Elk in the Meadow
Original Tune by Steve Eulberg, Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer Players
NOTE: This is taught in the DGd Tuning, but demonstrated in D#-G#-d#.


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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration of the Tune (in DGd tuning) Steve demonstrates this original jig in DGd tuning.
2. Story Behind the Tune Talking about the story behind the composition of this tune, Steve also describes why it is special to him for another reason.
3. Right Hand Jig Strumming and Tuning to DGd Now our attention turns to the strumming patterns used by the right hand, and tuning the instrument from DAd to DGd.  This is the tune that Steve likes to use to introduce dulcimer players to jig strumming.
4. Learning the Left Hand on the A Part We’ve got the right hand going, to we focus now on the left hand and learning to play the tune in the A part.  We connect the constant but accented jig strum with the changing melody notes.
5. Woodshedding the A Part Woodshedding is the musical practice of working on only a small passage of a song to increase our accuracy and build up our muscle memory.  In this case, Steve only calls out the changing notes to simplify the thinking process.
6. Adding and Articulating the Finish of the A Part. The finish of the A part on the bass string gives us an opportunity to try different articulations (flat pick, hammer-on and slides).
7. Putting the Whole A Part Together As we put all the A part pieces together, Steve talks about the room for various interpretations in folk music.
8. Mapping the B Part Using an “anchor finger”, placed as close to the back of the fret as possible,  we map out the playing of the B part of this tune, only calling out the changing notes.
9. Woodshedding the B Part We use the woodshedding technique again on the B Part.
10. Playing the Parts of the B Section All Together Now that we know them, this segment puts all the pieces of the B Part together, and reminds us that practicing the part of the tune we’re less familiar with MORE will have a positive effect on our learning and playing.
11. Putting the Tune Parts Together It is time to put both the A and B parts together and play the tune as a whole.
12. Adding Articulations Since we have the shape of the tune under our belt, we can add the articulation of a pull-off and hammer-on to give it an even more fun pizzazz.
13. Adding the “snap” for a more Bagpipe Sound Now, adding the Scottish “snap” rhythm (SHORT, long) to the articulations we just learned gives this tune a more Bagpipe feel.
14. Playing the Tune on the Bass String For fun variety, we play the entire tune on the Bass String with the melody string saved for the finish.
15. Playing the tune an Octave higher Where else can we play this tune?  Up an octave higher!
16. Playing Octaves We can also play the melody in octaves simultaneously!
17. Making an Arrangement from all of the Parts We have so many wonderful and varied ways of playing this melody, so it is time to take these options and make some decisions so we can play and perform this tune as a finished arrangement.
PDFTablature

Music GlobeExtras

  • After a day at the Highlands festival at Estes Park in the Colorado Rockies, Steve was playing the mountain dulcimer on his cabin porch. He noticed the sun broke through the clouds just as an elk broke through the treeline to rest in the meadow, and was moved to compose this tune. Hear Steve tell the story in his own words.
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