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Coming Up!


Nonsuch Dulcimer Club Spring Fling

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Spring Fling Dulcimer Festival hosted by Nonsuch Dulcimer Club, UK Come along as we join this delightful dulcimer group from England. This online festival is open to the all no matter your location!

Here's what I'll be teaching:

Saturday, March 20: 3:00 – 5:45 pm (11:00-1:45 Eastern) (MD – Intermediate/Advanced)

Session 1: Modes and Tunings

Dulcimers are based on modes. To know modes is to know your instrument. It’s as simple as that. Learn how to recognize these modes and use these modes. How do you tune for a mode, how do you use capos for modes. We will be concentrating on The Big Four: Ionian (or Major), Aeolian (or natural minor), Mixolydian (Majorish with a twist) and Dorian (minorish with a twist). Just for fun, we’ll do a piece in Phrygian too! Starting Key is D-A-d.

Session 2: Chord Shapes and Changing Keys

This is a workshop about using chords in more than one key on your dulcimer. There are three basic chord shapes on the dulcimer. Learn these shapes and you can find inversions of all the chords in the key of D. Pretty handy, right? but let’s take that a step further. Many chords in the key of D are found in most of the popular keys used on guitar. We are not limited to one key on the dulcimer; we can transpose or change keys. Let’s go one more step. Chords are three or more notes played together at the same time. If you’re willing to give up one of those three notes (namely the notes not found on the dulcimer), we can find even more chords and keys on the dulcimer. Your instrument is much more versatile than you thought!

Sunday, March 21st: 3:00 – 5:45 pm (11:00-1:45 Eastern) (MD – Intermediate/Advanced)

Session 1: Smoothing Out Your Playing

Is your playing a bit choppy? We’ll discover what causes choppy playing and the “big secret” for smoothing out your playing. Most choppy playing happens in the fretting hand. We’ll see what these problems are and, more importantly, how to fix them. We’ll also discuss ways to make your playing more musical.

Session 2: Navigating Your Fretboard

“You make it look so easy!” is one of the biggest compliments you can receive. This class will be about tricks and tips to accompany yourself and others. We will discuss chord and inversion choices, how to get from one chord to another, how to improvise a “break”, and how to be flexible in your playing.

There are other performers and teachers so check out the website.

Rob Brereton

Rob Brereton is considered one of the pioneers in contemporary mountain dulcimer playing. His years of studying classical guitar have polished his playing style while his degree in music theory and composition has given him a fresh approach to arranging.

Rob was one of the first dulcimer players to arrange extensively in chromatic and other alternate tunings. Although he specializes in the standards and early jazz tunes of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and the like, Rob is equally adept at playing the more traditional celtic, Appalachian, old time, and other dulcimer repertoire.

Rob has taught all levels of dulcimer at most major music festivals and folk schools across the country. He has won several awards for his playing including a coveted Winfield National flatpicking award. Rob was one of the organizers of the Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration and continues to organize the occasional Dulcimer Cruise. He has been playing dulcimer for over 30 years and has been an internationally recognized performer and instructor since his first CD was released in 1992. David Schnaufer called Rob's playing "...strong and innovative."

Rob's music is featured on his CD, Someone to Watch Over Me available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and most other music download sites. 

In addition, Rob teaches K-6 music and has many private students. He also composes, arranges, and he directs several choirs near his home in CT. If you're interested in Rob teaching privately or at a venue, feel free to contact him. Much to his friends' dismay, he also yodels. Please don't hold this against him.