right hand and learn three or four different fingerpicking patterns. You will apply those patterns to a variety of songs that you probably know, so that you can focus solely on the fingerpicking aspect. Come tuned to DAD. Saturday 4:15 - 5:15

#12 - Songs of Dallas Cline (AFTER NOVICE) - Bonnie Leigh: Bonnie will teach you some wonderful old songs written or played by Dallas Cline, who sadly passed just last year. Dallas taught for many years and brought the love of the dulcimer to many in New England. Bring a capo. Sunday 10:30 - 11:30

#13 - Lesser Known Jam Tunes (NOVICE/AFTER NOVICE) - Ellen Pratt: Ellen will teach several fiddle tunes that are fun and easy to play. We may also tune to DGD and DAA besides DAD, but don't worry, that will be easy, too! Some possibilities include: Squirrel Heads and Gravy, Sugar Hill, Sheep Shell Corn By the Rattlin of Their Horn, Shoes and Stockings, Rocky Island, or Step Around Johnny. Sunday 11:45 -12:45

#14 - Capo Capers (NOVICE/INTERMEDIATE) - George Haggerty: Never used a Capo? Then this is the workshop for you. George will teach you how to find several keys and modes in the DAD tuning, using a capo at the first (E Aeolian), the third (G Ionian), and the fourth (A Dorian, and with some fancy finger work A Ionian and A Mixolydian). Bring a capo & enjoy! Sunday 11:45 - 12:45

Intermediate Workshops

#15 - Playing Duets and Ensembles (INTERMEDIATE) - Jeff Furman: Playing music with others should go beyond just two or more people playing the same tune at the same time. How can you make it sound better? This workshop will explore concepts and techniques used to enhance the music when playing with other musicians and instruments. We will cover duets and ensembles. And, most importantly, we will focus on listening while you play! Please bring a CAPO. Friday 3:30 - 4:30

#16 - Two Crooked Fiddle Tunes (INTERMEDIATE) - Bing Futch: Crooked tunes drive dancers crazy, because those off-kilter bars of beats throw them off their groove. But they are great fun to play. In this workshop, we'll tackle two crooked fiddle tunes; tunes in 4/4 time that feature strange little extra measures of 2/4 thrown in. They're highly addictive and usually have killer riffs that make for lots of fun jamming, once everyone gets the hang of it. We'll engage ear-training through learning the tunes by hearing and imitating at first. Then, we'll look at the music and see what makes each tune crooked and why. Saturday 9:45 -10:45

#17 - Fickle Fingerings and Strange Voices (INTERMEDIATE) - Sam Edelston: Everybody knows the four basic shapes for major, minor, and seventh chords. We'll work with some other chord shapes-plus some uncommon ways to finger your "usual" chords-and situations where you might want to use them. DAD Saturday 3:00 - 4:00

#18 - Playing the Melody Across the Strings (INTERMEDIATE) - Sandy Lafleur: We'll explore the entire octave between the open bass string and the open melody string. This workshop will focus more on moving across rather than up and down the fretboard - a great technique for flat-picking fiddle tunes! Saturday 4:15 - 5:15

#19 - DAD Tricks to Make Your Repertoire Shine (INTERMEDIATE) - Sally Rogers: We will learn some useful chord patterns in DAD plus ways to incorporate melodies and harmonies on the middle and bass strings. All to spice up your song accompaniments. Sunday 10:30 - 11: 30

#20 - Dark and Mysterious Tunes (INTERMEDIATE) - Sandy Lafleur: Delve into the haunting sounds of minor tunes! Bring your capo but we'll also play in DAC tuning. We'll also discuss playing techniques that can fit these kinds of tunes. Saturday 3:00 - 4:00

#21 - Country Music (INTERMEDIATE) - Sam Edelston: To repurpose an old like from Loretta Lynn, "When you're lookin' at dulcimers, you're lookin' at country." Y'all will pick up some easy licks, fills, and backup ideas that will be useful even if Nashville isn't normally your style. Saturday 4:15 - 5:15

Intermediate/Advanced Workshops

#22 - Expanding Your Old Time Repertoire (INT/ADVANCED) - Jeff Furman: Old-time tunes are fun and widely played on the dulcimer. I hope to teach you some new old-time tunes to play and share. But we will also cover some concepts and techniques to improve the sound and feel of your old-time tunes. We will also have you playing some tunes in keys other than D to expand your repertoire and so you can play with other instruments (fiddles, banjos, hammered dulcimers, etc.) in the keys in which these tunes are more traditionally played. Please bring a CAPO. Sunday 11:45 - 12:45

#23 - Get Rhythm (INT/ADVANCED) - Bing Futch: The heartbeat of nearly every tune is its rhythm. In this workshop, we'll cover fundamental aspects of groove, from counting beats and exercises designed to get you strumming fluently to mixing and matching poly-rhythms and incorporating stops, accents, mutes and strum variations to create vibrant and dramatic percussion as you play! Friday 3:30 - 4:30

#24 - Mountain Dulcimer Songs in Minor Tunings (INT/ADVANCED) - Sally Rogers: Some of the loveliest Appalachian music finds its dulcimer voice in minor tunings. Bring your dulcimer and savor this sound. Come tuned to DAD and Sally will help you retune. Saturday 9:45 - 10:45

Master Class taught by Susan Trump

This year's master class (class numbers 25, 26, 27) will be taught by Susan Trump and will be geared to the intermediate to advanced player. Concepts and techniques will be taught sequentially, with each session building on material taught in the previous session &emdash; participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions to get the most benefit.

#25 - Really Know Your Fretboard (Part One of a Three Part Workshop) - Susan Trump: Knowing your chords up and down the fretboard, forward and backward, understanding the connection between chord shapes, playing chords in different positions, moveable major 7th chords, arpeggios and more are the tools to playing better, smoother and making really nice arrangements. That's where we'll start this group of Intermediate/Advanced Master Classes and who knows where it will lead! Saturday 9:45 - 10:45

#26 - Making Really Interesting Arrangements - Part 1 (Part Two of a Three Part Workshop) - Susan Trump: Let's use all the techniques we know, (and maybe some new ones) to arrange tunes to keep your interest and take your music to another level. We'll use arpeggios, broken chords, substitute chords, bass melody with chords, rhythmic variations, Making good introductions and endings and more. BRING A PENCIL WITH AN ERASER. Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

#27 - Making Really Interesting Arrangements - Part 2 (Part Three of a Three Part Workshop) - Susan Trump: We'll continue working with our arrangements, and make time to hear some that you might be working on to help you over stumbling blocks, or just spiff them up a bit, with tips for successful performance. Sunday 10:30 - 11:30

Advanced Workshops

#28 - Embellishing Celtic Airs (ADVANCED) - Jeff Furman: Celtic airs are beautiful melodies and the mountain dulcimer is an excellent instrument for expressing that beauty. In this workshop we will explore concepts and techniques to enhance the feeling of these simple, yet beautiful and enchanting, melodies on your dulcimer. We will work on personal expression so you will be better able to put more feeling into your playing, regardless of the tune. As more experienced players, you should be playing music, not just notes! Please bring a CAPO. Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

#29 - Picking Your Destiny (ADVANCED) - Bing Futch: It all starts easy enough, with careful consideration of which picks we should use for what kind of playing (this includes fingerpicks, so please invest in a set!) and then goes crazy from there. We'll work on left-hand exercises in cross-picking and flat-picking, drilling the scales and doubling the melodies. There will be some fiddle tunes with all the notes left in, but it'll be easy once I show the "the trick". Saturday 3:00 - 4:00

All Levels / Other Instruments

#30 - Banjo Basics and Beyond (ALL LEVELS) - Howie Bursen: Howie has been playing and teaching banjo for half a century. He will introduce the basics of old-time clawhammer style. For those who have mastered the basics, he'll teach double thumbing. He'll also teach a simple tune. Saturday 11:00 - 12:00

#31 - Songs for 1, 2, 3 and More: The Joy of Singing Together (ALL LEVELS) - Sally Rogers: There is nothing like getting a group of people together to sing in one big voice. Sally will lead familiar songs as well as rounds, partner songs and songs from around the world. Be part of the fun! Sunday 11:45 - 12:45