Thank you all for your comments so far!
FoodEngr wrote:As a relatively new player myself, I've become a staunch proponent of the statement I've seen many times on ED that "there are no right or wrong ways to play the dulcimer."
KenH wrote:It simply doesn't matter which finger gets to which fret as long as you do it in time with the tune!
my previous experience with other instruments is that as a beginner, the right technique isn't always obvious and easy to learn. And on the other hand, what seems to be intuitively right in the mind of a beginner sometimes turns out to be an obstacle for future development, and is difficult to unlearn. Sometimes the right technique has to be tediously learned, but pays off in the long run.
When I learned to play double bass, my teacher often insisted that I do things in a certain way, even though it felt awkward at first. It always payed off in the end. From time to time I see bass players who never had these beginner's mistakes corrected. They are able to put their fingers on the fretboard in time with the tune, but they would play much better if they had learned it properly.
How do dulcimer teachers teach fingering technique? is it all laissez-faire?