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  1. The lyrics to this song were written by Robert Burns. The melody was taken from an older Scottish folk song, author unknown. Pay attention to all the dotted quarter notes followed by eighth notes. It is straight forward and easy to play with just three chords, D-G-A. Auld Lang Syne.pdf Auld Lang Syne.mid
    3 points
  2. Lyrics 1. We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens his will to make known; the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own. 2. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine; so from the beginning the fight we were winning; thou, Lord, wast at our side; all glory be thine! 3. We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant, and pray that thou still our defender wilt be. Let thy congregation escape tribulation; thy name be ever
    3 points
  3. Russian folk song. Kalinka.pdf Kalinka.mid
    2 points
  4. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 20 Embellishments and Other Tips Embellishments should be used sparingly. To many of them will spoil your song. The following thoughts are just that - my thoughts. If they work for you, great. The following suggested thoughts will be applicable to solo play and/or group play. They are not written in stone. 1. Hammer-ons and pull-offs. To be used sparingly throughout solo play. Yes, you can use them in group play; however, they will get lost by the sound of the other players. 2. Dynamics - These are very underused techniques th
    2 points
  5. You're welcome. When you've been messing about with dulcimers as long as I have, paying forward to folks is just what I do.
    2 points
  6. As you can see in the picture below, ball-end strings (top) have a brass "ball" in the end. Loop-end strings have a twisted loop. Those of us who build instruments never use Gorilla glue -- it expands and has a tendency to open cracks. Likwise we seldom, if ever use epoxy. For hairline cracks which can be opened by pressing on one side or the other of a crack, we us a cyanoacrylate (Super) glue. For cracks which need filling, we use a mixture of fine sawdust and Titebond or Titebon II, I often run a bead of the glue into such a crack and then sprinkle sawdust on top,. Then press the m
    2 points
  7. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - Part - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion In my first article on “How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player - Part 1”, I briefly touched on the subject of finger positioning. A big impediment to smoother dulcimer playing is not using economy of motion and misplaced finger positioning. Are finger positions written in stone? Absolutely not; however, there are those combinations of finger positions that will result in economy of motion and smoother playing. As stated before, our instrument usually does not have much sustain or vo
    2 points
  8. Here's a video I made for playin' on the porch. Dave
    2 points
  9. I have a CD player that will allow me to load 6 CD's, so I load it with CD's while I'm working in the garage/work shop. One of the CD's I had loaded was the Classic Folk Music CD from Smithsonian Folkways. A song came on and as I listened to it I stopped working on whatever I was working. I went to the CD player and examined the CD insert and found the song to be "John Hardy" by Mike Seeger. I knew I had to learn the song. I found many versions had been recorded in a major key but Mike and Pete Seeger recorded versions in a minor key. I found I liked both versions and worked to learn bot
    2 points
  10. Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Mel.pdf Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Melody.mid
    2 points
  11. A person contacted me through my YouTube video "Muss I Denn" and a discussion started about constructing a scheitholt/zither/zitter type of instrument. To facilitate sharing the information, I moved a lot of my Zither construction pictures and notes to my OneDrive. While I was there, I reorganized my dulcimer files into PDF files and MP3 files. If I have a PDF file I might have an MP3 file to support it, and vice versa. If anyone sees a PDF without a matching MP3 and vice versa, I can create an appropriate file on request. The PDF files include multiple tunings and usually the file name i
    2 points
  12. How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player 15 Adding Variety To Your Playing There are a number of ways to add variety to your solo and/or group dulcimer playing. i.e. playing a harmony; playing backup chords; playing a counter melody; playing a bass part. For this article we will concentrate on playing our melody on a combination of the melody and bass strings. As you know, the notes are the same on both your melody and bass strings when you are tuned to DAD, CGC, GDG, etc. They are one octave apart. When playing songs that you already know, trying mixing up the song by play
    2 points
  13. Key of D version easier to play. Key of G version easier to sing. In the Good Old Summer Time - D.pdf In the Good Old Summer Time - D.mid In the Good Old Summer Time.pdf In the Good Old Summer Time mid.mid
    2 points
  14. Sheer memorization, Dave. I listen to a song 50, 100, 200, or more times, until I can sing/hum or whistle it; on demand. At that point I sit down and pick out the melody tab for it, and play it regularly for about a week in between other tunes. By that time it's imbedded in my long term memory along with a couple hundred other tunes. When I perform I have a Cheat Sheet which has the opening measures of either the tunes in the set I'm going to play, or a general page of maybe a hundred tunes with opening measures (thank Murphy for adjustable lettering in word processors!) printed two column
    2 points
  15. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 9 The Pentatonic Scale The majority of dulcimer jams that I have attended are usually fast and furious. There are a lot of songs played that you may not be familiar with. Someone calls a song and they start playing immediately Either you know the song by heart or don’t. For the most part, written tab is usually not used at a jam. So what is a person to do? 1. If there is a guitar player at the jam and you can visually recognize the chord changes, you can play backup chords. 2. You can try playing the melody by ear (if the song is pl
    2 points
  16. Botany Bay.pdf Botany Bay.MID
    1 point
  17. N-I-C-E! Great job. You've got "the bug" now!
    1 point
  18. This arrangement is a good finger exercise in practicing "not looking" at your fret board. The melody does not go above the 3rd fret. Yankee Doodle.pdf Yankee Doodle.mid
    1 point
  19. Four parts of this lovely song. The melody can be played by itself. The Counter Melody can be played by itself. Harmony and Bass require the Melody. This is a nice way to add some variety to your club or group playing. You can play from 1 to 4 parts. The MIDI files contains all four parts. Pavanne d'anleterre - 4 parts.pdf Pavane d'Angleterre - Melody,Harmony, Bass, Counter Melodytef.mid
    1 point
  20. Wow, Andy, I am so sorry to hear of Larkin's brain tumor. You sound like all of you are handling this well. Although I built my first dulcimer in 1974, I purchased Larkin's book after it came out. I think I wore out the cassette. Please keep us posted as things progress and know that Larkin holds a special place in our hearts. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
    1 point
  21. Tabledit file for finger positions and economy of motion. Finger Placement.pdf
    1 point
  22. Ok the back is glued on. For my first attempt at building, I am pretty pleased. The waist is a little narrower than the original template as I had to squeeze sides a bit for the top to fit. I thought I left enough overhang of the back and top to account for this but apparently not for the top.
    1 point
  23. Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.pdf Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.mid
    1 point
  24. Looks like you've got plenty there to go on! Scott Antes was a well known and respected dulcimer builder. His how-to build a Hammered Dulcimer is highly regarded. That James Hall design is called a Fiddle shape. Not particularly common, but a nice shape. More difficult to build than an Hourglass, as you've noticed. 28.5" VSL is very long by modern standards. If you play Noter & Drone or Fingerdance style they can be good. But modern Chord-Melody stylists with short fingers find them harder to work with. Most today are built with a 26" or 27" VSL. I don't know the Hall name a
    1 point
  25. I know there are plenty of tablature files available, but I thought I would provide the link to my OneDrive anyway. I've added some Christmas tablature in DAA, DAC, DAG, and other tunings. I've also been adding a lot of non-holiday tablature. Dave OneDrive
    1 point
  26. Moving to smaller home - need to thin the herd 😔: => Mell Hanson (4/15/2019) 28 3/4" VSL 1 1/2" wide fretboard GOTOH Tuners Loop end strings Leather strap and Double gig case included => $200.00 obo Price for pick-up in Evanston, IL or for ship plus shipping cost Freddie Beaulieux email @ freddie.beaulieux@gmail.com Text @ (773) 875-9006
    1 point
  27. A new take on an old tune. Jingle Bells Waltz.pdf Jingle Bells Waltz.mid
    1 point
  28. A traditional Irish jig. Emphasis on the first and fourth notes. The Road To Lisdoonvarna.pdf The Road To Lisdoonvarna.mid
    1 point
  29. I think my journey with the dulcimer is best summed up in a description I heard at a workshop: "The mountain dulcimer is the last best hope to play a musical instrument." 😂 I'd tried to learn a few instruments over the years including violin, ukulele, and guitar. With guitar and ukulele I felt like I was doing contortions to get chord shapes and never became comfortable with them. Violin was a little better in that it was only one note at a time, but I had a lot of trouble hearing if I was on pitch. My teacher was always having me move my finger a little bit and I couldn't hear the di
    1 point
  30. This is a hymn from the middle 1800's. The key to the song is the dotted quarter notes, followed by eighth notes. I Love To Tell The Story.pdf I Love To Tell The Story.mid
    1 point
  31. So glad Everything Dulcimer is back. FB is good but loved going to E D. To read about dulcimer stuff. Thank you to whomever brought this back.
    1 point
  32. 1. Don't recognize the maker, but the design, with the pins in the side blocks, is NOT common. 2. Those ARE loop end strings. They start on one side, cross over the top, around a pin on the far side, then back to the start. What gauges? You'll need a micrometer to measure that. You'll also want to know the length of the longest string -- from loop end across to the pin and back. Where? Folkcraft may be able to help. I buy most of my strings from www.juststrings.com; but then I know exactly what I want. 3. Yes that crack in the pin line is "worrisome". Those holes probably s
    1 point
  33. If you have not seen the following link you will find it very informative. https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2020/05/margaret-macarthur/ I would suggest contacting the Vermont Folklife Center, which seems to own her life collection: https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/
    1 point
  34. Hello everyone, I just purchased a vintage tear drop dulcimer and was wondering if I should tune to DAA or DAD. I tried to tune the melody string to D but there was to much tension so I defaulted to DAA. I have a few questions as a beginner☺️ - Do I need to purchase new strings in order to reach a DAD tuning? - The wood pegs tend to slip at times and I loose the tuning. I pushed the pegs inward to bite tight on the peg hole. Any thoughts to keep the pegs tight? Anything used to coat the pegs to keep them tight? Lastly, does anyone know or have met John D. Young the b
    1 point
  35. Anytime you get a second hand instrument, it's a good thing to change strings. One at a time -- do NOT take them all off them put them all back. If the bridge or nut aren't in exactly the right place it can really mess things up if one or both fall out of place, and string tension will keep them where they belong. What is the VSL? That's the distance between the inside edge of the nut and the inside edge of the bridge. THAT, plus what you want for the home tuning, is what tells you which strings to buy. There are charts and calculators, but virtually ALL pre-packaged sets of "dulcimer"
    1 point
  36. You can play the bass part on a standard dulcimer. Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Melody and Bass.pdf Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Melody and Bass.mid
    1 point
  37. In order to be a counter-melody, the music not only has to harmonize with the melody, but must also be able to stand on its own as a melody.
    1 point
  38. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 12 Bending Notes The majority of the songs that we dulcimer players play are usually straight forward and do not require, either a 1½ fret or the bending of one or more notes to achieve a sharp or a flat note. In order to play most contemporary music and some hymns, there are two things that you will need to have. The first is a 1½ fret. The second is the ability to be able to bend notes. Most dulcimer players are uncomfortable when they see a + sign following a note. It is really no big deal. I will tell you how I bend notes.
    1 point
  39. If you're familiar with building a Ukulele, you could make it as a 3 or 4 string with diatonic frets and you'd be all set. I've seen a couple like that before:
    1 point
  40. Dear Dulcimer Players, I just learned about this website from Jack Ferguson of Appalachian Flutes and Dulcimer. I would enjoy connecting with you. Please click on the "About Me" tab in my profile to learn more about my journey and get links to my instrumental music to soothe your soul during these challenging times. May we all be inspired to create new tunes during the valleys and storms of life. Grace and peace, Brian Bohlman https://brianbohlman.bandcamp.com/
    1 point
  41. Even if you play a lot, your dulcimer strings should last a long time. What happens after a period of time is that your strings will oxidize. All metals oxidize, even gold. Yes, gold does oxidize. In order to clean oxidation off of your strings, get yourself a Scotch Brite pad. Cut it in half. Use one half and store the other. Gentle wipe each of your 3(4) strings back and forth a few times to remove the oxidation. Use a soft cloth to remove any residue left on the strings. You might have some green fuzz on your fret board.
    1 point
  42. Hello, All, I'm always trying to maximize the sonic potentials of my dulcimers (or just of the dulcimer in general), and have been trying out and using various finger picks, since I can't keep my fingernails long. Furthermore, the picks produce a greater variety of sounds than I could make with my fingernails. I wanted to share that I've figured out a way to get a sharp point with nail clippers and a nail file on the Fred Kelly Delrin finger picks (which by themselves, worn the correct way, produce too dull a sound for me). Having the sharp point on the Fred Kelly allows for a sou
    1 point
  43. I am a classical pianist by training (since the tender age of 7) but find myself overseeing with my wife her family's farm in the middle of the Ozarks. I wanted to find an instrument I could play alone or with others but was not that drawn to the standard ones, e.g., guitar, banjo or violin/fiddle. My wife was acquainted with the mountain dulcimer through the Ozark festivals in town she had attended. Its similarity to the lute, to my ear, was very attractive! I could play so much: Elizabethan tunes, hymns, Bach, traditional folk tunes, etc. AND the instrument has untapped potentials, can
    1 point
  44. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 10 Intros and Outros There are many ways to start and to end a song. We will discuss a few of them in order for you to become a better dulcimer player. How many times have you been at a practice or jam and the person calling the songs says one of the following: “Go” - “And” - “1-2-3-4”. Is there anything wrong with this? Not really; however, there are better and more efficient ways to begin your play and to end it. With the above “Intros” each player will usually start and continue at a different place and tempo. Not good! Introduc
    1 point
  45. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 11 Backup Chords In The Key of G Have you ever noticed that during group play that everything starts to sound the same? That is easily remedied by one or more people playing a harmony, bass part, counter-melody or backup chords. With the exception of backup chords, it is necessary to have all the above written out so that you can play your part. The backup chords are normally on your written tab sheet and are a part of the melody. That is what we are going to address in this article. For most people, singing in the key of G is the
    1 point
  46. Welcome, glad to have you with us!
    1 point
  47. How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 8 Harmony   What is harmony? According to a dictionary definition it is, for music: Any simultaneous combination of tones. The simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm. The science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords. Say what? For us dulcimer players, it is the combination of melody and/or chord notes that sound good when played together. Have you noticed that when playing at your cl
    1 point
  48. During Table Hill's last performance of 2019, @Adrian and I were playing for tips at the Blueberry Cafe in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and someone tipped us with a fruitcake! Have you ever received anything weird in your "love bucket" (that's what the tip bucket is called in Clarksdale)? Luckily, it was a really tasty fruitcake!
    1 point
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