Amazing Grace
The 3D Method for Mountain Dulcimer Players by Deborah (DJ) Hamouris
D-A-d Tuning

Video 1

HD Video streaming too slowly? Try the standard definition.

VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction Deborah explains that, in this lesson, she is going to take you beyond playing melody only with a drone. You will be playing melody, harmony, and ornaments - and she calls this the 3D Method.
2. Demonstration In the first "bare bones" arrangement, Deborah plays through the tune using a combination of flat picking and strumming.
3. Break It Down You're probably used to strumming across all the strings. For the 3D method, you will need to become comfortable locating each string and playing it individually.
4. Apply the Exercise
Part 1
To learn the first phrase, first flatpick the middle string, and then strum all the strings. Then flatpick the melody string, and strum all the strings.
5. Apply the Exercise
Part 2
Use the same technique to flatpick the melody and strum the harmony on the 2nd phrase.
6. Rhythmic Strums 1 In this video, Deborah talks about how to strum in a waltz rhythm.
7. Rhythmic Strums 2 You will be counting 1-2-3, flatpicking the melody where you did before, and feel where you should add the strums in between.
8. Rhythmic Strums 3 Here Deborah introduces the "BUM-dit-ty" (out -- out-in) strum, but slow it down to learn it.
9. Ornaments:
The Pull-Off
Ornaments are something you add in as slides, pull-offs, or hammer-ons. In the first phrase of Amazing Grace, you will use pull-offs.
10. Ornaments:
The Hammer-On
Next Deborah demonstrates how to play a hammer-on in slow motion.
11. Ornaments:
The Slide
This involves sliding up or down the fretboard, pressing on the wood across the frets, without lifting your fingers from the strings. She also introduces an additional chord to the arrangement.
12. All Ornaments As Deborah continues through her arrangement of Amazing Grace, all three ornaments are used. Then she closes with what she calls the "Big Church Ending."
13. Putting It Together Finally Deborah plays it through with all the parts and ornaments, using all the strings in a full-fledged arrangement with her 3D Method.
PDFPDF Documents
  • Bare Bones, Flatpick & Strum

  • Rhythmic Strums

  • Rhythmic Strums with Variations

  • Lyrics


  • Bare Bones, Flatpick & Strum

  • Rhythmic Strums
Music GlobeExtras
  • The story of John Newton's life and how he came to write this wonderful hymn

  • My soul was blessed and I sang the words along in my heart as I listened to this beautiful arrangement on keyboard played by Carlton Forrester.

  • MP3 rhythm back-up tracks

  • Steve offers an in-depth lesson on ornaments - teaching hammer-ons, pull-offs, the slide, and bends in his lesson called "Articulations."

Amazing Grace