Hammering Skills
Drills & Skills for Hammered Dulcimer Players

Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Arpeggios in 3/4 Time
In this lesson, Linda teaches both downward and upward arpeggios.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Arrange & Embellish 1: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Beginning with a familiar nursery rhyme tune, Steve explores 10 different variations that are tools for learning how to arrange and embellish any tunes that we wish to play—a transferable skill.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Arrange & Embellish 2: Dorsett's Four-Hand Reel
One of the most common questions asked in workshops is, "I get tired of playing a tune over and over the same way in a jam session. How can I make some changes to the arrangement? " This lesson includes several suggestions that can be applied to any tune.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Building Chords
All chords required 3 notes, which is why they are called triads. This lesson examines the patterns and shapes to build major and minor chords on the hammered dulcimer.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Chromatic Hammering
These exercises are designed to help you learn the location of the chromatic notes on your diatonic dulcimer. In the process, you will also gain dexterity and familiarity of sending one hand off to find the "unusual" note then return home by having the other hand stay put like an anchor.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Extending Chords
We can use the triangle and ladder patterns to extend chords and play them as arpeggios, going both directions, from the bottom to the top strings of our hammered dulcimer and back down again.
Bill Robinson Bill Robinson Flexible Hammers
Bill gives a detailed explaination of how to hold flexible hammers.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Grace Notes
Linda teaches us how to play grace notes - first with the right hammer, then with the left hammer, and finally with alternating hammers.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Hammer Control
Saying the word Mississippi for rhythm control, Steve takes us through an exercise to help you gain better control of your hammers and eye-hand coordination. First try the exercise leading off with the right hand, then leading with the left hand.
Matthew Dickerson Matthew Dickerson Hammers & Hammering
Hammers are like a pair of shoes ... one size does not fit all. In this series, Matthew will point out differences between hammers, and how to pick a set of hammers that will feel comfortable in your hands, the parts of the hammers, how to hold the hammers, and how to stand comfortably when using them.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Hand Independence
Learning to play "The Lullabye of Muffe" also gives us the opportunity to work on hand separation and hand independence skills.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Hand Separation
In the lesson for Su-La-Li, Steve plays the melody with his left hammer, and strikes the bass line with his right hammer along the bass bridge. This technique is good for practicing hand separation.
Erin Mae Lewis Erin Mae
Lewis
How to Practice
Erin explains that when she was a music student, no one ever really told her HOW to practice. In this series, she gives us a few suggestions for a successful 30-minute practice session.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg How to Use Dampers
First Steve gives a little history about the damper pedal as it evolved for dulcimer players, and then explains the mechanical functions of dampers.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Lesson Progression
This page gives an explanation for each of the "Playing Levels." Also included is a list of skills that are to be developed at each level.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Long-Reaching Drones
This is an exercise to get you comfortable playing a drone - on the bass and treble bridge. This is a muscle memory skill, so practice will definitely make you better.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Modes
A mode is a seven-step series of notes that can also be called a scale. In this lesson, Steve reviews the ionian, myxolydian, dorian, aeolian, phrygian, lydian, and locrian modes.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Multiple Bounce Roll
A multiple bounce stroke occurs when a hammer is allowed to bounce several times before the other hammer strikes. In this exercise, we practice using the right hammer, the left hammer, and finally both hammers.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Octave Drones
This is another exercise that, once mastered and inserted in a tune, will add interest to your playing. Since often there isn't time to look for the right string to strike, muscle memory is imperative.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Parallel Hands
Parallel hand exercises help you develop accuracy. In these exercises, one hand plays a scale going up or down, while the other hand answers with a drone tone.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Playing 3rds, 4ths, 6ths
This exercise focuses on learning to play hammers together in a parallel motion - first playing 6ths, then playing 3rds and 4ths.
Bill Robinson Bill Robinson Playing Chords
Bill demonstrates playing chords on the treble bridge of the hammered dulcimer using his favored pattern.
Bill Robinson Bill Robinson Playing Standing Up
Bill shows us how to add guitar buttons and a strap to your hammered dulcimer, and play standing straight up. He says this position is easier on his back.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Portable Chord Shapes 1
Steve "sees" chords as shape patterns, that can be moved to different locations on the hammered dulcimer. In this group of videos, Steve demonstrates the Utah shape and the ladder shape.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Portable Chord Shapes 2
In this lesson, Steve introduces the Mississippi chord shape, the bowtie shape, the kite shape, T-shaped chords, and more.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Repeated Drones
Using the drone tone is a common variation used by both mountain and hammered dulcimer players. You can't practice this technique too much.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Repeated Notes
It's not as easy as it looks. Striking the same string over and over accurately requires muscle memory and focus.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Rich Chords 1
Rich chords are chords that have other notes in them, in addition to the 3 notes that go with either the major or the minor chords. In this series, Steve focuses on adding a 4th note to the major 7th, the dominant 7th, 6th chords, augmented chords and diminished chords.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Rich Chords 2
In this 2nd part of the Rich Chords series, Steve adds tones to minor chords. Then he demonstrates how to apply this lesson to the old favorite, You Are My Sunshine.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Rolled Chords
In this lesson, we learn to roll chords across the valley, over the treble bridge from right to left and finally across the valley and the treble bridge.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg String-Side UP
A series of 30 videos beginning by going over the parts of the hammered dulcimer and how it is laid out.
Linda Ratcliff Linda Ratcliff Syncopation
Syncopation occurs when a normally unstressed beat is stressed. For example, most tunes stress the first and third beat. When we use a syncopated rhythm pattern, we may emphasize the second and fourth beats.
Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg Tablature Reading
Tablature was developed long ago for stringed and fretted instruments. First we examine and learn how to read tablature and then we look at some different examples.

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