By Aubrey Atwater for Mountain Dulcimer Players

Video 1



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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration This slap strum technique will turn your dulcimer into a percussion instrument. To demonstrate, Aubrey uses the "slap strum" as a backup rhythm while she sings.
2. How To, Part 1 Now Aubrey shows us exactly how to make our strumming sound more professional and how to improve our dulcimer strumming with this muted, slap strum technique. Aubrey uses the "1 - 2 & - 3 - 4 &" rhythm pattern that we're all familiar with. Practice the "slap" part of this new technique first, for quite a while.
3. How To, Part 2 The hardest part to learn is that the techique is a muting and strumming all at once ... at the same time. It's NOT muting the strings, followed by strumming the strings. As you practice, say out loud, "Strum - mute back - strum - mute back."
4. Stap Strum Syncopation Here Aubrey explains what syncopation means, and how the slap strum technique highlights a syncopated beat.
5. Aubrey's Fascinating Strap Aubrey tells the story behind her original strap, and why she likes to use it.

PDFSheet Music

Music GlobeExtras

  • In this video of Steve playing The Crawdad Song on his dulci-bro, we see a combination of the slap technique followed by pickin'.

  • Steve is also a teacher for JamPlay.com, and he teaches the same technique to guitar players, but he calls it the "palm mute." He collected several examples for us, and put them on one webpage called Strummin' with Steve. If you play guitar, you will enjoy these lessons too.

  • Here is a great example by Luca Stricagnoli playing "Can't Stop," with elbow-percussion, in addition to palm-mute and hammer-ons.

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