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Articles & the Press

interview in Unicorn magazine

I stumbled across this interview for Unicorn folk magazine (UK) in my files today.  My wife and I met the editor: Simon Bailes, while we were on holiday in the Lake District in May 2014.  Simon was working away from home nearby in Cumbria at that time, so we met up and shared a meal together.  Following this acquaintance, Simon both interviewed me for Unicorn and, later, reviewed my Au Vieux Moulin CD, which was in the making at the time.

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my back catalogue

part 8 ~ CD albums ctnd…

inspired by a stay at an old water mill in France where the tile track was composed, Au Vieux Moulin (2014) is my favourite and most popular CD to date – with only a little guitar, this album is a showcase for the fingerpicked dulcimer, featuring pieces from medieval to modern music in a variety of different tunings – especially important are four new minimalist pieces for the dulcimer, including the title track Le Ruisseau Du Moulin (The Mill Stream)

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What Is A Dulcimer ?

“What is a dulcimer ?” is perhaps the question I’m most often asked – this blog aims to answer that question and to give a little background to this charming instrument, as well as my own approach to it

the dulcimers that I play are members of the zither family, not to be confused with the hammered dulcimer, which is a trapezoid-shaped percussion instrument

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dulcimer strings

advice on strings for mountain dulcimers

background

I am often asked which string gauges I use on my dulcimers – this blog aims to answer that question – but I first need to explain some of the peripheral issues for my answer to make complete sense …

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the difference between rhythm and timing

the difference between rhythm and timing in music

In music, timing and rhythm are two completely different things.  This issue has cropped up a few times on my workshops, so I created this blog post to help to explain the difference between two.  Clarity for me came when I considered the difference between a timing change and a rhythm change within the same piece of music.  So, as well as defining the terms, I have included in this blog examples from my dulcimer repertoire of both type of changes.

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Making Music

practical tips for aspiring musicians 

these helpful hints are presented here as they were published in the British monthly magazines MK Pulse and NN Pulse from March 2021 

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Dulcimer Diaries

amusing anecdotes from my music work ~ these stories are presented here as they were published in the British magazines MK Pulse and NN Pulse between March 2020 and February 2021 – they are all true 

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amplification & effects for dulcimers ~ part 2

this article was published in the UK’s Nonsuch Dulcimer Club newsletter   

amplification and effects for mountain dulcimer ~ part 2 ~ electric dulcimers

Following on from part 1, my previous article on amplifying acoustic dulcimers, this article now focuses on the electric dulcimer.  Electric guitar technology is now very mature so this could have been a huge topic.  My aim here however, is to offer an introduction to the technology as a starting point for aspiring electric dulcimer players and to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

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performance skills

The following notes are based on the handout from my performance skills workshop.  The focus of my workshops was to build confidence as well as competence, so these notes are necessarily focused on the psychological aspects.  A workshop is undoubtedly a better way to learn about performance skills than an essay, nonetheless these notes might prove useful to you.  The techniques herein are powerful and have been deployed over decades to thousands of students with excellent results.     

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