Beginner Series: Learn to play a song in less than one hour! (D Tuning)
Learn how to play a song in less than an hour with these 4 videos!
Yes, you can REALLY play a song in less than one hour... even if you've never played a musical instrument before!
Follow these simple tutorials to get familiar with your stick dulcimer, and you'll be playing your first song in no time.
Part 1: Anatomy of a Stick Dulcimer: The Merlin Seagull
If you're going to know how to play an instrument you've got to learn some of the lingo. Take this quick walk-through to get a sense of the instrument!
Part 2: How to Tune Your Merlin Stick Dulcimer
You can't ENJOY your Merlin if it's not in tune! RIGHT?! So, here you have it, a (very thorough) rundown on a few ways to tune these wonderful instruments.
Part 3: How to Play Chords and Strum at the Same Time!
The basics of holding the instrument and strumming chords (or single notes!). The knowledge here is for a Seagull Merlin, but can be easily applied to other instruments, like a pickin' stick.
The main thing is to take it slow and work your speed up over time. Get the downstrokes even, in time, and ringing through all the way before moving to down+up strokes. Then incrementally push your speed (tempo) up as you feel more comfortable.
Part 4: Play Your First Song: "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
This is my favorite because you only have to strum the first few notes and everyone knows what you're playing. And it's even easier than all the others!
YOU CAN LEARN TO PLAY YOUR FIRST SONG SO FAST, and it's a fun one (sorry "Mary Had A Little Lamb," but you're dumb). It's kind of uncanny that something this simple could be so iconic.