Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
2 months ago
445 posts

Mountain dulcimers can play most any kind of music...check out Butch Ross, Stephen Seifert, Aaron O'Rourk, and Bing Futch among others (these just popped into my head--there's really a long list of mtn dulcimer players playing non-traditional dulcimer music or playing in non-traditional ways).  My advice:  play the music that's already in your heart or your head and see where it takes you!




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
jp
@jp
2 months ago
33 posts

thanks terry i appreciate your words.

i appreciate all you who responded... thanks

after spending 25 years doing Renaissance Faires and finally giving it up this year, i bought a mountain dulcimer.... cause i always liked the sound and the ease of playing or the complexity of playing. 

It may all be due to the change of life style... So many friends on the faire circuit both performers and patrons. to now really nothing... no longer anything to inspire and require practicing. I guess also i am tired of "trad"music.

i have been wondering back and listening to music from my youth.... i have been finding inspiration in "Music from Big Pink" and "the Basement Tapes" diddling with some of the tunes and thinking they may sound quite cool on MD.

So right now i am picking it up several times a week almost daily sometimes for hours sometimes just to see if a song i like is doable.  Still not sure where i am going ... baby steps.  i miss performing.

Terry Wilson
Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
2 months ago
258 posts
J.P., hang in there. Unless this is medically related, "This too shall pass."

I believe it's pretty common to have a total burnout. Doesn't mean we are giving up, just taking a break with life. Sometimes we just need to take a deep free your mind and relax.

Sounds easy, huh? Not so. But you can do it. Why? Because you want too. That's why you brought it up on this forum.
Charles Thomas
Charles Thomas
@charles-thomas
2 months ago
87 posts

What Dusty said,hang in there JP.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 months ago
1,066 posts

JP, I feel semi-professionally obliged to suggest that if you are indeed facing a more general feeling of malaise than merely not being inspired musically, you might want to seek expert help.  Online friends in music can only do so much.

If it is musical inspiration you seek, then perhaps we can help you.

I find that although my interest in music is pretty constant, my excitement about working on my own musicianship ebbs and flows. Sometimes I just don't have a song or technique that I want to learn or work on. I pick up my instrument and just don't know what to play.  One thing I do then--which doesn't even address the problem--is to continue playing scales and arpeggios and other exercises. In fact, I probably do more work merely on technique during the periods when I'm not inspired because I don't know what else to play and because when I am inspired, I want to play something specific.  But working on that technique means that when I do find that inspiration, I am better able to play it at a level that pleases me.

I also keep a list of "to learn" songs. When I am busy working on other stuff but discover a tune I'd like to play, I add it to a list.  Then during those periods when I'm just not feeling the inspiration, I peruse that list and sometimes a tune pops out and I rediscover what I liked about it.  If nothing pops out I sometimes force myself to start working on one of those tunes, and often once I start to "get" the tune, I also "get" what I liked about it and find my enthusiasm again.

I also keep a little file on my phone of musical ideas.  If a melody hits me as I'm leaving the grocery store, I'll record myself singing or whistling it.  A lot of that stuff never amounts to anything, but sometimes when nothing else excites me I'll listen to some of those files and find a melodic idea that I'd like to turn into a song.  It's like a repository of half-ideas that can be flushed out later on.  And when one of those half-ideas starts to become something fuller, it can be truly inspiring. 

I also seek music externally. One way to do so is to listen once again to some of the music that first inspired you.  For me, that means listening to the flatpicking guitarists who first demonstrated to me how elegant and exciting acoustic music could be: Norman Blake and Tony Rice.  But I also look for new music that I don't know yet.  Recently I've discovered the Canadian singer/banjo player Kaia Kater and the Memphis singer Valerie June.  Maybe those musicians don't speak to you.  But others will. Find them and let them reignite your inspiration.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 months ago
1,894 posts

Hi @jp

You are not alone in losing motivation or just feeling overwhelmed by it all.  

Maybe it's helpful to mention here for the benefit of anyone ... that we do have a group here on FOTMD that's focused around members needing a bit of friendly comfort, prayers, or just a hug.  It's a private Group (meaning the posts there do not show up on the main page and are not visible to non group members), but it's open to all FOTMD members to join: 
Prayers Hugs and Kindness Group

I could also mention here that I've made it a little easier here on the site to send a Private Message to any other member- just go to that person's profile page and click the "Send Message" envelope button under their member name on the left column.  It looks like this: envelope3.png   Later, to go to your private message Inbox where your messages are saved and responded to, hover over your name at the very top right link on any page here and the drop down menu will show a choice to go to your "Private Messages" where you'll be able to manage your messages to and from other members.

Meanwhile, a hug to you JP.  bear




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,011 posts

JP,

Sometimes, just putting a mountain dulcimer on my lap and playing a bit, not focusing on a tune but just listening to the wonderful sound a string (or strings) makes, can bring something good to my spirit.  

Take care.  I wish you well! 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Dan Goad
Dan Goad
@dan-goad
2 months ago
175 posts

JP, I first read "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley while in high school. It inspired me then and still resonates over fifty years later.  I share it wih you in the hope that it will resonate with you as well.

INVICTUS

By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

     Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatevet gods may be

     For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

     I have not winced nor cried aloud

Under the bludgeonings of chance

     My head is bloody but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

     Looms But the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

     Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 

It matters not ho strait the gate,

     How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

     I am the captain of my soul.

 

Peace be with you, my friend. 

 

 

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
2 months ago
445 posts

Yo!  JP  Not sure I can be a muse, but I do have a listening ear or two.  Can you figure out how to connect on here?




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
jp
@jp
2 months ago
33 posts

sigh lost all my motivation.... not only to MD and music but to everything...

anyone have any motivation for me i need a muse.


updated by @jp: 10/08/18 09:23:34PM