Please note that there will no longer be a spring session in Asheville, NC due to unavailability of the Perelandra venue. Also the fall 2020 session will likely be the last time Chord Camp will be offered.

Please check back in the spring 2020 for announcements about fall session location and dates

Welcome - here are all the details about HD Chord Camp. I hope you can join us.

If you have any questions about any of the information here (or not here) please email Jon Weinberg.

Updated: 11/8/2019 -  visits to this page.

Comments from HD players who have attended Chord Camp:

"I've been playing hammered dulcimer for over 30 years. Even so, Jon's Chord Camp was just what I needed. His methodology is concise, clear and practical and the course is meticulously prepared. Personally, it transformed my intuitive but often haphazard chord-searching into an immediately useable paradigm. Very freeing! We met at his home. He and his wife are awesome hosts and the week was pure fun! Do it!!" - Barb, Massachusetts

"Thanks, Jon for making your experience and abilities available in such an organized and transparent way. Thanks, too, for bringing together a fine group of players who were all committed and determined to learn and that are interesting individuals outside of the music" - Keith, Maine

"I want you to know that I learned A LOT from you, and I think you are a genius! Your system of figuring out chords/arpeggios for arrangements has been very simple to put into practice. I have a systematic approach now when I want to embellish a basic tune. Thank you!" - Debbie, Minnesota

"Over the years I have been to many workshops. Each one learning something. But Jon´s chord camp was the one to put everything together and help me get over the edge. Love his simple chord charts and hammer patterns. Now I have the confidence I need to tackle any song. It was a pleasure being in his class. Thanks Jon " - Marvin, Missouri

"His teaching methods create a master/apprentice relationship with his students. This allows everyone to have ownership into the process/content of the camp. The end result is that the student is not only taught what the tools are, but how each tool could/should be used in various situations. This class is mentally taxing, but very rewarding. The students attending this workshop all left with a new skillset and a motivation to continue applying the lessons learned during this excellent course. I give it my strong recommendation and thank Jon for creating this course that fills an important void" - Richard, Texas

"What a grand week of learning in a most relaxed, supportive atmosphere. I am now seeing patterns all over my dulcimer and am ready to tackle doing my own arrangements. It is just two weeks after Chord Camp and I already feel my playing has improved. Thank you Jon for sharing your love of the dulcimer with us" - Ginny, New York

"Invaluable! Jump starts my playing ability. Instead of learning just a few specific pieces, Chord Camp teaches a whole chord system of playing the dulcimer. It helps everything make sense. Chord charts are brilliant! Will probably affect everything I do on the dulcimer from now on!" - Jane, Maryland

"Your class, Jon, made a huge impression on me and will make a huge impact on my playing. You've given me the tools, now I can have more confidence as I play" - Dottie, North Carolina

"My playing has gotten much better since I've been throwing chords into the mix in the right way. A few comments from critics tell the story.
My wife says: Your playing is more comfortable and confident now. They have the right rhythms and inflections.
A fellow Golden Gate Dulcimer Club member said: I really like the way you play the chords through a song. It really sounds like a dulcimer should.
" - Bill, California

"Thanks, Jon! I really got a lot of great instruction from your camp that I can't wait to start incorporating into my playing. Everything was so well organized from the lodging to the instructional material to the dinners. It was a great week, and I enjoyed being with the entire group." - Jeri, New Mexico

"I think you have given us the keys to the castle or the Kingdom. Thanks for all you efforts in helping us become musicians." - Kathy, Cape Cod Massachusetts

"In the last few years I've been to quite a few HD festivals and I've taken quite a few classes and workshops where we learn new songs and the chords that go with them. But this is the first time I can remember leaving a workshop and really understanding two crucial things: one - how the chords in a song fit and support the melody line, and two - how and where to play those chords on my Hammer Dulcimer! Your method of Chords In A Box was well presented, easy to learn, and best of all, fun to play. I feel like I've really moved up to the next level in my playing - thank you!" - Barrett, New Jersey

"It was a wonderful camp. It was exactly what you said it would be and just what I wanted to learn. The lessons, the music, the hospitality, the food, the companionship all made for a great week, and I'm very glad I came!!!" - Joyce, Connecticut

Click on any of the pictures above for a slideshow of past Chord Camps

Table of Contents

What is Chord Camp? Camp Objectives Cost
Where is Chord Camp? Schedule How to Enroll
Jon Weinberg Workshop Sessions Other Activities
Prerequisites Meals and Lodging Spouses/Traveling Companions

What is Chord Camp?

Chord Camp is an intensive week-long series of workshops of learning and playing in a small-group environment, with hammered dulcimer and guitar teacher and performer Jon Weinberg.

Jon makes no assumption that you know anything about chords. At Chord Camp the emphasis is on practical application, not theory - you will learn what makes a chord, how to easily play them on the dulcimer, how to use them to back up other instruments (and choral groups), and how to incorporate chords to make solo arrangements of your favorite tunes. We will practice these things together and you will be given some personal exercise assignments to work on, so that you will leave with more than just an intellectual understanding: you will take home tunes and arrangements you have worked on, can modify, and can add to your own repertoire, all of which demonstrate the techniques we'll cover.

Many other HD chording workshops focus on every which way to play the same chord on a dulcimer and then leave you to your own devices to figure out how that can be useful, or how it fits within common chord progressions. At Chord Camp you'll learn which chords commonly appear together, and how to play triad patterns for these progressions that are easy-to-play and easy-to-remember. Then you'll learn how these chord patterns and playing variations can be applied to most anything you might want to do on the dulcimer, making your musical life more varied and pleasurable and your dulcimer toolkit more robust.

Most dulcimer players learn to play by playing melodies without much attention to chords. We will focus on the chords and work our way back to the melodies for a more holistic approach to both ensemble accompaniment and solo arranging. For many dulcimer players this way of thinking and playing can be a real eye-opener.

To foster accelerated learning and to provide personal attention class size is limited to only 10 attendees.

Once a session is filled we will maintain a waiting list should anyone need to cancel.

Where is Chord Camp?

Spring Session

Please note that there is no longer a spring session in Asheville, NC. Unfortunately Perelandra is no longer available for group use.

Fall Session in New England

Fall Chord Camp is held in New England during peak fall foliage time, in Marlborough, Massachusetts close to the intersection of I495 and US20 (about 45 minutes west of downtown Boston):



Depending upon the number of attendees daily workshops are held either at Jon's house or a nearby meeting space.

Lodging is at a local B&B or hotel near Jon's house..

Jon Weinberg

Jon Weinberg Jon has been playing the acoustic guitar since 1967 and hammered dulcimer since 1990.

He is a frequent teacher and performer at dulcimer festivals in the northeast US including the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival, the Pocono Dulcimer Festival in Pennsylvania, and beyond the northeast including the ODPC Funfest in Evart, MI. For many years Jon was the hammered dulcimer coordinator of the CCCAE Spring Dulcimer festival in Cambridge, Mass.

Jon plays dulcimer at weddings, church services, and other celebratory events, and performs concerts at coffeehouses, town events, restaurants, and at residential assisted living and nursing home facilities. He has accompanied the New England Children's Choir at the New England Conservatory of Music and at Boston Symphony Hall, performed at Boston Revels RiverSing, is a featured speaker and performer on the hammered dulcimer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and is a frequent performer at NEFFA (the New England Folk Festival).

As a member of multiple contra dance bands over the years Jon developed a system of dulcimer chords and a backup playing style that he teaches both to private students and at dulcimer festival workshops. He is currently an active member of the New England band Wild Card.

Jon teaches private hammered dulcimer lessons at his home in Marlborough, Mass. and online via Skype. In 2013 he released his first CD "About Time".

Chord Camp Prerequisites

Chord camp is designed for advanced novice to intermediate (and beyond) dulcimer players who have at least a year or more playing experience. It is NOT for beginners. To keep up with the pace of the material and the rest of the group, attendees should possess the following skills and capabilities: If you have any questions about your skill level or whether or not you should attend please email Jon and we can discuss your dulcimer and musical experience and figure out what makes sense for both of us.

Camp Objectives

By the end of the week you should be able to:


Sunday late afternoon (~5:00PM) - arrive and join everyone for a get-acquainted dinner at a local restaurant

Typical Workshop days (Monday through Friday):

7:30-8:30AM Breakfast at the hotel  
8:30AM Travel to the workshop site You can drive yourself or carpool with others for the drive from and to the hotel
9:00-12:00PM Morning workshop  
12:00-1:00PM Lunch break  
1:00-4:00PM Afternoon workshop May be a little longer if we break mid-afternoon for an off-site activity
4:00PM Free/down time before dinner To practice, jam, explore, take a rest back at the hotel...
5:00ish Cocktails/wine/schmoozing before dinner (optional) Bring your favorite local brew or a bottle of wine and/or cheese and crackers to share. In New England we'll gather at Jon's house down the street from the hotel.
6:00ish Dinner Most dinners we will go out to local restaurants. On Thursday before the New England concert we'll bring in Chinese or pizza
After dinner Free time to socialize, jam, practice, retire to your room, etc. We may have a movie night one evening, jam, or some other activity

Monday's foundational workshop may run a little longer, after which we'll go directly to dinner (nearby).

Thursday evening (tenative) - Jon Weinberg (and friends) in concert - open to the public - attendees (and a traveling companion) are admitted for free and each Chord Camper is invited to perform a piece if they would like.

Friday - have breakfast and check out of the hotel. Our final day of workshops and lunch will end with a mid-afternoon wrap up followed by everyone helping to straighten out the "classroom" space. Afterwards you can depart or join us for a final "cocktail hour" and group dinner.

Friday late afternoon and evening you are welcome to stay and work with Jon and others on any pieces you've been working on and want some help and/or feedback, or anything else you have questions about. In previous years, at the request of attendees Jon has given demos on using Band-in-a-Box, and has explained and demonstrated the dulcimer pickups he uses and options.

Workshop Sessions

Here is what you will learn: Much of what we do will include exercises to impart skills and build confidence, such as group round-robin accompaniment, and small group and solo breakout sessions where you will arrange a selected tune/song and then perform it before the group.

You are encouraged to bring a piece you've been working on but maybe don't feel quite satisfied with, with which you can apply the ideas and techniques you will learn during the week. If you want more ideas and feedback there will be a session where Jon (and other attendees) can work with you to help you develop your arrangement.

Attendees are invited to perform a piece at the Thursday evening concert, either one you've played beforehand or (for the fearless) one you learned and arranged during the camp sessions.

Meals and Lodging

Breakfast: is included in the price of your room and provided by the hotel each morning.

Lunches: salad and sandwich fixings will be provided for everyone to make their own lunch (included in your registration fee). For a change of pace we may go out for lunch one day.

Dinners: For offsite restaurant dinners figure an average of $45 a dinner (including tax, tip, and maybe a drink), or $200-220 for the 4-5 restaurant dinners, a pizza dinner, and maybe a visit or two to local ice cream stands.

For the fall New England session these are restaurants we like and have eaten at during past Chord Camps:

If you have any dietary preferences or restrictions please indicate this on your registration form.

Lodging for the Fall New England Session

Marlborough Holiday Inn For 2020 out-of-town attendees will be stay at a TBD B&B or local motel. After you enroll, Jon will send you details on how to make your room reservation. There are a number of hotels nearby including the recently renovated Marlborough Holiday Inn (pictured here):


Plan on the week (Sunday evening to Friday afternoon) costing approximately $1000 - $1100. This estimate can vary somewhat depending on the cost of your dinner choices, and if you want to share a room with another attendee. At the end of the week most attendees found they'd spent less than was estimated.

This estimate is based on the following:

Registration fee (see below)
Lodging (5 nights, single or double room,
breakfasts included)


Registration Fee

The registration fee includes: This amount is payable in full when you enroll.

Note: Please be aware that TShirts are ordered 6-8 weeks before the beginning of each Chord Camp. People who enroll after that time may not receive one, or at least one in their preferred size (I often order a few extras).

Cancellation Refund Policy

Should you need to cancel, depending upon when you cancel your registration fee may be refundable as follows:
Before June 1 Fully refundable
Before September 1 50% refundable, or 100% refundable only if the session is full and your place can be taken by a new enrollment
On or after September 1 Sorry, no refund

How to Enroll

Note that enrollments are not being accepted at this time. Please check back in the spring for announcements about 2020 dates and enrollment information.

Other Activities

Fall New England Session

For afternoon breaks we might If you've never been to the area you might want to spend a weekend before or after Chord Camp to do some sightseeing. Marlborough is about 30-40 minutes from Boston, Minuteman National Historic Park, and historic Concord and Lexington, MA, and the Wrentham Outlet Mall. There's lots to see and do.

Spouses/Traveling Companions

You are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other with you to spend the week vacationing here. They are invited to join you/us for all non-teaching activities (cocktail hours, dinners, jams, and offsite activities). While you are attending workshops they are free to explore Boston and historic eastern Massachusetts, or just relax.

Note that they will receive free admission to the Thursday evening New England concert.

Return to Jon Weinberg's home page