"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 thirds, One octave arpeggios including the following patterns: "shed"; "reverse check (sunken sailboat)"; "step ladder"; "ladder" (start with both hands); "diamond" (See The Complete Guide to 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
Facetime lessons with Mary Lynn Michal (formerly van Deventer). Mary Lynn is absolutely fantastic - she works with many of my Sandbridge participants especially with those who come to my first two fall weeks (intermediate and intermediate/advanced) plus the "newbie" week. She is my assistant for all of the weeks at Sandbridge, and The Watkins Glen Retreat. 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, and flute for many decades. And then she discovered the hammered dulcimer. I have mentored her along the way as a player and teacher and performer. She now has 90+ students with 50+ Facetime students. She possesses enthusiasm that is enough for the whole planet coupled with being extremely dedicated, talented, knowledgeable, kind and insightful. She is scheduled to teach/perform and/or has performed/taught at Evart, The Poconos Dulcimer Festival, Unicoi, The Black Mountain Festival, Kentucky Music Week, Common Ground on the Hill, Mt Dora and with Ken Kolodner at various festivals/concerts. 919-414-1491; firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
Spring "Newbies" Week - this was a new week in 2020 so there are no typical jam tunes but here are some starter tunes! *Bethany Beach *Bonny at Morn - melody and arpeggio backup *Coleman's March *Citi Na gCumman *Eagle's Whistle *Evening of Roses - melody and arpeggio backup *Fanny Power *Forvantan *Johnny Cope *Lonesome John Missouri Roof for the Rain A Sandbridge Lullaby (Ken Kolodner) *Southwind *Summer's End (Ken Kolodner) *Tombigbee's *Turkey in the Peapatch *Water is Wide *Wayfaring Stranger Willafjord *The Winter is Past *Video lesson available
Week #1 *Bay of Fundy Bethany Beach *Big Scioty *Bill Cheatham *Bonny at Morn *Caspian Lake *The Circle Cumberland Gap Der Winter ist Vergange Done Gone *Down Home Waltz *East Tennessee Blues Eagle's Whistle *Evening of Roses Falls of Richmond Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss *Forvantan For Ireland Gentle Eily O'Carol *Gentle Maiden Grub Springs Johnny Cope *Josefin's *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 *Rumbling Quadrille Shenandoah Falls Snake River Reel Summer's End *Tam Lin *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 *Fanny Power Fly Around my Pretty Little Miss For Ireland *Forvantan Frenchie's Gentle Eily O'Carol Grub Springs *Half Past Four *Hommage a Edmund Pariseau *Johnny Cope *Josefin's *Kentucky Waltz L&N Rag *Macpherson's Lament McDonald's Missouri Oklahoma Rooster Peeler Creek *Promenade de Monaco *Roof for the Rain Roscoe *Rumbling Quadrille Saudade de Uberaba *Saastaponkki Shenandoah Fall Snake River Reel Snowdrops Southern Cross Summer's End *Swingin' with the Eighties *Tam Lin *Tombigbee's Waltz Valse Frontenac Walking in my Sleep *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord Winderslide *YZ Hamilton's Breakdown
Week 3 Tunes *Amelia *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 *Hommage a Edmund Pariseau *Johnny Cope *Josefin's Dopvals *Kentucky Waltz L&N Rag *Macpherson's Lament McDonald's Missouri Mouth of the Tobique Oklahoma Rooster Peeler Creek Roof for the Rain *Round the Horn Roscoe Rumblin' Quadrille *Saastaponkki Saudade de Uberaba Shenandoah Fall Snake River Reel Snowdrops Southern Cross *Swingin' with the Eighties *Tam Lin The Panhandle *Walking in my Sleep *Wayfaring Stranger *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord
Spring Sandbridge *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 Hollow Poplar *Johnny Cope Kitchen Girl Missouri *Morag's *Mouth of the Tobique *O'Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady *Possum's Tail is Bare Polska *Promenade de Monaco *Quince Dillon's High D *Sadie at the Back Door *Stone's Rag *Wayfaring Stranger *Will Ye Gang to Kelvingrove Willafjord Winder Slide