One more item off bucket list


GeorgeLesley

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I am still recovering from the loss of my best male friend last month, but slowly getting some better. His widow has called for help a few times, but not much. That makes me feel like she is finding her own way thru the grief and that is a good thing. I am quite willing to help, but will only do so when asked.

 

On another note (pun intended), long time readers may remember a blog I wrote in 2014 about wishing I could play a musical instrument. The Essence of the blog was that I have always envied those that can just jam away with reckless  abandon playing an instrument. To set this up, first of all I have no known musical talent. Logic, math, science, mechanics, etc, etc, that’s me.

 

well for several years now I have watched Lesley play a mountain Dulcimer on occasion. I have wondered if I could play a simple stringed instrument. My concern has always been that since my stroke in ‘06 my left hand fingers move, but not quickly so playing an instrument that requires both hands to be active would be a problem for me.

 

fast forward to now. A few weeks ago I went to a new music shop that just opened up in our small town. The owner plays and teaches the mountain dulcimer and Lesley knows him. So I went to his shop and talked to him about playing and explained my problem. He smiled and told me that the mountain dulcimer was designed to play only one string with the left hand. Eureka! All I have to do is slide one finger on my left hand back and forth stopping where desired to create the intended note. No multi finger cording with three fingers moving at once needed. Strumming with my right hand is no problem.

 

So, I bought a very good used mountain dulcimer and a book and few other odd bits and am now practicing some everyday. My song list is limited to a few simple ones at the moment, but I think I can slowly learn to do this thing. I can get lessons at the store and have 4 free ones coming with the instrument. So far I have just practiced at home to get familiar with it. Now I know enough to at least ask questions and have some idea of what he is talking about. When I stumbled thru the first song by myself I really felt as though I had accomplished something I had dreamed of all my life but really did not think I could do. 

 

Lesley has started to slip into my practice room now as well when she hears me practicing. I always let mum know when I am going to practice so she can remove her hearing aids! I will not be doing any concerts anytime soon as my song list is all of two songs at the moment, but hey I have only been at it two weeks.

 

so one more thing off the bucket list and a new hobby found, something that both Lesley and I can do perhaps together in the future.

 

well guess that is it for now, just had to crow a bit about another fantasy actually coming to pass.

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George that is great. And music is all about logic and math don't sell yourself short. Do some reading on harmonics and scales and chord construction, then train your ear to guide you, if you had no exposure to playing music as a child your brain may not go there at first.  But if you have some rhythm sense and a head for maths music should come relatively easily.  I found scales and chords made much more sense once I understood the math behind it. I'm still looking for an instrument that doesn't need a left hand and is relatively portable. A friend suggested harmonica, but it just doesn't appeal to me. There'll be something but I haven't found it yet.  I'll have to investigate properly once I retire, but there's no rush right now.

Enjoy your Dulcimer!

Heather

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Geroge :

 

you continue to amaze me with your all can do attitude towards life & refuse to sit by sidelines  & not enjoy the life to fullest. I find you so  inspiring.  keep on rocking with leslie

 

Asha

 

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Thanks for the encouragement. Heather, look at a lap harp I think is what it is called. The store I have been going to has them and I will likely get one someday. It is the perfect size to travel in our RV with. It is maybe a foot at it’s biggest and is shaped somewhat like a triangle. Only plays with one hand using a pick or wooden hammer. You can get printed sheets that fit under the strings to guide you to which string to hit next.Good luck!

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So cool, I bet Christmas carol time is fun and family singalongs. Great accomplishments and no reading sheet music required. Wow! Never knew! Enjoy!! Great mind work.

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