Robin Clark


Location: Tywyn, Gwynedd, Wales
Country: GB

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Mountain Dulcimer Thumb Strum Technique.wmv

musician/member name:
Duration: 00:03:24
Strumming a dulcimer with your thumb is a traditional technique. This video is a short description of the style. Thumbing can add clarity to your melody line...
Rick Kennedy
12/15/12 01:33:47AM @rick-kennedy:

I am going give this technique a bit of a try. Less volume can be good at night with the family asleep. I am glad to know that this is an historically accurate way to strum, too. As Val says, you are doing wonderful work. I listen so often that if I were to hear you playing behind a hedge or something, I would know it was you by your style--I might even recognize which of your dulcimers you happened to be playing. Grin.gif

Karen Keane
12/04/12 09:38:25PM @karen-keane:

Great information. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

Patty from Virginia
12/04/12 09:42:41AM @patty-from-virginia:

Thank you Robin for another instructional video! I will certainly give this a try; although, when I look at my thumb I have my doubts but I will give it a trySmile.gif . I know Rob has a bigger thumb than I doGrin.gif

Rob N Lackey
12/03/12 06:44:56PM @rob-n-lackey:

Excellent, brief explanation Robin. As a thumb and finger player (now almost exclusively) I find it (to me) easier to do the back/forth strum on 8th notes and keep in time than using a pick. I know; I just ain't right.

Gayle Maurer
12/03/12 02:07:02PM @gayle-maurer:
Thanks for the demonstration. It's nice to have different options when a song calls for a softer sound, or if you are accompanying your singing and don't want to be drowned out.
Peter W.
12/03/12 12:56:54PM @peter-w:

What a tasty sandwich - I like both: the musical examples at the beginning and end, and also the explanation in between. Smile.gif

Great video, Robin!

12/03/12 12:54:49PM @strumelia:

Robin, very nicely shown! Two thumbs up! (lol!)

For those interested, Robin elaborates a bit more on his thumb strum page in the OldStyle Noter&Drone Group here on FOTMD:

Personally, I have sometimes used my thumb for strumming when I am quickly picking up my dulcimer to work out a tune and am too lazy to look for a handy pick. But when i do this, I usually will strum out (away from me) with the thumb, and brush in with my index finger when alternating in/out strumming. That's yet another little variation to try if you are experimenting.

Thanks for this wonderful video and explanation Robin!