Skip to main content

Dulcimer U

Dulcimer with white background


America's Premier Mountain Dulcimer Education Program

Dulcimer U continues its long-standing tradition of giving students the absolute best educational experience available for the mountain dulcimer. Unlike many festivals around the country, Dulcimer U is not about the performers, it’s about you….the student.

Through our expanding offerings, we will provide only a first class instructional staff, many of which have earned advanced degrees in their various educational fields.

Their experience as both classroom instructors as well as nationally sought after performers make them the very best at what they do.

Upcoming Events:

Dulcimer U Winter Weekend  January 6-9, 2022 at the Lambuth Inn, Lake Junaluska, NC

Dulcimer U at Home

Dulcimer U at Home logo



Thursdays – Sep 9, 16, 23 & 30, 2021 via the Zoom video conferencing app

Time and Length of Sessions: 4:00-5:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time, 1.5 hours in length, total of 6 contact hours


Cost: $150 | Instructor: Elaine Conger

You’ve been asking, so here it is! This class will get you going in writing your own bass dulcimer parts to correlate with pre-existing solo and multi-part arrangements or to add to your own transcriptions. We’ll start with the obligatory alternating bass technique that fits the bulk of the traditional dulcimer repertoire, but which is also prevalent in bluegrass, country, and gospel.

Other genres outside of the conventional folk tunes utilized in the dulcimer community will also be explored, such as blues and rockabilly which use walking bass lines. Emphasis will be placed on techniques that would be used by a true bass player in mainstream music instead of what would just be easiest on a 3-string dulcimer. We will also take note of the “rules” in the music theory world by paying attention to musical part writing techniques, such as complementary rhythms, avoidance of parallel 4ths & 5ths, and the tasteful use of fills and runs. Participants will have the option of submitting their own tablature arrangements to receive coaching in creating a bass part which will be led in master class fashion.

Materials: Bass dulcimer with a 1+ fret, capo available. PDF handouts will be sent via email.

Playing Level: This class is most suitable for the upper intermediate to advanced level player who has a more than satisfactory knowledge of the dulcimer fretboard and the dulcimer’s capabilities and limitations.

Online/Video Participant Release
By registering for and attending this program - either virtually or in-person, The participant hereby authorizes Western Carolina University, through its agents and employees, and those acting pursuant to its authority to:

(a) Record my likeness and voice on videotape and/or electronically.
(b) Use my name in connection with these recordings.
(c) Use, reproduce, exhibit or distribute in any medium these recordings for any purpose that the University, and those acting pursuant to its authority, deem appropriate.

I release the University and those acting pursuant to its authority from liability for any violation of any personal or proprietary right, including any FERPA rights, I may have in connection with such use. I understand that all such recordings, in whatever medium, shall remain the property of the University. I have read and fully understand the terms of this release.

Office of Web Services