How did you first discover the mountain dulcimer?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
My dulcimer journey is much more recent. Two years ago a new friend, in our new town, in NC, invited me to a mountain dulcimer recital of her class, held at the local community college. These folks had been playing, through the college, for about two years... most of them had never touched a musical instrument before taking up dulcimer. The vast majority were older women (like me) and were thrilled to be making music. They'd been studying Larkin Bryant's instructional book and, of course, played "Rhodie" and "Bile 'em Cabbage". Before that evening, I had never seen or heard a mountain dulcimer and I was intrigued by the sound. My new friend (well, not so new, now...) plays almost anything she can get her hands on: piano, organ, bowed psaltery, penny whistle, hammered dulcimer and... mountain dulcimer. Because I also play classical piano and pop organ, she thought I was a natural for mountain dulcimer and started working on me, but I was reluctant. I tend to be very compulsive, by nature, and didn't feel I could waste my time with another musical instrument. By August last year, after being prodded for months, I gave up and jumped in with both feet. We drove over to Blowing Rock, NC where I purchased my first dulcimer (Neely) from The Dulcimer Shop... two weeks before classes began. That dulcimer, beautiful as it was, had major flaws. The fretboard was bowed, which made the "action" very difficult to play... major finger blisters. After several months, phone calls and emails, it was determined that the dulcimer couldn't be repaired and I very unhappily returned it... the folks at The Dulcimer Shop graciously allowed me to choose whichever other dulcimer I wanted and refunded the entire price of the Neely. By that time, I'd been playing several months and chose a wonderful McSpadden and then, I was on my way! As I say, I'm lovin' it! Been playing furiously since last September and now, I need more folks to play with... my friends at class (actually, just Monday jams now) are very happy, playing once a week... I play hours each day! I don't consider it "practice" because practice insinuates work... this is definitely, not work! Thanks, Lisa, for setting this up... it's giving me an additional outlet.