Dusty Thorburn

Lullabies from Around the World (Advanced Beginner)
Lullabies are almost always pretty, gentle, and slow, making them perfect for the dulcimer and accessible to beginning players.  We will learn a French lullaby, a Zulu lullaby from South Africa, a Spanish lullaby, an African-American lullaby, an Indonesian lullaby, and more if time allows.  A few arrangements involve (optional) intermediate-level left-hand techniques but all are a within the range of a beginning player with minimal experience playing simple chords.  All can be played either fingerstyle or with a flatpick. Warning: you may find yourself longing to curl up in your mother’s arms once again.

Click the title of the following arrangement to download.

Thula Baba
Dulcimer On the Down Low (Advanced Beginner)

One of the challenges for beginning players in workshops or when reading tablature is that the dulcimer fretboard is still unknown and counting frets can take longer than actually positioning your fingers.  This workshop teaches several interesting and pretty songs that require no fingering above the 3rd or 4th frets.  Playing across all the strings in the lower octave, we will learn fiddle tunes such as “Soldier’s Joy” and “Liberty,” folk songs such as “Wilwood Flower,” O’Carolan’s “Blind Mary,” and more. In some cases, arrangements of the same tunes higher up the fretboard will be offered for students to examine on their own.

Click the title of the following arrangement to download.

Blind Mary

A guitarist and occasional mandolin player, Dusty discovered the dulcimer several years ago and has been obsessed ever since, entranced by the simple beauty of the instrument’s design and sound.  He founded River City Dulcimers,
a group of musical friends that meets monthly in Sacramento and is also a Moderator at the popular website
Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. He currently offers private lessons at The Strum Shop in Roseville. His lessons, arrangements, and compositions combine a respect for traditional sounds with a modern, blues-influenced sensibility.