Denver Belle
For Hammered Dulcimer Players by Linda Thomas

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Demonstration First Linda plays all the way through this lively fiddle tune for us.
2. Structure of the Tune The challenge with learning this song is that the A Part and the B Part are in two different keys. Another interesting challenge is that in the B Part has a left hand lead. The form of the song is A - B - A in 4/4 common time.
3. A Part Melody, Phrases 1 & 2 The A part is in the Key of D. The melody for the first two phrases follows the D chord in two different positions.
4. A Part Melody, Phrases 3 & 4 The 3rd phrase covers the A chord, and the last phase uses a scale pattern.
5. A Part Melody All Together After you watch Linda play through, go back and practice it phrase by phrase as many times as you need. Then you can go back and play the A Part along with Linda.,
6. B Part Melody, Phrases 1 & 2 The B Part is where the key changes to A. The 2nd phrase involves a long succession lot of stepwise movement.
7. B Part Melody, Phrases 3 & 4 At the end of Phrase 4, you hit the G - making that a dominant 7th chord and modulating back to the original key of D as you repeat the A Part.
8. Playing Back-Up, A Part Linda uses an offbeat pattern for the chord structure, playing her chords in the root position for the D chord, moving both hands down 1 string for the A chord, and keeping her hands in the same position, moving up the the G and B strings to play that chord in the root position, and returning to the D chord for the final beat.
9. Playing Back-Up, B Part We begin with the A chord already learned in the A part, but in this section Linda introduces a new chord - the E chord. The last chord in this section is the A7th chord, leading us back into the A part in the key of D.
10. Embellishment A
One of the simplest, most obvious, variations is to change octaves or change directions - invert the chord. Linda uses both techniques in her arrangement.
11. Embellishment B Here Linda continues to demonstrate how to invert the chord, a simple change giving a completely different sound to the phrase.
12. Embellishment C In the final video, Linda plays through her entire arrangement with variations.

PDFSheet Music

  • Basic Melody

  • Back-Up Chords

  • Variation


  • Basic Melody - A Part
  • Basic Melody - B Part
  • Back-Up Chords
  • Variation - A Part

Mobile Devices

  • Basic Melody - A Part
  • Basic Melody - B Part
  • Back-Up Chords
  • Variation - A Part

Music GlobeExtras

  • Enjoy Denver Belle played by Kenny Baker on the fiddle.

  • Click here to read what we discovered about the origin of this great fiddle tune.

  • Here is Denver Belle is played here on an old Kentucky KM600 mandolin and a Simon and Patrick guitar.
  • This final version of Denver Belle was played by John Mailander on fiddle and Ron Cody on banjo while at the 2016 Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week.
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