How did you first discover the mountain dulcimer?

Mary
@mary
one month ago
1 posts

My cousin built one in the early 70's. I tried it but I wasn't crazy about it. I went back to it about 10 or 12 years ago after a car accident & I could't play the guitar anymore. I was able to take a workshop with Aubrey Atwater.  I am a singer first & use my instrument as a bsck-up to my voice. During her workshop I found out I can play chords on the dulcimer! I was off & running! I'm now with a Cavil War Living History group and I sing and play period correct songs.

Bucko Futreal
@bucko-futreal
one month ago
9 posts

My family took vacations in the North Carolina mountains when I was young, and we'd sometimes see them in shops in places like Black Mountain and Maggie Valley, as well as at places like the Folk Art Center outside of Asheville.   I don't recall ever seeing anyone playing the instruments; they'd just be there -- mysterious and inviting.  In the summer of 1989, my folks moved to Asheville and I stayed the summer with them before leaving for college.  I spent a lot of time that summer investigating dulcimers and I purchased a Folkcraft teardrop from a store near Pigeon Forge, TN.  At my school, NC State, I got involved with the annual "Madrigal Dinner" production, playing that dulcimer as a roving musician.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
2 months ago
12 posts

I saw and heard the mountain dulcimer in the fall of 1991 at Epcot Center in front of the America Pavilion. They were being shown and sold by a young man from a cart-like vendor space. He was from the Walnut Valley Dulcimer company in Burns, KS. I took a brochure home with me and after debating with myself and studying about it a bit I ordered the Wildwood Mountain model custom made for me in Feb 1993. I now have others but this is the one I play the most. It has been a great joy.

Dulcimer Dave
@dulcimer-dave
2 months ago
1 posts

At Merlefest in 2004, heard an old fella playing what he referred to as his "Hog Fiddle". Fell in love with the sound and spent six months looking for a "Hog Fiddle". Finally rescued an old (number 3) Folkways from 1973 that someone had hanging on their wall. Used to belong to their Dad but it'd hung there for ten years, no one played it and would I like it. We negotiated a good price and I am still playing that instrument today. It needs refinishing, and lately I've gotten the idea that I'd like to build them as well. I also love to hand the instrument to kids too and watch their faces light up when they can make "music" without having to learn complicated chord forms.

kypfer
@kypfer
2 months ago
3 posts

I'm not really sure what my first meeting with a Mountain Dulcimer was ... I was probably researching some of the old "Child" ballads and found either a video or recording that I liked the sound of, then spent some little while both convincing myself I really wanted one and then finding one at a price I wanted to pay ... they're a bit thin on the ground on the east side of the Atlantic, and, as everywhere, what might be considered a novelty item often commands a high price!

With instrument found and purchased I ended up with a "no-name" 4-string that needed a drop of glue and a new string ... the glue glued and the string got knotted (I didn't have a spare string long enough) and it gives me a great deal of pleasure :)

Inkdork
@inkdork
10 months ago
7 posts

I just purchased my first one on Friday, and when I picked it up, I didn't even know what it was. I went back to the thrift shop it was at 3 times before handing over my money, and only after I brought it home did I go on YouTube to see what it should sound like. I paid $45 for it, it's not fancy (a '96 Dulcimer Factory DF1 Backpack model) but it's pretty and I'm looking forward to learning how to play it. 

I have two ukuleles I'm learning to play as well and this just called to me when I saw it in the shop. 

marg
@marg
11 months ago
431 posts

lexie

(" Mountain dulcimers are my therapy and solace for both my mental and physical well being.")

I think anyone of us could say this and probably have and also the part about how helpful everyone is on this site and how sweet our dulcimers are.

What calls to our heart will make our heart sing, very true - happy we are to have answer the call.

      All the best to everyone and thank you for the help on my dulcimer journey.

Lexie R Oakley
@lexie-r-oakley
11 months ago
347 posts

Bernuk1, what a fine story and I guess the MD was calling to your heart. Enjoy your Dulci Journey and if you can get in touch with Robin Clark as Ken H. suggested, I bet he would answer any questions and get you strumming. I also know folks on this site will answer questions and help you along also.

The beginning of my Dulci Journey began with a MD that wasn't up to snuff, but I learned the basics on it until I bought 2 dulcimers which really fit my style of the old time sound and noter playing. They are both just fun to play with that silvery old time sound that I love.

I began my journey because of some challenged times with severe aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis, my MD's became my therapy and challenged distraction of finding ways to play with painful hands.

If I remember correctly I accidentally found this site along with Strumelia's Noter/Drone Blog and took lessons from her videos, it was amazing to not have musical experience and be able to learn from her wonderful lessons. Thank you so much Lisa..HUG

Along with this wonderful woman, I then found many very helpful folks who guided and suggested and taught me along my journey, very wonderful friends from this site who are able to explain and answer my questions to help me understand what to do with my wooden instruments with sweet strings. I am very grateful and fond of this site. 

I can't remember but I actually began 4 yrs ago and had to pull away due to illness of my parents for a couple years and I came back a year ago again for emotional and physical recovery. My Mountain dulcimers are my therapy and solace for both my mental and physical well being. I am very grateful to have the ability to play my mountain dulcimers, they are beautiful! happydance

Jan Potts
@jan-potts
11 months ago
405 posts

John and Karen--love your video!  You make lots of good points.  Buy an instrument that calls to your heart...and if you do that it will make your heart sing!

Great advice!




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
11 months ago
1,395 posts

Welcome Bernuk!!  You'll want to contact Robin Clark, a memeber here, who lives up in Snowdonia, and runs a business called Birdrock Dulcimers:  www.dulcimers.co.uk   I hope you find your Seagull sounding true scales... there have been a number of posts about how mis-fretted some folks have found them....

marg
@marg
11 months ago
431 posts

 Great story of your discovery bernuk1, now the journey begins. Have fun as you learn and become good friends with your dulcimer and the members on this site. Always at the ready to help out other members

Bernuk1
@bernuk1
11 months ago
1 posts

Three weeks ago someone on a Ukulele forum mentioned Mountain Dulcimer-I had no idea what that was so googled it. I then spent hours listening to this strange haunting instrument on YouTube.

The next day we were at friends for the weekend,and,at dinner,I mentioned this amazing sound that I had heard and described the instrument-our host left the room and returned with a MD " something like this?" he said.

He'd bought it at a Craft fair in UK,had never played it,it had been on wall as decoration. I won't say I tuned it,but I tightened,with great difficulty,the strings 'till it sounded a bit musical and strummed as much of Pretty Betty Martin that I could remember from a YouTube vid I had watched.

Just as we were leaving on mon morn he gave it to me saying that I'd make more use of it than he had !! With a bit of work I got the tuning pegs working (sort of) and started learning from YouTube tutorials. Now I'm waiting on a set of Geared viola tuning pegs and in meantime have bought a Seagull Merlin for fun.

 

John Keane
@john-keane
last year
253 posts

Wow...this thread was originally started right after Karen and I discovered the mountain dulcimer.  Like so many, we first saw it at Silver Dollar City.  It's nice to read this thread and remember some of the posters who have come and gone over the years, and to take a moment to really miss a couple of folks who are no longer with us.  We made a little mini-documentary about our dulcimer discovery that pretty much tells it all. 

Jan Potts
@jan-potts
last year
405 posts

In the mid-70's a couple came to the elementary school where I worked and performed at a school assembly.  I was familiar with folks songs and various instruments, but had never seen a dulcimer before (not that I could remember, anyway) and I loved the lively songs they were singing, like "Groundhog". Sometime in the next decade I got to hear Jean Ritchie perform in person, and in another 5 or 6 years I was making a cardboard dulcimer from a kit and trying out tunes on the melody string.  I wish I knew who the couple was who performed....I've wondered if our paths have crossed again in the past 40 years.  Could be...




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Sean Ruprecht-Belt
@sean-belt
last year
22 posts

I think the first time I ever heard a mountain dulcimer was on a Richard and Mimi Farina record back in the late 1960's. A couple of years later, when I was about 15, I had a big crush on a girl who went to school with me. She played the dulcimer and I played the guitar. So, of course, I got real interested in the dulcimer. Unfortunately, Barbara wasn't as interested in me or my guitar as I was in her and we remained acquaintances. I ever after did like the sound of the dulcimer, though.

Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
last year
208 posts

Sometime in late Spring, 2011, at a Casita travel trailer rally.  

      Terry and Pam Lewis were playing for the campers by a camp fire.   Terry and Pam and their music made a huge impression on my wife and I.

      I waited awhile to purchase one, 04/2012, but I never forgot the music.   I would imagine that this wonderful couple has influenced hundreds of new dulcimer players.

Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
1,700 posts

Thought I'd revive this old thread in case some of our newer members wanted to add their own stories of how they first discovered the mountain dulcimer!  bananawave




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Bill Calhoun
@bill-calhoun
7 years ago
4 posts
In high school days I attended the yearly Arts and Crafts Festival at Cedar Lakes, Ripley WV. There I heard Rus Fluharty play the mountain dulcimer. I will never forget the sound. When I graduated from college I promised myself that I would buy a dulcimer. After college graduation I went directly to grad school, marriage and first child. I put the dulcimer on the back shelf.While working on my doctorate my wife and daughters promised a dulcimer built by Paul Beagle as a graduation gift. In 1988 when graduation was delayed a year Paul and Patty gave me a dulcimer that had been given to them. I started playing. A few years later our oldest daughter asked for a dulcimer. We gave her a dulcimer built by Paul Beagle. In graduate school our daughter loaned me her dulcimer. The instrument is price less--especially since Paul passed away a short time ago.I am now living in Elkins, WV--a great place for traditional music. I go to our art center for the dulcimer classes and hope to attend Augusta for a week of classes. I continue to play the original that Paul and patty gave me as well as the one he built. My wife recently gave me a Clemmer Dulcimer. What a wonderful instrument.
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
840 posts
Cindy, what's not to love about your fellow's tastes? Smile.gifDave, what a neat story! I live in the county just below Licking; small world.


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
David Scott
@david-scott
7 years ago
1 posts
It was around 1970. I was just finishing up high school and starting classes the Ohio State University Newark campus. I was helping run a a coffee house in Newark. One night a guy came in with dulcimer and played songs and told stories. He was in Newark because he was looking for a dulcimer builder who lived just east of Newark. He got me interested and I went to this builder and I bought my first dulcimer from him. Some time later a friend of mine who was also helping with coffee house while working at the local bookstore came across a book about dulcimers. He calls me and tells me about the book and says it was written by the dulcimer player that had stopped by the coffee houseThe book In Search of the Wild Dulcimer, the author Robert Force. The builder JR Beall of Farkleberry Farms.I was later able to have Robert autograph the book.
Cindy Smith
@cindy-smith
7 years ago
18 posts
The guy I'm seeing plays banjo, dulcimer, fiddle, and some guitar. He lent me his dulcimer, knowing I'd love it, and he was right!
Paul Rappell
@paul-rappell
7 years ago
31 posts
CD said:
Nah. But I get a little green with envy because he won't let me play his and it is green.

Paul Rappell said:
CD, is it a little green dulcimer?

Green is the new black.
CD
@cd
7 years ago
57 posts
Nah. But I get a little green with envy because he won't let me play his and it is green.Paul Rappell said:
CD, is it a little green dulcimer?
Scotty Lee Shuffield
@scotty-lee-shuffield
7 years ago
2 posts
I sure hope that CD is wearing his aluminum foil hat...
Paul Rappell
@paul-rappell
7 years ago
31 posts
CD, is it a little green dulcimer?
Strumelia
@strumelia
7 years ago
1,700 posts
CD, better lay off the No-Doze.


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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
840 posts
Hey, CD, that sounds like the same guy I take lessons from! Grin.gif


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
CD
@cd
7 years ago
57 posts
Now that's what I tell folks so they don't worry about me. What really happened was I was driving along close to Area 51 and just minding my own business when this little green man comes sitting on the dash of the coach. His was playing this hourglass shaped thing and I fell in love with it. He helped me get one and has been teaching me how to play since that night!Grin.gif Now you can see why my playing is "outta this world" (LOL no ROTFLOL). This little green man has ridden with me ever since being my navigator and friend.CDP.S. As Paul Harvey would say now you know the rest of the story!
CD
@cd
7 years ago
57 posts
I had a group out at Silver Dollar City and Troy sold me a cardboard one. At the time he said if I kept the original receipt and kept it in good condition I could trade it up for a better model. I took it to the bus and a half hour later traded it up for a nice teardrop. I had heard them but never imagined I could play one. Now I am still wondering if I will ever learn to play one. That is how I got started. Just liked the sound.CDGrin.gif
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
840 posts
Tom, there's nothing to do but build it! I know when I get something in my head, a person can't crowbar it out. Smile.gifGood luck and keep us posted!


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Tom O'Neill
@tom-oneill
7 years ago
6 posts
Thank you Ken, I do value your advice greatly.But there is several factors that I used to decide the direction to go.I have more time then funds, since my current profession is a Disabled Veteran.I also need to get a new hobby beside just play an instrument.I get to get some more tools.I can use the new tools to make more things for my wife's business, and haveher business account pay for the new tools.I have some back ground in a number of the skill needed to make a Mountain dulcimer.I have way to much patience so getting it tomorrow it's a problem, although it would really be nice.And of course the last big 4 reasons.1. I am Irish.2. I am Irish.3. I am Irish.4. I sort of made up my mind already, and H*** isn't scheduled to freeze over today.If you were raised in a Traditional Irish house hold you understand the above.Also when I told the wife what I wanted to do, I got the "sure it's no problem" lookinstead of the "over your dead body" look.I am kind of leaning towards a Tennessee Music Box design to start with. Plus it's one of thefew plans that have any details I have found on the internet .Since it would not require bendingsides, a box is the easiest form to make. Then trying a teardrop, then hourglass. I an stillthinking about a guitar or scroll head.ps. I've already been lurking and ready post, blogs and such so I used most of that advice already.
Tom O'Neill
@tom-oneill
7 years ago
6 posts
Ken Hulme said:
Welcome Tom;

With your record Grin.gif I would buy a completed instrument, and get started playing, before tackling either a kit or scratch built instrument. We only get 25,000 sunrises, remember!!

We'll definitely help you decide which instrument or kit will be most suitable. Just ask!!
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
840 posts
Tom, you'll have all kinds of fun with it! :)KenH, you're too funny! :)


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
7 years ago
1,395 posts
Welcome Tom;With your record Grin.gif I would buy a completed instrument, and get started playing, before tackling either a kit or scratch built instrument. We only get 25,000 sunrises, remember!!We'll definitely help you decide which instrument or kit will be most suitable. Just ask!!
Tom O'Neill
@tom-oneill
7 years ago
6 posts
Ok so I don't have a dulcimer yet, never had one, so I can't say I play one. But I will one way oranother. I can't remember the first time I ever heard a Mountain dulcimer, I am pretty sure it was before I was looking at girls and I do carry a AARP membership card. As to why the mountain dulcimer that is much easier.My older brother has an Irish Import store, he goes to several events during the year. This last year he convinced me to go and help him at several events. During these events he would play the bodhran, Irish flutes, tin whistles. He kept bugging me to bring an instrument and play something. Well the only thing I really ever played beside a Recorder was a classical guitar and that was a long time ago.So last year I was trying to put my wish list in for Christmas for a guitar or violin so Icould start again with a string instrument. Of course I never received either, but at leastI have a nice foot warmer at my computer desk. I must have done that hurt puppy look well, because the Janice decided that I should use the credit card and get a guitar or violin. Well I decided that would could not afford that yet so I went looking some more. If I got a violin it would take several year before I would ever play it in public. So I slowly steered away from that.Will, my bigger brother, eer.... older brother, sorry hard to break that childhood habit.Use to sell mountain dulcimers in his shop. Although not a real old time Irish instrumentit is used by several Modern Irish music groups so I started to investigate the mountain dulcimer.So now into about 6 month of research on musical instruments, I decide to either buy a kit ormake a Mountain Dulcimer from scratch. So at least I can now say " Good going Ace, moving forward at the speed of light as usual".Tom
Paul Rappell
@paul-rappell
7 years ago
31 posts
I knew about the Appalachian dulcimer long before I ever saw a "live" one. In September 1965 I was in third year university at Loyola in Montreal, my home town. A friend dragged me to a meeting of the Folk Music Society, which wasn't a meeting but hanging around singing. Within a week I'd bought a guitar. Over the Christmas break I found a copy of Sing Out!/i>i> in a local store. (For you fans of esoterica, it was the January 1965 issue which said January 1964 on the cover - I still have it.) Inside is an advertisement for "The Jeffreys' dulcimer", with a photo of a good looking hourglass instrument. "It is the easiest of all stringed musical instruments to learn to play. Many can learn to play a familiar tune within five to twenty minutes."That's all I knew, however. I got caught up in rock music (it was a great time for it!) and was attracted by electric guitars.In 1971 I was a volunteer with the Mariposa Folk Festival and saw Jean Ritchie perform. By then I'd known about her, and had seen a dulcimer, made by Tam Kearney, at Fiddler's Green. Some hammered dulcimer player was mocking it and its little rubber feet. But I was upgrading my guitar inventory, and even bought a cheap banjo.Finally,in 1974, an Oskar Graf dulcimer, hanging on the wall of the Toronto Folklore Centre, called out, "Buy me!" I did ( I could afford the $150), and It's still the only dulcimer I've ever owned. One of the first projects, at the insistence of a friend (and at his house) was the fabrication of a hard-shell case, with wood, masonite, glue, screws, foam, hardware, and vinyl covering. It's a bit crude, but very strong, somewhat heavy, quite protective, and still in use. I purchased Jean Ritchie's book, and later In Search of the Wild Dulcimer. Both those books have since gone missing. I still can't figure out what all that "Dorolydian, Mixylonian, Iorian" stuff is all about. For years I played in "Torontonian" mode, and currently in "Kingstonian".A very short time later I bought a fretless banjo by Oskar Graf. He now makes high-end guitars and, I suppose, has a long waiting list. His dulcimer has been through some trials. Once one of my students put his hand through the thin top. I got fed up and finally replaced the friction pegs with tuners. The tiny ebony dowel that held the strings in place snapped; I just happened to have a piece of metal the same size and shape.A few years ago I made the ten kilometre walk into Kingston (where we currently live, outside of town) on a damp February day to attend Oskar Graf's presentation on lutherie at the Queen's University guitar festival. When it was over, and people gathered around to ask questions, I got out the dulcimer and showed it to him. He was somewhat impressed (definitely surprised); people around were more so, as they didn't know what it was! I was pleased to finally meet the man who'd made my instrument over thirty years before.Currently the dulcimer is at a friend's house. Cary, a member of our cycling club, wanted to try it to see if he'd like to take up dulcimer. Well, he has now ordered a dulcimer of his own, and before long the "the Oskar" will be back home.P.S. When Cary e-mailed me and said he'd ordered a dulcimer, I replied, "Gotta jam sometime." He wrote back, "Now there are words to strike fear into the heart of someone who's been learning an instrument for all of a month now!"
Paul Certo
@paul-certo
7 years ago
293 posts
My wife bought me a kit dulcimer for Christmas, 1989. I had read about dulcimers in the Fozfire books, and building things I could use always fascinated me. I had previously built a muzzle loading rifle to hunt with. I put the kit together by the end of January(I dated the inside of the dulcimer). Then I set about learning to play it. I bought Bonnie Carol's book "Dust Off That Dulcimer & Dance" and went at it.I've since acquired a number of books, but I still think hers was one of the best available at that time. Later I learned of a dulcimer club in our area and joined it. I am still a member, but don't get to many club sessions lately. But I still play at home, and the occasional festival.Paul
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
7 years ago
840 posts
Scotty, there's just something about a dulcimer that gets hold of a person. I don't know quite what that something is, though. Smile.gif


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Scotty Lee Shuffield
@scotty-lee-shuffield
7 years ago
2 posts
The basic story of my dulcimer experience is described (in detail) on my profile. My friend Matt Maccarron put the first dulcimer in my hands and helped me begin my journey, but my first exposure to the MD, was on Joni Mitchell's BLUE album. I was haunted until I held Matt's dulcimer in my hands and made music for the first time on a MD!
John Henry
@john-henry
7 years ago
331 posts
Carolyn. Snap!!. when I retired from lecturing I resolved that I would not get involved with sitting in front of a computer, and that I would endevour to learn to read music!!! Failed on both counts; wish that I had met all the great people on this site a long time ago, both of the previous remarks seem to be somewhat misplaced, all down to messing with bits of timber and metal!. regards, JohnH
Carolyn Roberts
@carolyn-roberts
7 years ago
1 posts
When I retired from teaching, I said I was going to learn to play a "string instrument" of some kind...thinking maybe a fiddle, but everyone laughed...telling me it was the hardest instrument to learn to play. I went to the NC mountains to visit my sister and heard a mountain dulcimer at a small festival there. It was being played by the builder...Richard Beard from Rutherfordton, NC. The beautiful sound coming out of that instrument just mesmerized me...and I knew I had to have one. I ordered one from him...went home and started reading about them online...and discovered a dulcimer club right in MY town! Wow...what luck! That was three years ago...been playing ever since...and attending as many workshops as possible!
Strumelia
@strumelia
7 years ago
1,700 posts
Ginny Matheson said:
Dear Strumelia:
I'm not sure I have everything set up correctly. I don't have anything in my "In" box. I also wonder about not seeing what I wrote, yesterday, about getting started with my mountain dulcimer. Thanks. Ginny
Ginny-I sent you a 'message' that should now be waiting in your INBOX for you to read and reply to me. No one else can see what's in your INBOX or your 'SENT' box of messages.If you go to your own page: http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/profiles/profile/show?id=GinnyMatheson&you should be able to see links to where you have posted in other discussions recently. Anything that's a link you can click on and it will take you there.I know you are confused right now, but don't worry, each day you will learn 1 or 2 new little things about how to get around on Friends site here, and before you know it you will be a whiz at it. You don't have to learn everything right away. :)On the Main Page of FOTMD in the upper left corner is a link to the forum where you can ask any questions you like about how to get around on this site- lots of folks always happy to help.


--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
B. Ross Ashley
@b-ross-ashley
8 years ago
58 posts
I can't believe I never replied to this thread ... I first heard the mountain dulcimer as a kid in a 4th grade music appreciation class at school in deLand, FL, we would file into the band room where the acoustics were good and listen to recordings. One of them was a John Jacob Niles 78 of music from the hills, accompanying himself on one of his own dulcimers. Years later, in University, I heard Richard Farina, again on record. Over the years since I have heard various other players, from Joni Mitchell to Jean Ritchie. Finallly this last spring I was just browsing musical instruments on eBay and found my 1989 cherry Folkcraft teardrop, a steal at $50 plus shipping. I have really taken to it.
Bill Lewis
@bill-lewis
8 years ago
55 posts
Kool story Carol, i'am sure your dad is looking down and smiling and enjoying the music you are makingCarol Hatfield said:
I had heard dulcimer music here and there throughout my life, and my boyfriend (a professional musician who plays everything) has three mountain dulcimers, so I've been exposed to them, but I actually started playing in October of this year. Why? Because of a gift I received. Over the course of Sept. and Oct. I was selling off some of my instruments to raise money for a new saddle for my mule, and just for some extra money (things are kinda thin right now). Well, after selling off my fiddle (I didn't have time to mess with it anymore), I was feeling kinda sad. Then when I got home one day, a package was on my doorstep - it was a mountain dulcimer!! My stepmother sent it to me. It belonged to my late father. It's a solid cherry tear drop made my Elmo Allen of Prestonsburg, KY. I've been playing dulcimer every day since! I am officially hooked!
Dale McCubbins
@dale-mccubbins
8 years ago
1 posts
My only dulcimer (so far!) is a big 5 string, walnut & spruce 1985 "stock" model from Hickory Ridge Dulcimers. My Mom and I were on a road trip to Berea, KY for the Ky Arts & Crafts show, I'd promised to take her at least once, especially before I got married; she was big fan of "older" music, as several of my great-greats played in barn dances, etc. I was still in college, and listening to "my" music, but because of the family tree was not closed minded to different styles (ahem...altho' not a HUGE fan of country music of the 60s & 70s)... Anyway, we heard and found dulcimers at the show, got hooked; neither one of us felt we could afford it, yet both of us really wanted one... so we got together at lunch, and decided to go halves on it, I'd learn first, then teach her... I plunked it for a couple of years, left it with her, "borrowed it" brought it back and forth, then about 3-5 years ago, she made me keep it as her arthritis never let her really play it (good excuse, Mom!). I went to Yellowbanks Dulcimer fest, Dulcibrrrr at Falls of Rough, took a few workshops, bought a decent case for it, then ran into some friends about 2 years ago, at YBDF, and they got me really hooked on it. I play it for her and Dad, when I get a chance to pop in for a visit, and drag it with me to the moonlight job, so I have something to do while checking meters and gauges. Lately, I've been playing it way more than my guitar!!! I think they're getting jealous!!
Rod Westerfield
@rod-westerfield
8 years ago
141 posts
Ed Buhler said:
I am amazed at its simplicity - anyone can play it first day - but its complexity. A lifetime isn't long enough to master it.
well said statement... I agree simple but as complex as you want it...
Strumelia
@strumelia
8 years ago
1,700 posts
Randy, thanks for joining us here on FOTMD- you cigar box guys fit right in! LOLSpeaking of Randys, you should check out our own member Randy Adams here and see his videos of him playing the cigar box dulcimer he made. I guess Randys tend to 'rock' in general! ;D


--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Randy S. Bretz
@randy-s-bretz
8 years ago
10 posts
I`ve been a memeber over at the cigar box nation for awhile now and started a group there called Dulciworld. We have close to 90 members to date. Wray posted this site in that group. I`m glad he did, this is a great web site and I`m glad I joined. I think alot of the dulci builders and players from the cgb nation will be coming here. Beleive or not there`s alot in common between both sites, we all love building and playing our homemade stringed instruments. There`s alot of cgb builders who never tried building a dulci fretted instrument and want to try one, and the ones who have built one are hooked for life on them. I`m glad to be here and to show you all my dulci creations.
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
8 years ago
840 posts
Suzanne, you honor Ann well with your dulcimer play.This is a wonderful thread.


--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
folkfan
@folkfan
8 years ago
449 posts
Found my first back in the late 70's at a Renn. Faire here in Illinois. It was a Berg that I named Mae for Mae West. It has her figure.I thought it was just the instrument for me as I loved the sound and could play it with just one finger on the left hand. My brain is a bit cross wired and the left hand wants to do what the right hand is suppose to be doing which make typing a real pain. But on the dulcimer the hands are doing two different things and I only need to use 1 finger if I want to. I'm not into complicated tunes or complex finger patterns like finger picking so I'm as happy as a lark with my dulcimers. 14 babies now ;-)
 
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