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Lonesome John (Old-time)

The Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley is credited with writing the widely played Clinch Mountain Backstep. However, it is clearly a close relative to a pre-existing old-time fiddle tune called Lonesome John! I recorded the tune with my son on Otter Creek (2011). Please check it out as you will hear many of the ideas that are covered in these lessons! This simple tune in A aeolian (Am or the relative minor to C) offers the opportunity to cover the following: (1) Definition of left-hand lead in 4/4 - this is widely misunderstood; (2) The many advantages of left-hand lead; (3) The concepts of accent shifts and swing; (4) A wide variety of backup ideas; (5) Chord progression rationale and specifically chord progressions in aeolian (also the dominant 7th chord in Am = E7; the concept of “lift”); (6) A wide variety of arranging ideas.

Here's What You Get:

Option 1: $32 (Sheet music PLUS all video lessons)

Sheet music for melody, backup, and arranging ideas. Ken talks through the tune, chord choices, hammering patterns, backups, embellishments, arranging, play-throughs, and more on his dulcimer (shot from above so that you can see what he's doing).

Option 2: $15 (Sheet music (PDF) PLUS a video play-through)

Sheet music for melody, backup, and arranging ideas. Plus a video play-through of the arranged tune by Ken (shot from above).

Video Lessons Included:

  • Basic Tune
  • Hammering (Swing, Accents, Shifts)
  • Hammering
  • Chord Progression
  • Backup (1st Pass)
  • Backup (2nd Pass)
  • Backup (3rd Pass)
  • Backup (4th Pass)
  • Dampers
  • Arranging Ideas (1st Pass)
  • Arranging Ideas (2nd Pass)
  • Arranging Ideas (3rd Pass)
  • Arranging Ideas (4th Pass)
  • Practice Track (slow to faster
  • Practice Track
  • Backup Practice Track
  • Play-through

Approximate length: 103 minutes

***Videos can be streamed, downloaded, or viewed in the Gumroad App on mobile devices. Watch your email for instructions after purchase***

It's like having private mini-tutorials from Ken that you can watch over and over!

NOTE: Even if you already own the sheet music, your purchase ensures that you receive the latest updated versions, and future additions to new arranging ideas, backups and so forth as Ken experiments and develops his playing of the tune.

Thank you for your support - I hope you enjoy the tune! Please do not share your purchased music and videos.

Recorded at Fenchurch Music Studio, Baltimore MD for the Spring 2020 Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat 

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Lonesome John (Old-time)

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