Monday, June 13, 2011

Strum Flower Songs & More

Tonight I played my Autoharp, which had been sitting neglected in a chair until last night when I tuned it. The base notes were all sharp while the middle and high notes were exceedingly flat. It took about a half an hour to tune it, and now that I've played it for a while it probably needs another good tuning. What it actually needs is a new set of strings, but that's next month's project, after the house gets painted.

After taking a break from the 'harp to work on my new mountain dulcimer it was nice to come back at it. Some of the harder things I had been frustrated with are magically much easier. I'm completely convinced that picking up a new instrument has made me better at the old one, and appreciate it's attributes much more. Like the ability to stand up and walk around with it. My little dulcimer has a strap, but it's for keeping from sliding off of my lap. I've got a lot to learn before I figure out how to play it standing up.

My autoharp is for singing with mostly. I love the quality of it with my voice, and I'm learning a bunch of songs that I really love. But since I'm taking her out in public, I need to work on some more of my favorite sing-a-longs. Making music with a bunch of like-minded individuals is a very good thing, and I get to do a lot of it. It's mostly folk music I'm learning, of the popular '60's variety, and some traditional standards as well. There are still a couple of songs that I'm re-learning since I had my chord bars moved around last fall, but those are making more sense with the standard Bryan Bowers arrangement. Much easier for me to work with, and I recommend it to any player.
I'm trying to get a few sets of three songs, for the purpose of playing at open mics. I love the idea of having some kind of theme, but I need to learn a few more songs to round them out. I think I have a Wildflower Song Set almost ready to go with:
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Wild Mountain Thyme
  • How She Could Sing the Wildwood Flower
I also am casually looking for another song with the word "damn" in it, as I have two already for my Damn Song Set. I am learning my second "death" song for my Death Song Set, "The Death of Queen Jane" and I still need to get the chords figured out for the third. Clearly I plan to be prepared for every eventuality at an open mic night. Who knows, if I get the hang of it, I might actually tell people in advance to come see me. Maybe next year sometime.

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