"It's ... a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.... It's a rather joyous song."
~ Leonard Cohen.
I enjoy learning songs that may not be on the usual dulcimer playlist,
and hope to pass this on to others. (I don't claim any great ability to play a dulcimer).
Read on to learn this song, including my dulcimer version, some other demos, and a guitar lesson. I've also included the chords, and you can clearly see the fingerings in my video. I don't think I got the 6/8 timing just right, though.
I'm in D A d, and playing the song in D on the low end, changing keys to G for the second verse, ending with D on the high end. Here it is, from about a year ago.
I don't read music, so the first thing I try to do in learning a new piece is to get the song in my head. Here are some of my favorites.
k. d. lang
This is a great version by four famous singers in Norway. The video owner does not allow embeds on this, so its a regular link.
Now for an excellent lesson from Siggi Mertens on playing this song:
The lesson is for guitar, and is great for figuring out the 6/8 timing and the strumming pattern. It begins in the key of C, and switches to D at the end.
You can play along with the almost the whole lesson if you drop your dulcimer tuning down from D A d to C G c, or just stay in D and play along with the last portion.
Siggi Mertens and I think much alike in doing our own melody-chord arrangements, only he has a lot more talent than I do. If you play the right chord, the note for the melody line is probably in there. Or, start with the melody line and then find a form of the correct chord that includes that note.
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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.