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Duchess616

changing key signature in the middle of a song

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My dulcimer is tuned in D-A-D; the piece of music starts in the key of G.  Halfway through it changes keys to C.  What do I do?

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Nothing [continue playing], as long as you have all of the notes called for. Some of these notes may require extra frets [probably the 1+/8+] or a chromatic MD. The change of the key in the notation is to make writing the tune simpler/faster/easier, in this case not having to use the  'b' [flat] sign or the C/C# is not used.

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Duchess

If the music requires an F note or F chord (or chord with an F note) and your dulcimer doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 7.5 frets), you won't be able to play the F notes/chords (and G7 chord) in the key of C.  You might be able to play the same piece of music if it was transposed to start in the key of D and transitioned to the key of G.  What is the song?

Dave

Edited by dholeton

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I play with a string group at my church, and I sometimes just strum the first note of a measure and keep the tempo (I'm a 2-legged metronome...lol). In the key of G or D, no problem to actually play the notes

This piece is "A Quiet Music" arranged/written by Douglas E. Wagner.  It starts out in the key of G.   When I have it tuned to D-A-D, I usually just skip the F's.

Sandy

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In the key of C, your three major chords are C-F-G. Assuming that you do not have a 1½ fret, you can play a C chord at 6-4-3 or 4-3-6(not 6½).You can play a G chord the way you normally do.  For your F chord you will only be able to play a single note. Try bending the 8th fret on your base string or bending the 4th fret on the middle string. Both will give you an F. You can also bend the 8th string on the melody string for an F; however, that is sometimes a pretty high sounding F.

Edited by Carolina Rockman

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Oops, this phrase " doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 7.5 frets), " should have read " doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 8.5 frets), "

Dave

 

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Sandy

"A Quiet Music" sounds like an excellent meditation piece for church services.  I can understand why you would want to play it in its entirety.

Many times I'm able to find either a different tuning or semi-suitable alternate notes for songs that have notes that require frets that don't exist on my dulcimer(s).  There is one song that I really like but the only solution is a 3.5 fret needs to be added.  So, this is kinda' off the wall, but I'll offer it as a suggestion anyway.  I took a finish nail and filed it flat on one side until it was approximately the same height as the frets.  I used Scotch tape to attach to the fretboard between the 3rd and 4th frets (see pictures below).  I always play this particular song with a noter and the temporary fret works fine.  I wouldn't expect the fret to work repeatedly on multiple songs in a jam session, but it works fine for the song I play and it is used once for each verse.

Flexifrets might also be an option if you're willing to modify the fretboard on your dulcimer (see link to Bear Meadow).

https://www.bearmeadow.com/flexifrets/html/using-flxfrts.html

Dave

 

Extra_Fret1-2.jpg

Extra_Fret_Finish_Nail2.png

Extra_Fret1-1.jpg

Edited by dholeton
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