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dulcimer chords for DAA tuning

22/03/2011

dulcimer chords for Ionian / DAA tuning  

 

these charts show some popular DAA chords, which which you can play many, many songs  

 

 popular chords for dulcimer in DAA tuning

 

about playing chords on the dulcimer

 

these dulcimer chords are all triad chords – but they work really well and sound nice 


(pedantically) chords should have 4 notes (or more)
so D should be D-A-F#-D with a D below and above


the low D is called the root note
hence on my chord chart I’ve not called the lowest D chord (2-0-3) the ‘root’ chord but the ‘base’ chord
the root chord is in fact the 2nd inversion (7-5-7) but it doesn’t feel appropriate to call it that  

 

where this system theoretically fails is with chords like seventh chords, which should have 4 notes
eg: A7 has the notes A, E, C# and G – with the G being the seventh note

 

the question is do you play 3-0-4 / G-A-E or 3-2-4 / G-C#-E – both have the seventh note
3-0-4 sounds softer and 3-2-4 has a more dischordant/harsh sound

 

the answer is, of course: ‘horses for courses’ - I use 3-0-4 most of the time but occasionally vary it with 3-2-4     
in the context of a song in the key of D, the A note will appear often in the melody and many of the chords – so omitting then A note from an A7 chord does not sound wrong (pedantically it’s not an A7 chord but it sounds like it, in context) – it’s important to take these things in context

 

because I fingerpick / arpeggiate, sometimes I will alternate between 3-0-4 and 3-2-4 and back again, all in the same bar/measure to include all four notes of the A7 chord and add a little subtle variety

 

 

dulcimer chord shapes for DAA tuning

 

shapes for major chords ~ these three chord shapes will all give major chords

DAA major chords

 

 shapes for minor chords ~ these three chord shapes will all give minor chords 

DAA minor chords

 

shapes for seventh chords ~ these three chord shapes will all give seventh chords

DAA seventh chords

 

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