Love Being on Back-up!

At our monthly jams at C&O Canal National Park, anywhere from 5 to 9 musicians gather at The Tavern to share traditional dulcimer music with visitors. We have a large–and growing–repertoire. It’s a delight to hear the melody sing out and to get audience members into the act with loaner dulcimers and percussion instruments.

Dulcimers at Great Falls 4

Lately, I’m finding great enjoyment in creating backup. Coming off a great workshop on this topic offered by Stephen Seifert at Kentucky Music Week, I’m experimenting with reverse chords, chords up the fretboard, off-beat chops and bass runs. What a treat to hear the back-up notes dance with the melody. It’s true–you don’t have to be the star of the show to make a contribution. Back-up playing feeds my creativity and builds my knowledge of the dulcimer’s possibilities. (And–truth be told–it comes in handy when the group picks a tune I haven’t played in awhile!)