Sunday, November 6, 2011

Good Times Big & Small

Well, last night was my third annual Autumn Music Circle & Party. It was also my debut playing my lovely mountain dulcimer. The party was well attended, and the weather was fine, but very windy. So we did not have the bonfire going, too many leaf piles that could catch fire. Better safe than sorry! Lots of friends show up, with a small bunch arriving almost an hour early.

The party itself went very well, with groups talking in the kitchen, and the spare room that acts as my office/music room. But the music itself happened in the living room. In the past, we've filled all the chairs with musicians, up to about a dozen or so. This year we had less than half that. Three guitars, one stav, and myself on the dulcimer. Boy did my little dulcimer sound quiet compared to those guitars! And I was strumming as loudly as I could without making it go all buzzy. I played from my music book because I felt like I needed the crutch. I was very nervous on my first song, which didn't go very well. It was "Diamonds and Rust" and I've only been playing it on the dulcimer for a couple of weeks. I'm learning bar chords and it's still a little awkward and difficult to leap from the 1st fret down to the 6th without missing a beat.

I managed a fair rendition of "Wild Mountain Thyme" toward the end of the night. When one of the guitarists left there was a break in the music and we wandered around and chatted. We did a few more tunes after that. The party went on after the musicians left, and I ended up kicking everyone out at about ten minutes to two in the morning. So there were definitely some good times at the party. The music circle never really got to a good jam level, but it had it's moments. I was quite relaxed by then end of the night, very comfortable sitting there with my dulcimer amid the guitars.

My next lesson with Karen is a week from Tuesday, and I'm looking forward to making progress with my lovely instrument. I really want to learn it well enough that I can jump in and jam with others, and maybe get together more often with my musician friends just to hang out and play. In the meantime I will keep watching for when the next Dulcimer Day in Duluth is. I hope they're going to do it again, it would be great to meet some more dulcimer players in this sea of guitarists here in Minnesota.

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