Beyond Beginner
Tunes to Learn 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 America the Beautiful
The poem for "America the Beautiful" was written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893 while on a trip to Colorado to see Pike’s Peak. Bates wrote, "When I saw the view ... all the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse." This flowing arrangement is played in the key of C.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Angels We Have Heard on High
This arrangement will work with an ensemble of both kinds of dulcimers or both mountain (in both tunings!) and hammered dulcimers. Get together with your friends to try it!
Linda Thomas Linda Thomas Ash Grove
This lovely Welsh tune is known all over the world, and is one of the first tunes Linda learned to play on her hammered dulcimer.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Blackberry Blossom
Blackberry Blossom is an old-time bluegrass fiddle tune. It is classified as a "breakdown" and is popular in old time, bluegrass and Celtic traditional circles.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Chariton River Bridge
The Chariton River is a 218-mile-long tributary to the Missouri River in southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri. Our composer was inspired by a bridge that used to go over Chariton River where she lived, but the river was dammed and the bridge was torn down. The song reflects her memories about the times they would walk down the lane to the Chariton River Bridge on Sunday afternoons.
Linda Thomas Linda Thomas Children's Song of the Nativity
"Children's Song of the Nativity" is a traditional English Christmas carol. The lyrics were written by Frances Chesterton and tell the story of children waiting for Christmas, travelling to welcome the baby Jesus and offering the Christ-child what little they can - their smiles and tears. Mary welcomes the children and invites them to sleep peacefully in the presence of God, a baby.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Club Footed Jib
This is an original tune by Steve Eulberg, and this one is in 7/8 time. He was inspired to write this tune while in the Florida Keys, sitting next to Butch Ross on a sailboat with a club-footed jib in the front.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Cripple Creek
A "cripple creek" is a meandering or a crooked stream. Some speculate that the location of the creek in this bluegrass song is Cripple Creek, Colorado. But others believe that the song refers to Cripple Creek, Virginia. Regardless of the location of the creek, it's a popular tune at jam sessions.
Linda Thomas Linda Thomas Denver Belle
This is an old fiddle tune, made popular by fiddler Kenny Baker. Kenny was best known as a bluegrass musician, and he used to say bluegrass music was nothing but a hillbilly version of jazz.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Front Range Rambles
This tune was written by our own Steve Eulberg as the Dulcimer Crossing "theme song." He was inspired by his view of the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. You will hear this tune as the intro to our videos, and it's a lot of fun to play.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Garry Owen
Garryowen is an old Irish drinking song that can be traced back as far as the early 1860s. The word "Garryowen" is derived from Irish words meaning, "Owen's Garden," and is actually a suburb of the Irish city of Limeric.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Harvest Home
"Harvest Home" can be found in fiddle tune collections from the 1840's so it is believed that this lively tune was brought over to America by one of the Irish immigrants in the 1800's.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Hunting Buffalo
Mountain dulicmer players will learn about the use of a capo and how to play the song in 4 different tunings. Hammered dulcimer players will learn how to play a minor mode gapped-scale tune in box and the straight up and down patterns in E minor.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
I'll Fly Away
Hammered dulcimer players will learn this in the key of G, using grace notes that are taught in both single and double hammer patterns. Mountain dulcimer players will learn it in both D-A-A and D-A-d tuning, using both a single finger and multiple fingers drone melody, a two-finger harmony, and chorded melody.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Jesus Loves Me
After almost 150 years, "Jesus Loves Me" is still the #1 spiritual song in the hearts of children around the world. The most fun aspect of this lesson is that it comes with a calypso back-up track for practicing - with marimbas, flutes, and steel drums.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Jingle Bells
James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893) wrote Jingle Bells in 1857. The song was originally published under the title "One Horse Open Sleigh." Mountain dulcimer players will learn to play this tune in 3 different tunings: D-A-A, D-A-d, and D-G-d. Hammered dulcimer players will learn the tune in the key of G.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
For mountain dulcimer players, this carol is taught in the key of D in D-A-A and D-A-d tunings - first with a drone melody, then with an added harmony note and finally in chord-melody style. Hammered dulcimer players will enjoy drills on syncopation to help create the rhythmic variations in Linda's arrangement.
Bill Robison Bill Robison Knee Deep in Snow
This is an original tune by Bill Robinson, written in the key of C. For the more advanced students, Bill adds embellishments to the basic melody. He encourages us to create embellishments of our own and have fun with the tune.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Liberty
Liberty is a very popular old-time and bluegrass fiddle tune, great for contra dances, and it's tons of fun to play at jam sessions.
Steve Eulberg

Erin Mae Lewis

Steve Eulberg

Erin Mae
Lewis

Liberty for MD & HD
In this lesson, Erin Mae and Steve show us how to play Liberty when playing with a mountain dulcimer and a hammered dulcimer together (or actually, any two instruments). They give us plenty of ideas for variations to add to the arrangement. And then they show us how to listen for cues and be sensitive to what the other person is trying to do, and how to give the other person room to do it.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Little Drummer Boy
The song tells the story of a young shepherd boy who decided to give Jesus a gift using his own talents. Although modern art depicts the little drummer boy making his well-known rhythm pattern with drumsticks, the fact is - drumsticks didn't exist in the days of Augustus. He would have played on a skin drum, similar to our bodhran today.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Mairi's Wedding
This is a Scottish folk song originally written in Gaelic by Johnny Bannerman for Mary McNiven, a well-known singer at the time. Johnny first played the tune for Mary in 1935 at the Old Highlanders Institute in Glasgow's Elmbank Street.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Off She Goes
The popular fiddle tune "Off She Goes” was popular throughout the British Isles and North America. Some sources say that, in the days of sailing, it was a tradition for the fiddle player to sit on the deck of the ship playing “Off She Goes” as the ship departed harbor.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff

Old Joe Clark
This tune is a treasured chestnut and an excellent example of the Mixolydian mode. Steve teaches it for mountain dulcimer players in three different tunings. In Linda's arrangement for hammered dulcimer players, she utilizes both a right and left-hand drone and some noodling.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Over the Waterfall
Over the Waterfall is a popular jam tune which packs some surprises. The humorous lyrics tell of an old man who pushed his old wife into the water - thus the title "Over the Waterfall."
Bill Robison Bill Robison Rachel
Bill uses this tune to teach us how to find major and minor chords using the H pattern.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Rakes of Mallow
This song is about the rakes who came to visit the town of Mallow, a town in County Cork, and became a well-known Irish drinking song. Apparently, when they weren't drinking the water from the Spa House for its curative properties, some of the young men were guzzling, in vast quantity, other substances that had exactly the opposite effect.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff

Rocky Top
"Rocky Top" was written by married songwriting duo Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant in 1967. The Bryants were staying at the historic Gatlinburg Inn, in Gatlinburg, Tennesse, when the idea of writing a song about the mountains came to them. Several years have passed since then, but Rocky Top is still a crowd pleaser.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Silent Night
This arrangement will work with an ensemble of both kinds of dulcimers or both mountain (in both tunings!) and hammered dulcimers. Get together with your friends to try it!
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Southwind
Southwind is an Irish waltz played in the characteristic “OOM pah pah” style, taught by Steve for MD players and Linda for HD players. Hammered dulcimer players will enjoy using arpeggios and an answering left hand bounce in the right hand lead style. This tune is always a favorite at jam sessions.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Spotted Pony
Spotted Pony is a traditional Missouri tune from R.P. Christeson's book, The Old-Time Fiddler's Repertory. Here Steve teaches our hammered dulcimer players the tune. In addition, Erin Mae teaches both standard and chromatic mountain dulcimer players in the D-A-d tuning, Vi Wickam teaches it to our fiddle players, and Butch takes it to the next level with his breakdown version. See links to all the lessons for this tune here.
Linda Thomas Linda Thomas Squire Parsons
Linda originally learned to play this as a processional at a wedding, and now she plays it at coffeeshops, galleries, and festivals.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Still, Still, Still
This is an Austrian Christmas carol, and was also arranged by Steve for an ensemble of both kinds of dulcimers or both mountain (in both tunings!) and hammered dulcimers.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Stir Up Your Power, O Lord
This is an original song written by Steve for the Advent season. Before he plays the melody for us, Steve shares church history that inspired the song, how he met Guy George, and about the time Guy asked to play this tune.
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Steve Eulberg

Linda Ratcliff
Up on the Housetop
This popular tune was written by Benjamin R. Hanby in 1864 in the town of New Paris, Ohio. This may be the first actual song that mentions Santa Claus by that name, and is probably the first secular Christmas song in American history.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg You Name It Blues: Hammered Dulcimer
Steve shows how this tune can take on a different character if we “lean forward” rhythmically and give it a Chicago-Blues feel, rather than a laid-back Delta blues feel.

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