Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hammering, Sliding, and Other Details of a Long Day

Dulcimer class is fascinating. I've learned a couple tunes and now our teacher is showing us some neat tricks to make different sounds from our instruments, like how to "hammer" a string and how to use sliding for good effect and less noting. Other participants in the class tell me that this is advanced stuff and I admit it's not easy for me to catch on to some of it. What I have though, is a lot of things to practice when I get home and that is the instructor's intent. I brought my little recorder with me and have been able to catch the tunes so I have them for later practice. Yesterday I had to be away all day, telling stories in the central part of the state, so my recorder was an invaluable tool when I returned because I'd almost forgotten everything I learned! I got it out late last night and brushed up the two tunes we'd learned earlier this week (Mississippi Sawyer and Goodbye Liza Jane). Today's tune was Squirrel Heads and Gravy; a weird name for a really lovely piece. Last night was also the Wild Meat Dinner; the foods served weren't all wild though. There was roasted pork and lamb on the menu, both delicious. The wild meats included venison roasted under hot coals in a wood fire, venison wrapped in bacon and grilled, venison meatballs, fried wild turkey, and bear. There was also clams from Maryland's eastern shore. It was the first time I'd had clams and they were amazing. Old-time and bluegrass music played all around the grounds while author and poet Jim Minnick read from his book The Blueberry Years, and shared some of his poetry. A sip of blueberry moonshine seemed a fitting way to toast the reading, and some just happened to be available to a lucky few of us. I bought two of Jim's books and am looking forward to some good reading. I was in bed by midnight for a change; it had been a long day and I have more to tell you about it, and photos, when I get home to my own computer. (This one is in the library). Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

2 comments:

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

I haven't played my dulcimer in several years, although I once played it daily. I have a Homer Ledford dulcimer I bought from him around 1970 or 71.

Nance said...

Im thrilled for you, learning the dulcimer! I always thought I'd take up the piano and haven't. I hope you are all okay and that you have electricity and that you have no damage. I hope to hear from you soon!

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