What Does A Bowed Psaltery Sound Like?

I wanted to share this video of beautiful music being played on the Bowed Psaltery.
The man in the overalls is Rick Long. He has been playing Bowed Psaltery for a lot of years. His mastery of the instrument is something I aspire to.
He also makes Bowed Psalteries, Ringing Strings. I have seen and heard his instruments. I’ve also had the opportunity to play one of Rick Long’s Bowed Psalteries. I can tell you that he is a master instrument maker as well as a fine musician.

Rick Long, Terry Butler and Donna Switzer playing bowed psalteries at the Cumberland Gap National Park Visitor Center – May 2011
Terry and Donna have only recently started playing the Bowed Psaltery. They both play very beautifully.
If you’d like to hear more bowed psaltery music, visit the forums at Psaltery Strings.
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How Can I Learn to Play Music?

Should I learn to play the guitar?
Should I learn to play the piano?
As an adult,what is the best instrument to learn to play music?
You could play the guitar or the piano. They are often chosen as a first instrument to learn to play. Both are instruments that are easy to find instructors or classes to teach you. (Read that as lots of money for lessons.) And both take quite a while to acquire the skills to play.

You could play the piano but you need to learn to read two sets of musical notes, one for the left hand and one for the right. Then you have to coordinate reading those lines and moving two hands in different directions! Wow! That’ll take a while to learn!

You could play the guitar but is it any easier? Well, you don’t have to read notes but the guitar has its own challenges. First, you need to know what fingers to press down on which strings to form a chord. You have to really press down hard to get the chord to sound right. Ouch! Eventually you’ll develop calluses so that won’t hurt. But that will takes weeks or months if you don’t play often enough. The other thing about playing chords on a guitar is that you had better be comfortable singing along as you play. If you strum the chords on a guitar, it makes a nice accompaniment but few people will be able to know what tune you’re playing unless you sing along.

So, if the piano and the guitar are not the easiest instrument for an adult beginner to start on, what is?
The Bowed Psaltery!

Three Reasons Why the Bowed Psaltery is the Easiest Beginner Instrument to Play.

  1. You only need to read one line of music and only move one hand.
  2. You don’t need to hold down any strings, so no sore fingers or waiting for calluses.
  3. You don’t have to sing along if you don’t want to. On the bowed psaltery, you play the melody so everyone can tell what song it is. With a few hours of practice on the bowed psaltery, you can be playing a few simple songs. And in a few days you can be playing “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

The bowed psaltery is not just for folk music and hymns, you can play most any music you’ve a mind to learn.
The best part is that you can teach yourself and skip the cost of weekly lessons!
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