General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
Perhaps it's my senior brain but I'm getting so frustrated with learning to play my dulcimer. I began learning, wanting to know everything about this wonderful instrument, all the theory, the modes, chord progressions etc). But it just isn't clicking. I thought I wanted to play chord/melody style but I'm finding that my short fingers and slightly arthritic hands make chords difficult. I have a 26" VSL and don't want to go smaller. Then there are hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. The modes and tuning totally throw me. I've begun to think that I'm on information overload. I follow several very good dulcimer instructors, but each has their own way of doing things and seem to teach above my head at the moment. I've come to the conclusion that noter style may be a better fit for me. I've been reading up and listening to Jean Ritchie lately and I think that the traditional and Celtic style songs are what draw me in.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me to learn? I found Strumelia's blog with her suggestion to begin at the beginning of the blog (2009). That looks helpful. I really think that getting comfortable with the different tunings may be important, even if I stayed with noter drone.
I read when I first started that the mountain dulcimer was one of the easiest instruments to learn to play. I can pick out a tune by ear but I want to do so much more. What am I doing to make ti seem so difficult?