Teaching & Lessons
I am available for private or group lessons, in person or via Zoom.
Topics can be any from the class descriptions below, or you can come with music you want to learn.
You only need the basic, free Zoom account to take lessons that way. I have the paid link, and can help you set up the free account.
Lesson rates are $60/hour in person (we meet somewhere by you), $40/hour by Zoom. Group rates are similar and less per person.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-896-2483 if interested.
Mountain Dulcimer Workshops
The Rhythm Workshop - All Instruments, All Levels, D-A-D dulcimers. Rhythm Explained and Experienced!
Rhythm is the core of music. We’ll start with foot tapping and hand slapping to feel the key distinction between the downbeat and the upbeats. As we progress to a variety of strumming patterns, the class will be a right-hand workout. Covered will be: basic patterns in 2's and 3's, with accents, variations and syncopation; much strumming plus some essential flatpicking.
1 hour versions: (All) Getting downbeats and upbeats in 2/4 and 3/4; Soldier’s Joy, I Ride An Old Paint
OR: (Beg) Some basic folk-dance rhythms. What are reels, jigs, hornpipes and others? Their basic strumming.
OR: (Int) Some basics then into 6/8 and 9/8 rhythms with accented downbeats and upbeats.
Introduction to Chords in D-A-D Beginning (but not novice).
Basic key of D chords in first position with some higher fretboard positions shown.
1 hour versions: Just covering the basic chords and This Land is Your Land.
Or: (Adv Beg /Int) Review DAD Chords low to high, play a song in two registers; This Land, Dark Is the Color
Introduction to Melodic Playing in D-A-D Adv Beg/Intermediate.
Playing across the strings in first position and the octave on the melody string. Basics of using three main fingers, ring-middle-index, getting smooth notes, sliding, hammer-ons and pull-offs, harmonics.
1 hour version: Playing a simple fiddle tune across the strings, Spotted Pony, Sandy River Belle.
G, That Sounds Good! Fiddle tunes in D-G-D ‘Open G’ tuning. Advanced beginners on.
Very helpful, easy switch, to play melodically in the key of G. So many good tunes in G, both among Irish tunes and Appalachian old-time pieces. Class will cover: G scales and chords, playing across the strings and up the fingerboard, with hammer-ons and pull-offs.
1 hour version: Intro to D-G-D; Old Mother Flannigan, Kesh Jig.
Chord-Melody Playing D-A-D and D-G-D. Intermediate and on.
Combining chords and melodies, works beautifully for slower pieces, waltzes, Carolan pieces and more.
1 hour version: Basics of Chord-Melody; Prince William, South Wind.
Four Equidistant Strings D-A-D-D, with G-D-G-D demonstrated. Intermediate and on.
Adding a fourth string need not confuse you by first using it as an “extra drone” string. We’ll then look at the new and different things that can be done with the new string, especially in terms of harmonies and richer-sounding chords. We’ll also cover making use of the overlapping tones one can produce.
1 hour version: Intro to 4-string, enhanced chords, harmonies, overlaps; Streets of Laredo, Simple Gifts.
Blues for Dulcimer D-A-D, Intermediate and on. From the Delta to Chicago by way of the Midnight Special!
A sampling of melodic and chordal approaches, the class will cover: 12-bar and other classic blues patterns; string-bending, boogie-woogie bass runs; using your dulcimer's 'power chords' (barre chords) to play in the strong blues keys of E or A. All with song examples. [Note: 1-and-1/2 fret encouraged but not required.]
1 hour versions: Intro to Blues, 12-bar progression in D and E, Let It Roll.
Or: Intro to Blues, string-bending w Cluck Old Hen and Old Man At the Mill.
The Beauty of the One-and-a-Half Fret – Intermediate and beyond. D-A-D
Open up new worlds in your playing! In D-A-D, the 1-1/2 gives an option of C or C# on the middle string, and F or F# on the melody and bass strings, C and F being ‘new’ notes in this position of DAD. Play in Dm with no retuning. Play key of C chords (C, F, G) easily in first position. Much easier to play blues, country, and rock, and many Celtic and Scandinavian tunes make use of D-major (f#) to D-minor (f) switches.
1 hour version: (All) Intro to 1+, new chords, Hey Ho Nobody Home. OR: (Int) Quick review, Julia Delaney as example.
Using the Capo – Advanced beginners to Intermediate and beyond. D-A-D
Will emphasize putting the capo at the first fret to play in Em (from D-A-D) or Am/A ‘modal’ (from D-G-D). We’ll also capo in DAD to the 3rd fret to get the key of G, or at the 4th fret to get the key of A.
1 hour version: Intro to capo, especially first fret, w demo of 3rd and 4th fret uses. Road to Lisdoonvarna.
One Tuning, Many Keys - Chord Workshop, Intermediate and on. D-A-D
"What is the sound of many keys tuning?" (Hint, not chaos!) Answer: "D-A-D!" We’ll review the basic chords in D and explain the logic of how all musical keys are laid out – how music works. From there the class will cover how to play in the keys of G, A, and E without retuning – opening up the most common keys in folk, blues, country, rock and pop. A brief lesson in "Survival at C" will also be taught. With many song samples spanning the style spectrum, both in tab and ad lib.
1 hour version: How chords work, then play same song in D and G; I Ride An Old Paint; This Land Is Your Land.
OR: How chords work in all keys and how to transpose – eg, transposing songs in other keys into D.