Jan Potts

Location:

Location: Lexington, KY
Country: US

My Latest Followers:

IRENE Dewey Parker Tillmanator Marc Mathieu Don Grundy NH Girl janjan Ann Wells giddykitty deborahmce Jessica Comeau Steve Battarbee Laurel K Scott Jill Geary John W. McKinstry JenniferC TLKelly Estes George Annie Deeley 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

Stats

Playlists: 1
SoundCloud Tracks: 19
vimeo videos: 1
images: 31
events: 1
videos: 1
audio tracks: 4

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 • 2 days ago • comments: 14
Posted a new Comment on Blackest Crow - with vocal:
"Awww....this is just so nice!  Love your playing and singing--and I can actually understand all the words!  Keep these comin' and I'll try to not be a year..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 weeks ago • comments: 20
Posted a new Comment on Down in the Valley to Pray:
"Bob--I love this!  And couldn't resist harmonizing along with you!  "
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 weeks ago • comments: 27
Posted a new Comment on O Sacred Head Now Wounded:
"Thank you, Ariane!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago
@jan-potts is now following @forums
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago • comments: 4
Posted a new Comment on Jan Potts:
"We were having a conversation about Rod Hensley dulcimers and I thought I'd show a photo of my all-cherry dulcimer with dove sound holes, made in 2012.  I..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "The Positive Thread...":
"Someday I'll get back to CA and we can share some songs and do some jammin'--I'd enjoy that!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on HELP! Can you identify this dulcimer?:
"This is a beautiful dulcimer, Allan!  Lots of special touches on this one including violin edges, purfling, and a modified scroll head.  I imagine the walnut..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 weeks ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "The Positive Thread...":
"Careful, Dusty!  I think I hear "ROAD TRIP" being hollered all over the world!"
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 weeks ago • comments: 98
Posted a new Comment on The Little Dulcimers Little List:
"Dusty Turtle: [T] here is a trade-off with the shorter VSLs, namely volume and sustain.  By laws of physics, shorter strings are not as loud and don't..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 4 weeks ago • comments: 98
Posted a new Comment on The Little Dulcimers Little List:
"I like your chart, Dusty, and find it helpful to know who makes what and which are still in production.  I think 24 inches is a good high end, too.  My only..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming":
"I wanted you all to know that if I wasn't already scheduled to be out of state at another dulcimer event that weekend, I would, for sure, be joining y'all in..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What Are You Working On?":
"I've spent the last 3 weeks practicing with the Tucson Dulcimer Ensemble as they prepare for several concerts in March.  In the process, I've learned a half..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago
@jan-potts is now following @don-grundy
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 109
Posted a new Comment on @jan-potts:
"I'm not sure what class that was for.  Maybe a workshop I did: "From head to hands (and paper)" on figuring out how to play a tune you know well, but for..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What Are You Working On?":
"Jill, I got my copy of Castle of Dromore at a workshop led by Sarah Morgan.  I don't know if she's OK with it being shared or not."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What Are You Working On?":
"Currently learning Castle of Dromore, an arrangement by Sarah Morgan."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What Are You Working On?":
"Dusty, I keep an ongoing alphabetized list on my computer and add new ones to it frequently.  I really should have the ones that need some extra practice in..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 9
Posted a new Comment on Pretty Saro:
"Thank you for listening and posting your comment. I'm hoping to do more of these this year..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What Are You Working On?":
"I can't play as fast as I used to--and I think that's probably a good thing! At Ky Music Week we have Fast Jams, Turtle Jams for those who prefer a slower..."
Jan Potts
@jan-potts • 3 months ago
@jan-potts is now following @irene

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 2 years ago - Comments: 9
Jan Potts

Funeral music


Don't need this, yet, but I was wondering if anyone in here has played...
@Jan Potts 4 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 4 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 4 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 6 years ago - Comments: 1

Latest Audio

  All
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


@Jan Potts
4 months ago - Comments: 15
O Sacred Head Now Wounded

O Sacred Head Now Wounded


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 27
Loch Lomond, played on a Dulciborn

Loch Lomond, played on a...


@Jan Potts
last year - Comments: 12
Away in a Manger (alternate tune in a minor key)

Away in a Manger (alternate...


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 8
Deck the Halls--Mountain Dulcimer

Deck the Halls--Mountain...


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 9
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on...


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 5
This Is My Father's World

This Is My Father's World


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 14
Celebrate This Happy Day!

Celebrate This Happy Day!


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 2
Greet the Morn

Greet the Morn


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 8
Processional

Processional


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 2
Hard Times, 1854, composed by Stephen Foster

Hard Times, 1854, composed by...


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

John Stinson #2 in A, Upping...


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 10
Donkey Riding

Donkey Riding


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 8
Healing

Healing


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 9
Jabez

Jabez


@Jan Potts
2 years ago - Comments: 7

Latest Videos

  All
Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah


@Jan Potts
4 years ago - Comments: 97

Latest Photos

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Latest Forum Discussions

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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

Kat Vallish
03/19/18 06:45:00PM @kat-vallish:

Hi Jan, I hope you are doing well.  I am trying to figure out what dates I want to reserve a room for Kentucky music week.  I am thinking about arriving the day before and leaving the day after.   What do you usually do?  

 

 


Jan Potts
02/09/18 11:34:57PM @jan-potts:

I'm not sure what class that was for.  Maybe a workshop I did: "From head to hands (and paper)" on figuring out how to play a tune you know well, but for which you have no tab.


Lois Sprengnether Keel
02/09/18 07:11:10PM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

Rats, was trying to start a new paragraph on my tablet and it posted!

As I was saying I want to add more music.  This seems like a perfect song for starting the audience remembering.  Fortunately I have lots of old-time music anthologies.  It's in The Nostalgia Collection from Hal Leonard, so I will see how hard it is for dulcimer. 

Your class probably is ended.  Any suggestions from it?


Lois Sprengnether Keel
02/09/18 07:04:40PM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

Hi Jan, I was looking for whatever discussion came the closest to asking for tab.  Found your old discussion you started for a class, trying to find something not tabbed.  I found one.  School Days, School Days was written in 1907, so I was surprised that the closest I could find was ukelele sheet music for sale.  I am looking ahead to my one-room school program and wanted to a


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.