Play These Pop Songs on Your Dulcimer Guitar
Sometimes pop music can get a bad rep. Many music snobs might turn their noses up at top 40 music, but chart-topping songs don’t make it to the top for just no reason. Great pop songs often have infectious hooks, memorable melodies, and that somewhat ambiguous “vibe” that keeps us singing or humming the song long after it's played. Pop songs often become “earworms” that you either love, hate, or have a complicated relationship of maybe both.
The advantageous thing about pop music, though, is usually it’s fairly easy to play! A lot of our favorite pop tunes follow just a few, simple chords with mostly predictable, easy progressions. It's this accessibility that, whether we realize it or not, draws us to these popular songs.
We’ve got quite a few pop songs that you can quickly learn on the Seagull Merlin dulcimer guitar so we’ve compiled a quick list of some of our favorites.
Stick Dulcimer Pop Songs
Feeling a bit angsty? Olivia Rodrigo struck heartbreak gold last year with her breakout pop hit “Drivers License.” Rodrigo’s incredibly written high school breakup song not only captured the attention of her peers but she has people of all ages windows down belting about red lights and stop signs.
In the Driver’s License tutorial video, you’ll learn an easy one-finger version (easier for those of you just getting started) and the multi-finger chords (more difficult for those who’ve been playing a little longer). Download the free Drivers License Dulcimer TAB Chord Guide to reference while you learn the song.
Yet another gut-wrenching pop ballad of the past couple of years is from British artist Lewis Capaldi. Although “Someone You Loved” is a piano-driven song, it translates quite nicely to the stick dulcimer.
Begin with the Someone You Loved tutorial video to learn a simple one-finger version for the verses, chorus, and bridge but also for a little more challenge you’ll learn a picky part for the intro as well. Once you got it, use the Someone You Loved playalong video.
For this next one let’s go back a little bit further to this 2010 dance-pop hit. It’s fair to say even for a song that’s over ten years old, this one is still a bop (or whatever the young people are saying these days).
"Dancing On My Own" by Robyn in its original form is all pop and synth-driven, but that’s what makes covering songs (especially pop songs) fun to play – you get to make it completely sound different and unique on a stick dulcimer guitar.
Follow along with Nashville-based musician, Hitoshi Yamaguchi, in the Dancing On My Own video.
It’d be difficult not to include Ed Sheeran in a pop song line-up since he has consistently dominated the charts with his acoustic guitar-based tunes over the past few years.
There are quite a few of his songs that translate well to the dulcimer but we’re featuring the favorite nostalgic-vibe "Castle on the Hill" in this tutorial video. This Sheeran tune is a pretty easy one to learn because you can play it with just one finger. A Seagull Merlin tuned in D is used in the video, and since the song is recorded in D you'll be able to play right along to the recording.
Download the free "Castle on the Hill" Dulcimer TAB Chord Guide to use while you jam with Ed!