Dusty Turtle


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Whiskey Before Breakfast on baritone dulcimette

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Duration: 00:02:34
The first time I saw a dulcimer being played it was Stephen Seifert's incomparable version of this song posted on YouTube. I will never play with his soft yet creative touch, but if you squint really hard . . .I am playing a baritone dulcimette made by Ron Ewing and tuned GGDDgg.This version of "Whiskey" is based mostly on Stephen's version made available at a slow speed at the Dulcimer School. The idea for the arpeggios on the lower strings for the 3rd time through the A part comes from tablature by Gary Gallier available on his website.For Stephen Seifert: http://stephenseifert.com/ For the Dulcimer School: http://www.dulcimerschool.com/ For Gary Gallier: http://dulcimercentral.com/ For Ron Ewing: http://www.ronewingdulcimers.com/
Dusty Turtle
03/19/12 02:34:19AM @dusty:

Thanks for listening, John. I think we all need to practice more. I actually worked out this arrangement a long time ago but to play requires decent technique on the dulcimette, and I find if I take a break and don't play it often enough (like every day!) I lose that technique. This is as close as I come on the dulcimer to guitar-style flatpicking. I'd love to hear Bill Taylor's slow version. Is it available somewhere? I found the tab for it but I'd love to hear a recording.

Dusty Turtle
03/17/12 07:43:59PM @dusty:

Well thank you kindly, Carrie.

Dusty Turtle
03/17/12 11:43:11AM @dusty:

Hi Sue. My baritone dulcimette has six strings, so mine is certainly not intended for fingerpicking. But you could fingerpick on yours. I think I posted a video ("Give me the Roses")fingerpickingan Eede Beede, which is about the same size as a regular dulcimette, and it can work. But since these little dulcimers have so little sustain, you can't fingerpick slowly and let the notes ring out. You have to develop a more steady rhythm to keep things moving along. You might also consider tuning it to GDg instead. Ths slightly looser strings will be easier to work with your fingertips and might provide a little more sustain.

I definitely think the baritone dulcimette works great for fiddle tunes and that is what I mainly use mine for. The fact that I came to the dulcimer after playing flatpicking guitar made it an easier transition. I first ordered my dulcimette after noting that a lot of Mark Gilston's work is on a baritone dulcimette, and the shorter fretboard seemedconducive to playing faster. You might check out some of hisvideos with that dulcimer ("Grasshopper Sitting on a Sweetpotato Vine," "Sandy Boys,"and more).

I've been planning one of these days to start a discussion in the Little Dulcimers group about what repertoir is best for these shorter VSLs. You might consider starting that conversation yourself.

Dusty Turtle
02/17/12 06:50:34PM @dusty:

Thanks, Brian and Val.

No, Val, it is not easy to play this one up to speed, but the smaller fretboard of this dulcimer makes it a bit more manageable.

Brian G.
02/16/12 09:34:00PM @brian-g:

Very nice Dusty!

Dusty Turtle
02/16/12 08:47:24PM @dusty:

Thanks, everyone, for you kind words and encouragement. Hopefully I'll work up a few more variations on this tune and develop a more varied version soon.

John Henry
02/16/12 05:25:55PM @john-henry:

Always been a favourite of mine! Nicely done ,Dusty


John Keane
02/16/12 05:07:36PM @john-keane:

That's nice right there! Great job!

Dusty Turtle
02/16/12 02:36:44PM @dusty:

Thanks, Barbara. Since this was the first song I ever heard on the dulcimer, it hasbeen a goal ever since to work up a version of it. I still plan on working on some new variations, especially for the B part, but I wanted to share what I've got so far. Thanks for your encouragement.