September 2018

Dear Dulcimer Friends,

A very full summer is galloping to a close and a Fall Full of Dulcimers is on the horizon. We have the Tumwater Library meeting room for Wednesday, Sept 5 from noon to three.
Suggested play list includes a warm up of Liza Jane, Grey Cat on a Tennessee Farm and Old Joe Clark. 
Then we can mix the new with the familiar with this list:
  • Bonaparte’s Retreat
  • Cherokee Shuffle
  • Mes Parents
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • Soldier’s Joy
  • Waterbound. 
Why the Star Spangled Banner when we’re well past the Fourth of July?  Well, we have one of the nation’s most important mid-term elections ever coming this November. Let’s encourage every American to participate by voting. If you feel inspired to share our national anthem with other groups, well, you’ll have the sheet music to do so!
Looking forward to October, we have the Tumwater Library room for Saturday, October 6, again noon to three. Fall weather goes well with the Aeolean mode (tune strings DACC), so we can play some of the tunes in the back of the notebook.
There should be time for requests and for whatever the tide brings in. If you’re sharing new sheet music, it’s nice to have about a dozen copies just in case we have a large group.
I hope everyone had a marvelous summer and I look forward to seeing you this fall!

June Updates!

We’re on for a practice night this Friday, June 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Griffin Fire Station #One.  And then there is the Strawberry Festival on Saturday!  Do come!

12:00-12:10 pm Mary Poppins
12:15-12:25 pm Olympic Ballroom
12:30-12:55 pm South Bay Dance Company
1-1:30 pm Old Growth Mountain Dulcimers
1:30-2 pm Cliff Rice
2:00-2:30 pm Dean Robinson, Dulcimer soloist
2:35 pm Mary Poppins
2:45-2:55 pm Olympic Ballroom
3-3:25 pm South Bay Dance Company
3:35 pm ???
4:00-4:10 pm Mary Poppins

Strawberry Festival: South Bay Grange – 3918 Sleater Kinney Rd NE, Olympia, WA

Summer/Fall 2018

We have a schedule for the remainder of 2018!  Here goes;


Friday, June 8, 7 to 9 p.m.    We’ll meet at the Griffin Fire Department, 3707 Steamboat Island Rd NW, Olympia WA. This is a practice session for the next day. Count on a run through of all the very easy, old favorites including Liza Jane, Grey Cat on a Tennessee Farm, Old Joe Clark, Mes Parents, Black Mountain Rag and Soldier’s Joy.  Please bring your stash of old favorites because we may need another tune or two to be ready for the next day.

Saturday, June 9   (Performance Time To Be Announced Closer to Date).   We’re on stage at the Strawberry Festival!  This will be at the South Bay Grange at 3918 Sleater Kinney Rd NE.  You may have to park across the street at the school and walk over (not far). As a performing musician, you’ll receive a chit for a very lovely piece of strawberry shortcake. We’ll play for about twenty minutes. There is a back stage area for setting up and tuning and storing cases. This is an unsecured area — please don’t leave purses or instruments unattended. We can trade off watching and eating!  We’ll play our list of easy tunes, have a blast and know we helped the organizers raise some money for a kid’s summer theater production. Good times all around. What to wear?  Clothes highly recommended.


July 7 –  Picnic at Dean and Elaine’s! Come anytime after 10am and stay as long as you like! Dean is reaching out to players from other parts of the state, so this could be a grand time to meet some new faces. Come play out under the firs at a very special spot. 12941 Campbell Ln SE, Tenino, WA 98589. Bring food/beverages to share if you like. Food and drinks will be available as well! Please RSVP to


No Old Growth meeting. Kindred Gathering is this month – August 3-5. Talk to Steve Middleton or Eric Steese for more information on this annual dulcimer event.


Wednesday, Sept 5 from noon to three. Tumwater Branch Timberland Regional Library.


Saturday, Oct 6  from noon to three. Tumwater Branch Timberland Regional Library.


Wednesday, Nov 7 from noon to three. Tumwater Branch Timberland Regional Library.


Saturday, December 1 from noon to three. Tumwater Branch Timberland Regional Library.

Hope to see you often in the months ahead!

Join our Facebook group to join the conversation:

Starting Out


Old Growth Mountain Dulcimers

Come learn the basics of playing the mountain dulcimer. Meet other fans of the instrument and learn where to find music and paths to growth.

Location: Tumwater Branch Timberland Library: 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater, WA 98501

What you need to bring: a mountain dulcimer, a pick (guitar pick), and a music stand if you have one. If you can, tune to D-a-dd. If that is a mystery, come anyway. We’ll get you started.

NOTE: The number stickers are informational. Please don’t put stickers on your instrument. It can ruin the finish and can slow your playing. It can also give you a crick in the neck! Once you see how the fret numbers/spaces operate, then you are on your way.

Don’t have an instrument? Call Ellen at 360-866-2468 or contact us. We may be able to set you up with an instrument to try for the evening. But this has to be requested ahead of time so we know what to bring!

Tips for Mountain Dulcimer Players


Here’s where we’ll put in your good advice.

  • Tip #1: Many people use a piece of rubberized shelf liner on their knees to keep the dulcimer from sliding around.
  • Tip #2: Don’t store the shelf liner piece next to the instrument. Chemicals in the liner can affect the finish on the instrument’s wood.


Dear Dulcimer Friends,

We have a very checkered schedule this spring. The library room is very convenient for many but it is heavily booked so Days change and Times change through the next quarter. The Feb 17 gathering should be a fun afternoon. Susan J. will be speaking to us about “Old Fashioned” playing in the DAA tuning. Stephen M will be showing us how to strum some “Blues” and Dean R will be leading us through some 4-equidistant string playing. We are really blessed to have these accomplished players in our circle. No worries about skills, please. You can play along (highly recommended) or sit and absorb. Either way our hearts and minds will be growing as we better understand all that these cool instruments can do.

  • March : NO Meeting
  • April: Saturday, April 7 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tumwater Branch Timberland Library
  • May: Wednesday, May 2 noon to 3 p.m. Tumwater Branch Timberland Library
  • June: Friday, June 8 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Griffin Fire Department
  • Saturday, June 9 no time assigned yet Strawberry Festival, Grange on north Sleater Kinney Road

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