Dulcimer chording, etc.

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Dulcimer chording, etc.

Postby Carol Keeton » Mon Aug 19, 2002 8:50 am

I have a couple of questions for anyone who might at least have an opinion about. One question is if you want to finger-pick the dulcimer, do you have to do chords? I am getting kind of interested in trying some finger-picking but am not too crazy about the idea of chords. I'd like some opinions concerning this. The other question I have is I guess back to the tuning of a dulcimer. I play some other musical instruments too and enjoy playing along with CDs if I know the song and can figure out the key it is in. I'd like to try playing my dulcimer with some CDs. Now for example, what if a song is in the key of say B-flat or F maybe. How would my dulcimer have to tuned for those keys or is this impossible? I will certainly appreciate anything anyone could tell me concerning both my questions.
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Postby bruce » Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:15 pm

Carol, I recommend giving finger-picking a try. Chords will enrich finger-picking, but it's not absolutely necessary. But, don't give up on chording...it's not a hard as it looks and if you make yourself, you'll be chording just fine in a few weeks. There are some great chording charts in the tab and articles areas. Often when I finger-pick, I tune my dulcimer down to C-G-C which lossens the strings and make it a bit easier to play. (Thanks to Linda Brockinton for this tip.) I'll let someone else handle the capo for different tunings issue. I'm still playing around with that. Speaking of which, does anyone have a list of what frets to capo for different tunings? I'm familiar with capoing the 1st fret for Em and the third for G. A complete list might be a great help (article) for beginners (like me). Bruce
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tunings etc.

Postby Gail Knapp » Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:43 pm

Bruce, Spoonsman is the fellow that needs to get on here and explain the tunings with the capo. But in lieu of that my capo chart says this: capo1st fret=Em capo3rd fret=G capo4th fret=A capo5th fret=B and capo6th fret=C Hope this helps you. I also have a question. I can't find any chord charts for being tuned to the key of G, with 3 D's and a G. All the chord charts I have seen are for everything else but that. My new dulcimer friend JD is tuned like that and is trying to find chords. We jammed some last friday night, he in G and me in D and it was great...he had been worried that we couldn't play together harmoniously.Frown ..I kept telling him that we could and it would work out.Wink ..well it was greatLOL! He was just like me when I first started playing and found another dulcimer player. It has opened up a whole new world in the dulcimer for him. He plays guitar and banjo too. we are going to work up some duet stuff, playing by ear. GailKSmile
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Reply to Bruce's msg.

Postby Carol Keeton » Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:57 pm

Thanks for the reply to my new posted msg. Maybe I can learn to do some chording with my dulcimer. It just seems very dfficult to me right now. Guess I just don't quite understand it. I have been doing some e-mail corresponding with Linda Brockinton and she mentioned to me about tuning my dulcimer to C G C and I did that today. It really is easier on my fingers. I have a CD of hymns played by Michael Shull that is just beautiful and I have been able to play some of the songs along with the CD. However, all the songs are in the D A D tuning. I suppose that this means if I want to play some with that CD, then I will have to tune my dulcimer back to D A D. Is this correct? I have a capo that I recently got but don't understand anything about using it. I'll try to work some with doing chords. Maybe I'll like this if I can get the hang of it. I'd like to find some chord charts that make some kind of sense to me.
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Postby jakstall » Mon Aug 19, 2002 6:39 pm

Carol, I don't know how handy you are with the computer, but some CD ripping software has the ability to change the pitch of an MP3 without altering the tempo. There is also a program called Transkriber that is quite efficient at this as well as with slowing music down without changing the pitch to assist in transcription. The link to their site is: http://www.reedkotler.com/transkriber.htm I think Elderly and some others also sell this program.
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Postby SMO » Tue Aug 20, 2002 8:25 am

A note about chords with capos. You can play the three basic chords for any key using the same finger positioning relative to the capo. In the DAD tuning with no capo. The D chord is 0-0-2 (bass to melody), the G chord is 0-1-3 and the A is 1-0-1. You can use the same relative positionings for any capoed key (or mode, if you wish). Just count up the number of frets and play as you would with the strings open. In Em, capoed at the first fret, the Em chord is 1-1-3 (0-0-2 from the capo), the A chord is 1-2-4 (0-1-3 fron the capo) and the Bm chord is 2-1-2 (1-0-1 from the capo). In G, capoed at the third fret, the G chord is 3-3-5 (0-0-2 from the capo), the C chord is 3-4-6 (0-1-3 fron the capo) and the D chord is 4-3-4 (1-0-1 from the capo). You can continue to move the position with the capo. I hope this makes sense. If you want to hear something really strange, capo at the second fret (F#m) and try some of the songs for which you've learned the chords. It gives a whole new sound to 'Cabbage'.
Last edited by SMO on Tue Aug 20, 2002 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Reply to Mike O's msg.

Postby Carol Keeton » Tue Aug 20, 2002 8:41 am

Thanks very much for your msg explaining about the chords with capos and for telling me about the chords in D A D tuning with no capo. I was not quite understanding how the chords worked and now it makes more sense to me. I've been working some on doing some finger-picking with my dulcimer and really like this quite a lot. However, I have been doing this without doing any kind of chording and now I may just try to see what I can do with some chording now that you have explained all this so well. Maybe I can use my capo some too now. Just one question here. I tuned my dulcimer yesterday to C G C, which seems to be easier on my fingers. Will the chord numbers you gave me for the D A D tuning 0-0-2, 0-1-3 and 1-0-1 still work for the C G C tuning? I hope so. Again, thanks so much for your help with all this.
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Postby SMO » Tue Aug 20, 2002 9:38 am

Yes, they should. That should give you the C, F and G chords for the key of C, if I remember correctly. Good luck.
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Reply to Mike O's msg.

Postby Carol Keeton » Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:14 am

Yes, that makes perfect sense. Thanks.
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More on chording

Postby Skip » Tue Aug 20, 2002 7:50 pm

I have several questions also. I am learning the AEA tuning along with DAD. I am trying to figure out how to use the chords shown with the music I have for the DAD tuning. I have a chart that shows a lot of the chords for DAD and one that shows some for AEA. Some of the fingering for AEA appears on the DAD chart, ie. 002 is a 'D' (DAD) and is an 'A' (AEA). My questions are: 1. When the music indicates a D chord, do you play an A chord or a D when tuned to AEA? 2. Can the chords shown on the DAD chart be converted to AEA by groups, all of the D fingering becoming A fingering, the G fingering going to D, the Em chords going to Bm, etc.? 3. If I can't do what I ask in question 2, what are the chords in AEA for G, Bm, D7 and A7? I have a 1 1/2 fret on the AEA dulcimer if that will help. Thanks
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Postby Steve Smith » Wed Aug 21, 2002 9:04 am

#1 - When it says ''D'', play the ''D'' shown in your chord chart. In D-A-d, you could play 0-0-0, 2-3-4, or any of the other variations. In A-E-A, you could play 0-1-3, 3-3-5, or any of the chords shown as ''D'' on your A-E-A chart. #2 - You're right on the money! I've got charts for D-A-d and D-A-A (major and minor) I've put together using chord charts and some music theory I was shown. You've inspired me to put together versions for A-E-A, as well. I'll share them, if you'd like.
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chord charts, AEA

Postby Skip » Wed Aug 21, 2002 12:51 pm

That would be great Steve. I found some stuff on the internet on basic chord theory and was going to try to put something together like you did. Still going to work on that just so I know more about the subject. Thanks for the help.
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