What can I do to prepare for Sandbridge? This is a very common question especially for the rookies. So I’ve listed some of the priorities that I have for your first time! But keep in mind that you are there to learn. Don’t panic! Everyone who attends experiences “the deer in the headlights” phenomenon. You cannot expect to get it all! But there is plenty you can do prepare.
Skills Practice the three ways of playing scales Practice arpeggios over the full range using all pathways (all patterns) Practice inversions Study basic chord theory Practice harmonizing a scale using triads
Tunes/repertoire Solidify your current repertoire Learn a few of the Sandbridge jam standards
Resources to help get you there Chord Theory and Mapping for the Hammered Dulcimer A working knowledge of the contents in this book is the single most important thing you can do. Study and know it cover to cover!! OK, that may be ambitious but you should be able to get through a good chunk of the book! I consider mastering the material outlined in this book as an eventual necessity.
Facetime lessons with Mary Lynn van Deventer. ML works with many Sanndbridge participants especially with those who come to one of the first two weeks (intermediate and intermediate/advanced). ML is my assistant for those two weeks. She can get your ready! Trained at Eastman as a French Horn player and music educator, she was principal in The Durham Symphony Orchestra for many decades. She has taught French Horn, piano, and flute for many decades. And then she discovered the hammered dulcimer. ML has 60+ students with 40+ Facetime students. She possesses enthusiasm that is enough for the whole planet coupled with being extremely dedicated, talented, knowledgeable, kind and insightful. www.marylynnsmusic.com
Two collections of hammered dulcimer arrangements. These collections include around 90 pieces where I include the basic tune with chord progressions, at least one detailed arrangement or the piece, often with backup parts. These are primarily tunes that I taught at my Sandbridge retreats. The Sandbridge Waltz Collection The Sandbridge Fiddle Tune Collection
Video lessons. I also have an enormous library of video lessons. MANY of the tunes from the two books are in these video lessons. And I have taught many of the tunes at Sandbridge! I work through the hammering, theory etc. for the basic tune, chord progression, backup, arrangements etc. Each video lesson is really a collection of many lessons that would take me many hours to work through with a student. So they are like multiple lessons. Perhaps you can try one! BUT most important is The Big Bundle where I cover Foundational Skills including Hammered Dulcimer Fundamentals and Exercises, The Pachelbel Exercise, Fireside Theory Chat, Backup, and Techniques. The Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Video Lessons
Philosophy I work on four major dimensions: (1) technique – the technical side, seeing patterns, all sorts of techniques; (2) listening skills – developing your ears to learn by ear, hear phrases, intervals, chords, to listen in an ensemble/jam and much more; (3) musicality – phrasing, dynamics, swing and much more; (4) theory – engage your brain to understand chord/music theory, how to see the chords, structure, phrases in music, how it all hangs together, tying together melody, chord progressions, arrangements etc.
Process Listen to this 2 minute chat by Ira Glass. It is just about perfect! On Creativity!
Tunes – Check the tunes that we have done over the years – each week has their favorites but here is a list of some common tunes that typically get played: Amelia’s *Are You Sleepin Maggie *Bay of Fundy Bethany Beach *Big Scioty *Bill Cheatham Blacktail Canyon *Bonny at Morn *Carolan’s Cup *Caspian Lake *Coleman’s March *The Circle Cuckoo’s Nest Cumberland Gap Der Winter ist Vergangen Done Gone *Down Home Waltz *Eagle’s Whistle *East Tennessee Blues *Evening of Roses Falls of Richmond *Fanny Power *Farewell Trion Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss For Ireland *Forvantan Frenchie’s Gentle Eily O’Carol Gentle Maiden Grub Springs *Half Past Four *Johnny Cope Josefin’s Dopvals *Kentucky Waltz Kitchen Girl L&N Rag *Macpherson’s Lament McDonald’s Midnight on the Water Missouri *Morag’s *Mouth of the Tobique *My Cape Breton Home North Carolina Breakdown *O’Carolan’s Quarrel with the Landlady Oklahoma Rooster *Quince Dillon’s High D Peeler Creek Polska *Possum’s Tail is Bare Roof for the Rain Roscoe *Saastaponkki *Sadie at the Back Door Saudade de Uberaba Shenandoah Falls Snake River Reel Snowdrops Southern Cross Summer’s End *Tombigbee’s Waltz Valse Frontenac *Walking in my Sleep Willafjord *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Winder Slide *YZ Hamilton’s Breakdown