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dulcimer chords for DAA tuning


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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