Book suggestiond

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Book suggestiond

Postby DulciBob81 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:47 pm

Hello, I am new to mountain dulcimer, having gotten my first one a couple of months ago, after a vacation to Branson, MO and Cedar Creek Dulcimers. I am looking for a good instruction book. Any suggestions? Some I'm lookin at on Amazon are:
Hal Leonard Dulcimer Method
Mel Bay Complete Dulcimer Handbook
Hands On Dulcimer
And I want to get a good chord book.
I'm interested in more contemporary styles of playing. Not just droning. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby GrantOlson » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:10 pm

I personally think that Larkin's Dulcimer book explains things really well, and it goes into the beginning of basic fingerpicking too. However, I don't think it is still in print so it might cost a little more. You could check your local library.
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby Skip » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:57 am

Sue Carpenter 'Patterns and Patchwork' is really good for fingerpicking and Mel Bays 'Dulcimer Chord Book' is quite comprehensive. There are a lot of good books for basic MD.
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby Banjimer » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:41 pm

I highly recommend anything by Stephen Seifert. He has several book/DVD sets that are well-developed and clear to understand. To begin with I'd recommend his Foundational Techniques book/DVD or his series of 13 lessons, each containing a book and DVD. The lesson series takes the learner from a basic arrangement to increasingly more advanced arrangements introducing new techniques that can be incorporated into any song. Stephen also has Jam Books available for the two most common tunings: D-A-A and D-A-D. They are excellent for expanding your repertoire once you become familiar with dulcimer tablature.

Another excellent choice for beginners would be Maureen Seller's Teaching Books. She has produced two volumes in D-A-D tuning and has adapted her teaching books to produce the First Instruction Book for McSpadden Mountain Dulcimer. The McSpadden book can be used with either D-A-A tuning or D-A-D tuning and includes a lot of material that is overlooked or skimmed over in many of the other instruction books. It is furnished free with the purchase of a McSpadden dulcimer, but I suspect it can be purchased separately, if desired. In my opinion, it is one of the better beginning instruction books on the market.

Here's the link for Maureen's McSpadden edition. ... =10&page=7
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby kwl » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:31 pm

If you are interested in either the Stephen Seifert series or Larkin's Dulcimer book, I have both and am willing to part with them for a good price plus shipping. Just send me a private message for details. For Larkin's book I only have the cassette tape as I've had it quite some time.

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby Marc Mathieu » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:17 pm

When I 1st started out with the dulcimer in 1994, I purchased the Mel Bay Complete Dulcimer Handbook by Mark Biggs and really enjoyed learning from it.
Mark explains alot of the basic stuff that one needs to know when 1st picking up the dulcimer.
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby DulciBob81 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:47 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. Looks like I have plenty of great choices to start on.
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby Granularus » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:21 am

People keep saying that Larkin's book is out of print. Larkin operates a small business in Memphis and still sells her book (and a cassette or a CD if you want it). You can find her store here. As I learned, new copies from Larkin are less expensive than used copies from other sources. You can find her page here:
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Re: Book suggestiond

Postby Strum-Numb » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:18 am

If you haven't perused the Article index here at ED, give it a look.
I found some pretty good stuff in there.

Also, there are chord charts, blank templates and other handy bits in the Tablature list:

Tip: Right click the links to PDF files and select "Save link as" or some similar option according to your operating system.
Rather than wait for a browser to load it, it is faster on some systems to "save as" and then open the file locally.

- Tony
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