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2024 Dulcimer Bootcamp

Mountain Dulcimer - with Shawn McCurdy

Welcome to dulcimer Boot Camp! If you’re new to the Mountain Dulcimer, this class is for you. We’ll start with the basics - what to call the various parts of your dulcimer, how to hold it, and how to tune it. Using simple building blocks, we’ll start playing the very first day and learn how to strum or pick with one hand, and how to fret with the other hand.


You’ll learn how to read dulcimer tab (the kind of sheet music used by dulcimer players), and you’ll learn about keys and scales, time signatures and how to count your music, note values and the rhythms they produce. You’ll learn about individual notes as well as chords on the mountain dulcimer.


We’ll spend some time all together as a class, but you’ll also have some time for individual or small group practice and one-on-one instruction during each day. By the time you leave Black Mountain you’ll be able to play some simple tunes and will have a solid start for your dulcimer journey!


You’ll need to have a standard dulcimer with three strings tuned to Dad for this class, a tuner (can be an app on your cell phone), and a pick or two. A music stand is also helpful.

Hammered Dulcimer - with Rick Thum

In this class you will learn all of the tools needed to get started playing your dulcimer. Sessions one and two will be used to teach how your instrument works and other techniques of music as applied to the hammered dulcimer. Session three will be used to learn a new song each day.


My goal is for you to go home knowing how to hear a tune and then be able to play it and embellish it. You will also learn how to play and use chords as both embellishments and backup when playing with others. After the second day you will have the tools to feel comfortable joining in on the jams. I hope to teach you how to make your instrument sound the way you always dreamed it could sound. 


I look forward to see you in class and helping you get started on your new musical journey.


Things to Bring

  • Your instrument

  • A music stand

  • A strap if you use one

  • A tuner

  • Two or three picks (at least one) [Mountain Dulcimer]

  • Hammers [Hammered Dulcimer]

  • A pencil

  • A small notebook if you want

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