I usually start with the melody and add chords as they needed for the harmonies I "hear." Remember, the dulcimer was originally played on the melody string with the middle and bass droning. I play a lot of tunes that way. Other tunes (to me) benefit by having a few chords thrown in. I like to leave at least one string droning, so my chording can be simple on some tunes. I know that may not mean anything yet to you, so if you have other questions, just ask.
We now have an "Aussie Talk" group fo those of us in the Antipodes! Thought you might like to join ....
Nice to have another Aussie.. I'm a newbie too..
Welcome Allyson hope you have fun here.
Welcome, Allyson, to this little corner of dulcimer heaven. Get that thing out of the case and start strumming. A little something which your familiar with on the whistle would be a good place to start. I learned "The Ashgrove" on the dulcimer from the music in a Robin Williamson's whistle book (at least I think that's the one.) Hope you enjoy it here.
Howdy and welcome to FOTMD!
Hey Allyson, welcome aboard. Glad ya found us.
Welcome to FOTMD Allyson. It's good to have you aboard.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."