Ringing Strings Bowed Psalteries  

handcrafted by Rick Long
Clinton, Tennessee
(865) 660-4026psalteryman@gmail.com


The gathering will be at Cove Lake State Park

It is located just off I-75 at Exit 134.  You can search Google for lodging there.  The other exits with lodging, that are close by are, Exit 129 Lake City and Exit 122 Clinton.  The 122 exit is about ten minutes from the park and has lots of lodging and restaurants.

2017 East Tennessee Bowed Psaltery Gathering

4-24-17  Just a few more spaces remain.  I'm almost at my limit for the number of attendees. 



Oct. 26-29 2017

Currently, I have 16 spaces still available, before reaching my limit of 65 folks.  Register by contacting me and paying your $20 fee.  I'll get you on the list.  Don't delay, the registration list fills up fast.

The $20 fee is your part of the building rent.  I have already paid that out of my pocket.  The fee is to get that money back.  That is the only cost for the gathering.  Lodging and food are on you.  The workshop instructors are volunteers.

There will be no refunds for cancellations after Sept. 1 2017.  I have also stopped transferring the registration fee to the next year.  Pay your $20 and come and have fun. 

The gathering is still going to be at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, TN.  Several hotels at that I-75 exit, plus many more in the area.  Probably the most in Clinton, TN.  The park also has a nice RV campground, plus tent campsites.

For all of the folks that are registered, and coming to the gathering, you will have a name tag and a copy of the schedule waiting on you as you come in the door.  Your name tag is important, it shows everyone that you are truly a registered participant, plus we will be able to know your name and where you are from.  Be sure to wear this at all times when you are at the Gathering.

This is the 2016 schedule.  I'm leaving it up, so you can have an idea of how the gathering runs.
The instructors and workshop topics will be changing.

2016 East TN Bowed
Psaltery Gathering Schedule


Thursday Oct. 27
Building opens at Noon today.

This is move in and set-up day for me.  The building will be open and available for jamming and getting acquainted.  Very informal day, but a good chance to kick off the Gathering.  When I have everything moved in and set up, I’ll be ready for jamming. 

Just remember, when you need help with anything, or have questions, there are lots of experienced players that can help.  I know there will be lots of beginners at this years Gathering. 

The smaller room will be where the “Anything Goes” jam will take place.  This is usually where the more experienced players will gravitate.  This does not mean, if you are not an experienced player, you won’t be welcome.  It just means that it can be a faster paced jam with folks playing whatever song anyone calls out.  These fast paced jams can leave the beginners behind and sitting there holding their psalteries, essentially becoming the audience.  Whether you want to join in, or just listen, that is entirely up to you.

The large main room will be dedicated to “Slow, Easy, and Learning”.  The workshops will be held in there.  There will be three workshops each day, Friday and Saturday.  The remaining time I am asking a few folks to lead us through learning to play some easy songs.  We will take our time picking through those songs and helping you to get a nice song list started.  Songs that you will actually be learning to play and hopefully will continue to build on.  In between the workshops and song learning sessions, we will be doing some jamming, but very controlled.  Everyone will know the song title,  have a chance to find their music, and move through the song at a pace most will be able to keep up with, so even the jams will be a learning process.

I am hoping this will help everyone get what they want out of the Gathering.  I do want everyone to have a great time.  We will still have the open stage and concert.  The schedule for the other three days is below.  Welcome to everyone and I hope you enjoy the gathering.

Rick Long 



Friday Oct. 28
9am  Building opens

9am to ??
The room off to the side of the large room is where the “All Out Jam” will be ongoing during the Gathering.  Just jump in and hang on.  No rules, other than be considerate of others and at least call out the tunes before you start to play.  Anyone is welcome in here and you are very welcome to move back and forth between here and the main room.  I love it in both rooms.

9am  Gather in and get acquainted.  Make sure you get your nametag and wear it.  Great time to tune your psaltery.

9:30am - 11:30am Workshop  All Things Beginner Workshop - Rick Long and Richard Switzer will combine to teach a beginner workshop.  If you are brand new to this, or an old pro, you will learn some things that may help you.  All the way from holding your psaltery to getting started playing some simple tunes.


Lunch Break 11:30 to 1pm

1pm to 2:30pm Workshop - Katie Simpson - Playing with expression - Using "It is Well With My Soul" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", she will lead us through some music theory and how to put it to good use. 

3pm to 4:30pm Workshop - Greg Schneeman - Playing with Two Bows - Greg will share with us his method of putting two bows to good use.  

5pm Open Stage - but you don’t have to get up on stage.  We will go around the room and give everyone a chance to play one to two songs for the rest of us.  It is great to see all the different techniques and playing styles.  Don’t be shy and don’t worry about making a mistake.  We are all rooting for you and want you to share.  I have been very surprised by what I have heard during these open stage sessions.  Everyone remember to be quiet and show respect for players.

6pm Dinner Break

7:30 Slow Jam in the big room.  Lets play some of the songs we have learned today and whatever slow tunes you want to try.   

9pm Building Closes.


Saturday Oct. 29
9am Building Opens for the Day

9am to ??
The room off to the side of the large room is where the “All Out Jam” will be ongoing during the Gathering.  Just jump in and hang on.  No rules, other than be considerate of others and at least call out the tunes before you start to play.  Anyone is welcome in here and you are very welcome to move back and forth between here and the main room.  I love it in both rooms.

9am to 9:45 am. Diane O'Brien - Jam Etiquette  Not quite sure how a jam works, Diane will try to help us with that.

10am - 11:30am Workshop -  Rick Long - Okay, I've Got This Psaltery, But What About The Music That Should Go With It?  How do we learn the songs we play.  Read music?  Play by ear?  Use dulcimer tab?    Use another number method.  Listen on YouTube?  Or is it just a combination of any of the above.

11:30am - 1pm Lunch Break

1pm - 2-30 Workshop - Dave Holeton -  Learning to Play Harmony Note for Note - We'll discuss and play 3rd note and 5th note harmonies on songs in the C scale.  After our discussion, we'll apply what we've learned to find harmonies for Auld Lang Syne, Shenandoah, and possibly some other tunes.

3pm to 4:30pm Workshop - Francy Garrett - MAKING MAGICAL MUSIC TOGETHER - This class will explore various ways to play so beautifully with other people that you can still remain friends and maybe become best friends.  We will be learning about or revisiting  the following methods to use to make playing together easier:  Round or Canon, Drone, Ostinato, Descants, Counterpoint, Harmony and Pentatonic Scale.

We will be playing examples (most of them simple) of each of these techniques.  

Most of all we hope it will be fun.

4:30pm  Jam session in the large room.  Remember, this is the room that is geared toward slower tunes and getting everyone to participate.

5:30pm - Time for the group picture, before our dinner break.

6pm Dinner Break

7:30 Concert

9pm Building Closes



Sunday Oct. 30
Building opens 10am

All Gather in the big room for a Hymn Jam.  Be prepared to call out your favorites.

Lunchbreak Noon to 1pm

1pm - Informal Jamming for the afternoon.  Put what you have learned to work.

Gathering ends at 3pm


Notes for the Gathering -This will be the largest attendance for any of the Gatherings to date.  Be considerate when arranging your space.  Instrument cases can be stored on and under the tables provided around the perimeter of the rooms.

Anytime you want specific help on anything related to the bowed psaltery, please ask.  Someone will surely know the answer and be glad to help.  There are lots of experienced players here at the Gathering.  Take advantage of that and pick some brains.

The folding chairs that are provided by the park don’t offer much padding.  You might want to bring a cushion.

The restaurant next door to the Gathering building has some great food.  They tend to get very busy at times, especially on the weekends.  Cathy and I found a great way to beat the rush last year.  Call your order in and bring it back to the Gathering Hall to eat.  I’ll be sure we have some menus available.  Lots of tables and chairs.  Time it just right and you won’t have a problem.  There are lots of other restaurants in Lafolette  and a Shoney’s at the Interstate.  There are also several pizza delivery places.

There is also a fridge and microwave in the building, if you decide to bring your own meals.  Just be sure to mark them with your name.

The room off to the side of the large room is where the “All Out Jam” will be ongoing during the Gathering.  Just jump in and hang on.  No rules, other than be considerate of others and at least call out the tunes before you start to play.  Anyone is welcome in here and you are very welcome to move back and forth between here and the main room.