Taught by Erin Mae Lewis, for Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer Players


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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction Erin explains that playing a scale on a chromatic dulcimer is much different than playing a scale on a diatonic instrument - the type of dulcimer most of you own. She has discovered that learning a couple of scale patterns is very helpful. In this lesson, Erin will teach us to play what she calls the forward pattern and the backward pattern.
2. Scale Patterns: Playing Forward in D Here Erin demonstrates, note by note, the forward pattern for the D scale. She actually uses all 3 strings to execute the scale. This D scale becomes a movable pattern that you can move all up and down the instrument.
3. Scale Patterns: Playing Forward in G In this video, Erin repeats the exact pattern we used for the D scale. By beginning on a different fret, we hear the G scale. You can think of this scale in terms of fret numbers or note names, but Erin finds this way too much work. She thinks of the scale in terms of the triangle shape. Then she can move that pattern, or triangle shape, to play a scale in any key.
4. Forward Pattern
Through the Circle of 4ths
By using this pattern, Erin plays through the circle of 4ths (moving up 4 tones to begin every new scale), and plays the scale in every possible key.
5. Scale Patterns:
Backwards
The backward pattern is based out of the extended X-shaped chord. In this pattern, from the root note, you're going to go to lower fret numbers. In the forward pattern, only one note is played on the melody string. In the backward pattern, only one note is played on the bass string. We find the root on the bass string.
6. Backward Pattern Through the Circle of 4ths In the final video, Erin demonstrates the backward pattern for playing scales throughout all the keys, beginning each key by playing first the extended X-shaped chord for that key.

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