Hammered Dulcimer Workshops - Handouts and Sound Files

"I would like to have Jon Weinberg back as workshop leader. He is obviously an excellent teacher and is experienced managing a beginner class with members who get carried away with playing while he is speaking. He was the best at teaching of all the workshop leaders I had, though I enjoyed them all. I work in a School of Education so I am probably more aware of this type of thing than most people."
Dr. Anne Pautz, 2012 Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival evaluation form

Here are the workshop handouts for many of the workshops I teach at dulcimer festivals. Feel free to print them out if you like. Perhaps...
All these handouts are .PDF files that you can retrieve by clicking on the workshop title in the table below. To view them you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer which you can download for free by clicking on the button to the right: Get Adobe Reader

Updated: 4/12/2019

Workshop Additional Music/ Handout(s) Last Revised Description
Amplifying Your Dulcimer   Jan. 2017 The ins and outs of amplifying your dulcimer for performing on stage, at weddings, and for recording. Includes details on installing pickups in hammered dulcimers - how to install internal pickups, and what electronics and cabling you'll need, choices you'll need to make, etc.
Arranging Fast/Fiddle Tunes   Jun. 2018 Using the fiddle tune Whiskey Before Breakfast as an example, we'll review and practice various embellishments you can add to faster tunes to turn them into solo performance pieces
Arranging Waltzes Shepherds Wife Waltz
Galacian Waltz
Nov. 2014 Simple embellishment techniques you can use to transform waltzes into beautiful solo arrangements. Suitable for novice to intermediate players.
Band-in-a-Box Jumpstart BBMusic_setup.zip to help you get started June 2014 What is Band-in-a-Box, how can it be useful for dulcimer players, tricks and tips for organizing your music, entering and playing tunes, and how to use it as a practice buddy
Celtic/Rhythmic Embellishments Tune examples Jan. 2014 How to rhythmically embellish tunes using drags, slides, and diddley dees
Chord Camp Chord Theory and the Hammered Dulcimer Chord Camp only What makes a chord, how to find and play them on the dulcimer, chord triads and inversions, related and alternate chords, and using chords to find harmony notes for arrangements
Chord Camp Chord Walking Arranging Chord Camp only Arranging tunes without music by simply playing their chords, walking between them, and playing their individual notes. We'll learn Jon's arrangement of Greensleeves to demonstrate this technique.
Chord Camp Alternate Chord and Harmony Note Chart Nov. 2012 Chart to use to find alternate chords and harmony notes when you don't know all the notes of all chords
Dulcimer 101   Oct. 2017 An introduction to the dulcimer for beginners. Answers your questions about how to hold the hammers, where to strike the strings, how and where to find the notes, and how to not get dizzy from staring at the strings. Includes learning the tune Soldier's Joy as an example of how to learn new tunes.
Dulcimer 102   Apr. 2016 Learn your first tune (Soldier's Joy) by first learning it's repeating phrases and riffs. Learn how to learn!
Finding Tunes that Shine on the Hammered Dulcimer   Oct. 2016 What indicates if a tune will sound great on a dulcimer, how and where to find great tunes, and techniques to dress up a plain tune to make it shine on the hammered dulcimer
Fit for the Fiddler I - Fast & Easy Dulcimer Chords   Oct. 2017 An easy to learn and use set of chord patterns that will have you playing chord backup without having to first learn chord theory. Is especially useful for playing backup with other instruments at dances and jams, these chord patterns can also be used for arranging slower pieces.

See below for accompanying sound files
Fit for the Fiddler II - Dulcimer Chord Rhythms   Nov. 2012 Using the chord patterns taught in "Fit for the Fiddler I", teaches various striking patterns for playing the chords and individual notes of the chords to rhythmically embellish reels and jigs at dances and jams.

See below for accompanying sound files
Hand Independence I   Dec. 2012 You can walk and chew gum at the same time! In four steps, learn to play Jon's simple arrangement of Ashgrove with each hand simultaneously playing a different melody line and different rhythm
Learning Tunes Faster   Feb. 2018 Techniques to improve learning new tunes on the Hammered Dulcimer, primarily from written music. Includes how to read written music, how to determine which hand to use for which notes, and shortcuts for translating notes from the musical staff to the dulcimer. Helpful for players who don't read music well or at all, and players who feel they have difficulty learning new tunes from written music.
NOTE that this workshop will eventually replace the "Learning Tunes from Written Music" one below.
Learning Tunes from Written Music   Jun. 2017 Basics of reading music, and how to use written music to determine where the notes are on the dulcimer, which hand to use for which note, etc. Helpful for players who don't read music well or at all, and players who feel they have difficulty learning new tunes from written music.
Maxwell's Silver Hammer (not downloadable due to copyrights ) June 2012 Meet the Beatles by learning a popular and melodic Beatle tune arranged for the hammered dulcimer. Tune will either be "I Will" or "In My Life", both of which are oft-requested for weddings. In a more advanced class Jon teaches his arrangement of "Here Come's The Sun"
Pachelbel Possibilities The full 27 part Pachelbel's Canon in D April 2019 Simplified, non-hand-independent techniques for arranging and playing Pachelbel's Canon in D

See below for accompanying sound files
Playing for Weddings   Nov. 2012 How weddings work and what to play for them. The musical and business aspects of playing the dulcimer for wedding ceremonies
Playing With Others   Nov. 2004 Ideas and etiquette for playing with other instruments in ensembles or jams so you'll be asked back again
Singing Accompaniment with the Hammered Dulcimer (not downloadable due to copyrights ) Dec 2015 Easy techniques for accompanying yourself (or someone else) with the hammered dulcimer. To demonstrate these we'll learn and sing along with Jon's simple arrangement of the Beatle's song: "I'll Follow The Sun". Works best on a dulcimer with a super bass bridge.
A Simple Swedish Hambo   Jan. 2013 A Swedish Hambo is a couples dance in 3/4 time that is often the first dance following the mid-dance break. Here's a simple, sweet sounding hambo called Varvindar Friska that is easy to learn, sounds great on the hammered dulcimer, and which you can listen to on my CD About Time
Speed Tuning   Apr. 2016 How to minimize your tuning time to maximize your playing time - tips and techniques for accurately tuning your dulcimer as quickly and easily as possible using an electronic tuner. Depending upon the time we may also cover how to reset a knocked bridge and change a broken string.
Syncopated Dulcimer Chording (aka Rag Lick Dulcimer Chords) Nov 2015 Jazz up your fiddle tune accompaniment with this syncopated style of playing chords. Can also be used to jazz up the melody or to "fake it" if you don't know the melody!

See belown for accompanying sound files

Workshop Sound Files

I use these sound files when teaching my Fit for the Fiddler workshops. At the request of several students I'm including them below as .MP3 files so when you return home you can hear what they sound like (to compare to what you are playing), and to play along with for practicing.

Likewise attendees of several other of my workshops have requested examples to listen to at home and to compare to what they were playing, which you will also find below.

Feel free to play them online via your browser, or download each individual .mp3 file by

You can then play them locally on your computer or load them onto a portable MP3 player, tablet, etc.

"Fit for the Fiddler" Reels to chord along with

Tune U-Practice Sound Files Jon Chording Examples
Reel de Montreal Fiddle & guitar - slow tempo    
Fiddle & guitar - medium tempo with Jon chording - medium tempo
Fiddle & guitar - up-to-tempo with Jon chording - up-to-tempo
Fisher's Hornpipe Fiddle & guitar - slow tempo    
Fiddle & guitar - medium tempo with Jon chording - medium tempo
Fiddle & guitar - up-to-tempo with Jon chording - up-to-tempo

"Fit for the Fiddler" Jig striking pattern example sound files

Striking Technique
(from handout)
Dulcimer Example
(dulcimer only)
Accompanying Swallowtail Jig (Em)
Simple Drone
Rhythm "Strum"
Basic RLR
Alternating 232
Alternating 212
Basic Combo
Simple syncopated
Drag syncopated
1st Measure
2nd Measure

Pachelbel Possibilities Workshop Examples

(Computer-generated/midi) MP3 sound files of the exercises in the workshop handout:
Exercises Normal Tempo (100BPM) Slowed Down (60BPM)
to play along with
Exercises 1 - 4f Ground + part 1
(1 melody note per measure)
Exercises 5 - 5e Part 2
(1 melody note per measure)
Exercises 6 - 7 Parts 3 and 4
(2 melody notes per measure)

Syncopated Chording Workshop Examples

Example of: Slower version Faster version Comments
Striking Rhythm (TA ta ta TA ta ta TA ta)
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  
Soldiers Joy with melody licks Fast has 4 potatoes (beats) at the beginning