Is the strumhollow redundant?
Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions
When I got my 1st dulcimer nearly 40 years ago I thought you should play over the strum hollow most of the time. I learned quickly that sul tasto (toward the nut) and sul ponticello (toward the bridge) would do the same as on the guitar: a sweeter sound toward the nut, a more metallic sound near the bridge. Like others I used them to vary the sound as I did on the guitar. However, you can do the same thing without a strum hollow. Here's a pic of my Heatherwood, which has no strum hollow:
I believe the Hughes dulcimers were made the same way. Maybe that was a Colorado thing?
That being said, you can see by some old dulcimers without strum hollows people wore down the part of the fretboard over which they were strumming. My problem is not that but wearing the top from vigorous strumming and fingerpicking. My Rockwell is going to look like Willie's Trigger in about a year if I don't watch it. LOL.