Reverse Tuning
Taught by Aubrey Atwater, for Mountain Dulcimer Players in E-A-e-e Tuning

Video 1



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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration Aubrey sings through one verse of The Devil & the Farmer's Wife, explaining the song is in the Reverse Ionion mode, the tuning is E-A-e-e, and it is in the key of A.
2. Reverse Tuning,
Part 1
The video starts with Aubrey's dulcimer tuned to D-A-d, the way we are accustomed to tuning. Then she demonstrates how the D-A-d tuning is not an easy key for a woman to sing this particular song, and offers possible solutions.
3. Reverse Tuning,
Part 2
She decided the key of G might work, and the normal tuning for the key of G would be G-D-g. However, this tuning doesn't work well on a mountain dulcimer, so she reverses the tuning of the strings to D-G-d-d by reversing the notes for the middle and bass strings. And that is reverse tuning.
4. New Chords Finally, to suit her own vocal range, Aubrey retunes her dulcimer to E-A-e-e. With this new tuning, we have to learn new chord shapes.

PDFPDF Documents

  • Tablature for The Devil & the Farmer's Wife

  • Lyrics for The Devil & the Farmer's Wife

 

Music GlobeExtras

  • Enjoy The Devil & the Farmer's Wife performed by the Atwater-Donnelly Trio. From left, Cathy Clasper-Torch, Elwood Donnelly and our own Aubrey Atwater.

  • Aubrey is an amazing folk musician who both sings and plays a myriad of musical instruments including dulcimer, banjo and guitar. Here she performs The Devil & the Farmer's Wife as a solo. I especially enjoy the way she got the audience to join in on the "hi fid-dle li fi, did-dle li ay" parts.

  • The story behind the tune

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