In Praise of the 'Ginger' and G,D,g Tuning
Now I don't play chord/melody style that often but over the last week on a camping trip to St David's, Wales I rediscovered the delights of my McSpadden Ginger (seen above in Costa Rica!) and playing chord/melody out of G,D,g.
There were quite a few musicians on the trip so some time every day was spent jamming a very ecclectic mix of music, mostly contemporary folk songs and stuff from the pop charts over the years. I was surprised just how easy it was to use the Ginger for a whole range of tunes and keys from G,D,g as a base. It was a great little jamming tool for working out tunes from guitar fake books, and I found I could play along to Rod Stewart, Dolly Parton, Oasis, The Stones, Bobby McFerrin, Elton John etc etc without too many problems. I could add chords, melody or riffs out of G, D, Amand Em plus others and it struck me just how much more user friendly G,D,g was for jamming with guitars than I had found D,A,d. Plus the higher pitch cuts through really well. And the short scale meant I could reach more unusual chord shapes easier.
So if you are thinking about what to add next to your dulcimer collection then I can certainly recommend the 'Ginger' as more than just a travel dulcimer - it is also a great instrument for campfire jams