Dusty Turtle


Location: Northern California
Country: USA

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The Four Marys

Artist: Dusty Turtle
Genre: Four Marys
Duration: 00:01:20

This traditional ballad dates from the 16th century. I play it on a Blue Lion mountain dulcimer made of cherry and cedar and tuned DAd.

Dusty Turtle
11/30/15 02:24:50AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, Sheryl.  I play the first and third verses pretty straight but mess around with some scales and arpeggios a little in the middle verse.  I would offer to share the tab I put together to teach this song to my local dulcimer group, but I just listened to your fine version of the tune and I think our arrangements are very similar. There is an expressiveness in your playing that is quite moving.

Sheryl St. Clare
11/29/15 03:09:39PM @sheryl-st-clare:

Love your version of The Four Mary's. You make it sound easy...

Dusty Turtle
11/18/15 03:56:54AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks so much, Jan. You are too kind.

Jan Potts
11/18/15 01:55:16AM @jan-potts:

Lovely, Dusty--it sounds like it just flows out of your fingertips!

Dusty Turtle
11/10/15 12:48:52AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, Robin.  I'm sure you could learn this tune in no time. Listen to the Ritchie sisters sing it a few times and then it will just pop out of your dulcimer!

Robin Thompson
11/09/15 08:00:24PM @robin-thompson:

I listened on SC when I was home yesterday and on a real computer. :) Nicely played, Dusty!  I've never tried to play this but now I'm thinking I ought to. 

Dusty Turtle
11/09/15 12:56:15PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks so much, Lexie.

Lexie R Oakley
11/09/15 11:45:16AM @lexie-r-oakley:

Very nicely played Dusty, really enjoy listening to you play.

Dusty Turtle
11/09/15 02:48:00AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, Paul, and for taking the time to comment.

Paul Killian
11/08/15 11:14:44PM @paul-killian:

Really good. Thanks for posting.

Dusty Turtle
11/06/15 10:52:00PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, Gail.

Gail Webber
11/06/15 08:02:20PM @gail-webber:

Sounds great, Dusty!

Dusty Turtle
11/05/15 02:06:31PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, David. I play the tune three times, the second of which involves some noodling on scales that come out of the chord positions. Whenever you have a melody note that lasts two, three, or more beats, you can add some stuff and as long as you get back to the melody on time, the song will still be easily recognizable.

Another trick is to always have your hand in the position of a chord even if you are not strumming across all the strings. Then you can hit any string and it will sound OK.  So I add mini arpeggios in that manner.  It might sound like I am adding extras but all I'm doing is hitting the other strings of the dulcimer one-at-a-time before getting back to the melody.

And don't try to practice speed.  Practice playing accurately and speed will come on its own.

David Pedersen
11/05/15 11:49:26AM @david-pedersen:

Good one Dusty. Really like the extra you put in there. Guess I'll start working on this also. Got the tune down just need to learn extras.

Working on the strumming part of John Henry, other wise got that down, except for speed.

Dusty Turtle
11/05/15 01:38:29AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, Mike.  I learned the tune in response to James's November challenge in the Call the Tune Group. There are a few different versions of the tune there that are worth checking out.

Mike Keller
11/05/15 12:27:21AM @mike-keller:

This was great! Thanks for sharing. clap