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How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 5

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How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player - Part 5


Crooked Tunes

After having played “Bile Them Cabbage” thousands of times, have you become bored with that song? How about “Old Joe Clark”? “Auld Lang Syne”? Continuing on with this series of How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player, we shall now explore those songs called Crooked Tunes. What is a Crooked Tune?

“ A crooked tune is a musical piece, generally in the American, Canadian, or Irish tradition, which deviates for the standard number of beats for that style of tune (reel, hornpipe, polka). That is, the tune may add or drop notes, disrupting the usual rhythm”. That is a quote from Wikipedia. What does it mean? Basically, it is a tune/song that is played in other than its original timing or changing the song from a major to a minor key.

The songs listed above are in 4/4 time. You can change them to be played in another timing such as ¾ (waltz)time or 6/8 (jig) time. You really do not even need written dulcimer tab to do that (although it helps).

As examples, go to the tab section of Everything Dulcimer and open the file, “Jigging With Joe” (Old Joe Clark) You will find that the song has been changed from its original 4/4 timing to 6/8 timing. Then open “Waltzing With Joe”. The timing has been changed from 4/4 to ¾ (waltz time). Lastly, open “Twinkle Jig (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). It has be changed from 4/4 timing to 6/8 timing.

Another fun way to play a “Crooked Tune” is to change it from a major key to a minor key. You can do this yourself by playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and changing the major chords to minor chords. You will end up with “The Twinkling Stars of Sadness”.

 I changed this tune from the key of D into the key of Bm. It should be attached to this post.

Hopefully, these few paragraphs will help you to “Become A Better Dulcimer Player”.

The Twinkling Stars of Sadness.pdf

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