I teach a lot of new folks and only on noter drone....thanks BALLAD GAL for the tip. I just ordered that book. It will be very helpful in teaching. After my wonderful experience at Berea, Kentucky, I love playing noter/drone even more so now!! aloha, irene
Instruction books for DAA Noter playing
Yet another good book for DAA (or CGG) Ionian playing is Moods of The Dulcimer by Virgil & Norman Hughes. In the entire book there's only 7 songs with sharps or flats, and several of those also include a version with no sharps or flats. There's even a renditon of Old Joe Clark, Greensleeves, and Wayfaring Stranger with no sharps or flats--excellent for DAA!
This is an older book that can still be found on Amazon for $1.95.
Dulcimer a la mode will give you easy songs in various modes.
The Wonderful World of DAA is another good starting place.
Another DAA instruction book that is very good for someone starting out is Traditional Playing of the Mountain Dulcimer by Lorinda Jones. Although not strictly a noter-drone book it provides four arrangements for each song: 1. Song Played With a Noter, 2. Song Played With a Noter and Rhythm Fill-Ins, 3. Song Played With Fingers and Rhythm Fill-Ins (Finger-Dancing), and 4. Song Played With Chord Melodies and Rhythmic Fill-Ins (Chord-Melody Style). Arrangements 1. and 2. are very suitable to noter-drone playing. The four arrangements for each song illustrate how one can begin by learning the simple melody with a noter (Arrangement 1), add fill-in notes to the simple melody while continuing to play with a noter (Arrangement 2), using the left-hand fingers to replace the noter (Arrangement 3), and finally adding chords to the melody (Arrangement 4). For those wishing to play only in a noter-drone style, the first two arrangements of each song will be sufficient. For those wishing to expand their left-hand techniques, arrangements 3 and 4 will illustrate how it is done.
The book includes a play-along CD, but a DVD is also available to purchase separately. The book, CD, and DVD provide an excellent introduction to traditional mountain dulcimer playing, including two noter-drone arrangements for each song introduced. Twenty-two songs are included with four arrangements for each.
Gail, a lot of the older books use mainly ionian tunings such as DAA (often CGG) but they do not necessary concentrate solely on noter play. I'm thinking of books like Mel Bay's You can Teach Yourself Dulcimer and Fun with the Dulcimer and TK O'Brien's Guide to Playing the Mountain Dulcimer.
Perhaps one option would just be Stephen Seifert's Join the Jam DAA version. You can get it as a physical book with CDs or as a digital download with MP3s.
Edit: I just checked his website and apparently Seifert's books no longer come with CDs. Instead, you download a zip file with slow demonstrations of the 93 arrangements in the book.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
updated by @dusty: 06/30/19 09:30:35PM