Chariton River Bridge

Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer Players in D-A-A Tuning

In both DAA and DAd tunings, this melody by Malacha Hall is an excellent one for learning a tune by ear and by eye, for using jumps and neighbor notes, recognizing patterns and sequences, grouping notes together to play phrases, smoothly sliding through long, linear melodic lines to create musical phrases.  Paying attention to skipping the notes that are not in a phrase, and noting creative (unusual) melodic phrases are also taught.

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. The Story and Shape
of the Tune
Malacha Hall has provided us with a marvelous tune that is good for teaching some learning skills, as well as commemorating a special location from her life.  Here we map out the shape of the tune.
2. Learning the A Part The A Part of the tune is centered around the 5th fret and behaves in some predictable ways which helps for learning both by ear and by eye.
3. Multi-Finger Strategies - A
Like many tunes, this one can be played with a single finger or a noter, but it is also accessible when utilizing three finger patterns!  (This builds on skills learned in the Mountain Dulcimer Skills section of the website.)
4. Multi-Finger Strategies - B
The melody of this tune goes beyond three finger patterns, so in this episode we explore ways to play smoothly by adding the use of the thumb, or the pinky and by shifting the group of three to a new fret location.
5. Learning the B Part The B Part takes us high up the fretboard, but utilizes “sequences” or repeated patterns that just start on a different fret, so we don’t have to memorize a whole stack of fret numbers…just the ones where we start playing the pattern.
6. Adding Fret Numbers to the B Part and then Putting It All Together Sometimes it DOES help to say the fret numbers out loud as we do in this episode.  Then we are already to put both pieces together and play the whole song!
7. Playing the Chords Malacha has done us a great favor and shared a two chord song with us!  We learn where and when to play them in this segment.
8. Playing the Melody with Chords In the final episode, we all chords to the melody with some suggestions for additional harmony notes to spice it up!
  • D-A-A Tuning
  • D-A-A Tuning: Part A
  • D-A-A Tuning: Part B

For Mobile Devices

  • D-A-A Tuning: Part A
  • D-A-A Tuning: Part B
Music GlobeExtras
  • The story behind Charlton River Bridge

  • MP3 rhythm back-up tracks