Fingerpicking - Spinning Song (classical piano piece)

Sam Edelston
10/18/21 12:41:13PM

I recently arranged Albert Ellmenreich's "Spinning Song" (which many people played in childhood piano lessons) for 3-string chromatic dulcimer. Here's a quick look under the hood.

The arrangement is very close to the original piano arrangement (except for a couple of fun deviations toward the end), and if I'd played it on a DAD dulcimer, it would be in the original key of F. (I played it on my CGC Folkcraft, instead.)

The first two sections were reasonably straightforward to arrange and to learn. The bridge has some tricky fingering, with much of its melody on the bass string and the thumb crossed under to help make chords on the high string -- but it's so much fun to play that it was worth the effort. (The arranging process was so interesting that I'm considering using it as an example in an upcoming course on arranging.)

I know many players like to use bare fingers, and sometimes I do, too, but this piece is better suited to fingerpicks. 

I wanted a full sound for this piece, so I played it on electric dulcimer, rather than acoustic, with two pickups combined (humbucker and under-bridge piezo). At the amp, I gave both channels some reverb, plus some chorus on one channel. I got the best sound with the amp playing into a camera-mounted condenser mic.