49th Walnut Valley Festival

September 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2021

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

All tickets previously sold for WVF 49 will be valid for entry in September 2021. Tickets are also currently available for purchase.

September 15-19, 2021

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

All tickets previously sold for WVF 49 will be valid for entry in September 2021. Tickets are also currently available for purchase.

2021 Spring MOUNTAIN DULCIMER Workshops

Elaine Conger - It's All About the Bass Dulcimer

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 8am to 9:50am CDT

The bass dulcimer is a magnificent addition to the mountain dulcimer family.  It adds a needed foundation and tonal warmth to standard dulcimer groups and music jams.  Perhaps you’ve been intrigued with its sound but haven’t quite figured out how to best utilize it to its maximum potential.  Although the bass dulcimer can be played as a solo instrument, participants in this workshop will explore its strengths as an accompanying instrument, especially in mimicking the techniques used by the upright or electric bass player.  The class will focus mainly on the alternating bass line, which fits the bulk of the traditional mountain dulcimer repertoire.  Participants will learn what to do on the bass whether in 4/4, 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures and how to “get fancy” (walk-ups, walk-downs, etc.) between chord changes.  We will also cover how to play in other keys like G, A, Am and Em, and how to transpose.  References will be made to Elaine’s bass book, “It’s All About the Bass Dulcimer!”  If you don’t have a copy, you may purchase a digital download at  https://larryconger.com/product/214739  DAD tuning; a 1+ fret is not required but needed to play in other keys like the key of G.  Skill Level:  Advancing Beginner to Intermediate

Minimum of 5 Participants

Elaine Conger - It's STILL About the Bass Dulcimer

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - Noon to 1:50pm CDT

This class takes your bass dulcimer skills beyond the alternating bass line pattern which fits with so much of the traditional dulcimer repertoire. Even though the alternating pattern is the foundational skill of all bass instrument players, man cannot live with just “boom,boom,” right? In this class, you’ll learn bass line accompaniment patterns including walking bass lines and patterns that fit genres like blues, boogie woogie and rock ‘n roll. Participants should be able to perform barre chords efficiently and have a thorough knowledge of chords and chord shapes. DAd tuning; 1+ fret required.    Skill Level:  Intermediate 

Minimum of 5 Participants

Larry Conger - Mountain Dulcimer Blues

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 10am to 11:50am CDT

This class will require your dulcimer to have a 1+ fret in order to play the blues.  Several fun tunes such as “C.C. Rider” and “Midnight Special” will be presented, along with others, as time allows.  The blues shuffle and triplet feel will be addressed in detail.  A working knowledge of dulcimer tablature, three finger chords and chord-melody style of playing will be useful.  Audio reference tracks of each tune will be provided to use as a rehearsal tool.  DAD tuning.

Minimum of 5 Participants

Larry Conger - Bluegrass Gospel for Mountain Dulcimer

Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 10am to 11:50am CDT

The perfect Sunday morning offering! This workshop will focus on the roots of bluegrass music by presenting several arrangements that have been the staple of old time and bluegrass bands for decades. Songs like “Just Over in the Glory Land” and “Life’s Railway to Heaven” will be presented, among others, as time allows. Along the way, we will apply a chord-melody style to the arrangements as a way of combining melody with rhythm. Audio reference tracks of each tune will be provided to use as a rehearsal tool. DAD tuning.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Minimum of 5 Participants

Larry & Elaine Conger - Standard & Bass Duets to the Max!

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 6pm to 7:50pm CDT

In this class you’ll receive three tunes tabbed as standard and bass duets.  The bass part in these tunes will “maximize” your bass skills by showing you how to make the bass play “back up,” meaning in an accompaniment style while simultaneously adding bass lines. In addition to the tablature, participants will also receive two audio tracks per song — one with both dulcimer parts and one minus a part – so that you’ll be able to practice each part if you don’t currently have a duet partner. DAd tuning.  Skill Level:  Intermediate to Advanced

Minimum of 5 Participants

Larry & Elaine Conger - Standard & Bass Dulcimer Duets - Let's Walk!

Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 2pm to 3:50pm CDT

The arrangements in this session will feature walking bass dulcimer patterns, typical of styles like the blues, while the standard dulcimer focuses on playing the melody and chordal accompaniment.  A general knowledge of patterns on the bass dulcimer and three finger chords on the standard dulcimer will be useful.  The result will be well-crafted arrangements that should add a new dimension to your playing.  DAD tuning. Skill Level:  Intermediate 

Minimum of 5 Participants

Larry & Elaine Conger - Duets for Two Standard Mountain Dulcimers

Sunday March 21, 2021 - 6pm to 7:50pm CD

Come prepared to learn several arrangements designed specifically for two standard dulcimers. Don’t have a duet partner? One standard part can stand alone as a solo. The second standard dulcimer will feature harmonies and chordal support for the melody dulcimer. A working knowledge of tab reading, three finger chords and chord-melody style of playing will be beneficial. DAD tuning. Skill Level: Intermediate

Minimum of 5 Participants

Bing Futch - Dulcimers of the Carribbean

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 9am to 10:30am CDT

Avast, matey! There be pirate songs ahead! We’ll explore swashbuckling on the high seas with a selection of tunes that will bring out your inner Jack Sparrow. These be easy songs, savvy? So say “yoo-hoo” to a hearty “yo-ho!” and learn to use strumming and flatpicking to navigate the cursed course of chords and melody that come straight from Davey Jones’ Locker. Arrrgh! Skill Level: Beginner – Intermediate

Bing Futch - "Da Slocit Light: A Study In Song"

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 11am to 12:30pm CDT

This haunting piece by Scottish fiddler Tom Anderson is a favorite among fiddle players everywhere and Ken Bloom likes to perform it on bowed dulcimer.  It sounds quite lovely on standard mountain dulcimer and we’ll use a chord-melody style to navigate its looping melodies.  We’ll explore the composition of the piece and see how even chords that aren’t native to our tuning (DAD) can still be arranged.  Come learn a tune that you’ve probably heard before and perhaps have always wanted to learn!  Skill Level:  Intermediate

Bing Futch - Flight Around the World

Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 9am to 10:30am CDT

Let’s take an international journey of song as we enjoy learning and playing some fun tunes from around the globe!  During our flight, we’ll visit Czechoslovakia (“Annie Went Down To The Cabbage Patch”), Wales (“Sans Day Carol”), and Japan (“Ue Wo Muite Arukou”)  Skill Level:  Intermediate

Bing Futch - Flatpicking Irish Fiddle Tunes

Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 11am to 12:30pm CDT

We’ll dive in with this workshop and pick through some of the most popular Irish fiddle tunes including “Swallowtail Jig”, “The Road To Lisdoonvarna”, “Kesh Jig” and others that will get your fingers flying and your toes tappin’! I’ll show you special finger placement and scale exercises to help you when it comes to learning new jigs, reels, hornpipes and more. Bring a capo! Skill Level: Intermediate

Erin Mae Lewis - Bluegrass Mountain Dulcimer: Chords and Back-up Technique

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 10am to 11:30am CDT

Erin Mae will teach you the most important skill of playing bluegrass – accompaniment! From the basics of simple chords and rhythm patterns to walking bass lines, fills, and playing in a variety of keys; this class will get you playing with others in no time. We’ll play a bunch of songs at all different tempos, so you’ll start applying your new-found knowledge right away. All playing levels are welcome — DAD tuning — capo required.

Limit 30 Participants

Erin Mae Lewis - Mountain Dulcimer Tunes & Improvisation Technique

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 2pm to 3:30pm CDT

Erin Mae will teach you a couple of standard bluegrass melodies, then show you how to improvise your own solos over songs you don’t know. We’ll use the pentatonic scale and simple patterns to demystify improvisation. Bonus — since we’re on Zoom, no one but you will hear what you’re playing! It’s the perfect opportunity to begin exploring new sounds without the pressure of someone else hearing you. All playing levels are welcome — DAD tuning — capo required.

Limit 30 Participants

Erin Mae Lewis - Mountain Dulcimer: Chromatic vs Diatonic

Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 1pm to 2:30pm CDT

 Erin Mae will help you find ways to play in the “hard” keys — B, Bb, C, and F on the mountain dulcimer. You’ll see both diatonic and chromatic dulcimer approaches to these keys. If you have a chromatic dulcimer, or think you might be interested in getting one, this is a perfect introductory class. All playing levels are welcome. There will be re-tuning and a capo may be helpful. 

Limit 30 Participants

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