Harmonica

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  I recall my dad playing the harmonica often on the weekends when I was young. He learned to play the instrument all on his own, with no prior musical training. Since then, several very good introductory books have become available. Patience and a gradual approach are most helpful in making progress in learning to […]

Hammered Dulcimer

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  The hammered dulcimer is a musical instrument with a uniquely bright and ringing sound. Although it has strings to produce its sound, those strings are set into motion by being struck by small mallet hammers.  Hence it is generally considered to be a percussion instrument, in the same way that a piano is considered […]

Cello

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The sound of the cello has been likened to that of the human voice. Less expensive starter instruments are now available so that is no longer a barrier to your learning to play one. There are many fine instruction and song books written for the cello. Imagine how you would feel in your personal music […]

Violin

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I still find it amazing that so much poignant sound can pour out of instrument as small as a violin. Here as well, advances in manufacturing have brought forth inexpensive instruments on which practically anyone can begin to learn to play. Acquiring a confident bow stroke and secure finger placement are the keys to developing […]

Mandolin

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The mandolin has resurfaced in popularity on the wave of new-found interest in bluegrass- style music. Ironically, there already was a fair amount of classical music material written for the instrument in past centuries. But the tremendous power and skill demonstrated by Bill Monroe in the early 20th century propelled the instrument into the foreground […]

Banjo

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Sounds from the banjo seem to me to be like musical rain. The surge in popularity of bluegrass music has certainly brought the banjo to the ear of a new generation of listeners. In a relatively short time, you can be busily running your right hand fingers through those charming sound patterns known as rolls. […]

Bass Guitar

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The bass guitar lives between the rhythm guitar and the drums. It produces sounds in a unique range and grounds the music it lives with. Developing appropriate pressure on the fingerboard comes easily. Before you know it, your right and left hands will be well synchronized. Then, interesting bass lines are nor far away. I […]

Ukulele

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The ukulele has traveled through numerous areas of the world and appeared in a variety of musical styles over the years. The largest of this family, the baritone uke, is closest in form to an acoustic guitar. The smallest of the ukulele family of stringed instruments is found most everywhere now. It is called a […]

Guitar

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Guitar playing ascends through hundreds of levels of skill and complexity. Technology has made available many decent guitars at quite a low cost. Persistence is key to gaining mastery of this instrument. Every new note and chord brought under control brings its own satisfaction. Once claimed, they remains available for use. Hal Leonard, FJH Music […]

Organ

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The organ has been dubbed the king of instruments. In its day, it was the instrument of choice.  So many different distinct sound effects were available from its panel of stops. Organs can be heard regularly today in religious settings and at concerts. The presence of foot pedals adds a bass level dimension to the […]