15 MORE Minutes a Day


Technical Studies for Hammered Dulcimer

(Beginner to Advanced)

  • Approximately 70 Pages
  • Spiral Bound to stay open easily on your music stand!

How does a dulcimer player systematically improve their playing technique without taking all of the joy out of playing? THIS book!

Using fun and easy-to-memorize patterns, you can address the major areas of technique on your dulcimer in just 15 minutes a day, so you have plenty of time to PLAY! Each exercise is written to target a specific technique that will transfer to all of your playing. The patterns are intuitive and great for those who want to learn the drills quickly and not be dependent on looking back and forth between the instrument and the book. The LARGE PRINT certainly helps with that too!


This book is a continuation of technical studies following my original book, “15 Minutes a Day.”  It is also a great companion book to supplement my book “Killer Technique for Hammered Dulcimer.” So what is the differences between the books?

Having taught out of my first book (TNT for Hammered Dulcimer) for over ten years, I set out to write a book of practice materials for a short daily warm-up similar to what I play on trumpet every day to get the kinks out of my playing. Thus, “15 Minutes a Day” was born! The goal was to provide some much-needed direction in technique practice but limit it to short sessions. It did not intend to teach scales and arpeggios themselves, as that is already covered in my “Tunes ‘n’ Techniques” book. Instead, it offered fun applications for those concepts. Now, having taught out of that book for the last 10 years, I present 15 MORE Minutes a Day to reinvigorate practice time with new, innovative exercises to further hone technique in playable applications that will allow the player to transfer those skills into their repertoire.

All four of my technique books have different focusses and different exercises to achieve them.  This new addition will give you fun, new challenges to promote new muscle memory acquisition happening and  enhance your playing abilities.

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When we play music, we are causing inanimate objects to sing! Such a feat requires a strong connection between our ears, our hands, our eyes, and even our feet. These connections get stronger over time but need daily maintenance to stay in optimal shape. This is why even seasoned musicians need warm-up routines. We need to realign our aim, wake up our hands, tap into our muscle memory, and shake off the dust since our playing session. While all of this is necessary, it doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to take forever. That’s why I wrote “15 Minutes a Day- A Daily Practice Routine for Hammered Dulcimer” in 2008. It is full of fun to play exercises that do wonders for your playing. I have developed even more exercises to target these areas we need to get better since 2008 and organized them here in this new book, “15 More Minutes a Day.”

The title explains a lot about how to use this book. This is intended to be a fun and functional daily practice routine for hammered dulcimer to start off your practice sessions. I recommend playing the exercises in this book for about 15 minutes before you begin your normal practicing. The problem with working on technique is that we tend to overdo it in a single session, reaching the law of diminishing returns. After about 10-15 minutes, our brains tend to go into autopilot and we stop acquiring new muscle memory. We have this narrow window of time to address all the major areas needed in playing the dulcimer so you are ready for a new day of playing.

This book also solves the problem of not knowing what to practice or how to practice to get the improvements in the skills you want. Each of these exercises has been chosen because they have successfully worked for my students. They’ll work for you too!

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements:
  • Introduction
  • Using This Book
  • Notation
  • How to Practice (And Get Better!)
  • Recalibration
    • Recalibrating Chords
    • Octaves
    • Aligning Octaves
    • Right Hand Right Side / Left Hand Left Side Rule:
    • Calibrating Chords:
    • Expanding Arpeggios in 1st Position
    • First Position Major
    • Second Position Minor
    • Third Position Minor
    • Static Chord-Melodies
    • Calibrating Chord Suffixes: Major
    • Minor Chord Suffixes
    • Calibrating Rolled Chords
  • Tone
    • Finding the Sweet Spot
    • 3-Octave Arpeggios
    • Sweet Spot Patterns
    • Other Considerations
  • Hand Independence
    • Hands Alone
    • Two for One
    • Playing A Round with Hand Independence
    • Piano-Style Hand Separation
    • Etude for Hand Independence: “Alberti’s Little Birdie”
  • Mountain Roll Technique
    • 1st Inversion
    • Root Position
    • 2nd Inversion
    • Mountains Around Us: A Mountain Roll Etude
  • Parallel Harmony
    • Aligning Hands
    • Scales in Contrary Motion
    • Tandem Fandom

Additional information


Hard Copy Book, PDF Book Download


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