For Mountain Dulcimer Players by Aubrey Atwater

Video 1



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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Background Aubrey explains how she became interested in playing with equally distant strings, as well as her background with Lorraine Lee Hammond.
2. Introduction Aubrey begins her introduction to this lesson by retuning her dulcimer from D-A-d to C-G-c. Then she carefully moves the 2nd string to the next groove so her strings are equally spaced.
3. Demonstration Now Aubrey compares the 3 and 4-Equally Distant String set ups by playing the Shaker tune “The Willow Tree.”
4. Fingerpicking 1 Fingerpicking changes when you go from the 3 string configuration to a 4 equally distant string set up. She demonstrates this by playing "The Blackest Crow" s in C-G-c tuning.
5. Fingerpicking 2 Aubrey explains her 6/8 picking pattern and her finger choices.
6. Fingerpicking 3 In the final video, Aubrey shows how the fingerpicking pattern varies when using 4 Equally Distant Strings. She closes by playing "The Blackest Crow" again with this set up.

Music GlobeExtras

  • Watch Lorraine Hammond performing on the mountain dulcimer at the faculty concert at Mandolin Camp North on 4/17/10, accompanied by Dave Howard on guitar. Just as Aubrey said, she never uses her thumb.

  • Dulcimer builder, David Beebe, demonstrates a song he wrote on a dulcimer with 4 equally distant strings.

  • Here is the hymn Higher Ground played in noter drone style using a quill and reed noter. The dulcimer is a standard cherry McSpadden (without a 6+) and the tuning is DAdA - the 4 strings set equidistant. Jean Ritchie used this set-up regularly and it gives a rich sound to drones whilst maintaining the clarity of the single melody string. 

  • Motivated by a little midnight insomnia, Wendy Songe shares a pajama jam of the traditional Celtic tune titled, "Loch Lomond," arranged for 4 equidistant strings.

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