rendesvous1840 wrote:Some of the techniques used in the other stringed instruments are perfectly logical when reaching up from below the fret board. But most dulcimer players place the instrument low and play from above. The hand positions are so different that we learn to play in a different way. But that's just a matter of learning something new-which we probably do every day any how. Don't sweat the difference, just go along with it. It's not a big deal at all. Just one more thing to learn.
The different hand position (from above, pinky towards the nut) is not a problem at all. On the contrary, I really enjoy playing that way. Interestingly swapping between bass/ukulele and dulcimer works without having to readapt my mind. One of the reasons for learning dulcimer was that I was looking for a stringed instrument different than a guitar/bass/ukulele, as I enjoy the process of learning and exploring.
With regard to good fingering technique, my learning strategy for the time being is:
* as a warm-up exercise with a metronome I play scales and other patterns using 2 fingers, 3 fingers, 2 fingers & the thumb etc. in different positions on the fretboard. I've been doing that for a couple of days now and it already seems to pay off...
* I've been closely watching youtube videos of people who seem to know what they're doing (Stephen Seifert, Bing Futch, Don Pedi...). They can't be entirely wrong
* I've bought "Hands-On Dulcimer: Developing Technique Through Exercises and Studies" by Mike Casey. I've just got it yesterday... seems to be filled with all kinds of technical exercises.
What do you think?