Free Mountain Dulcimer lessons with tab and tuning



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There are many types of picks (or plectrum) available which work well on the dulcimer. A trip to any music store will reveal the dozens of possibilities. I suggest that you get a variety and try them out and choose the kind which you like the best. Personally I like a large, thin triangular pick when playing the dulcimer. Hold it loosely in the right hand as shown in the photograph on the right.

how to hold the pick

In days of old it is said that a feather quill was used as a pick. I have tried it and it works pretty well if one doesn’t play too fast. The quill seems a little stiff and must be held very loosely.

using a quill to play the dulcimer

Of course, you can also use your thumb or fingers of the right hand to gently brush the strings instead of using a pick. There are times when I do this too. Especially if everyone in the house is asleep.


As I stated earlier, it is easier to reach all of the frets if you position the peg box farther out on the left leg at an angle like this:

position of dulcimer

The right hand is held closer to the body and the pick is caused to swing back and forth brushing across the strings near the string hollow. The string hollow helps keep your pick from tapping on the wood of the fret board.

Hold your picking hand above the strum hollow with the pick hanging down from above. Moving your arm away and closer from the elbow, combined with a little rotation of the forearm, swings the pick back and forth across the strings.

picking a dulcimer

Think of the pick as a little swinging pendulum hanging freely above the strum hollow. Letting your hand hang from a loosely bent wrist will help your hand swing. Hold the pick loosely between the thumb and index finger and gently curl the remaining fingers in a loose fist to keep them out of the way. Stay relaxed.

I can do that! Take me to free lesson 7...

After you try these free lessons you might also enjoy my complete downloadable PDF eBook which teaches 10 songs in 3 different tunings using strums and a little finger picking too. It comes with 17 MP3 tracks too! Fun stuff! You can read about it here.

downloadable pdf dulcimer lessons with tab and mp3 tracks

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