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How to Play a Mountain Dulcimer

The mountain dulcimer is a type of zither. A zither has strings that extend the length of the soundboard. Dulcimer means “sweet sound” and is a perfect name for this instrument that does have such a soft, sweet sound.

Position the dulcimer with the frets to your left. Pluck the 1st string (the one closest to you) with your right hand. Now, with the first finger of your left hand or the noter (wooden dowel), press the string down at one of the numbered frets. Pluck the string and hear the different note. Notice how the pitch of the note changes as you press different frets and pluck the string.

How to Play a Mountain Dulcimer

To use the songsheets, press down on the number indicated with the noter (wooden dowel) or the first finger of your left hand and pluck the string with the pick in your right hand.

After you can play a song just plucking one string, you can try strumming across all three strings with the pick as you play the song.

If you have two players, one can play the melody and one the harmony.

Lessons about the banjo, clogging and Elizabeth Cotten.

 

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