Learning to play chords on the dulcmer

Bing Futch has many great videos to teach dulcimer playing. One of Bing's videos in particular (shown below) is exceptional for showing how to incorporate chords into your playing.

When people first start playing the dulcimer they often use just one finger of their left hand to fet the strings ... Like this picture (taken from Bing's video) shows:


 

To play chords you need to use all your fingers and often your thumb on your left hand ....


 

To make your chord changes as smooth as possible, there are two important things to do:

  1. Keep your fingers close to where they will be needed for the next chord.   (This requires you to look ahead to the next notes/chords.)
  2. Once you fret a string, don't move or release that finger until you absolutely must. (As soon as you lift your finger off a string that string will stop singing!)

 

Here is Bing's complete video, while watching this pay attention to Bing's left hand and notice how his fingers are always close to where they will be needed next.