Youth Dulcimer Club
Getting the younger generation excited about music is awesome, Erin. I started into music when I was 9 and have made it a life-long passion.
Your new dulcimer is beautiful! Keep us posted after you get it set up and are able to play. I bet it's got a nice voice too.
I own 3 guitars one which I got as a gift in 1978 made by Eagle and two Taylor’s. I am learning Native American Flute…..I have too many to count. I have a McNally Stick, Djembe. I was given a mountain dulcimer for a my birthday and I bought another mountain dulcimer while on vacation . I am not sure if I have enough mountain dulcimers. Lol 😆 Along with miscellaneous musical instruments
There's a group of us here with interest in Native American Flutes. You fit right in with your growing collection of them, along with your growing collection of dulcimers.
Wow Kendra, thank you for sharing. Impressive, to have have so many heirloom instruments. I have one.....my grandpa's fiddle, that he got when he was 16 (1914). I also wondered about Bob's guitar stable. I was up to 7 at one point, but have thinned the herd to 4. Bob needs to catch up to your collection, haha.
I didn't think of your simple solutions. I think the beads are pretty. Maybe I'll get some rainbow beads and really dress up my headstock! 💐
Nothing wrong with that....it's all about having fun and making it your own. You may even start a trend in the dulcimer community.
Cute idea. I cut my string ends to about 1/8-1/4" which keeps them out of harms way. But, with (currently) 4 guitars, 7 dulcimers, and 3 other stringed instruments, I have had my share of string pokes while changing strings (since I started playing 49 years ago).
RoyB, one of the things I love about mountain dulcimer is what you've observed-- how different they each can sound.
I will second this, and will add that their varying sizes come in handy for different applications....playing at home, taking to a festival, going in an RV, etc. Depending on where I'm playing and if I will be playing with others, I decide which one to grab. Also, you can have them tuned differently. Not to mention the beauty of dulcimers.....different woods and appointments. So, as you can see, we NEED many dulcimers.
Done. I contacted her and she said she sent you a PM. Hope this helps.
Susie, yes please do!
I have a friend who might have hers for sale. She lives near Howell, MI. I can check with her if you'd like me too.
I use a combination string turner/wire cutter made by D'Addario. I actually have a few of them and keep them in instrument cases. They make changing strings super easy.
I have one of these too, that is part of my travel kit, in case I break a string and need to do a quick change while on the road. My normal cutters and battery string winder stay at home for all my scheduled string changes on all my instruments. Yes Dusty, these do work good.
I went to my local hardware store and looked at all the choices. I bought the size I wanted and the pair that felt best in my hands and were a quality brand. I change lots of strings on my dulcimers, guitars, etc., etc., etc. and they are still working great. Again, I'd stress a quality brand, RATHER THAN the cheapest set you can find on Amazon. Like they say, you get what you pay for.
I have a couple more dulcimers since I last posted!
I have a Cripple Creek "Aspen Leaf," which is shaped rather like a Galax dulcimer--more of an oval than a teardrop. Came from eBay and needed some work to get it playable. But I love the leaves-and-vines soundholes, and it sounds good now.
And, a no-name dulcimer, also from eBay, all mahogany, built by a shipwright.
I previously forgot to mention that I have two "travel size" dulcimers, one from the Dulcimer Factory and one by Rugg and Jackel.
Most of mine are diatonic, and I'm thinking of having the 6+ fret added to a couple of them.
Sounds like your family is growing.
The 6+ fret is quite useful.
Only one (so far), but it's not here yet - just shipped and will be here next Thursday. It's built by Dan Daniels of New Traditions Dulcimers in Indiana.
Exciting. I've heard wonderful things about Dan's dulcimers. Maybe you could show it to us after you get it.
That's a real beauty! A deal too good to pass up. Enjoy!
A strap is what I use. Sure there is a tiny bit of getting used to it and 'fitting' the proper length, but it's soooo much easier than hauling around folding tables or footstools. I use loops and big buttons to make the strap adjustable depending on if I'm wearing heavy or light clothes.
I agree. An adjustable strap is pretty easy to get used to. I've even found as I have progressed, I've changed the positioning of the dulcimer by adjusting the strap (and my legs). So, the flexibility is an advantage. Experimenting with a strap is a cheap investment and might be a pleasant surprise for her.
Dulcimer Acquisition Disease.
I ordered #7 today. I've been contemplating this one for quite a while. My husband said "life can through you a curve ball at any time....just do it". So I got my order in. A 4 month wait begins.
(Hickory sweetness, with some secial features.)
Ken, great job! I bet she's tickled.
Awesome, be sure to post pics when it's done. You deserve it!
Susie, I can't recommend Ron enough. Very good to work with and talented.
So happy you had a great experience and it turned out beautiful for you. I had one of his years ago, a Birdseye Maple. It was very pretty, but the intonation was off up the fretboard. My Luther did his best to correct it, but it still wasn't right. I parted ways with it. I probably just got a bad one, because so many people are happy with Ron's dulcimers. I have another builder lined up, but thanks.
Enjoy your gem!
Beautiful and a great honor to your mom. Priceless!
I'm thinking about doing something special with another builder, to honor my dad and the farm property where we live and produce Maple Syrup, which was settled in 1889 (I'm 4th generation and only descendent living here). My dad died last year at 86 too.
The VSL on a Black Mountain is a little longer than you stated, but they cost less than the Gingers. They are pretty decent dulcimers. Just trying to give you ideas.
I'm sure it would be a good choice, but, at $500+ without case, I don't know if it is within her price range.
The Ginger DOES come with a real nice soft case.
I have one of Ron Ewing's baritone dulcimettes and I absolutely love it. Tight construction, low action, crisp, clear sound. However, it is tuned usually to G or A rather than D, and the VSL is only about 21 inches, so it may not be perfect for this case. That's why I recommended a McSpadden Ginger.
That's why I asked Wally what tuning his friend wanted. I agree, your baritone dulcimette is gorgeous and has a great voice. It sounds like she's just starting out, so my guess is she'd want a dulcimer in D tuning, to learn and play with groups. Many of these little dulcimers are for those of us who already have standard dulcimers and are looking for alternate tunings and fun little dulcimers to complement what we already have. Maybe Wally will get back with us and let us know. Hey, even I am still toying with the idea of a Ewing baritone ducimettte.
We have a friend who is looking for a small dulcimer. She is currently playing a borrowed small Apple Creek instrument. She has tried "full size" instruments and is uncomfortable with them.
I would describe her desires as follows:
24 inch VSL
6 1/2 fret
Holes you can't drop a pick in
Not looking for a specific wood
New or used OK
Does your friend want standard D tuning?
Many of the little dulcimers are set up for alternate tunings (usually G or A). So that's something to keep in mind.
I have two McSpadden Gingers, which I love. You can have them set up for standard D tuning. They check most of the boxes you have listed. They are quality made, sound great, and are a joy to play.
Also, in the groups, check out the "Little Dulcimers" group, where you'll see a "Little Dulcimers Little List". Very helpful when looking for a smaller dulcimer.
Thank you all for the input and suggestions.I found Mr.McCafferty online and ordered one of his capos[tuner included!] .I also stocked up on strings.It's hard to find suitable gauges and lengths for the dulcimer in Canada,in my experience.
That's great to hear. You will not be disappointed. Those with the tuner look like a great idea (I got mine before he came out with those). Glad we could be of some help to you.
Terry McCafferty makes some really nice capos for a little more money than the economical Ewing capos (which are generally a good value). I have purchased 4 of Terry's capos. Nice mechanism, consistent pressure across the strings.....my favorite dulcimer capo.
That is beautiful. Bocote always seems to have an eerie look to it.
Wow, that is really cool. Thanks for sharing....have fun!
I recently bought matching stands for my dulcimer and guitar. The instructions for how to attach the base to the arm read:
"Do not overtighten. You can crack the wood. Maybe not a job for a drummer."
And similarly, the instructions for attaching the hanger to the arm read:
"Do not overtighten. You can strip out the insert. Keep the drummer away from this."
For the record, the assembly went very well. Clearly dulcimer players are more gentle creatures than are percussionists.
At least they had an appropriate (musician) sense of humor. (Although, a drummer may disagree.)