Beyond Beginner
Skills to Develop Next

A question we often hear after students finish the Absolute Beginners' series is, "What should I do next? Where do I go from here?" We offer so many lessons at Dulcimer Crossing that if can be hard to navigate to the next step.

At this point, you should know how to hold your hammers, the basic layout of your dulcimer and how to play within the box and are comfortable playing some simple tunes by ear and/or music. These lessons will help you learn some chords, gain more comfort with your instrument and your ability to find and play tunes by ear and from music and tablature.

Below we have listed lessons you may find easier to tackle as a beginning hammered dulcimer player.

Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Arpeggios in 3/4 Time
In this lesson, Linda teaches both downward and upward arpeggios.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Building Chords
All chords required 3 notes, which is why they are called triads. This lesson examines the patterns and shapes to build major and minor chords on the hammered dulcimer.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Celtic Music for Hammered Dulcimers
Even beyond Irish and Scottish natives, Celtic music is enjoyed by people who can trace no ancestry to the British Isles because of their infectious rhythms and the wide variety of tune types and interesting melodies. In this lesson series we first explore the timing and rhythms that undergird Celtic tunes in order to equip us to play them melodically later.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Extending Chords
We can use the triangle and ladder patterns to extend chords and play them as arpeggios, going both directions, from the bottom to the top strings of our hammered dulcimer and back down again.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Lesson Progression
This page gives an explanation for each of the "Playing Levels." Also included is a list of skills that are to be developed at each level.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Octave Drones
This is another exercise that, once mastered and inserted in a tune, will add interest to your playing. Since often there isn't time to look for the right string to strike, muscle memory is imperative.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Parallel Hands
Parallel hand exercises help you develop accuracy. In these exercises, one hand plays a scale going up or down, while the other hand answers with a drone tone.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Playing 3rds, 4ths, 6ths
This exercise focuses on learning to play hammers together in a parallel motion - first playing 6ths, then playing 3rds and 4ths.
Bill Robinson Bill Robinson Playing Chords
Bill demonstrates playing chords on the treble bridge of the hammered dulcimer using his favored pattern.
Bill Robinson Bill Robinson Playing Standing Up
Bill shows us how to add guitar buttons and a strap to your hammered dulcimer, and play standing straight up. He says this position is easier on his back.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Portable Chord Shapes 1
Steve "sees" chords as shape patterns, that can be moved to different locations on the hammered dulcimer. In this group of videos, Steve demonstrates the Utah shape and the ladder shape.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Portable Chord Shapes 2
In this lesson, Steve introduces the Mississippi chord shape, the bowtie shape, the kite shape, T-shaped chords, and more.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Repeated Drones
Using the drone tone is a common variation used by both mountain and hammered dulcimer players. You can't practice this technique too much.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Repeated Notes
It's not as easy as it looks. Striking the same string over and over accurately requires muscle memory and focus.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Tablature Reading
Tablature was developed long ago for stringed and fretted instruments. First we examine and learn how to read tablature and then we look at some different examples.

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