Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Appalachian mountain dulcimer players- make friends, share, learn to play- Free!

Ken Babb
  • Male
  • College Station, TX
  • United States

Ken Babb's Friends

  • Wout Blommers

Ken Babb's Groups


Ken Babb's Page

What everyone's up to!...

Ken Babb replied to Terry Evans's discussion 'Celtic Cross?' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"Every dulcimer player in the USA has to answer the same question but I would not call the dulcimer extinct"
Ken Babb replied to Terry Evans's discussion 'Celtic Cross?' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"Just wanted to point out that the European fretted zithers never became extinct and in many countries experienced a revival in the latter decades of the twentieth century. Also there is no evidence of fretted zithers associated with sailors. What…"
Ken Babb replied to Jerry Holman's discussion 'Understand a new dulcimer' in the group Beginner players
"One other thought:  Many people prefer to play without the doubled melody string, playing their dulcimer as a "true" three string instrument.  If you don't want to start with 4-string equidistant just removing your outside,…"
Jun 17
Ken Babb replied to Mildred J. Fischle's discussion 'Dulcimer in Worship Service' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"I have the luxury of belonging to a smallish church with tile floors and a wood ceiling so the room is very live.  Plus I play a Simmerman with a false back so my instrument is naturally loud. About 3 out 0f 4 Sundays I play dulcimer to…"
Jun 5
Ken Babb replied to filipinouker's discussion 'Transposing chords?' in the group Beginner players
"One other point on retuning.  Dusty is right that if you are changing from DAd to DAc to DAA to DAG you are not changing the key center, D, in all of these cases.  I prefer key center to key  because you may be changing from D major…"
May 14
Ken Babb replied to Colleen Hailey's discussion 'Barre chords' in the group Modern/Chord style Players
"One more point.  Particularly if you are using the pinkie-ring-middle approach you can often improve the fluidity of your playing by putting a barre chord in back of every chord you play.  It does not matter if they are L, slant, or…"
May 14
Ken Babb replied to Gregory Patterson's discussion 'Nice, Simple Hymn Book' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"One thing to keep in mind with these chords if you playing with other people: the further up the fretboard (higher pitch) the more your notes will stand out from everyone else's. Given the volume deficit that we often operate at versus other…"
May 11
Ken Babb replied to Glenda Chaite's discussion 'Playing with other musicians' in the group The Music Theory Corner
"It sounds like from your posts, Glenda, that you are primarily interested in playing accompaniment chords with this group.  If so I will make an alternative suggestion: just learn the chords.  An A chord in the key of D is exactly the same…"
May 10
Ken Babb joined Benjamin Esh's group

The Music Theory Corner

A Group to talk about Music Theory!
May 10
Ken Babb replied to Gregory Patterson's discussion 'Nice, Simple Hymn Book' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"Also, don't apologize for posting about a book that doesn't come with dulcimer tab.  More of us need to escape from the dulcimer ghetto.  I play from SMN all the time - melody line and chords is easy to translate to dulcimer.…"
May 10
Ken Babb replied to Gregory Patterson's discussion 'Nice, Simple Hymn Book' in the group Hymn and Worship Song Players
"Personally on that section of the dulcimer I prefer: C: 3-4-6 D: 2-3-4  (or: 4-5-7) G: 3-3-5  (or if I want to maintain all slant: 5-6-7 ) Then I can move up the fretboard to: C: 6-6-8 D: 7-7-9  (or go to slant with: 4-5-7) G: 7-8-10…"
May 10
Ken Babb replied to Charles Koch's discussion 'Need Assistance in tuning a guitar to match mt dulcimer key of D'
"You should not need to retune the guitar. Any of the basic chords you are learning in DAD should be available from a standard guitar tuning. If you play a D chord and she plays a D chord you will be fine. D is D"
May 2
Ken Babb replied to Gayle Maurer's discussion 'Recorder'
"Some variations based on the alto and tenor parts. Finally any tunes you can find from Renaissance and medieval times will work great. A finger picked dulcimer sounds much more like a lute than a guitar does."
May 2
Ken Babb replied to Gayle Maurer's discussion 'Recorder'
"I do play recorder but these days my main recorder interaction is when my recorder playing friend and I get together for duets. As for repertoire my first recommendation is for anything from the Taize tradition. We play these all the time at church…"
May 2
Ken Babb replied to Kitty L.'s discussion 'Naming Our "Babies"?'
"My best dulcimer was purchased with money from my inheritance after my Mom died. So at first I called her Rachel but that was the name everyone else had used for. I felt uncomfortable with it so I changed to her middle name of Helen and thus she is…"
May 2
Ken Babb and Wout Blommers are now friends
Apr 30

Profile Information

My interests in music and in mountain dulcimers:
folk, singer-songwriter, classical music, medieval renaissance music, taize, rock - the sound or a dulcimer is more like a lute than a guitar's sound is
Where and how I first saw or heard a mountain dulcimer...
ruth Barett and Cyntia smith Aeolus
Why I want to join Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer
share thughts and ideas with other players

Ken Babb's Photos


Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 6:18pm on February 18, 2014, John W. McKinstry said…

Thanks Ken for sharing that information.on Beach Spring

At 8:24am on August 11, 2013, John E. Wood said…

Welcome Ken. Good to see you here on FOTMD. We look forward to your participation , Best wishes.

At 6:08pm on August 10, 2013, Karen Keane said…
Hello and welcome to the site. This is a great place to share ideas and listen to music. I hope you enjoy!
At 6:28am on August 10, 2013, Ken Babb said…

Thanks for all the welcomes. I have been in on-line dulcimer communities since the mid-90's.  I started on the old sweet music list serve and since about 2002 I have been dulciken on ED.  I just decided to expand my horizons a bit.

At 6:24am on August 10, 2013, Rob N Lackey said…

Welcome, Ken, to this little corner of dulcimer heaven.  Hope you enjoy  it here.


At 10:18pm on August 9, 2013, John Keane said…

Howdy and welcome to FOTMD!

At 9:44pm on August 9, 2013, Louis J. Stivali said…

Hi  Ken and welcome to FOTMD

At 9:25pm on August 9, 2013, Jim Fawcett said…

Hey Ken, welcome aboard. Glad ya found us.

At 8:44pm on August 9, 2013, Benjamin W Barr Jr said…

Hi Ken, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer.  It's a good place to come, spend some time, learn about the dulcimer, and to meet some good people.



SINGLE INSTRUCTOR WORKSHOPS, Performances, Band Gigs & Special Club Event NOTICES

Offering some special workshops? Performing at a gig? A Dulcimer Club activity? List your SINGLE INSTRUCTOR Special Event or workshop- CLICK HERE!

The Inspired Volunteer FOTMD Welcoming Commitee of the month!

3 CHEERS to members

Jim Fawcett

Karen Keane


John Wood


R N Lacky


Louis Stivali


Kenneth Longfield


Benjamin Barr

John Keane
...For warmly greeting new members and making them feel welcome here on FOTMD!


Visit Strumelia's Beginner Noter-Drone dulcimer Blog

I have a main blog for Traditional style mountain dulcimer playing here: Mountain Dulcimer Noter-drone Blog This is an old style of playing where you only fret your notes on the melody string, while letting the drones strings ring open. In my blog, I express my personal views about playing, I offer free TAB and free beginner videos, and I try to help beginners understand in a very basic simple way the 'mysteries' of playing the mountain dulcimer in traditional modal noter/drone style.

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