Fisher's Hornpipe
Arranged for Hammered Dulcimer Players by Matthew Dickerson

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Introduction First Matthew plays through the tune, and shares some background about how he learned the tune. He also emphasizes the important of staying with a left-right-left-right hammering pattern, if you want to be able to keep up at jam sessions.
2. Part A, Demo Matthew plays through Part A again, before taking it apart for us.
3. Part A, Break It Down The first phrase of Part A begins with a triplet pick-up starting with the left hammer, next a descending D chord, and then a phrase that is repeated three times, and finally ends on E.
4. Part A, Finish The ending phrase of Part A uses the "repeated phrase" we learned in the previous video just once, starts again for just four notes and then moves into a different ending.
5. Part A Together Matthew plays one more time through both phrases at a slow tempo to be sure we grasp it.
6. Part B, Break It Down 1 Here Matthew introduces the first half of Part B, demonstrating very slowly - note by note, starting with the right hammer, always alternating the right and left hammers. The challenge here is to reach up and play the Bb note on the bass bridge correctly.
7. Part B, Break It Down 2 Next Matthew works through the next two measures of Part B, note by note. This section is a little more tricky because it includes a triplet.
8. Part B, Break It Down 3 Finally Matthew presents the last two measures of Part B, which includes another triplet, a descending D scale, an ascending D chord, and a reach over to the bass bridge for the A.
9. Part B Together Matthew plays once again through the entire B part at a slow tempo to be sure we understand every note.
10. Whole Song Finally Matthew plays through the entire song at a faster pace (but not still up to tempo), repeating each part twice. Return to the introduction to listen to this lively tune at the speed it will likely be played at jam sessions.

PDFSheet Music

  • Melody


  • Part A

  • Part B

Music GlobeExtras

  • "Fisher's Hornpipe" is an old fiddle tune well-known in many folk music circles, from American Old-Time Music to Bluegrass. It was composed by J. Fishar and published in 1780. The hornpipe is an Irish, Scottish and English dance done in hard shoes so you can hear the rhythms. 

  • Hear our own Vi "The Fiddler" Wickham play through the tune for us.

  • I enjoyed these variations on the melody as played by Mike Marshall and Chris Thile on mandolins.
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