Monday, February 15, 2010

Hands-On Training

You may not be familiar with Mike Casey, the performer - he's a wizard on mountain dulcimer, limber like a gymnast on the fretboard. His book "Hands-On Dulcimer" is like spring-training for serious players.

Chock full of exercises for the left and right hands, this book is something I use to warm up before launching into playing or working out tablature or studying music theory. It consists of a number of targeted modules that help to develop and firm up strumming, flat and finger-picking, melody and chordal development as well as strengthening finger and hand muscles to do the work.

Great for all skill levels, it's either a great introduction to techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides or it's a rigorous work-out for those familiar with those ornaments. It's probably a good thing to face; you don't just learn all of this stuff and then automatically "have it" for the rest of your life. Nay - even seasoned professionals need to crack away at scales, chords, various rhythms, picking patterns and studies in order to, as I call it, "stay on the horse." The moment you stop learning is the moment that your music starts to go south (and I don't mean Key West, either.)

I highly recommend this book to not only my students, but also anyone who is serious about stepping up their game on mountain dulcimer!

Amazon coupons are available for this book.

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