You Need to Have an Itinerary


Mike and I spent 6 months on the road with our little travel trailer in 2009. We had no particular destination in mind … we just went wherever the wind took us. We liked to tell people that our itinerary was to have NO itinerary. The main thing we did was travel to follow bluegrass festivals, and we toggled between Tennessee and Kentucky for at least 3 months.

Now that philosophy was fine for a “time out” from our real life. (We were between jobs as opening managers for newly constructed self-…

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Don't Ride the Brakes


Have you ever been in the car with someone who constantly rides the brakes? The vehicle jerks forward and then abruptly slows down over and over, creating a bumpy ride. Instead of driving at a steady speed that would result in a smoother journey, the driver continues to speed up then tap on the brakes compulsively. Before you know it, your stomach begins to churn along with the lurching, prompting you to casually open a window for some fresh air to prevent any unwanted consequences.

What the …

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Mind Mapping


There’s a new (to me) buzzword … mind map. A musical mind map is a diagram that represents the aspects of a tune you are learning. It can include the structure (Parts A & B), chords, melody line, lyrics, history of the tune, and the composer by using colors, symbols, pictures and words.

Simply put, a mind map is a flow chart that can help you learn a tune. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been finding it more difficult to see my music … neither my reading glasses nor my driving glasses help. Rather t…

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Deep Dive


Deep Dive


by Mitch Gallagher, editor of SweetNotes from

I'm going to make an assumption:

In one regard, at least, you're like me; you love music—playing it, listening to it, writing it, learning about it.

It's on your mind all the time.

Doesn't matter what music, as long as it's good (I know, subjective word), I love it—or at least appreciate it!

And again, if you're like me, therein lies a problem.

There's so much music, so much to learn, so much to practice—it's easy to…

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Backing Track Library in it's new home!

Backing Tracks Library in its new home! 

by Steve Eulberg

As another step in the transition from our Legacy Site to our new Platform, Steve has gotten all of the Backing Tracks Library moved and set up for use by ALL members of the site.

The organization of the Library is very similar to what it has been and can be found at the menu at the top of the page when you are logged into the site and can be sorted the way it always has been:


You may notice that the actual number of tracks that app…

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Learn Something New

by Linda Ratcliff

You will learn something new everyday if you pay attention. - Ray LeBlond

Learn Something New
Sometimes the process of learning a new tune is sabotaged before you even begin. You allow a spirit of doom to hang over your head, because you think the piece is too difficult. You might say ...
  • Part B seems complicated, and I'm looking for something easier to learn.
  • This piece is in an odd tuning (like D-G-d), and it's a nightmare to retune.
  • This tune has hammer-ons and hammer…

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Are You a Teacher?

by Linda Ratcliff

A good teacher is like a candle.  It consumes itself to light the way for others. - Unknown

Are You a Teacher?
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up soon on May 8, 2018. If you are a dulcimer student with an awesome teacher, you might want to start thinking of a way you could surprise your teacher on this occasion. Maybe you could learn a new tune - all on your own. Or maybe you could give your teacher a handmade gift certificate for a dinner out with you; the gift of time i…

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Learning to Learn Free Lesson

by Steve Eulberg We often overlook the basics, don't we? How DO we learn?

] Of course there are many different learning styles and we bounce between them as individuals, but Steve presents some ideas here that you might find helpful in learning new tunes on your instrument. Try them out and let us know how they go for you!

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