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Mountain Dulcimer: A Survival Guide for Beginners



By Lorinda Jones, MA, MT-BC

Mountain Dulcimer:  A Survival Guide For Beginners is a 75 page document complete with  playing instruction and traditional tunes designed to give the beginning dulcimer player a solid foundation in playing the mountain dulcimer.  I meet many music therapists that tell me they own a mountain dulcimer, but don’t really know what to do with it.  After  25 years of teaching dulcimer to students in the public schools and adults at music festivals and camps, I have compiled a text that is very sequential and builds on previous learning before adding more skills (Just like a good music therapist would do!!) This is a great resource that music therapists can use for their own personal skill building, and implemented directly into session planning. I love using the mountain dulcimer as my primary accompanying instrument, and you will too!

Take warning…this just may get you started on a path of “dulcimer addiction.”


Song Titles Include:

Buffalo Gals

Going to Boston

Gray Cat on a Tennessee Roof

Home on the Range

Old Joe Clark

Oh, Susanna

Soldier’s Joy



Equipment:  parts of the dulcimer, strings, picks, straps, etc

Tuning:  explanation of how to tune the dulcimer in order to play in both Mixolydian and Ionian modes

Song Approach:  how to play by ear, by traditional notation, and by tablature designed for the three string dulcimer

Appalachian Strum:  how to incorporate a “bum-diddy”strum into tunes

Chords:  I, IV, and V chords for accompaniment

Melody Playing:  how to place fingers on the fretboard for melodic playing on 1, 2, and 3 strings

Tunes: lots of traditional tunes in tablature and traditional notation

Chord Index: major and minor chord positions

Songs: hymns, folk songs, fiddle tunes, songs of Appalachia

Play along tracks (slow and fast speed) of each tune are included!



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