Anyone here play a Dulcimer? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

If you do where can I get some sheet music? I'd prefer Celtic or Bluegrass. I bought my wife the Dulcimer for Christmas. (She sneaked and got it early) She has learned several Christmas songs and is now ready to progress on.

Thanks for your help.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, November 21, 2001


Hi Kenneth. I don't play, but I do a fair job torturing a mountain dulcimer. I have a number of books from Mel Bay Publications, Inc., #4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069-0066, toll free 1-800-325-9518. There are at least one each of bluegrass and Celtic music.

Larkin Bryant put out an instructional book and audio tape. Her address on the copyright is Riverlark Music, P. O. Box 40081, Memphis TN 38174-0081.

There is a magazine dedicated to the dulcimer and for the life of me I can't remember the correct title. If I do, I'll email you directly. There is a nice shop in Mountain View AR owned by Lynn McSpadden who builds dulcimers--he has a lot of books, tapes, strings, cases, etc. Surely there is plenty of information on the internet, too.

Have fun with it. I play mostly in Ionian and Myxolydian (sp) and have a dulcimer tuned in each mode. My friend who has several dulcimers tunes each differently according to its own "voice." Her husband even built one of hers from scratch.

-- marilyn (, November 21, 2001.

What a wonderful Christmas gift to get for your wife!!!!!!

-- Jenny (, November 21, 2001.


-- Ann Markson (, November 21, 2001.

Try the Society for Creative Anachronism ( I think) and they should be able to point you in the right direction for period music.

Also, if you or anyone you know is attending college nearby, check out their music library.

-- GT (, November 21, 2001.

You are SO lucky Ann!

-- Sandie in Maine (, November 21, 2001.

Actually, I'm not lucky but I am blessed!! I meant to type Yes, I play the mountain (lap) dulcimer AND that I would give some sources of music if I could find the box my music is in (everything is in storage until we have a house of our own). But I am in a nyquil- induced flu haze and just answered, "me!" as if I was a mail order dulcimer music place.

The best bet for beginners IS Larkin Bryant (Cohen). This is because you can buy a cassette tape with the sheet music which helps you know if you have the technique, tuning and notes correct.

My teacher(s) taught me something I never learned before (and explains why I could never learn to play another instrument)--and that is that it is better to learn to listen and play by ear first and then if you can read music you are that much better off. I think this is ESPECIALLY true of the lap dulcimer.

Luckily folks who play the dulcimer (in my experience) are giving sharing people who will help you learn if you just ask.

The hardest thing is to learn how to tune your dulcimer. There are several different tunings, but stick to one until you feel comfortable with it. You don't actually have to truly tune (like with another instrument) You can just say, "well I think I'll make this a D, there fore THIS is an A. That little bit of logic took me about six months to understand. Like I said, music is VERY difficult for me to understand--like math for many others.

So if I can learn to play--so can you. If you like celtic or bluegrass music you could just follow the guitar chords at the top of the (bars? don't know what you call that)on any celtic sheet music. Again, learning to play by ear will really help you hear harmonies and melodies even if you can only see chords.

But at first, it is easier to just learn how to pick out the melody note by note (and that, to me is also very beautiful music even if you don't progress beyond that).

I haven't found my box yet, but here is a place to start: This dulcimer chord book is very helpful:

At the main site there are several celtic music books.

Here is Lark Bryant's beginner book and cassette:

Happy Dulcimer playing!

-- Ann Markson (, November 21, 2001.

Kenneth: Here are a few links that you can try.

Dulcimer Players News

hope that this helps.. Happy Thanksgiveing. Warren in NC.....

-- Warren-NC (, November 22, 2001.

Thanks Ya'll

We will try the different url's. A college music teacher told us about a group that meets once a month about 45 miles from here. Were going to try to get up there in December.

The man that made the Dulcimer told us to get an electronic tuner if we had trouble tuning the dulcimer.

Thanks again for your help.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, November 22, 2001.

There's a wonderful shop in Shipshawanna, Indiana. It is without a doubt "Dulcimer Heaven". They have a wonderful web site so that you can order on line. http:/ If that's not correct just try a search for Simple Sounds. They also have a Dulcimer link on the site. Hope this helps.

-- Raya Amick (, November 23, 2001.

My parents live in Franklin NC and Mom bought a mountain dulcimer at a shop there. The maker only makes a couple a year. I was there visiting last October a year ago and really enjoyed playing her dulcimer. She then found one selling reasonably on E-bay and won the bid. Turned out the guy selling it lives only about 45 miles away from me. I live in Maryland. Mom sent the dulcimer for Christmas but I already knew about because I peeked at the auction when it was over.

I have really enjoyed my mountain dulcimer. I've played piano for many years and can read music but with the dulcimer it is much easier to play by ear.

The tuning I use is the DAAA. D for the drone string. I have discovered that some of my most favorite John Denver tunes can be played on it as well as many hymns. Just nothing in a minor key. I would like to play Greensleeves but would I don't know the tuning for it.


-- LBD (, November 24, 2001.

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