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 (4x4 5x3 6x2) Practice octave scales; contrary motion scales; G scale in thirdsOne octave arpeggios including the following patterns: "shed"; "reverse check (sunken sailboat)"; "step ladder"; "ladder" (start with both hands); "diamond" (See Chord Theory and Mapping for the Hammered Dulcimer) Combine arpeggio patterns and practice the full range of various chords through the full range of your instrument Practice inversions: "parallelogram": start on the third and the third note names the chord; "Nevada": start on the 5th and the second note names the chord Study basic chord theory (see Big Bundle Fireside Theory Chats) Practice harmonizing a scale using triads (right-left-right, and left-right-left)
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 will get your ready! Trained at Eastman as a French Horn player and music educator, she was principal in The Durham Symphony Orchestra for many years. She has taught French Horn, piano, trumpet and flute for many years. And then she discovered the hammered dulcimer. ML has 60+ students with 40+ Facetime students. Along with her knowledge and insightful ability to diagnose and fix problems, Marylynn delivers with kindness along with a mix of infectious enthusiasm and dedication to her students. 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. Most of the tunes in these collections were 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. Therefore, they are the equivalent of 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. See The Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Video Lessons
Philosophy This you can not prepare for! But just so you know, I choose my tunes and topics at Sandbridge in order to attack four major dimensions: (1) technique – hammering control & technique, the many arranging ideas and techniques (valley rolls, rolled chords, arpeggio fills, etc.), understanding/accessing the many patterns, backup ideas, etc; (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. My approach is to work on all of these skill areas with the firm conviction that ALL are necessary to become a complete player.
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 (organized by week). This is a very partial list AND things shift and evolve! Week 1 Tunes
Bethany Beach *Big Scioty *Bill Cheatham *Bonny at Morn *The Circle Cumberland Gap Der Winter ist Vergange Done Gone *Down Home Waltz *East Tennessee Blue's Eagle's Whistle *Evening of Roses Falls of Richmond Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss *Forvantan For Ireland Gentle Eily O'Carol Grub Springs Johnny Cope *Kentucky Waltz L&N Rag Midnight on the Water Missouri *My Cape Breton Home North Carolina Breakdown Oklahoma Rooster Peeler Creek Roof for the Rain Roscoe Shenandoah Fall Snake River Reel Summer's End *Tombigbee's Waltz Valse Frontenac *Walking in my Sleep Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord Winder's Slide
Week 2 Tunes
Amelia's *Are You Sleepin Maggie *Bay of Fundy *Big Scioty Blacktail Canyon *Bonny at Morn Caspian Lake *The Circle *Coleman's March Cuckoo's Nest Cumberland Gap Der Winter ist Vergangen Eagle's Whistle *Evening of Roses Falls of Richmond *Fanny Power Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss For Ireland *Forvantan Frenchie's Gentle Eily O'Carol Grub Springs *Half Past Four *Johnny Cope *Kentucky Waltz L&N Rag *Macpherson's Lament McDonald's Missouri Oklahoma Rooster Peeler Creek Roof for the Rain Roscoe Saudade de Uberaba *Saastaponkki Shenandoah Fall Snake River Reel Southern Cross Summer's End *Tombigbee's Waltz Valse Frontenac Walking in my Sleep *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord Winderslide *YZ Hamilton's Breakdown
Week 3 Tunes
*Amelia's *Bay of Fundy *Big Scioty Blacktail Canyon Black and White Rag *Bonny at Morn *Caspian Lake *The Circle *Coleman's March Cuckoo's Nest Cumberland Gap Der Winter ist Vergangen Done Gone Eagle's Whistle *Evening of Roses *Fanny Power *Farewell Trion Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss For Ireland Frenchie's Gentle Eily O'Carol Grub Springs *Half Past Four *Johnny Cope Josefin's Dopvals *Kentucky Waltz L&N Rag *Macpherson's Lament McDonald's Missouri Oklahoma Rooster Peeler Creek Roof for the Rain Roscoe *Saastaponkki Saudade de Uberaba Shenandoah Fall Snake River Reel Snowdrops Southern Cross The Panhandle *Walking in my Sleep *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord
*Are You Sleepin Maggie *Big Scioty *Bill Cheatham Blacktail Canyon *Bonny at Morn *Carolan's Cup *Caspian Lake *Eleanor Plunkett *Evening of Roses For Ireland Gentle Maiden Grub Springs *Johnny Cope Kitchen Girl Missouri *Morag's *Mouth of the Tobique *O'Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady *Possum's Tail is Bare Polska *Quince Dillon's High D *Sadie at the Back Door *Stone's Rag *Wednesday Night's Waltz *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord Winderslide