Thursday, May 7, 2015

Triangles of the Trapezoid - It really IS all about the chords!

It certainly has been all about the chords this week in the music room ... which thrills my heart!

It was great to see a crowd of my "advancing beginner" students at the Winston Salem Dulcimer Festival last weekend. They were meeting and greeting, soaking it all in, and striking out to find the meaning of life in the dulcimer world. I think they found it!

The topic of each of the three novice classes scheduled on Saturday was CHORDS. Three different teachers, three different approaches to the subject, and lots of questions afterwards. My students are on a quest to find the triangles of the trapezoid!

So, between now and summer break we will be tackling questions with gusto and thinking we should have paid more attention during geometry class ... just look at all those different triangle shapes!


  1. I think about something Ken touched on but you really have to discover yourself: where the non-shed chords are in relation to your dulcimer. I mean, actually memorizing them. Otherwise you end up "counting up" from one shed or another. It really helps! The next step is automatically going to the notes in the chord even if they are random.

    1. I think folks do tend to get stuck on the "shed". There are other important root position arpeggio patterns, then chord inversion patterns, then seeing the right-hand / left-hand triangles that make up those chord inversion patterns. Add 7 chords and major chords built from the note one below the mark ... whew! It takes conscious effort and some time to learn all that!