FAQ: How To Play Dulcimer?

Is a dulcimer easy to play?

Dulcimers are the easiest stringed instrument for beginners to play, ideal for children and non-musicians who want to play tunes or accompany singing. Dulcimers are a relatively quiet instrument. Their sweet quiet sound is well-suited to personal relaxation or playing in a cozy environment.

What is the standard tuning for a dulcimer?

There are two common tunings for mountain dulcimer, DAA and DAD. In DAA, the bass string is tuned to D with the middle and paired melody strings tuned to A. In DAD, the bass string is tuned to D with the middle string tuned to A. In this tuning, however, the paired melody strings are tuned to D.

Is dulcimer easier to play than guitar?

The fact that the dulcimer has only three strings makes it much easier to play than a guitar, banjo, mandolin, or fiddle. It is also not as hard to push the strings down as it is on a guitar. Simple songs can be played by fretting just the first string and strumming across the instrument.

Can you play the dulcimer standing up?

You can play it with either your fingers or a pick. The hammered dulcimer traditionally is a stand – up instrument that is usually played with mallets instead of your fingers.

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What do you play a dulcimer with?

Often, you need two things to produce the highest array of sounds that the dulcimer is capable of. These are the plectrum, or guitar pick, and the noter. While you may play your dulcimer with a guitar pick, some dulcimer players also make use of a noter. Find out more about a noter here!

What are the chords on a dulcimer?

Common Chords for Dulcimer Below are chord voicings for the following chords: D major, E minor, F sharp minor, G major, A major, B minor, and C sharp diminished. These are the triads in D major. All voicings are for a dulcimer tuned DAD. Many other chords are possible in this tuning and others.

How much does a dulcimer cost?

As a quick overview, our harps range in price from under $900 up to around $6,600. Our dulcimers range from about $550 to about $4,000.

What key is a hammered dulcimer in?

Most traditional American hammered dulcimers have the major keys of F, C, G and D easily available, which works well for a variety of musical styles like old-time, bluegrass, hymns, Celtic tunes, and even some pop music.

How many strings does a dulcimer have?

Number of strings: Dulcimers may have as few as two or as many as 12 strings (in up to six courses). Up to the 1960s most mountain dulcimers had three strings. The most popular variant today is four strings in three courses, with doubled melody strings.

What is the best tuning for a dulcimer?

There are many ways you can tune a dulcimer, but currently the most common tunings are DAD, DAA, or DGD. DAD is the most common but it is often easier for the beginning player to tune to DAA or the so-called “Reverse Ionian” tuning, ( DGD ).

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Can you use guitar strings on a dulcimer?

If you need stainless steel or wound strings and you ‘re not near a ” dulcimer string ” source, you might be able to use a guitar or octave mandolin string of the same or smaller gauge if it’s long enough. Guitar strings will have a small ball in the loop that will need to be removed first.

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