I'm curious about notes that U don't visually see on Ur BP.Example:Take the song,Calvary's The Reason Why.by Doyle Lawson.It chords D,G,D,E7,A,D7,G,D,A,D in the 1st verse.My question is how do U chord an E7,OR D7.Do U just use E and D.I love this song and would love to learn to play it.Thanks for any help

Views: 493

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Bubba,

I will try to answer this. when playing a Bowed Psaltery to get harmony you would be using two bows that would only produce two notes. So I guess if you wanted to add harmony you would find the note that adds color to the melody. Does this make sense? Anyone else who might be more succinct than myself please chime in.

Hi Bubba,

another idea, listen to the videos posted on this website to give you ideas on how harmony is incorporated with the Bowed Psaltery.

Ok,Thank U Mrs.Evelyn.I'm new to the BP.I have started trying to use two bows.The videos here are awesome.I will study them more closely.

Evelyn is right. You can't play true chords on a bowed psaltery (unless you can figure out how to incorporate a third bow : ).   However you can get beautiful harmonies by using a second bow. The bowed psaltery is more of a melody instrument unlike guitar and others where you can do chords and sing along. 

Thanks,Mrs. Donna. I made me a second bow and it sounds really good on my BP so Now to see wat I can learn and do. Really not that hard on a slow song,but my goodness an up tempo song I'm app to cut my throat with the bow. Lol just picking.It's lots of fun

I'm thinking you are combining two different terms.  Chords vs. notes. In your questions you refer to the 1st verse chords, which have some 7th chords.  As in some of the replies, you can bow with 3 and 4 bows to get the triad chord and the 4th bow to add the 7th.  BUT... The question I am reading is "would love to learn to play it" tells me maybe you need to learn to play the melody first.  What you are seeing on your music is the chords not the notes.  If you are going to sing it than yes, playing (droning), some of the notes of the chord will create an awesome harmony to you singing the melody.  The notes you are seeing on the BP are just that, NOTES...  not  chords..  Hope this helped a little bit..

Thank U Mrs Tish,That's exaclty what i wanted to know.I see a G7 on guitar in a song.I was sitting here trying to figure out ok now wat do I do. I don't have G7 lol.My question was how do u improvise i guess.U all will get me straight here.lol.

Yes we can help you !!!!!!  The "Notes" that make up a "G" chord are G, B, and D. The 7th of the G scale is F# so to make a "G7" chord you need to add the F# to the sound.  So on the BP, if someone else or you are singing the melody, and you have two bows I would play either the B or D with my right hand and play the F# with my left..  It all depends on what notes are being sung in that measure as to what notes you would play to harmonize to the melody...

Thank U so much Mrs.Tish.That simplifies things for me.I usually use i iv v on mandolin.I have used i iii v.I not knowledgable on mandolin really.taught myself some on it.Keeps my fingers sore here lately.I dont tear the skin off end of my fingers with the BP.LOL.I've got to get over and check out Ur web page.I hope I don't weary U all with questions.


Featured Video

Amplified Psaltery with Cello Strings built by Rick Long

This video is a personal favorite because it shows a unique type of bowed psaltery with a gorgeous sound. When I heard it I broke out in goose bumps!

Featured Song

Click on the title for the current
featured sheet music!

Clergy's Lamentation




What is Psaltery Strings worth to you?
A dollar a month?
Your help to offset the cost of keeping our Community alive is appreciated.

Thank you.



Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

Spring Creek Psalteries - Sharon & Terry Kirby



From the Wood - Wayne Gaydos



to see his work visit


Waynie Psaltery - Wayne Simms



Prairie Psaltery - Richard Celata



Loon Song Psalteries-Charlie Marshall



New Tradition Dulcimers- Dan Daniels



Psalteries by Dave- Dave Lucas  



Jon Williams Psalteries
(386) 853-0944

Westman Instruments - Tish & Greg Westman

Ringing Strings - Rick Long

Michael J King Instrumetns - Diatonic Psalteries

Inspired Instruments – Carol and Joe Esch

James Jones Instruments

Omega Strings – Richard Spencer

Master Works Bowed Psalteries - Russell Cook

Members that teach Bowed Psaltery

Paul G.Sykes - MS  

Located in Hattiesburg
Contact Paul at

or call him at



Gregg Schneeman - California
Contact Gregg here on Psaltery Strings


Peter Tommerup - California
San Francisco Bay Area
Bowed Psaltery and other Instruments


Celeste Howard Ray
Bowed Psaltery lessons via Skype
Skype name celesteray88


Maureen Barnes - Illinois
Bowed Psaltery lessons in Bloomington, IL


Dona Benkert -

Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
& Folk-Lore Center, Warrenville, IL
Phone: 630.393.1247

Tish Westman - West Virginia
Lessons at Tamarack, Beckley, WV. Wednesday workshops also available for individual classes and to teach at festivals.
Sunday "Jam" 3:30 to 6:00. All instruments welcome, play mostly Old Time, Celtic & Gospel Music, not opposed to trying any tune called, once did a rap on Bowed Psalteries.

Rick Long - Tennessee
Lessons at Rick's home/workshop in Clinton, 30 mins N of Knoxville
(865) 660-4026

Karla Armstrong - Pennsylvania
Karla plays a variety of instruments and does workshops as well. Please visit her web site for additional information or contact her via the web site or the information below.
(717) 632-8099

Carol Esch - Kentucky
Lessons in Carol's home/workshop south of Lexington.

Honey Smith Walls - Florida
e-mail Honey for more info honey@offthewalls.us
Melbourne, FL

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Please sign up on the bowed psaltery players list

Tish's list is a valuable resource when searching for other players. http://www.westmaninstruments.com/Bowed_Psaltery_List.html

If you are already on Tish's list, why don't you stop in and update your info? While your there take a look to see if there are new players in your area. Who knows, you might get together and make a recording.

© 2022   Created by Donna Malus.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

To add a scrolling message to your NingBar, change this text, and add the code to your Custom Code Box. If you want, you can add simple links like this: Visit JenSocial This is a great way to make announcements to your site visitors.