1-2-4 Chord Surprise!

LisavB
LisavB
@lisavb
one week ago
15 posts

It's getting so I feel frustrated/cheated on days I can't get to my dulcimer, or can only get to it for a few minutes!

Corvus
Corvus
@corvus
2 weeks ago
2 posts

Lisa, I've been playing the dulcimer for decades and find the following rule to be 100% accurate for me "the more you play the easier it gets, especially if you're having fun doing it".


updated by @corvus: 01/14/20 10:01:35PM
LisavB
LisavB
@lisavb
3 weeks ago
15 posts

Thanks!  Only a little over a year ago, I decided to make a cardboard dulcimer more as an art/craft project, and if it was fun/easy to play, bonus.  Who knew it would lead to all this?  I'm having SO MUCH FUN!

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,190 posts

Congratulations on your success. I went in the other direction: from the guitar to the dulcimer, and you're right that playing one instrument makes the next one easier to pick up. But the bigger lesson here is that as the muscles in our fingers stretch and strengthen, chord formations that once seemed impossible become do-able.  Newbies need to be reminded that instead of saying "I can't play that chord" they should be saying "I can't play that chord yet!"

And that extended slant chord down near the nut is the toughest chord to finger, so you are doing great!




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
644 posts

Glad to hear that playing one instrument is helping you play the other. When I first started playing guitar I did stretching exercises for my left hand to reach some of the chords. The span of my left hand from tip of thumb to to of pinky when spread to its widest is greater than on my right hand. After you play for some time, I am sure you will notice this difference as well. Have fun learning your instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

LisavB
LisavB
@lisavb
3 weeks ago
15 posts

So, I could just barely manage a 1-2-4 on my first dulcimer, the cardboard one. On my second dulcimer, the Cedar Creek walnut kit I built, the VSL is longer, and so a 1-2-4 was pretty much impossible.  I got an acoustic guitar a few weeks ago and have been learning that.  I was idly noodling on the walnut dulcimer while waiting for something, and was doing some chord shapes from a Bing Futch video I'd watched.  And I landed the 1-2-4!  Shocked, I tried again.  Yep, I can make it now!  I've found that the guitar requires more strength/agility in my left/fretting hand than I previously had, and I think the additional strength I've already gained gave me the ability to open my hand that wide and land the 1-2-4.  Exciting!  As a side note, I'm finding that learning the guitar has given me new revelations about the dulcimer, and coming to the guitar from the dulcimer has helped me pick up the guitar more readily than I think would have happened otherwise. It's all good!