I enjoy improvising on the dulcimer and writing tunes. Below are some of my compositions which I have put on my YouTube channel. If you want to see more of my composing, (and yes there's a lot more than I put here), check out my Patreon page.
I am dedicating this song to all the high school seniors, (of which I am one), who have not had the year they expected. We're missing graduation parties, classes, athletics, friends, and more. It really is like walking through the valley of the shadow of death. However, we know we have nothing to fear when God is with us. And remember, just because this season of life is, well, obnoxious, we still have many good things to look forward to. It's sad, but there's still hope it can get better. Hopefully this song reminds you of that, and I hope you enjoy the song.
This song is my final composition for music theory class. I've involved a few instruments, and while not perfect, I think it turned out fairly well. You may wonder why I'm playing another cardboard-styrofoam dulcimer. That's one I made a while ago, for travelling in the car. (It's a "baritone dulcimette", in the key of G). It's really just because I wrote the song on this dulcimer, and it's kind of my best fully chromatic dulcimer right now.
I also play the guitar and mandolin. I have been learning some things on the mandolin and this song was a nice challenge. However, don't think I know what I'm doing on the guitar! I just used it for the low bass notes.
In retrospect, this project would have been easier if I had just recorded with a metronome:P I apparently speed up and slow down a lot.
I am giving this song the GPS award! That is, the Grant's Prettiest Song Award. Not that I won't write something better someday, but this turned out well. I enjoyed the months-long process of writing it; where I came up with many phrases, some of which made it into the song, and others which didn't. It also is really fun to play, and does not feel nearly so long as it is. I probably could perform it even better with a couple more months of practice, but it still sounds nice.
My inspiration for this song has two parts: first, the beauty and quality of a Blue Lion dulcimer. Every note is so crisp and full, and it all blends together really well. (Thank you to my teacher, Karen Mueller, for lending me this dulcimer). Second, the keyboard class I recently took at the community college. I was inspired by the 7th chords and other 4 note chords we learned about, and decided to try them out, since I had 4 strings. (Which are tuned to B F# B F#).
The title for this song comes from Psalm 23, which talks about trusting in God and finding his peace in any situation. There is not doubt that this COVID-19 situation is annoying, stressful, and scary. I hope this song can help you to relax and destress; but more than that, point you to Jesus, who can give you his peace, which transcends all understanding.
This is a tune I wrote during breaks while taking an SAT practice test:) I'm calling it a polska because I my teacher says it fits, though there are some extra beats thrown in I think.
I'm playing a banjo dulcimer because that is what I wrote it on. Aside from the tone, I like the crispness of every note, it really sounds cool with precise picking.
This is a fun tune with a story. I played this for my teacher once and said hey this has been stuck in my head for a while, have you heard it before? It turns out she had not. I am almost certain I wrote this song, but I can't remember when I actually did; hence the name:) If you have heard before it let me know! Otherwise I hope you enjoy it.
Old Joe's Whiskey
This is a fun fiddle tune I wrote, meant to be a blend of Old Joe Clark and Whiskey Before Breakfast, two fiddle tunes I have played a lot.
One fun bit of info: I composed this a while ago (a year or more), but never wrote it down! I remembered the A part but not the B part, so wrote a new B part. While it turned out well, I highly recommend preserving in some way any ideas you have, before you lose them.
Lastly, this is a new dulcimer build! It is still cardboard, Styrofoam, and chromatic; but most notable is the tuning. It is tuned to 'Dada', so the standard 'Dad' with an extra high 'A'. The fret board is also wider than usual to accommodate the 4th string. To me this feels like a very natural extension of tunings I am already used to, with some extra range. I believe I will be playing this a lot more.
This is an original composition I wrote recently on the dulcimer. It is basically a waltz, but the C part switches rhythm and I haven't yet figured out what exactly happens.
Thanks to my friend Martha for helping me brainstorm the title! I stumbled across the first few chords just before leaving to go to a corn maze so it's fitting.