Free Tablature Downloads from Joe Collins

Each month, a new set of two or more high quality dulcimer tabs will be available on this page. Please do not sell or mass distribute these tabs either in print or over the Internet.  I am making them available for individuals and for dulcimer clubs that wish to use them in their meetings.  If you like my tab, I hope you will consider purchasing some of my tablature books.

Index for this page (Click and go to the section you want)

The featured tabs for the month

Instructions for printing featured tabs

I want to be notified when new tabs are posted

Tips on reading my tab

Sound files for the featured tabs

A club where these tabs are played

 

Simply click the title below to download the tab file.  If you have been to my site before, you may have to click on the "Refresh" icon (two arrows chasing each other) in order to get the updated page with the newly posted tablature.  If you do not have Acrobat Reader, see instructions below

 

This July, I have the opportunity to spend the month of July in Ireland with a group of my students from Gardner-Webb University. Therefore, I want to share a couple of tunes this month with some roots in Ireland.

The Flying Cloud is a ballad of a pirate ship probably more well known in the New World than in the Old one. It was popular in North America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and, like many folksongs, took on layers of lyrics. Many lyrics take the form of a confession of a pirate sentenced to die. I am giving you this ballad in three different versions. Pick the one you like best or is most playable for you.  Better yet, learn to play all three versions if you want to work on a broader range of dulcimer skills.

   The Flying Cloud (DGd version). This is probably the easiest to play and sing for most people.

   The Flying Cloud (DAd - upper octave). This one goes pretty far up and down the neck of a dulcimer.

   The Flying Cloud (DAd - crosspicked - lower octave).  This one will challenge your ability to play the melody effective across all the strings while playing chords if you choose to play them.

Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair (DAd with capo on 1st fret). This is an Appalachian folksong which may have Scottish roots. Regardless of its origins, it has become part of the repertoire of many Celtic singers. It is relatively easy to play, especially playing it in the dronal style using none of the suggested chords. However, the rhythm is a little tricky.  You may want to listen to the sound file several time to get a feel for the rhythm if you don't sight read rhythm very well.

 

I have provided sound files for the free tabs.

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If you would like to be notified by e-mail whenever I post new tablature, please place your e-mail address in the box below and click on subscribe.

 

Once you are on my e-mail list, you will receive a notification about once a month.  Many of the people on my list are within driving distance of Shelby, NC so you may receive a couple of e-mails per year concerning dulcimer workshops and events in Shelby.  If you are not within driving distance, please forgive me.

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Tips on Reading My Tablature

Different authors use different conventions when writing out tablature.  I have chosen to do mine in a way that is easy for beginners to use.  First of all, the numerals that are in bolder, larger print represent the melody of the tune.  If you do not play chords, you can simply use one finger (or more) to play only the melody notes with your noting hand while strumming all the strings.

If you do choose to the play the chords I suggest, realize that I do not put down the complete chord for every single note.  I feel like doing so clutters the page with too many numerals.  When you change into a chord (designated above the musical notes by letters - D, A, Bm, F#m, etc.), I assume that you will hold that chord until the next chord change.  In other words, all fingers will stay in the same position except the ones for which the numerals change until the next chord change.  When one numeral is listed for a note, it does not mean that you can hit only that string.  Provided you keep the chord position that is listed under the most recent chord name, you can continue hitting all the strings.

Occasionally I will use an "X".  This means to avoid hitting that string at all.  Otherwise, it does not hurt to strum all the strings.

If a capo is called for, I follow the same conventions each time.  I do not renumber the frets except for the fret where the capo is placed.  That way the open position is still "0," just like without a capo.  However, 5 still represents the 5th fret.  Therefore, with the capo on the 4th fret, I have no numerals below 5, except for, of course, "0."

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The tabs are in an ACROBAT format.  If your computer does not presently have Acrobat Reader, it is available free of charge at the click of a button below.  Just click and follow directions.  You will then be able to read and print out the files using Acrobat Reader.  

Get Acrobat Reader

Click the box to download the reader necessary for reading and printing the tabs.

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Sound Files

Do you need to hear the song in order to learn it?  I know that for me, it is easier to learn a song if I can hear how it goes first.  You can download the following files.  They are in a midi format and can be played on a windows media player.  If you do not currently have a media player, one can be downloaded by clicking HERE.  The sound files are played at a slower pace than I would normally play them.

The Flying Cloud (DGd version)

The Flying Cloud (DAd - upper octave)

The Flying Cloud (DAd - crosspicked - lower octave)

Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair

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The Foothills Dulcimer Club

The Foothills Dulcimer Club of Shelby, NC meets once a month.  The featured tabs for the meeting are the same ones as on this site.  Please click on the button below to find out more about the club, its meeting times, etc.  We'd love to have you come and join us!

Go to Foothills Dulcimer Club page

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