Happy Spring, Time for music

Dulcimer Songs for Strumstick

There are many sites on the web with Dulcimer music posted as Tablature (TAB for short). Tablature uses horizontal lines for strings, and numbers for frets. TAB reads left to right. Here is how to adapt it for Strumstick use.

To Find Dulcimer Music in Tablature, search the web for "Dulcimer Music TAB DAD"

There are several tuning systems for Dulcimer, You want DAD tuned dulcimers, which is the most common.

There are 3 things you need to know about Dulcimer first.

1. Use DAD Dulcimer TAB only.

2. Dulcimer string order is opposite from Strumstick.

3. Dulcimer calls 7th fret the 6 1/2 fret

Here are explanations of each of these.

1. DAD Dulcimer tuning Only

Dulcimers are tuned several ways. The most common are DAD and DAA. DAD dulcimer TAB works readily on the Strumstick.

Note 1: You can use DAD Dulcimer music with both the G Strumstick or the D Strumstick, even though it says DAD

Note 2: If the Music is for a DAA Dulcimer, these instructions do not apply.

2. Dulcimer String Order is Opposite

TAB for the Strumstick and the Dulcimer are very similar, except!!!!

Dulcimer 1st string is at the bottom of the TAB lines.

Strumstick 1st string is at the top of the TAB lines. See figure below.

So you have to either:
   rewrite the dulcimer TAB for Strumstick, 
   or mentally reverse the positions of the strumstick strings.

Note: Strum all three strings, strings without fret numbers are are assumed to be 0 (open).

3. Dulcimer calls 7th fret the 6 1/2 fret

You will find Dulcimer TAB using an "extra fret" (or 6 1/2 fret in dulcimer terms.)

Some Dulcimer TAB is based on numbering the frets
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6+,7 etc The 6 1/2 is considered an "extra" fret because older dulcimers did not have that fret. 

On Strumstick, we number 
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 etc

If you come across Dulcimer TAB that has the number "6+", you can do one of two things.
A) simply count the Strumstick frets like the dulcimer; 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 1/2, 7 etc

Or B) change the dulcimer TAB numbers as follows: 
6 1/2 (dulcimer) becomes 7 (Strumstick)
7 becomes 8
8 becomes 9
9 becomes 10
10 becomes 11
11 becomes 12

If you have any questions about translating Dulcimer music to Strumstick, please contact us.

Chords:.... Notes on Several Strings

Dulcimer TAB may show notes on several strings at the same time (Chords). Any numbers in a vertical line are to be played at the same time. You can use these same numbers for Strumstick, as long as you remember to swap strings 1 and 3. Rewriting as Strumstick TAB may save confusion when dealing with notes on more than one string. See Chords Figure