Hammered Dulcimer Workshops

A Brief History of Time Signatures–Cliff Cole (BEG-MID) – SAT 4

We’ll explore time signatures that are commonly used in folk music such as old time and Irish music. Exercises in syncopation will be explored to help learn the proper timing of things like quarter notes and eighth notes along with triplets and rests. Hopefully, we won't fall into any of Steven Hawking's black holes. But that is all relative.


Accents for Emphasis – Marya Katz (BEG-MID) – SAT 3

7 different ways to give a melody note more attention beyond just hitting it harder (using the force of gravity).  Includes: bounced roll; 2-note block chord (harmony); rolled chord up/down/middle (also harmony); valley roll (more harmony); pull down grace notes; push up grace notes; short trill


Accompanying Malcolm Dalglish Choral Music – Patti Amelotte (ADV) – SAT 3

Hammered dulcimer master Malcolm Dalglish has become a popular arranger of choral music, and many of his works are scored for hammered dulcimer and percussion accompaniment. His “Hymnody of the Earth” (a suite based on the poetry of Wendell Barry) and pieces like “Sail Away, Ladies,” are covered by choirs and choruses around the world, and choral directors often look for hammered dulcimer players to accompany them. In this workshop, we will explore approaches for folk oriented HD players to "survive" and thrive in a classical choral environment..


Advanced Japanese Music – MiMi Hashizume (ADV) – FRI 3

I have a really beautiful song which was written for my dulcimer. It’s the theme song for a Japanese TV drama, which I played on the recording of. It has slow melody and so beautiful harmonies. You’ll learn Japanese chords, tremolo (roll) techniques, and plucking.


Baroque Salterio Music – Carmen Amrein (ADV) – SAT 1

Take a trip back in time while we bring to life a stunning Solo tune from the Baroque period, originally composed for the Baroque type of HD – the Salterio. Learn how to play the tune step by step, and learn about the genre’s dynamics, ornamentation, and phrasing.


Basic Skill of Beats – MiMi Hashizume (ADV) – SAT 2

We’ll use the hammered dulcimer as both a rhythm instrument and a melodic instrument at the same time, interweaving a percussive beat through a tune. You can apply this technique to many tunes – plus, it’s great brain training!


Bill Robinson’s Greatest Hits – Bill Robinson (MID) – SAT 2

Learn three of Bill’s most requested tunes: Festival Rag, St. Charles Dulcimer Blues, and Stepping Out With George.


Bill’s Hammering Techniques – Bill Robinson (MID-ADV) – FRI 3

We’ll take a familiar tune and build various embellishments onto it. Bill will also explain his flexible hammers and the uncommon way that he tunes his bass bridge.


Care & Feeding of Your Hammered Dulcimer – Chris Foss (ALL) – SAT 5

Maintenance and adjustments, dealing with bridges, changing strings, dulcimer stands, your playing setup, or whatever other questions you may have


Creating Solo Arrangements – Dave Neiman (ADV) – SAT 4

Learn how to take a melody and use the underlying chord structure to create your own unique arrangement. This class will be using one or two fairly common waltz melodies. We will be exploring what notes to play as harmonies and different techniques for adding them. What’s key is understanding that there is no “one right way” in an arrangement -- just different possibilities. The goal is to arrange a tune to “make it your own.” Some knowledge of music theory -- understanding chords -- will be helpful.


Easy Improvisation – When You’re Tired of the Same Old Tune – Marya Katz (MID) – SAT 5

Participants will learn a few techniques that can be used to make a tune more interesting as well as relieve the boredom of playing it the same way every time (useful for jams; also useful for playing backup).


German Christmas Carols: The Ones You Don’t Know – Carmen Amrein (MID) – FRI 2

Everyone knows Silent Night and Oh du Fröhliche, but do you know all our other lovely German Christmas carols? Join me and learn some of our most beautiful carols for the holiday season.


Hammered Dulcimer 101 – Marya Katz (BEG) – FRI 1

For those who have either never tried the dulcimer, or have one that you've tapped on a few times and then put in the back of your closet or under your bed, this session is for you!  We'll learn where the notes are by playing rhythms and nursery rhymes, explore the mysteries of tuning all those strings, find how it feels to produce a clear tone, and learn a simple tune in the key of D (our favorite!).  It would be helpful to be able to read music, but is not necessary.  A recording device is also recommended.  All handouts will be supplied.


Hammered Dulcimer 102 – Carrie Crompton (BEG) – FRI 2

More basic skills to help you feel comfortable holding the hammers finding the right strings, hitting the strings, doing it in rhythm, and making it all sound musical.


Hammered Dulcimers of Western European – Carmen Amrein (ALL) – SAT 3

Dulce Melos, Salterio, Hackbrett, Cimbalom, all those instruments are family members, but do you know how they differ from the American hammered dulcimer and from each other? Join me on a trip through time and Europe and let me explain the differences to you, plus, you’ll learn a hit song from each instrument.

It’s German Polka Time! – Carmen Amrein (MID) – SAT 2

Get your Lederhosen and Dirndl out and learn the lovely Anna Polka and Bummel Petrus Polka (Rambling Peter). Both Polkas have a lovely ear catching melody and maybe I’ll be teaching those tunes wearing one of my Dirndls.


Mapping the Hammered Dulcimer – Cliff Cole (BEG) – FRI 3

In this workshop we will explore different ways of playing scales and chords using some common patterns inherent to the hammered dulcimer’s layout. The student will learn how to better utilize redundant notes to make sticking patterns easier and faster to play. We will explore some of the chord pattern possibilities that are often overlooked.


Modern Hackbrett Music – Carmen Amrein (ADV) – SAT 5

Have your imagination and accidentals ready for two lovely modern Hackbrett music tunes: “Full Moon Dream“ and "Song of the Flying Elephant“ – both playable on 12/11 dulcimers!


Moving Forward by Simply Backing Up – Dave Neiman (MID) – FRI 1

Learn to play backup from the ground up. We will work on simple 1- and 2-note backup techniques then move on to basic chord backup. You will get to practice backing up with recorded fiddle tunes at first slowly then speeded up. Chord shapes will be introduced to expand your toolkit even further.


Paradiddles, Flams, and Why They Matter – Cliff Cole (MID-ADV) – FRI 1

Paradiddles and flams are two of the basic rudiments that every student of percussion learns. Since the dulcimer is a percussion instrument, we’ll explore these and other rudiments, and see how they can be integrated into your playing to add flavor and spice.


Playing With Two Voices – MiMi Hashizume (MID) – SAT 1

The hammered dulcimer plays single melodies beautifully, but sometimes by adding a distinct second part to the music it can add even more beauty. We’ll take a familiar, slow song that has ample space for accompaniment, and we’ll add some arrangement techniques and other “tricks” to make it more interesting.


Scales, Exercises and Improving Your Bridge Crossings – Dave Neiman (BEG) – SAT 1

We will explore 3 different ways to play a major scale. These scales will help inform when to cross your hands across a bridge in order to make learning tunes easier and more efficient. You will also learn some “limber up” exercises to get your hammers flyting. We will put these scales and exercises to use though learning a simple melody or two.


Shuffle Time – Carrie Crompton (BEG) – SAT 2

Shuffling is a fiddle technique that gives energy to reels. We’ll adapt that technique to our dulcimer hammering patterns on a couple of well-known reels in the key of D. Tunes: “Wind That Shakes the Barley” and “Mississippi Sawyer.”


Traditional Japanese Music – MiMi Hashizume (BEG) – SAT 5

Using the traditional tune “Sakura Sakura,” you will learn Japanese pentatonic scales, as well as simple tremolo (or roll) techniques. In addition, you will begin learning to coordinate your two hands, playing some easy accompaniment along with the melody. In the end, you’ll have an elegant musical arrangement worthy of the cherry blossom, itself.


Triad Rolls – Carrie Crompton – (MID) – SAT 3

Rolled three-note chords can add a lot of depth to a melody. We’ll explore just a few ergonomic triads that can be used in the keys of Am and G to create rich-sounding arrangements. Tunes: “Brian Boru’s March” and “Munster Cloak.”


Tunes From Taizé – Marya Katz (ADV) – FRI 2

The Taizé Community in France, an ecumenical Christian monastic fraternity founded in 1940, has produced at least 50 chants that are appropriate for various parts of church services.  Being chants, they lend themselves to much repetition and opportunity for backup/improvisation.


Tunes With a Story Behind Them – Bill Robinson (MID) – SAT 4

How often do we play a tune like “Child Grove” or “Nail That Catfish to a Tree” without knowing why it has that name? But with recently-composed music, it’s possible to ask the writer. Here, we’ll have the composer in the room to teach you some very playable tunes and tell you the stories behind them.

Mountain Dulcimer Workshops

Special Bass dulcimer, Chromatic dulcimer, and TablEdit mini-tracks are in purple.

All About Tone Woods – Richard Ash (ALL) – SAT 4

The wood that makes up your instrument helps to give it its distinct voice, and there really are differences among the various woods. Being online, it will be easy to have a variety of samples at hand, and to demonstrate the differences.


Balkan Music & Additive Rhythms – Mark Gilston (MID) – FRI 3

We’ll explain additive rhythms, one of the distinctive features of much of the music of the Balkan countries, and learn a couple of tunes in a 5 rhythm.


Bass Dulcimer Styles – Kirk House (NOV-INT) – FRI 1

Like most instruments, the Bass Dulcimer can be played in a number of different methods, or ‘styles.’ These might be defined by the type of music you’re playing, the approach you take in playing with others (‘traditional’ bass style, chordal accompaniment, or solo instrument), or even just the time signature of the song. We’ll explore a few styles – including jazz, blues, and boogie-woogie – and see just how diverse the Bass Player can be!


Bass Dulcimer: Playing In the Box – Kirk House (INT) – FRI 3

This workshop will explore a technique known to guitarists as ‘playing in the box’; it was used almost exclusively by the great bluesman B.B. King, as well as many others.  We will learn what the pentatonic scale is, and where it lies on the dulcimer fretboard.


Beginners' Roundtable – Nina Zanetti (BEG) – SAT 4

If you’re on “information overload” and feel confused about anything you’ve been learning this weekend, bring your questions and we’ll help you get things sorted out. You will also leave with several easy new tunes to add to your repertoire. DAD tuning.


Care & Feeding of Your Mountain Dulcimers – Joellen Lapidus (ALL) – SAT 1