Dulcimer tablature transcribed by Howard Wright
The dominant feature of this song is the dulcimer, so this is what I
have transcribed here. Since most people don't have a dulcimer to try
out, I've also written out the dulcimer part for guitar tablature,
though the guitar tuning and chord shapes are exactly the same as those
played on the dulcimer on the original track.
The dulcimer tablature is labelled "Dulc" and the equivalent guitar
tablature is labelled "Gtr".
Please note: the dulcimer tablature is displayed with the lowest string
at the top, and the melody string at the bottom, as this is the usual
way to write dulcimer tablature (thanks for the info Steve!).
The guitar tablature is displayed in the usual way, with the lowest string
at the bottom.
The dulcimer has three strings (one 'string' is actually a pair of
strings) and the tuning for this song is: F# 14 0 (in Joni notation)
This means tune the lowest string to F#, then tune the next string 14
semitones (a ninth) above the F#, and tune the top (double) string to
the middle string. This means you end up with the notes F# G# G#.
On a guitar you have six strings, so you can try a few methods to get
the authentic dulcimer sound.
*** 1 ***
Remove the low E and D strings, then retune the A to an F#, and tune the
G, B and top E strings to a unison G#.
*** 2 ***
If you don't want the hassle of removing strings, you can tune the G, B and
top E to G# then use either the D or A strings as the bass dulcimer
string - tune it down to F#.
If you are prepared to remove the strings as in (1) the song will be a
little easier to play - you can strum away and hit all strings when you
play. If you try (2) you have to try not to play the low E and A/D string
when you strum the chords. However, it's not too hard to get it to work
Setting up the guitar like this means you have three strings tuned to G#.
You can use one as the drone string (which is never fretted) and fret the
other two, or use two drone strings and fret the third string.
I think it sounds better when you fret two of the G# strings, and leave
just one as the drone string, like this:
The alternative (fret just one of the G# strings and have two drones)
is slightly easier to play, but doesn't sound as good.
To make it simpler to type out, I'll just write the tablature with two
G# strings - one drone and one melody string. You can make your own
choice whether you use two drone strings or two melody strings.
(If you're lucky enough to own a dulcimer, you don't have to worry about
all of this!).
I've written separate lines for the dulcimer tablature and guitar equivalent.
Make sure you're playing the line marked "Gtr" if you're using a guitar and
the line marked "Dulc" if you're playing a dulcimer. Because the two instruments are fretted differently (e.g guitar fret 2 is equivalent to dulcimer fret 1) you will get some very odd chords if you play the "Dulc" tablature on the guitar!
OK, on to the chord shapes for the song. I'll just write out the basic
changes - i.e I won't write out all the multiple strums of each chord.
The basic strumming pattern is an 8th note up-and-down pattern, with
accents and hand mutes used to give the rhythm some life. Listen to the
record to get the full picture.