Robin Clark


Location: Tywyn, Gwynedd, Wales
Country: GB

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Wildwood Flower - Warren May Dulcimer Duet

Wildwood Flower - Warren May Dulcimer Duet

style or instrument:

musician/member name: Robin

streams: 149


Wildwood Flower played on an old 1980 Warren May dulcimer in EBB - one part in noter drone and the second a simple chord backing.
John W. McKinstry
06/30/18 06:27:17AM @john-w-mckinstry:

Thanks for bringing this tune to life with you dulcimer playing.

06/29/18 07:51:22PM @haydee025:

Absolutely wonderful to hear! This is an excellent rendition of Wildwood Flower. Hopefully soon I will be able to play it like this!

Thank you for posting it Robin.

Dusty Turtle
12/15/17 04:06:21AM @dusty-turtle:

That's stellar playing, Robin. As crisp and clear as a sunny, fall morning.

This tune is to flatpicking guitar what Bile Dem Cabbage is to dulcimers. Maybelle Carter's style of picking the melody on lower strings and filler on the high strings is what started it all.

Robin Clark
12/15/17 03:03:15AM @robin-clark:

Thanks everyone smile

I have used that Warren May dulcimer for a couple of gigs recently as a duo with a local guitarist.  We have another gig coming up on the 21st of December.  Using EBB noter drone and just a single reasonably heavy melody string (I think I have a 0.012 fitted, possibly a 0.013) I can get tremendous acoustic volume from the instrument and balance nicely with the guitar.  My partner plays in DADGAG capo'd at fret 2.  Despite one instrument being in equal temperament and the Warren May being in a more natural temperament playing drones the blend is really sweet.


12/15/17 01:09:10AM @marg:

I have a Warren May but never thought of tuning to EBB, sounded very nice

Janene Millen
11/18/17 12:55:32PM @janene-millen:


Cynthia Wigington
11/16/17 06:28:29AM @cynthia-wigington:

Sweet - it never ceases to amaze me how one can play N/D and the other chords and it does not sound out of tune. Doesn't make sense, does it?

11/15/17 11:38:49PM @irene:

OH wow....I loved listening to both renditions.  I was thinking about getting right to my dulcimer and playing is much slower version....but this is a challenge to play it so fast.  boom chack chack style.  ahhhhhhhh, no wonder some of the old dulcimers that I've repaired do not sound so good either with the wrongs set of strings or Dadd tunings....I prefer to the max, the 155 tuning the best. aloha, irene

11/02/17 02:06:09AM @marg:

I love the sound of a Warren May dulcimer & you played it wonderfully. It sounded like you had 2 dulcimers going. Very nice

Patty from Virginia
10/30/17 10:55:31AM @patty-from-virginia:


Cynthia Wigington
10/18/17 06:25:07AM @cynthia-wigington:

You're a hoot Robin, and such a clever one too. Funny about those fret settings and tunings...I have a Backyard Music cardboard just intonated that I asked him to string DGd - well, I tried it DAd and it sounded awful. The other day goofed and tuned it DAd, and lo and behold, it sounded good. Funny about that.

Robin Clark
10/18/17 05:50:34AM @robin-clark:

Thanks Jennifer and Val,

I watched the Carter Family version on YouTube yesterday and loved the simplicity of the basic boom-chick rhythm. 

So I borrowed their timing and rhythm.

I find it a lot harder to play something like this 'straight' and get it to sound OK than it is to syncopate the rhythm on dulcimer, as is the contemporary trend.

That Warren May dulcimer is lovely.  It is one of his older ones (1980) and has the frets set in the same intonation that Homer Ledford used.  It will not play in DAd but is lovely in a 1-5-5 tuning.  I tried playing the tune in 1-5-5 on a McSpadden and the intonation was quite harsh to my ears?

10/17/17 03:22:07PM @macaodha:

You do it so well Robin, very authentic.

10/17/17 01:22:22PM @jenniferc:

One of my all time favorites.  You did a wonderful job!