Jan Potts

Location:

Location: Lexington, KY
Country: US

Latest Followers:

deborahmce Jessica Comeau Steve Battarbee John W. McKinstry JenniferC patricia breen dulcinina Glenda  Hubbard Erin Hussey DulcimerJones Joyce Hibbard whocindylou hugssandi cindi perron Dana R. McCall Boo Salt Springs Linda Boies Tom McDonald Cat Brown Gail Webber David Pedersen artandsong2@yahoo.com LakeMom VTMama Kandee Alice Chumbley Lora Jody Deem John Gribble Charles Thomas jeffrey charles foster sleepingangel Stewart McCormick Patricia Delich Doug Berch Stephen Addison Rick Kennedy Cindy Stammich Tommy Twoshoes ejpwest Deborah Hinz Denise Parker cmvcsings Monica lora Kat Vallish D. Chitwood Colleen Hailey Cynthia Wigington Rick Probst

Stats

Playlists: 1
SoundCloud Tracks: 19
vimeo videos: 1
images: 30
events: 1
videos: 1
audio tracks: 3

I started playing the piano by ear while in kindergarten and have since then had a few years of piano instruction, Flutofone in 4th grade, 5 years of clarinet, took up folk guitar in college, and have owned a dulcimer since I made a cardboard one in 1991.  About 6.5 years ago, I finally had some sort of mental breakthrough (helped along, I'm convinced, by some choice nuggets of info in a music theory class I had with Steve Eulburg at KY Music Week (KMW) and I can now play the dulcimer by ear, as well.  Other instruments I play with varying degrees of success include the pennywhistle, recorder, ukulele, harmonica, djembe, steel drum, and hammered dulcimer.  The instrument I would most like to play, however, is the cello--but I think that involves the use of a magic wand!  smile 

One of the things I struggle with is playing from tab, because that involves lines and numbers and my brain doesn't process that very well (hence the problem with piano instruction!)  I'm more of a spatial learner, so hearing and seeing intervals in music makes a lot of sense to me.  And I'm better with linear instruments (piano, whistle) than ones that have you moving in a circular manner (steel drum) to produce the music.  I think of low notes as being either left or "down" and higher notes being to the right or "up".  Tone progressions that move in circles or boxes on an instrument require a lot of extra brain power.

I love informal jams with others, especially with folks who enjoy rounds, playing in parts, and adding harmonies and counter-melodies. 

Some of my recent challenges include songwriting and composing for the dulcimer, performance, learning the technology involved in making and posting audio and video clips, and being a mentor and providing instruction in mountain dulcimer to others.

Latest Activity

  All
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 days ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "A tune that's out of reach":
"DulcimerJones: Wow, still feels like magic to me!  I'm impressed so much in how far you've come in 4 years! And I can tell that magic spark is still..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 6 days ago • comments: 23
Posted a new Comment on POLL: How long ago did you start playing dulcimer?:
"20-35 years   I made a cardboard one in 1991 and messed around with it for a little while.  Then I put it aside and only rarely got it out (and since I..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • one week ago • comments: 25
Posted a new Comment on O Sacred Head Now Wounded:
"O Sacred Head Now Wounded The United Methodist Hymnal Number 286Text: Anonymous; trans. by Paul Gerhardt and James W. Alexander Music: Hans L. Hassler,..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • one week ago • comments: 25
Posted a new Comment on O Sacred Head Now Wounded:
"Steven Berger: Beautifully played, Jan! Paul Simon based his "An American Tune" on this melody.       Steven According to Steven Berger, he did just..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 weeks ago • comments: 0
Created a new forum topic "Need a contractor in Louisville, KY. Suggestions?":
"I trust the opinions of dulcimer folks and I know a lot of you are within 50 miles of Louisville, KY.  I need to quickly find a contractor who will do a..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What's fer dinner?":
"Mixed grill from the local Indian restaurant--I ordered everything mild (the rice, sauces, etc.) and it was right at my upper range of tolerable heat!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • one month ago • comments: 12
Posted a new Comment on Loch Lomond, played on a Dulciborn:
"Not late at all...it helps remind me of instruments I haven't played in a while! This is the standard tuning of DAd.  It has a big full sound because it is..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Dave Lynch/Harpmaker in hospital":
"Hope you feel better soon, David!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago
@jan-potts is now following @tillmanator
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 7
Posted a new Comment on @tillmanator:
"Tillmanator, I'd like to discuss your project with you.  To send messages back and forth, you will need to "follow" me, since we both have to follow each..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 5
Posted a new Comment on Y Deryn Bach - sound sample of new student dulcimer:
"Great sounding dulcimer!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Thinking About Buying a Ban Jammer":
"I think it's easier with 3 strings, so I think you made the right call!  But then I usually play dulcimers with just 3 strings--if a dulcimer happens to have..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago
@jan-potts is now following @marc-mathieu
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Thinking About Buying a Ban Jammer":
"Patsyannie, I have owned my Banjammer (made by Mike Clemmer at Wood 'n' Strings Dulcimer shop in Townsend, Tenn.) for 8 years.  I have never mastered playing..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Florida friends":
"For those who know Guy and Sherrie George, they came through OK, too.  "
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "The Positive Thread...":
"Got to practice some Christmas songs with my dulcimer buddies in Tucson, yesterday.  Lots of fun!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Teardrop Dulcimer Question":
"I agree with Ken because I also like a nice deep sound.  So I would be pleased with the wider, deeper (I'd go for a little deeper than 2 inches) soundbox...."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 12
Posted a new Comment on Indiana Players:
"Hi all!  I have family in the center of the state: Indianapolis, Carmel, and Noblesville.  While working on my genealogy, I found out my great grandmother..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017":
"I played my baritone ukulele in Gail Weber's living room....that's as close as I came.  Tomorrow afternoon we'll be joined by Karen Smith Gratto and we'll..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "The Drifting Thread...":
"Gail played her dulcimer beautifully--not just accurately, but with the emotions she was feeling and wanted to share with us.  Well done, my friend! I am..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "The Drifting Thread...":
"Marg, keep us updated on how you are through all this.  Did you decide to stay at home?  I have a lot of family in Texas, but a bit more inland--they will..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 18
Posted a new Comment on Getting the first dulcimer:
"Yep, good choice.  As soon as you get a song figured out, think about posting it on here so we can hear how the McSpadden sound and so we can see you..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Favorite chair/seat for playing?":
"I think I play best in my recliner with the dulcimer across the arms...."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 6
Posted a new Comment on Satisfied-hymn in public domain:
"Beautifully played and very touching!  Thank you for sharing this with us."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 13
Posted a new Comment on Which frets should I add?:
"Dusty, the last line of your reply is so true--it is a personal preference.  And I think it makes sense for new players to wonder why we who have been..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 18
Posted a new Comment on Getting the first dulcimer:
"My first dulcimer was made from a kit from Backyard Dulcimers: wood fretboard (with frets already installed), geared tuners, and a cardboard box style..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 13
Posted a new Comment on Which frets should I add?:
"But if the first instrument you ever played had the 1.5 and the 8.5 it would have been "normal" and you would not think of those frets as being "extra frets"..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 17
Posted a new Comment on Harvest Home and Boys of Bluehill (Hornpipes):
"Love that fancy fingering--all those triplets WOW!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on Tom Barr Galax Dulcimer:
"That is a beautiful instrument!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 6
Posted a new Comment on Jam at Ohiopyle Saturday July 22:
"Looks like y'all had a lot of fun!  If you need another dose of good fun over Labor Day weekend, head over to Winchester, KY, for the Homer Ledford Dulcimer..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 13
Posted a new Comment on Which frets should I add?:
"I realize you're looking for opinions here...there's no right answer. I have dulcimers with no extra frets, and several with all sorts of combinations of..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "DAA or DAD as primary tuning ?":
"Don, I use my 1 1/2 fret (also written as 1+ or 1.5 ) so I can play in the key of G without retuning or putting a capo on.  The 3 main chords in the key of G..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017":
"Marg, your place is so lovely, and looks like a great place to sit and trade tunes!  It was so gracious of you to invite me over to stay at your home 3 years..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 months ago • comments: 32
Posted a new Comment on The Wind that Shakes the Barley:
"This is one of the best renditions of this tune I have ever heard! Did I tell you I considered buying a McCafferty "twin" of yours?  I really liked the..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 months ago • comments: 32
Liked a youtube by @dusty-turtle:
The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Latest Group Discussions

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Jan Potts

Make a video challenge! This is My Father's World!


Here's the challenge: learn to play--or SING and play--the public...
@Jan Potts last year - Comments: 9
Jan Potts

Funeral music


Don't need this, yet, but I was wondering if anyone in here has played...
@Jan Potts 3 years ago - Comments: 46
Jan Potts

A WEEK of the Songs of Jean Ritchie at John Campbell Folk School


I just want to make sure that the Fans of Jean Ritchie are informed...
@Jan Potts 3 years ago - Comments: 6
Jan Potts

Illustrated guide: How to Change Your Strings


Joe Collins' excellent guide shows step-by-step how to change the...
@Jan Potts 3 years ago - Comments: 1
Jan Potts

What's up with the 3.5 fret?!


So....I'm getting a new-to-me dulcimer and it has a 3.5 fret. I'm not...
@Jan Potts 5 years ago - Comments: 1

Latest Audio

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O Sacred Head Now Wounded

O Sacred Head Now Wounded


@Jan Potts
7 months ago - Comments: 25
Loch Lomond, played on a Dulciborn

Loch Lomond, played on a...


@Jan Potts
9 months ago - Comments: 12
Away in a Manger (alternate tune in a minor key)

Away in a Manger (alternate...


@Jan Potts
11 months ago - Comments: 8
Deck the Halls--Mountain Dulcimer

Deck the Halls--Mountain...


@Jan Potts
11 months ago - Comments: 9
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on...


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 5
This Is My Father's World

This Is My Father's World


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 14
Celebrate This Happy Day!

Celebrate This Happy Day!


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 2
Greet the Morn

Greet the Morn


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 8
Processional

Processional


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 2
Hard Times, 1854, composed by Stephen Foster

Hard Times, 1854, composed by...


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 18
John Stinson #2 in A, Upping Tempo

John Stinson #2 in A, Upping...


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 10
Donkey Riding

Donkey Riding


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 8
Healing

Healing


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 9
Jabez

Jabez


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 7
Mary Murphy, Take 1

Mary Murphy, Take 1


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 6

Latest Videos

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Loch Lomond on a Soprano Dulcimer

Loch Lomond on a Soprano Dulcimer


@Jan Potts
9 months ago - Comments: 24
Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah


@Jan Potts
3 years ago - Comments: 97

Latest Photos

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Latest Forum Discussions

  All

Need a contractor in Louisville, KY....

Posted: Saturday November 4 2017, 1:18 PM
By: @Randy Adams

Untabbed songs/tunes you'd like to learn

Posted: Friday April 21 2017, 2:04 AM
By: @marg

Rest in peace, Brian Beach

Posted: Friday April 14 2017, 8:28 PM
By: @Jim Fawcett

New Airlines' Rules Affect Those Traveling...

Posted: Monday February 20 2017, 1:54 AM
By: @Jill Geary

Favorite picks made from unusual materials

Posted: Monday January 16 2017, 8:46 AM
By: @Jan Potts

Has anyone used a string cleaner product...

Posted: Sunday January 8 2017, 7:53 PM
By: @Ken Longfield

John E. Wood 1930-2015

Posted: Friday June 10 2016, 12:58 PM
By: @John Shaw

Creative song mix-ups (NOT mistakes!)

Posted: Sunday October 4 2015, 8:13 PM
By: @Jan Potts

Positive game-changers in your progress

Posted: Monday September 14 2015, 3:32 AM
By: @Jan Potts

Edsel Martin dulcimer on eBay -questions

Posted: Friday August 21 2015, 6:41 AM
By: @Rob N Lackey

Carts for hauling your stuff around at a...

Posted: Tuesday August 11 2015, 7:09 PM
By: @Paul Certo

"Appalachian Journey" with Alan Lomax (1991)

Posted: Wednesday December 10 2014, 1:19 AM
By: @Dusty Turtle

eBay shipping gone wrong? Too bad! NOT...

Posted: Tuesday August 19 2014, 5:43 PM
By: @Jan Potts

Post-shoulder surgery suggestions needed

Posted: Monday November 12 2012, 10:22 PM
By: @folkfan

Comments

Tillmanator
10/02/17 05:24:02PM @tillmanator:

I have sent a follow request.  Looking forward to talking with you.


HEWalker
06/19/17 05:26:13AM @hewalker:

Thank you for the welcome-yes that is slate wall!  We use the same for our guitars and assorted woodwinds as well!  We will be installing another section for more dulcimers soon-my addiction has grown!


Joyce Hughes
05/01/17 10:28:34PM @joyce-hughes:

Thanks for the welcome, Jan. My husband gave me a Warren May Special for my birthday 15 years ago. I could not figure how to learn from tablature until I found a group 2 years ago. I am finally getting to really enjoy this beautiful dulcimer and have fun playing with a group. My husband's sister lives in Berea. He saw my interest in the dulcimers in Warren May's beautiful store and wanted me to have one.


Helen Seiler
05/01/17 01:24:15AM @helen-seiler:

Thanks so much Jan. H x


Ann Wells
04/21/17 05:10:15PM @ann-wells:

Hello Jan

My goodness you  have been busy with music...I am proud and envious at the same time.   You are doing great id you can play by ear, especially when picking.  I have to follow the notes.   I play Guitar and ukulele and teach both, mostly to seniors but I do have a 9 year old for ukulele.  One of these days I will get up enough nerve to do a video, but not right now.  Jane Williams is the one who taught me so much as I was struggling alone with an old book and not getting too far.   We have played together when they were in Nova Scotia where I live. Keep strumming and take care.

Ann Wells 


Strumelia
01/10/17 10:47:06AM @strumelia:

Hi Jan, I sent you a PM...  howdy


Estes George
12/13/16 08:53:17PM @george-desjardins:

Sorry it's been awhile about the Edsel Martin and brothers dulcimers. Will be putting up some pictures and what I've found out, Very nice piece.Finally got some time. In forums? 


Estes George
12/05/16 03:36:49PM @george-desjardins:

Hi Jan, I had sent you a follow request, because I stumbled upon an old post of yours from about a year ago regarding Edsel Martin Dulcimers. I actually just purchased one myself, off Ebay a few days back, supposed to arrive Thursday, but had done a fair amount of research on how to tell if it's the real deal, and the way it was signed as genuine Martin, and whether it was built by Edsel, Fred or Wade.

 Was just going to share what I found out.


Estes George
10/13/16 09:12:40PM @george-desjardins:

i also play dulcimer when watching TV, Never get much TV in,,


Erin Mae
09/01/16 02:33:12PM @erin-mae:

Hi Jan, 
This will be my first year at Unicoi as well.  I'm also very excited to finally experience it!  I'm sure we're going to have a jolly good time, and I look forward to seeing you then!

-Erin Mae


VTMama
03/07/16 12:35:39PM @nicole-bartlett:

Hi Jan!  Thank you for the warm welcome!  I am very excited to be here.  There's actually a workshop coming up in April in my area.  I'm not sure if it's geared toward beginners, but I will surely find out!  :)


marg
01/21/16 06:59:28PM @marg:

  take care with the snow storm.


Kandee
01/11/16 11:36:05AM @kandee:

Jan, it was nice to meet you at KWMW.  Maybe next time we can spend more time together.


Alice Chumbley Lora
01/02/16 05:06:48PM @alice-chumbley-lora:

Jan, will you be at KMW next weekend?


Helen Seiler
12/18/15 07:47:20PM @helen-seiler:

A have a happy holiday season Jan, try not to worry about your health (not easy, I know). And may 2016 be a far better year for you. Hugs Helen


kencas
09/18/15 06:47:14AM @kencas:

G'Day Jan!

Thank you very much for the warm welcome. Brisbane certainly grew up from the big country town when Expo 88 was here, and yet since then it really hasn't grown too greatly which is a good thing! Probably the biggest thing since then was holding the G8 meeting last year with President Obama in town - that really got the excitement up for Brisbane!!! And should you ever travel "downunda" again I'm sure you will have many friends willing to offer up a bed for you both again!

Hooroo, Ken.


Dulcie
09/07/15 10:53:30AM @dulcie:

Thank you for writing me, I didn't know I wasn't getting back to the ones who wrote me. 

Pi grew up in estes, live about 45 minutes away now. Yes, Colorado is beautiful!


Jimi45
09/06/15 01:59:40AM @jimi45:

Indeed, I've enjoyed a great deal of the music I've heard so far while combing through YouTube and other sources looking for tunes to play.


Adrian Stanton
09/04/15 02:37:49AM @adrian-stanton:

Hello,

Thank you for your greeting. According to tracking information, my instrument should arrive to day.

Regards

Adrian


Kathy V
09/03/15 07:24:23PM @kathy-v:

Thank you jan. Much to learn. Pray The Lord gives me lots more years! Lol