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Playing Resources
This page contains resources for learning about and playing the mountain dulcimer. We hope that these items will help expand your knowledge and improve your playing. If you have a resource you would like to contribute, please email us. For infomation about players, composers, products, peripherals and accessories, visit the Links page.
Mountain Dulcimers for Children
This site is a wonderful resource for kids learning to play the mountain dulcimer. It has many delightlful starter dulcimers for kids as well as music and other resources.
Dulcimer Bags & Stands

The Dulcimer Bag Lady/Thistle Dew Acres makes beautiful, well constructed and weill padded mountain ducimer cases and great canvas music stands. Go to their website for options. http://www.dulcimerbaglady.com/

Craggy Moutain Music also makes very nice cases: http://craggymtnmusic.com/category/mountain-dulcimer-accessories/

using e-tabets for music
Technology is Your Friend

Tired of carrying around heavy notebooks of music, unnecessary dulicates and still not having the right piece at the right time? Get yourself an ipad or Andoid tablet and let technology be your friend.

Scan or otherwise get your sheet music into pdf format.

If you have an ipad, download Forscore from the app store.

If you have an Andoid Tablet download Mobilsheets to your tablet and Mobilesheets Companion to your PC.

These apps are uder $10. They will alphabetize your sheet music, From there you can create setlists, highlight & annotate and much more.

For the full Monty, get an Air Turn BT 105 foot pedal. Works with both Andoid tablets and ipads. Costs about $120. Works with the software and turns pages via your feet.

What Level Player Are You?
This tool will help you identify your playing level and what to focus on to get to the next level. It is helpful when deciding what level classes to take at a festival.
What Beginners Should Know
These are some of the basic skills we will develop during the beginners’ hour of each gathering. There will also be handouts, helpful web sites, and other resources posted on this site and shared at the gatherings.
Dulcimer Chords with Notes & Fingering
This handy chord chart from Steve Smith is helpful in learning chords. Chords are useful to know if you just want to play them as an alternative when someone else is playing melody or if you are in a jam session without music or with mixed instruments.
What notes are on those Strings & Frets?
This is a handy chart with some of the more common tunings and the resultant notes you get fret by fret.
TAB Based Dulcimer Chords
This is another chord chart. This one is TAB based.
Musical Notation for Non Musicians
This document contains how to tell the note names based on their place on the staff, key signatures, time signatures,and the meaning of many common musical signs and symbols.
Different Shapes, Extra Frets - What's it all about?

Here is a good concise overview of the various shapes and options for mountain dulcimers. Use it to help you understand what you have or in making a decision for your next pruchase.


TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for dulcimer and other fretted, stringed instruments, including mandolin and bass. The $60 price is very reasonable for this powerful program. You can download a limited trial version from the website if you want to try first or just play tabledit music files on your computer.



Note: take a look at your current strings to know if you need ball or loop end strings.

Standard Dulcimer:
Melody String: 11 or 12 gauge
Middle String: 14 gauge
Bass String: 22 or 24 wound bronze

Individual Maker recommendations:

Ron Ewing uses 12, 16, 24 wound
Janita Baker uses 12, 14, 24 wound
D'Addario uses 12, 14, 22 wound

Ron Ewing uses: 10, 14, 20 wound

Janita Baker (Blue Lion) uses 16, 24 wound, 32 wound
Ron Ewing uses: 14, 20 wound 32 wound

Sally Rogers uses these: 0.24, 0.32, 0.42.
Janita Baker uses 4 equidistant strings: .24, 28w, 32w, 52w

Use this string guage calculator to determine the best string guage for your dulcmer: http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.htm