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  1. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 21 Three Approaches To Playing The Same Song As in all my articles, nothing is written in stone. They are merely suggestions to make you a better dulcimer player. Why would you need three approaches to playing the same song? The answer is that it depends upon the type of play and the venue of where that song is played. We will discuss group playing at a jam or in a club; group playing at a performance; and solo playing in any situation. Let us begin in group play. Whether in a jam or in a club situation we just whip out our music and sta
    3 points
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Can one play Opera on the Dulcimer? Of course! Our instrument is very versatile. The attached aria from the Opera Rigoletto is in the Key of A. La Donna E Mobile.pdf La Donna E Mobile.mid
    2 points
  5. Russian folk song. Kalinka.pdf Kalinka.mid
    2 points
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Here's a video I made for playin' on the porch. Dave
    2 points
  11. 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
  12. Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Mel.pdf Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Melody.mid
    2 points
  13. 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
  14. "Yankee Doodle" is a well-known American song and a nursery rhyme, the early versions of which predate the Seven Years War and The American Revolution. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut The melody is thought to be much older than both the lyrics and the subject, going back to folk songs of Medieval Europe. Yankee Doodle.pdf Yankee Doodle.mid
    1 point
  15. Lucy Long.pdf Lucy Long.mid
    1 point
  16. This song was written by St. Francis of Assisi as a poem, circa 1225. It was not put to music until, circa 1899 by William Draper. Like most of the older songs, the timing is unusual. The song is in 3/2 timing (3 half notes per measure or 6 quarter notes per measure). As in all songs, the timing is everything, i.e. look at the second measure. The 2-3-4 is a whole note (four counts) followed by 2-0-0 (two counts) for a total of six counts. The song is easy to play with only D, G, and A chords. Listen to the audio file for the timing. All Creatures Of Our God And King.pdf
    1 point
  17. For about a year now a group of folks have been getting together Tuesday evenings on Zoom to play mountain dulcimer together. We invite you join us. We play noter or finger dancing style mostly in DAA but also in DAC, DAG, and DAd. The format is one person leads a song/tune while everyone else is muted and plays along. While Dave Holeton usually leads, others have led as well. You are welcome to join us. We meet on Tuesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. (EDT), 7:30 p.m. (CDT), 6:30 p.m. (MDT), and 5:30 p.m. PDT. A link for each week's meeting is available on The Traditional Mountain Dulcimore website.
    1 point
  18. William Tell Overture.pdf William Tell Overture.mid
    1 point
  19. N-I-C-E! Great job. You've got "the bug" now!
    1 point
  20. 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
  21. Good morning everybody. This is Andy Cohen, Larkin Kelley Bryant's husband. Some of you may know Larkin from seeing her at a festival, from coming to the Memphis Dulcimer Festival, which she co-founded, or from her classic programmed instructional, Larkin's Dulcimer Book. Larkin will turn 77 tomorrow. She is ill with a brain cancer that can be palliated, but not cured. Larkin's Dulcimer Book, which first came out in 1984, is still available, as are the CD that goes with it, Riverlark Squeakless strings, and her very fine (and challenging!) CD, Lark In The Twilight. If any of y'all out th
    1 point
  22. There really is no "correct" width for a fretboard. Those who build 3-string traditional diatonic staple-fretted boards make them about 1" wide. Most 4-string fretboards are around 1-1/2" wide --- 1-3/8ths to 1-5/8ths. 1-1/2 is convenient because it's a stock lumber size called a 1x2. Part of the choice has to do with the "look" of the board on the design. A really wide fretboard on a narrow-waisted hourglass. IMHO doesn't look as good a s somewhat narrower board. A wide-bodied elliptical like a Galax design looks good with a wider board, as does a Tennessee Music Box.
    1 point
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. The words to the attached song, "Commin' Through The Rye" was written by Robert Burns from one of his poems. The melody is similar to the older versions of "Auld Lang Syne", whose author is unknown. Commin' Through The Rye - Melody and Harmony.pdf Comming Through The Rye - Melody and Harmony.mid
    1 point
  26. The attached song was written by Turlough O'Carolan, the blind Irish harper. It is said to be his first song. Most of the really old songs are easy to play, in as much as they usually have no more than three chords (D-G-A) for this one. Notice that the chords are on the second, rather than the first notes. Si Beag Si Mhor.pdf Si Beag Si Mhor.mid
    1 point
  27. This has a beautiful tone. I am very pleased. And it has been loved.
    1 point
  28. Tabledit file for finger positions and economy of motion. Finger Placement.pdf
    1 point
  29. 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
  30. Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.pdf Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.mid
    1 point
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. A new take on an old tune. Jingle Bells Waltz.pdf Jingle Bells Waltz.mid
    1 point
  34. The First Noel.pdf The First Noel.mid
    1 point
  35. 0:51 Now playing Watch later Watch later Add to queue Add to queue 0:43 Now playing Watch later Watch later Add to queue Add to queue 0:29 Now playing Watch later Watch later Add to queue Add to queue DBGChromaticChordChart1To7.docx
    1 point
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. I got these from a local estate sale in Springfield Mo. I thought they were too neat to leave behind. the picture of the finished one is his son. I wish I had gotten more info on them.
    1 point
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. Welcome! Feel free to ask any questions you have and we'll try to help you out. Regarding the strings - most of the time a DAA set will make it up into DAd, though depending on the exact gauge they may not. Also if the strings are older you may want to go ahead and change them anyways. Looking at the fretboard, your dulcimer doesn't have a 6 1/2 fret on it so a 1-5-5 tuning like DAA or CGG may be better for playing most tunes. These are tuning for playing the major scale from the 3rd fret up to the 10th fret, also known as Ionian mode. Without the 6 1/2 fret if it's tuned DAd
    1 point
  42. 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
  43. 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. God Of Our Fathers 2 parts.pdf God Of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand Melody and Counter Melody.mid
    1 point
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. Hello to all and thank you for reviving this beautiful dulcimer site! I have been playing dulcimer since about 1994. With some long stretches of not playing due to raising children. I started playing noter-drone style in DAA with the Larkin book using the cassette tape that accompanied the book. After about a decade I found a nearish dulcimer group to play with, they played DAD chord-melody style, so I switched to that. About a decade later I had David Mckinney build me a chromatic 3 string dulcimer with a 25 inch VSL - I love it! I tune it to DAE.
    1 point
  47. Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Frere Jacques, and Hush Little Baby are good songs for beginners. If a beginner plays another instrument, then these might be too simple. But if a beginner has never played an instrument before, I don't think any simple song is too simple. Dave
    1 point
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