Old Joe Clark
Arranged for Mountain Dulcimer Players

Lesson Skills
Mountain Dulcimer
D-A-A, D-A-d,
& E-A-A Tuning
This tune is a treasured chestnut and an excellent example of the Mixolydian mode.  We play it in three different tunings!
VideoVideo Demos
  • D-A-d Tuning
    • A Part
    • B Part
  • D-A-A Tuning
  • D-A-D Tuning, Capo 4
  • E-A-A Tuning
PDFTablature
  • D-A-A Tuning
  • D-A-d Tuning
  • E-A-A Tuning
AnimationAnimations
  • D-A-A Tuning, Part A
  • D-A-A Tuning, Part B
  • D-A-d Tuning, Part A
  • D-A-d Tuning, Part B
  • E-A-A Tuning, Part A
  • E-A-A Tuning, Part B

Music GlobeExtras

  • History of the tune and legends about the person

  • There are about 90 stanzas in various versions of this song. The attached pdf document has only a sampling of the verses you can sing.

  • Watch this performance of Old Joe Clark by the string teachers in the Council Rock, Holland, school district. I like the contemporary flavor they added to this old tune.

  • Rhythm back-up tracks for Old Joe Clark

  • A common complaint about hammered dulcimer players is that they pound away the melody notes on every verse, and don't know how to give the lead over to other instrumentalists. Listen to thisperformance of "Old Joe Clark" by Bill Bosler on hammered dulcimer and Kevin Lockhart on guitar. Note Bill's technique of rhythmic back-up, lightly tapping chords when Kevin takes the lead on guitar. Also, Bill has dampened the sound with tape on his dulcimer.

  • Comment from Bill Bosler: "... Just a note to let you know that it's cool you use our version of Old Joe Clark to illustrate a point in one of your lessons. So many dulcimer players don't get that you don't always have to play melody and that not playing melody can be lots of fun sometimes. If you are ever up Michigan way, drop me a line and if I am ever down Texas way, I'll do the same. Thanks! Bill"

Old Joe Clark

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