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October 2008 · Bimonthly

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"Cold Frosty Morning"
for Mountain Dulcimer

from Dulcimer Fiddle Tunes, MB 93713BCD

Arranged by Lois Hornbostel

Brrrrrr! Hereís a delightful, rhythmic old-time tune to warm us on those cold mornings. I learned it from fiddlers in North Carolina, and its early origins may go back to a Scottish song from the Jacobite Rebellion called "Johnny Cope."

Tuning & Playing Tips:

The usual key fiddlers play this in is A Dorian. A very nice way to play in this mode on a mountain dulcimer is to tune your dulcimer to DGd tuning and attach a capo* at the first fret. To be in the same key and scale as them I tune my dulcimer to DGd tuning and attach a capo at the first fret. This provides a Dorian scale starting at the 4th fret on your treble or bass strings.

Iíve suggested the left-hand fingerings I use; feel free to adjust for yourself. Strum across all the strings.

The sound file that accompanies the tablature and chord letters below is played at a moderate teaching tempo. First youíll hear the lead (chord/melody) version, and after it just the accompaniment chords. This method first gives you an opportunity to play the lead part along with the chords on the recording. Listening to the chords also presents a sense of the tune's chord progressions.

*If you donít have a capo yet, you can find out where to get one in this DulcimerSessions.com article: http://www.dulcimersessions.com/dec05/capos.html

Listen to "Cold Frosty Morning"

As usual with 3 strings, we use some abbreviated chords. This is in keeping with the modal fiddle tune sounds as well. If youíd like to try accompaniment, here are some I like:

A part:
Am G Em
Bass string: 4 (A) 5 (B) 0 (E)
Middle string: 3 (C) 4 (D) 5 (E)
Treble string: 0 (E) 3 (G) 0 (E)
B part:
AMaj. C D High E
Bass string: 4 (A) 6 (C) 7 (D) 8 (E)
Middle string: 5 (E) 7 (G) 8 (A) 9 (B)
Treble string: 4 (A) 6 (C) 7 (D) 8 (E)
Am C D E
4 0 4 5
0 3 4 5
0 0 1 0

Some musicians start this tune with the second (B) part, and thatís easy to adapt to.
Stay warm!

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