Your "Dream Dulcimer?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
speaking of dream dulcimers I would trade my Blue Lion llR for a Custom McSpadden KOA.if anyone is interested.
My dream dulcimer would be a McSpadden Custom in all curly maple!
Matthew, I received my McSpadden Custom in curly maple but with a spruce top a month ago. I bought it with money I had from selling another instrument and I was looking for something different. It really is a dream, perfect tuning and intonation, the builders at McSpadden save their best work for customs and the finish on it is incredible. I would love a Custom Koa from Mcspadden.
I have been playing less than a year, and not everyday at that..I have also traded a couple of flutes with other people.
Susie I thought after 2 I was done..never say never!!!! You have to try other flute makers.
The next step after condor bass are the Drones. Though I recommend starting with the smaller holes as blowing into 2 chambers is quite the challenge and takes practice, the smaller one is a B minor made by a Canadian (Templewindflutes)and the large on Is a G# . It arrived 2 days ago all the way from Australia (MagicWoodworks)
Jennifer, I don't have an Em from high spirits, but I think they are about the same size, I have one from Ancient territories, it's maple and the holes are smaller but the spacing is the same, Em is my favourite key..they're all great!!
As for Wood I have a condor bass Cm in walnut. really nice
Susie I bought mine here..considerably less, but you may have to wait a few weeks for them to order it.
I say try the larger size, no squawking and fuller deeper tone..I am 5.3'..and have skinny fingers and have no problem at all..you can always return /exchange if it doesn't work for you.
I am playing the condor bass C in this video..which if anything is slightly larger than the D
Susie the outside measures over 1.2. I recommend the larger bore it has a fuller deeper sound . I am a small person and I have no problem. The condor bass D is aromatic Cedar and the Bass C is walnut. I also have a condor bass B that is spanish cedar ..it's a lot more challenging to play the holes are larger and further apart..but doable. I also recommend you check out Ancient Territories I have a couple of his flutes..beautiful craftsmanship and sound.in the photos starting from the left High spirits Condor bass B,C,D , Gm and Em 432 from atflutes.com
I have the condor bass D and C, not the 1" bore however. I have no problems playing them, infact they play with ease and sound beautiful. The larger bore has no squawking but I do have squawking with the smaller bore flutes( Gm, F#) from high spirits.
I have two Em flutes The ancient territories along with the Fm from the same maker are both tuned to 432. I can't prove with any certainty if in any tangible way there is a difference. But I do feel more peaceful after playing them. As if I just meditated or the way I feel after doing yoga, and they are the two I pick up to play everyday. As for playing along with other instruments.No problem, I simply tuned my dulcimer to 432, you can do the same with any stringed instrument. I tuned my dulcimer here to 432.
Susie, It is surprisingly easy to play. It's the standard size .The top four holes are large but the reach is the same as my Em from atflute.com.Since I had the Em for a while It prepared me for the Low D. I had to return the Butch Hall Dm...it was impossible to play.
Once you have settled in with your F#. I do recommend the Condor bass flutes, E and D are very special. more meditative. The Em and Fm flutes I have are tuned to 432hrz. My next flute is the condor bass C....never say no more :)
the craftsmanship and playability of John Stillwell's flutes is superb. here are the 3 from him
Thanks Jennifer, the the horse head totem was made by George Dyson it's a river cane flute in the key of Em.He takes custom requests for any kind of animal fetish (totem). The short flat one is a Drone Flute in the key of Bm, it was made by Templewindflutes.com here in Canada. ..In the USA Kenny King also makes Drones..well there are many flute makers that make them. I also have 3 flutes from Ancient Territories flutes..my favourites.
I made this bag for the Seagull Merlin, this was the instrument that introduced me to the Mountain dulcimer. It is now a wall hanging.
Got my HS walnut White Tail Hawk in the key of B. Beautiful! This FAD (flute acquisition disease) is real. My husband offered to build me a flute stand, so I said sure. He asked, how many should it hold? I have 2. I said I should be all set with 2. He's building it to hold 3. Maybe as I learn more, I'll have to fill that 3rd spot.
Definitely more than 2, I started off with 1 flute I now have 8. You need one in every key and as you play you will discover there are many flute makers and different woods. I suggest a flute stand that holds 10
My wife and I play and sell Native American flutes. They are great instruments and easy to play. My love of NAF's led me to try the mountain dulcimer.
High Spirits are one of the makers we carry and are a great flute to start with. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions. My wife also does Skype lessons.
I recently bought a Butch Hall Dm but had to return because the holes were so large that my fingers sunk in, The stretch to the last hole was a challenge, but sometimes doable. I know that the Condor bass D walnut comes in the 1" bore, Curious to know how the Regular condor bass D is. I particularly like the spanish cedar. Would the holes be too big?
I installed my strap buttons with a little help from "youtube". Its a lot easier and less scary than you think. After drilling the holes ( very carefully) role the screws in a dry bar of soap before attaching the buttons. No glue is necessary.
Over the years I have played around a bit on the guitar, but I never found it easy to wrap my fingers around the fret board or to produce a nice sound. With the dulcimer It all comes more naturally and playing is done with more ease and I can produce a pleasing tone to my ears.
I am curious to know if any one has found the transition from Dulcimer to Guitar easy. If experience and mastery of the mountain dulcimer facilitated in making guitar palying easier?
Haha..a knife !!
It is a blue lion..the store clerk recommended that i mark the spot with a pencil...I guess i will find out in a couple of days,hasn't shipped yet
Thanks for posting the video Dusty..I am a bit nervous about the floating bridge, though I am sure it won't be half as complicated as I imagine..or that I might lost it!!
I only held my first dulcimer on January 20th, 2015 and I already caught the DAD bug. As I learn new peices amd become better aquainted with the current 2 dulcimers I have. I do prefer certain songs played on each. Also the more dulcimers , you won't ever get bored of playing when you can just reach for a different sound.
Can't access their website
But you are satisfied with just strings?
Ken Longfield said:
Not to confuse things even more, have you checked the price at Prussia Valley. Contact Gary Sager and see what he sells strings for. I buy bulk strings from Just Strings.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
This video showshow to turn them into loop ends very easily.
I have the same problem with my local music stores and it didn't matter if I asked for dulcimer strings or guitar strings or asked by gauge. I couldn't get what I need. I need loop ends and in my area they just don't carry them. I was even told by one store there is no such thing, wow. I have to order them off the internet.