Virtual Fort New Salem Dulcimer Festival
2020 Workshops
Saturday, August 8, 2020

These Sessions will be done live online via Zoom. Participants will be sent a link to the session upon registration and workshop handouts will also be emailed prior to the workshop. Cost is $5.00 per person per workshop.

11:30 - 12:30 EDT

Modal Tunings for Mountain Dulcimer - Bill Schilling - The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the learners to modes beyond DAA Ionian. Tuning methods will develop as modes are changed to DAD Mixolydian, DAC Aeolian, DAG Dorian, DAF Phrygian, and DAE Lydian. Appropriate songs will be played in some of the modes. MD - AB

Strengthen Your Strum 1 - Bill Locke - The idea of using a flat pick to structure a strum in to a rhythmic pattern is explored in this workshop. A single well known and simple tune will be used with a series of strum methods to develop a variety of sounds that can add a different energy to a tune. This may be used to provide sounds familiar from the playing of other instruments in an old time band. We start with the basics and add complexity as we go. MD - AB, I

12:45 - 1:45 EDT

Spicing Up Melodies - Linda Sigismondi - This is a workshop for a novice mountain dulcimer player who can play simple melodies but would like to add a little more interest to them. Participants will be shown how to add a few chords and harmonies to make their songs fuller. MD - AB

Strengthen Your Strum 2 - Bill Locke - In this workshop Bill will show some more advanced strumming techniques including triplets (cross-picking) and damping methods which may be used to further add variety to playing. A range of tunes genres might be tried using these methods including old-time and blues sounds. As as before, we are playing the instrument in a fashion that tends to “join the band” as it relates to the overall sound. MD - I

2:00 - 3:00 EDT

What are Chords? - Tish Westman - Learn about chords, what makes a chord, how to find them on your dulcimer. MD - AB

Fingerpicking So Simple - Brett Ridgeway - Fingerpicking is easy to learn and provides a gentle undulating and flow to your playing. Using simple picking patterns, you will learn exactly how to arpeggiate tunes and chords with a smooth rising-and-falling and turn a simple melody line into a beautiful, expressive, and purely acoustical and interesting piece. Put your pick aside and let your fingers feel the music! In addition to simple fingerpicking, you will learn how to make your music reflect emotion and dynamics as well as learn some simple hand exercises to keep your fingers and hands limber and flexible! MD - AB, I

3:15 - 4:15 EDT

Flatpicking the Mountain Dulcimer - Brett Ridgeway - Learn to flatpick the Mountain Dulcimer, playing "across" the fretboard and learning how to execute and integrate hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and other left hand techniques. Flatpicking the mountain dulcimer is so much fun and adds another dimension to your playing! MD All Levels

Renaissance Music - Steven K. Smith - Steve will teach a few tunes from the Renaissance period of Europe, tunes from the 15th to 17th centuries. These will be new tunes from previous years. A capo will be necessary. MD —I, A

Basic Autoharp - Bill Schilling - The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the participants to the autoharp, acquainting them with different harps, playing styles, setups, simple repairs, practice hints, and/or resources. Participants will hear and use different playing styles. Autoharp - B

4:30 - 5:30 EDT

American Folk Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer - Linda Sigismondi - This is a repertoire-building workshop for intermediate dulcimer players. Participants will be taught several songs from the American Tradition including: Follow the Drinking Gourd, Tom Dooley and others. MD - AB, I

Clawhammer Banjo - Tish Westman - "The Claw!"... Learn about and how to play the old-time clawhammer style 5 string banjo.

MD = mountain dulcimer
HD = hammered dulcimer
B = beginner-no previous playing experience required.
AB = advanced beginner-is familiar with tuning, knows some basic strumming and fingering and can play several songs with ease.
I = intermediate-knows basic chording and harmony playing, can read and learn from tablature, standard music notation, or by ear and has a growing repertoire of songs in a variety of styles.
A = advanced-knows a wide variety of techniques and songs, can read and learn from tablature, standard music notation, or by ear and has experience playing in a variety of situations.
ALL = workshop is open to any instrument and skill level.


Last Updated: July 15, 2020