Mel Bay Hands-On Dulcimer: Developing Technique Through Exercises and Studies

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9780786653614: Mel Bay Hands-On Dulcimer: Developing Technique Through Exercises and Studies
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This book is designed to help fretted dulcimer players at all levels grow in their technical abilities by developing strength, precision, control and flexibility in both the right and left hands. Acquiring a solid technical foundation provides a base upon which to build strong musicianship, enabling one to play more satisfying music regardless of style. Explore flatpicking, fingerpicking, slurs, chords, strumming, left hand precision and placement, right hand strength and control, volume, tone, articulation, and more using both dulcimer tablature and standard music notation. In this book, Mike has used ideas drawn from classical guitar study plus years of teaching dulcimer to develop exercises that will inspire and challenge players at all levels. The tunes and exercises are in the common dulcimer tuning of D-A-D, with a few exceptions. Some exercises are included for the four-string and five-string dulcimers, and a 6+ fret is required. The accompanying CD demonstrates key exercises and most of the tunes in the book.

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About the Author:

Mike Casey performs on the 5-string lap dulcimer, wooden (Irish) flute, and guitar and tells stories. Since 1980 he has presented tradition-based music and stories from the Celtic lands and the American South in concerts and workshops throughout the eastern United States. Known as an innovator on the lap dulcimer, his unique style incorporates techniques from a variety of both Irish and American instruments including banjo, cittern, fiddle and flute, enabling him to play melodically with these instruments. According to Victory Review, Mike takes the Appalachian dulcimer to new heights...pick(ing) the melody as intricately as a classical guitarist. He plays a five-string instrument that extends one octave lower than other dulcimers, and his repertoire ranges from Celtic harp pieces and Scottish laments to old-time fiddle tune and Irish jigs, hornpipes and reels.

A gifted teacher, Mike has taught five times at the week-long dulcimer workshop at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He has also taught week-long courses at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia; the Meadowlark Music Camp in Washington, Maine; and the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas; and has led workshops for the Memphis Dulcimer Festival, the Old Songs Festival in New York, the Kent State Folk Festival in Ohio, the Lone Star State Dulcimer Festival in Texas, and many others.

Mike is also an accomplished flute player. In 1986 he was awarded an apprenticeship grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to study with master Irish flute player Jack Coen in New York. Inspired by Coen's stories of house dances, mummer sprees and legendary musicians from his native County Galway, Mike journeyed to Ireland in search of the flute tradition in this area. By visiting older players in East Galway he learned the smooth and steady style of flute playing favored there, as well as a large repertoire of tunes and tales from the region.

Mike currently tours with the band Cucanady which performs traditional songs, dances and tunes, and as part of a duo with accordion and cittern player David DiGiuseppe. With these two acts he has performed at major folk festivals and venues in the U. S. including the Old Songs Festival, Kent State Folk Festival, Folklore Society of Greater Washington, the Folkway, and Prism Coffeehouse, among others.

Mike is not only an experienced performer, but also a traditional music researcher. He has conducted fieldwork with musicians in both Ireland and North Carolina. Mike's research in Ireland resulted in a thesis on the flute tradition in the East Galway region of the country, earning him a masters degree in Folklore from the University of North Carolina. For six years he headed the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC, one of the premier archives of Southern Traditional music and narrative in the world.

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