BRAND NEW Online Classes

Chords-and-Songs Approach to Dulcimer (Beginner-Novice)

Creating Great Arrangements (Intermediate-Advanced)

Thursdays ... November 4, 11, 18, December 2, 9, 16. (These are updated dates.)


I believe that mountain dulcimers belong in mainstream music -- not just folk and folk-ish music. Whether you love classic rock, country, pop, heavy metal, jazz, your own originals, or whatever else (including folk, of course), I'd like to help you express your favorite music on the dulcimer.


Most players never go beyond a tiny fraction of the mountain dulcimer's vast possibilities. I specialize in the kinds of subjects and repertoire that most teachers rarely offer. I'm introducing these online classes, because I want to help you and your dulcimer thrive in a world dominated by guitars, ukes, and keyboards. 


6-week classes will allow us to go into far greater depth than regular workshops at a festival, with more time for your questions and more attention to your specific interests. In addition, we'll reinforce your new knowledge, and build on it from week to week. All at a fraction of the cost of weekly private lessons.


You'll need: (1) An email address and (2) a printer. Also (3) an internet-connected device with a webcam and a microphone. (Most desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones can do this.) If your computer doesn't have a webcam or microphone, you can buy a webcam and small desktop tripod or holder at a store that sells computers. (You don't need your own Zoom account.)


You'll get: (1) A Zoom link for the classes. (2) PDF handouts before each week's class. (3) Access to each week's videos. (4) A wealth of knowledge so you can have a more rewarding time with your dulcimer. (5) The social experience of interacting with your classmates. Since this is a class, rather than an individual lesson, classes that don't reach the minimum size may be cancelled.


If you can't attend every class at the scheduled time: You'll still get the handouts and the video of the class, and if you need extra support, let me know.

Chords-and-Songs Approach to Dulcimer ...... 6-week course

Thursdays at 3:30pm Eastern Time. 

Thursdays ... November 4, 11, 18, December 2, 9, 16. (These are updated dates.)

    If you give a kid a guitar, she learns 3 chords and can immediately play 1,000 songs that she already knows and loves. But most beginning dulcimer players are taught unfamiliar folk melodies. The tradition is wonderful, but the tradition evolved on instruments whose frets were only beneath the melody string(s).

    Learning dulcimer with through chords is even easier and more logical than learning guitar. This course is designed to make you a comfortable chord player on the dulcimer, and to be able to play it in several keys.

    We'll start with a few basic chords and some familiar songs, and we'll take it from there. Song choices will be largely based on class members' interests.

  • What's a chord, and why should you care?
  • Power chords: Dirt simple, and effective.
  • 3 main chord shapes.
  • Chord progressions.
  • Dulcimer "life hack": 2-fret chords.
  • Major vs minor.
  • 6ths and 7ths.
  • A handy chart that helps you find chord progressions on your dulcimer. 
  • Playing chords in a variety of keys. Or, "You can't sing here. You'll have to go up there."
  • Finding chords that go with a song.
  • Learning songs from songbooks and the Internet.
  • And more. 

    Along the way, you'll get plenty of right-hand practice at strumming and rhythms, too.

Targeted for Beginner and Novice players.

DAD tuning. A capo will be used at times. 

If some participants have 1 1/2 frets, supplementary material will be included for that.

4-15 students. Classes will be recorded, so you can refer back.

6-week course: Take Your Playing to the Next Level


  • Available

Creating Great Arrangements ...... 6-week course

Thursdays at 7:00pm Eastern Time

Updated dates for this class: November 4, 11, 18, December 2, 9, 16.

(If there is sufficient interest in a daytime section, one will be added, and participants will be allowed to attend either.)

    Do you want to make your playing more interesting? Express your own musical style or taste? Stop having to search for tablature for every song? 

    The right arrangement can make your dulcimer tell the story of a traditional folk ballad, capture the feel of a popular rock hit, cast an entirely new meaning on a familiar song, or complement a song you write. Arranging is really what I specialize in. I can help you.

    We'll examine examples from songs I've arranged, and -- more importantly -- since arranging is an active skill, you will get to do exercises in class and your own arrangements outside of class time. Your arrangements can be on any dulcimer you like, any tuning, any number of strings, any "extra" frets you like.

    We'll look at concepts such as

  • Finding the melody.
  • Choosing the right key for a song.
  • A quick, easy way to arrange many songs.
  • Choosing the most important parts of the song.
  • Finding chords that work.
  • Separating the melody from the rhythm.
  • Sounding like the song: Picking vs strumming vs hammer-ons and pulloffs vs slides vs bending.
  • Sounding like the band.
  • Telling a story with music: Making each verse different to tell the story.
  • Fine-tuning an arrangement: Making it more playable. Finding creative solutions when necessary.
  • Arranging "impossible" songs.
  • And more.

Targeted for Intermediate and Advanced players. 

Classwork will be in DAD tuning. A capo will be used at times.

4-15 students. Classes will be recorded, so you can refer back.

6-week course: Take Your Playing to the Next Level


  • Available

Don't see what you want? I also teach private lessons. CONTACT ME.