Boil 'Em Cabbage
By Steve Eulberg for Mountain Dulcimer Players
Played on a Galax Dulcimer in the Key of D with d-d-d-d Tuning

Video 1

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About the Lessons

1. Demonstration Steve begins by playing through the tune on his Galax dulcimer.
2. Introduction Steve explains that the Galax style of playing originated in the Galax section of Virginia. Typical features of the Galax dulcimer include a boat-like shape, different sound holes on the soundboard, and holes that go right through the fretboard. It is deeper than a mountain dulcimer, has a double back, and the fretboard is higher,
3. Strumming Steve demonstrates a lot of back and forth motion with his feather quill.
4. Noter Hand The noter covers the first two strings. On the Galax dulcimer the four strings are equidistant, but your mountain dulcimer probably has the two melody strings close together. The noter can be used with either dulcimer, and allows you to slide up and down the strings without lifting off the fretboard.
5. Higher Octave Everything we did in the lower octave we can do in a higher octave. If you're pressing strings with your thumb, it can get awkward. With a noter, it is still easy to play in the higher octave.
6. Fiddling Around Some people think this just a beginners' tune. But Steve demonstrates variations that take this tune up to the next level. You can see the notes he played here in the PDF called "Fancier."
7. Conclusion Steve shows us how to retune our mountain dulcimer to the one tone Galax style. Have fun with Boil 'Em Cabbage. Play as fast or slow as you want.

PDFSheet Music

  • Simple Version
  • Fancier Version


  • Part A, Simple
  • Part B, Simple

  • Part A, Fancier
  • Part B, Fancier


  • Backup Tracks

Music GlobeExtras

  • The story behind the tune

  • Fiddle WhamdiddleThe lyrics for Boil 'Em Cabbage

  • "Boil ‘Em Cabbage" is a good song to use for learning to play your dulcimer as a harmony voice when singing. Aubrey Atwater offers a lesson on how to do this here.

  • In Video 6, Steve talks about the extra notes Vi Wickam plays on the fiddle in their arrangement of this tune for their CD Fiddle Whamdiddle. Listen to this soundtrack of Boil 'Em Cabbage from the CD.

  • Fiddler Mark O'Connor performed Boil 'em Cabbage Down at the Jazz Festival in Marciac, France, 2010. But you can see the band behind him is really wanting to join in. Finally Mark gives them the nod, and they take OFF with variations you've never heard before.

  • If you want go back a few years, enjoy Andy Griffith playing the old tune with the Darlings. The Darlings on "The Andy Griffith Show" were actually a successful band on their own called the Dillards.


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