Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions
I ended up buying an old “Plickett” dulcimer shaped object to keep in the car. It’s very quiet and sturdy. It had a trial run last night, as I ended up doing an emergency overnight respite visit with a hospice client to give the family a break. I spent most of the night in a recliner about fifteen feet away from the open bedroom door, and plucked on my Plickett softly, to keep myself awake and pass the time, along with watching Forensic Files at low volume.
The strings were the original super thin, rusty wire, so I swapped two out with what I had on hand, and ended up tuning it to C, g, D, with the melody string being tuned lower than the middle, as is my personal presence. This is my favorite tuning that I use on my cardboard box dulcimer that I play constantly, too. The lower tunings made the Plickett sound less plinky, giving a more pleasing plunk.
It’s a fun little board, and I think would survive the trunk of my car wrapped in a towel in a duffle bag this summer.
For those who don’t know, a Plickett was a small novelty dulcimer sold in the 70’s for a while. It’s two feet long, five inches wide at the bouts, and a 3/4 inch thick solid board, with a big circle cut beneath the bridge in the back, to give it a little volume and resonance.
It’s not perfect by any means, but it beats not having a dulcimer at all by a long shot. I suspect my cardboard box dulcimer would survive a summer in the trunk if it were in some sort of bigger box or case, but I love it far too much to try that. The Plickett is actually small enough that I just put it in my work bag and it stuck out just a little, so I could bring it into work or field work situations with me, and not leave in the trunk at all. Yay! I have something to use during work breaks!
I have one of these too. It's hanging on the wall of my music room. My wife got it for me years ago. Probably mid 80's at the latest. Every now and again I get it down and strum on it a bit.