A South African Freedom Song, Taught by Neal Hellman for Mountain Dulcimer Players,
Demonstrated on 4 Equi-Distant Strings in the D-A-dd Tuning

Video 1



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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction Asika Thali is a song of freedom from South Africa. In the first video, Neal plays through the entire song. He explains why he likes to play this tune on a dulcimer with 4 equi-distant strings, but it can also be played on a dulcimer with 3 strings in the D-A-d tuning.
2. A Part Here Neal teaches the melody for the A Part.
3. B Part First Neal teaches the B part melody; then he plays through the entire tune at a moderate speed.
4. Chords Neal goes through the song playing the chords only, without the melody. Neal likes to add harmonics to his arrangement, and demonstrates this technique as well. You can learn more about how to play fretted harmonics from Larry Conger's lesson here.

PDFPDF Documents AnimationAnimations Music GlobeExtras
  • NOTE: All the melody and harmony are actually played on the middle and bass string, so the high strings ring like a drone. This tune can also be played on a mountain dulcimer with 3 strings.

  • Asika Thali performed by a Zulu choir

  • Asika Thali performed by the Colfax High School Chamber Choir for their Spring Concert on May 23, 2012

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