Hammered and mountain dulcimers are different instruments with different playing techniques, but they have a lot of music in common, and many people play both. To make mountain dulcimer music accessible to hammered dulcimer players we usually include with mountain dulcimer tablature the accompaniment chord letters and either notation or sound files. Be sure to check our 40 “Back Issues” that start with 2003 articles on the rudiments of playing both instruments. You’ll find 121 free musical articles in all – courtesy of Mel Bay Publications.
The Mel Bay Publications is the largest publisher of books for hammered and mountain dulcimers. You’ll find outstanding resources for playing techniques colorful music styles by visiting www.melbayxpress.com. Click on “Dulcimer” in the left margin. Click on “Hammered Dulcimer” or “Mountain Dulcimer” or just cruise down the page for a delightful browse of books for both.
This issue of DulcimerSessions.com begins with the following articles with easy music:
- “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” from the Mel Bay book FIRST JAMS for Mountain Dulcimer by Lee “Drew” Andrews. This Bluegrass “classic” is presented in tablature and notation, with chord letters and sound file. It’s a simple, picked arrangement that will prepare you to begin jamming with other instruments.
- “Flop Eared Mule” from the Mel Bay book The Hammered Dulcimer Treasury of Tunes by Sally Hawley. This is an easy tune, popular at jams and dances, that changes key from G to D.
We continue with more specialized and challenging music in the following:
- Blues for Mountain Dulcimer 101 by Bing Futch. This very thorough article covers the history, intrinsic sounds and musical structure of the blues and how to work this style on the mountain dulcimer. It includes written music and sound files.
- “Kevin Keegan’s Waltz” for hammered dulcimer by Ken Kolodner. This sentimental waltz learned from Irish musician Billy McComiskey, is one Ken’s “signature” performance pieces.
I invite dulcimer players to submit articles to me for possible inclusion in future issues of Dulcimer Sessions. We offer a small honorarium for those articles use. Requests for articles on new subjects are also welcomed.
Enjoy! See you in our August 2010 issue.