Viewing: Instruction - View all posts

Pick Direction – Rules of Engagement 

Everyone has heard great guitar flatpickers. This is a very developed art among guitar players, and the folks that teach it I’m sure have more complete rules on how pick direction is determined than what I know. These rules would apply to flatpicking the dulcimer as well. I would love to talk to an expert guitarist about this, and if I do I may expand or change some of what I’m about to write. But until then, here is what I have learned from my own development of the style concerning pick direction. I know…

Read more

Cross Key Scales 

The past 10 years or so I have been arranging and playing a lot of tunes in keys other than the open tuning my dulcimer is in. With the addition of the 1.5 fret on a standard dulcimer, and a cross string flatpicking style, there are a wealth of scales, both major and minor, and thus a wealth of songs that can be played cross key without retuning, and without a capo. Even without a 1.5 fret, you can play in some cross keys. I’ve included a resource Tab here that I hope you find informative. It is in both Tab

Read more

TabLedit/Mac Workarounds 

I am not a Mac user so I’ve relied on others to tell me what they do when they get gibberish when trying to open these TablEdit files with a Mac. It appears that my web design program cause a glitch in how Tab from my site interacts with Macs. Macs also add a .txt extension when trying to download TAB from my site. I will be trying to resolve this with the software company. Until then, if you are a Mac user, I would be happy to email you the TablEdit file. They seem to work fine that way. Or just do one of…

Read more

Creative Composition 

Since I compose about 95% of the music that I play, it is common for me to hear comments like, “How do you just pull notes out of the air?” or “You have a rare and special gift.” The fact is we all have a special gift, a bit of genius, and the ability to give birth to music that is uniquely our own. It is not magic, but it is magical. I don’t read music or understand much theory, but I have learned what it takes to access the music that is inside me.  
Composing your own music can be one of the most…

Read more

Chord Arpeggios for Melody 

 Here is information about Chord Arpeggios for Melody I put together for the Mel Bay Dulcimer Sessions.  CORRECTION:  Since writing this article I have changed and improved my picking style.  When reading, if it references pick direction, such as "next string to pick is away from you, then pick away from you"...please consider ignoring it.  I now use almost exclusively the Alternating Pick Method.   See the explanation of it in "Pick Direction, Rules of Engagement" also in my Writings tab.


Read more