New here :)

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Re: New here :)

Postby inkdork » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:34 am

Okay then I'm not as lost as I feared! Lol

On some tabs I see a dash... Do I just not play anything for that beat then?

Now that I've learned the simplest way of playing Amazing Grace I'm working on playing it with chords. :)
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Re: New here :)

Postby Judy K » Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:10 am

Any particular tab with the dashes you can remember? It might mean that the note isn't available on the dulcimer ... or (noticed on a tab by Steve Smith) dashes in the 'notes' line indicate the length of the note (ie half note, whole note, etc.) Some people will strum the beat on longer notes; some people just let the note's sustain carry through -- player's choice.

The mountain dulcimer is a wonderful instrument. Hope you're having a blast with yours.
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Re: New here :)

Postby Steve Smith » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:36 am

Right, Judy. The dashes on my tabs are for timing, only. You can count out every measure using the fret numbers and dashes as "one and two and three and four and" or whatever number fits, based on the timing.

It helps when folks aren't as familiar with standard music notation, and even helps those who are because you don't have to look in one spot for the fret number and another for the note duration.

Other tabs have other methods of showing timing in the tab section. I guess I'm stuck in my ways, though, after 26-1/2 years of having tab in our newsletter!
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Re: New here :)

Postby inkdork » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:16 pm

Judy K wrote:Any particular tab with the dashes you can remember? It might mean that the note isn't available on the dulcimer ... or (noticed on a tab by Steve Smith) dashes in the 'notes' line indicate the length of the note (ie half note, whole note, etc.) Some people will strum the beat on longer notes; some people just let the note's sustain carry through -- player's choice.

The mountain dulcimer is a wonderful instrument. Hope you're having a blast with yours.


Um.... I'll have to go back out to my craft/music room and see which ones had it but I saw it on a few. Most of them, it was showing a dash in the first one or two beats before the first note was given.

I am so glad I bought it! Its so much fun and I have been able to zip through most of the simple songs I've gotten tabs for so far. I'm still working on getting chords down but now that I pretty much have which fret is what number down in my head, its easier. :)
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Re: New here :)

Postby Judy K » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:37 pm

Steve Smith wrote:Other tabs have other methods of showing timing in the tab section. I guess I'm stuck in my ways, though, after 26-1/2 years of having tab in our newsletter!


Those of us who got a much later start with a dulcimer greatly appreciate your 26 1/2 years of tab, Steve! Your tab for "Going Home" is one of my favorite pieces.

inkdork wrote:I am so glad I bought it! Its so much fun and I have been able to zip through most of the simple songs I've gotten tabs for so far. I'm still working on getting chords down but now that I pretty much have which fret is what number down in my head, its easier. :)


When I first got a dulcimer I cheated for a couple of months with sticky note numbers in each fret space. What seemed to work best was buying a tab book well beyond my talent at the moment (Larry Conger's 'Hymns of Faith') because I loved the way his music sounded. It was the sound I wanted to make. Working on the music daily to create "that" sound led to learning the fret board quickly. Almost 10 years into my dulcimer journey and Larry Conger's music still remains a favorite.
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Re: New here :)

Postby inkdork » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:57 am

Judy K wrote:When I first got a dulcimer I cheated for a couple of months with sticky note numbers in each fret space. What seemed to work best was buying a tab book well beyond my talent at the moment (Larry Conger's 'Hymns of Faith') because I loved the way his music sounded. It was the sound I wanted to make. Working on the music daily to create "that" sound led to learning the fret board quickly. Almost 10 years into my dulcimer journey and Larry Conger's music still remains a favorite.


What books would you recommend? I'm not religious or am I big on Christmas, but would like some options of maybe songs I actually know.

I made this video tonight (well you can hear fine but not see me actually play- need to find a better way to position my tablet) of me playing Amazing Grace using chords instead of the drone style. Just started with that today, so I feel pretty good about it, and my dulcimer playing is way better than my uke playing!

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Re: New here :)

Postby Judy K » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:36 am

Very nice video! (... and much braver than I am -- I hate cameras!) Sounds like as soon as you grow more familiar with the chords you are going to rock this.

Are those skeins of yarn in the background? Crochet, knit? I love to crochet.

What type of music do you like? Modern music is a bit hard to find tab for due to copyright issues. Here are a few more places to find free tab that might have something you like:

John Sackenheim - look for Archive A-I & Archive J-Z on his top links for free tab, plus he sells tab books.
Tull Glazener - 'free tab' button on the side, lots of tab. He also has some great tab books and lessons.
Shelley Stevens - tab links on top. She also has some great tab books, some of which were the first I ever bought.

All 3 of the above are great teachers as well if you ever attend a dulcimer festival where one of their classes are offered. Shelley and Tull just posted their tab of the month here on Everything Dulcimer.

Since you shared a video I will share too. Here's a link (mp3) to one of my first recorded ventures with the dulcimer -- Shenandoah. I had been playing dulcimer less than nine months. It's a not great but it was interesting recording it. The benefit of recording with Audacity instead of a live video is adding tracks as desired (dulcimer, dulcimer with chords, flute, flute with harmony) as well as editing out most mistakes.
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Re: New here :)

Postby inkdork » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:45 pm

Judy K wrote:Very nice video! (... and much braver than I am -- I hate cameras!) Sounds like as soon as you grow more familiar with the chords you are going to rock this.


I hope so and thanks! I think I had played it thru with the chords maybe 5 times before I recorded it.

Are those skeins of yarn in the background? Crochet, knit? I love to crochet.


Yup... Some of many! I knit and crochet. :) my instruments hang out in my craft room, and I practice there so not to bother anyone.

What type of music do you like? Modern music is a bit hard to find tab for due to copyright issues.


I like a little of everything - from bluegrass to psychobilly to metal to 80's pop.

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out!

Since you shared a video I will share too. Here's a link (mp3) to one of my first recorded ventures with the dulcimer


Oh that was so pretty! I've used audacity in the past but will have to keep it in mind for future recordings! I think it's available for Ubuntu but I'm not sure.

I keep forgetting to check the tabs I printed out for which ones have the dashes...
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Re: New here :)

Postby Judy K » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:17 pm

If you like the old bluegrass, check out John Sackenheim's tab books. He has one for Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, plus 2 or 3 of just country songs ... and Elvis.
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Re: New here :)

Postby Titus2woman » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:56 pm

*WELCOME!*
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