Friday, November 20, 2009

My Goal......

Is to learn how to play the dulcimer.......I've hinted around that I want a dulcimer. It is an expense that I can't justify to spend on myself. But I love the music. There is something happy about dulcimer music and Lord knows, I can use all the upbeat music I can get! But there is also something mournful about a dulcimer. It is as if it can speak to you.

I remember years ago when my then-husband and I made and sold funnel cakes at a country craft fair. Across the path from us was a group of musicians including one dulcimer-player. It was lovely and I was captivated. Dulcimer music reminds me of autumn and halloween, blowing breezes and Thanksgiving, leaves swirling in the backyard and sweatshirts and pumpkins and all of that.

Dulcimer music also reminds me of the start of summer. With kickin' dancing music and all the white skinned people anxiously celebrating the start of warm season.

I play the piano right now. My daughters play the clarinet and the trumpet. My son plays the drum. And they can all plunk their way through songs on the piano. My favorite music to play is Christmas carols - they are so rich and warm and comforting - and the book stays open! The fact that I play the piano and my kids play instruments make me feel that I'm not such a loser. That I'm a good parent. That we are not the hicks we appear to be.

Living frugally is the way I wish to live. I see no point in having more than enough. But sometimes I find myself feeling as if I need to defend my choice not to give the kids tons of gifts for Christmas or to drive a new car when my old car is enough.

Which brings me back to playing the dulcimer. It seems simply in design but I'm thinking it is not so simple to play. But I plan to learn. And after that, perhaps the violin!

1 comment:

Bill said...

This "old goat" (76) picked up his first dulcimer about 3 years ago, and it has been one of the great joys of his life. Since then, I have owned some 200 of them, mostly sold again, but I still have a nice collection...some collectors items, others just nice players.

The dulcimer is about the easiest instrument to learn to play, if you play the old traditional way (strumming). You just fret the melody string(s), and let the other 2 strings "drone". The fretboard is fretted from lowest note to highest note, and you can pick out a tune on it in no time. It's said that "if you can hum it, you can strum it". Once you're familiar with the fretboard, you'll find this to be true.

Of course, there are those that play using chords, which takes a little more practice than I care to give it right now, but it's been great to be able to make recognizable music by using just the strum method.

Of course there are inexpensive booklets available that will guide you from the first step, in either method of play, if you feel you need one.

You can pick up a nice lower end instrument for around $200 (my favorite 'player' is one I paid just over $200 for). You can also find a good student model for around $125. So, I encourage you to go for it. I'll bet you'll be thrilled that you did.

There's a website ( that is a wealth of information about "everything dulcimer". Check it out.

Best wishes.

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