Hammered Dulcimer Player Sighting!

by Steve Eulberg At the FarWest Regional meeting of the Folk Alliance in Eugene, Oregon, Oct 20-23, 2011, I was able to hear this lyrical hammered dulcimer player for the first time.


Carolyn Cruso, from Orcas, Washington, plays in a spirited way bringing music from mystical places.  As we talked, I realized that my workshops at Dusty Strings (Seattle) the previous weekend, included one of her new beginner students. Let her know you appreciate her playing!

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Mountain Dulcimer: "1/2 the frets, 1/2 the strings but All the Music!"

The mountain dulcimer has "Half the strings, and half the frets, but ALL the music," so quipped my friend and colleague, Joe Collins at the Western Carolina Dulcimer Week this summer in Cullowhee, NC.

He was comparing a 3-string, diatonic mountain dulcimer to a 6-string, chromatic guitar.

Many people like ask me if a dulcimer is "easy to play."In my experience there are no instruments that are "easy to play."  But, there are some instruments which are more accessible than others.

A devout appreciat…

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Playing Homer Ledford's Dulcimer

by Steve Eulberg While one tour this month in Bettendorf, Iowa, I was given the opportunity to provide workshops for hammered dulcimer players at the home of Linda & Reg Shoesmith. On the morning I was leaving, Linda brought out a treasured "find" to share: A mountain dulcimer built by Homer Ledford, one of the famous Kentucky builders of the 20th century! A unique feature of this instrument is that the only fret that went under all 4 strings was the 3rd fret. What an exciting opportunity! …

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Angle of Attack?

by Steve Eulberg

A common question heard from and debated among hammered dulcimer players is:  “What is the best angle to use for playing?”

From the images I've included here of my friends, you can tell the answer varies widely from player to player, and even (within the player) from situation to situation and day to day.  These are the extremes that you can readily see.

But I've seen each of these players also choose to play use different angles to play, depending upon their situation.

Bill tells t…

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How should I practice? The 5 Finger-Regimen

by Steve Eulberg

I hear this question all the time from students in my private studio, from my guitar students and students.

The Five-Finger Practice Regimen is what I always suggest:

1.  Tune up.5 Finger Practice Regime

It doesn't matter what instrument you play, it will sound better (and therefore encourage your practice) if it is in tune.

[Note for hammered dulcimer players:  Tune ALL the strings on the instrument, not just the ones you use most!!  A significant part of the hammered dulci…

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Whooing into the hole

by Steve Eulberg


This bit of dulcimer history always amazes people when I tell them about it.

When I built my first mountain dulcimer (from a FolkRoots kit in 1980), the instructions told me that once it was strung up I was to "whoo" into the soundhole to find out to which pitch I should tune the lowest string.

I was aware of this kind of "tuning" method with reference to native american flutes, which each have their own unique voice, but it was new to me, a guitar and mandolin player.  …

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Welcome to the DulcimerCrossing Blog is an affordable site where you can learn to play mountain or hammered dulcimer at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home!

Here we will give updates about the website, write occasional articles about dulcimer-related items and events, and share some mini-lessons and information about the lessons and free stuff in our site.

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