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.
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.
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.
A performance is different from a painting, for example, in that musicians need to interact with their audience to present their art. Successful performers manage this interaction well. Performing is a skill, so it can be learned, with the right help, by anyone. Counter-intuitively, extroverts don’t always make great performers. The ability to perform well is a skill, not a personality type.
If you go to a dulcimer festival today, you will doubtless see many variations of design to try to get the best sound from the mountain dulcimer. So which attributes contribute to the quality of tone and what makes a good dulcimer ? This article may be of interests to guitarists also.
If you are familiar with my music you will know that I’m also a guitarist and I play both guitar and dulcimer almost exclusively fingerstyle. In over four decades of playing, I have built, commissioned and/or owned 5 guitars and 7 dulcimers. This article is naturally written from my own experience but to broaden the perspective a little, I have also included views from two American dulcimer maker-players: Doug Berch, who built one of my dulcimers and Jerry Rockwell, with whom I share common interests.READ MORE
With no training in music but good woodworking skills, Dan built two dulcimers whilst at school and then played mandolin in the school folk band. Inspired by legendary British dulcimer player Roger Nicholson, with whom he was later to work with, Dan learned a little early music on the dulcimer. At university he taught himself guitar and, aside from fifteen minutes coaching with the British virtuoso guitarist Martin Simpson, is still completely self-taught on his instruments to this day. His university days were certainly formative and artists he first heard then, like John Martyn, The Pentangle and Gryphon have undoubtedly shaped the development of Dan’s highly individual and eclectic style.READ MORE
In this article (Part 1) I will explain how to amplify mountain dulcimers and what effects work particularly well with them. Although written for the mountain dulcimer, some aspects may be of interest to hammer dulcimer players and guitarist also. In Part 2 (to be published at a later date) I will discuss electric dulcimers, and the effects and amplification suitable for those.