How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
but are always open to more ; )
I think I've purchased my last dulcimer.
I wanted to get a second McSpadden Ginger, this one intonated DAd (I already have one intonated GDg).
I contacted Tim at McSpadden and asked if he had any walnut woodsets with sapwood. He had a couple and let me choose between the two (for the back). I pretty much knew I wanted a spruce top. So, after deciding on all the other features, I ended up with this little gem. I knew what the back would look like, but Tim also selected wood for the peghead that had sapwood, to go with the theme. I didn't know he did that until I picked it up from my music store.
I thought I'd share it here because, after-all, you're a bunch of enablers.
It sounds wonderful and is a joy to play. McSpadden comes through, once again.
Here's my McSpadden family:
Skip, you bring up a good point, about other instruments. I've been suffering from GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) much longer than DAD (dulcimer acquisition disease). My first love, fingerstyle guitar (since 1973), has been my true passion for nearly 48 years. I've settled into a stable of 6 guitars and 1 guilele. Many other instruments (primarily stringed instruments) have come and gone over the years, but I'm simplifying to just guitar, dulcimer, and Native American flute (I have 5). In fact, my last banjo is moving on to a new home this week. I was in band all through school, where I played flute, then alto saxophone. Music has been such a joy in my life.
@susie Do tell!
I decided that my McSpadden Ginger (intonated GDG) needed a sister, so I ordered a walnut (w/ sapwood) - spruce Ginger (intonated DAD) to keep her company. I'm enjoying the smaller dulcimers (they also come in handy in our smaller motorhome when we travel). It's in at my music store where I ordered it though, but I can't get in to pick it up until Wednesday. I think this is my final dulcimer.
Robin, I see that you also have a new one on order. I'd love to see pictures of the BL after you get it.
@ken-hulme Or we've made a newer player afraid of what they might become?
On a serious note, coming to the mountain dulcimer has made my life better-- making music at home is such a joy!
I agree with both of your points Robin.
Whether someone has 1 or 11, the instrument can add such a joy to our lives.
Susie, I haven't shared in this thread for the simple reason that I don't want to admit how many dulcimers I have!
We do our !!!
Thanks to all who shared here. I thought we'd get a little more interest in the thread, but if you don't feel comfortable sharing that's fine. I've enjoyed seeing what dulcimers people own, some of which are new to me. Enjoy what you have and play on.
Jae and I both got the J&J jab Monday and have only had a wee bit of fatigue plus the sore arm. Will be interesting to see when a booster will be advised, though many in-person festivals have already scrapped spring/summer scheduling.
My favorite festival cancelled early in the year...the Evart Funfest. Going to miss another year. Hoping for a big celebratory year in 2022. Hope you'll be there again. This is from 2019.
Cases numbers here in OHio are heading in the wrong direction. It is heartbreaking and disheartening.
We are #1 in Michigan, but not for the right reason.
On the one hand, my family and I have been vaccinated, which is so comforting. On the other hand, the case numbers are going crazy in the State. We haven't changed our behavior, still taking the necessary precautions. We are just hoping things turn around for everyone's sake.
I own 5, with 1 more on the way...
1. Doug Berch custom (sassafras/walnut)
2. Folkcraft custom (butternut/walnut)
3. Folkcraft Baritone custom (cherry)
4. McSpadden standard (26") (walnut)
5. McSpadden Ginger (GDG) (cherry)
6. McSpadden Ginger (DAD) (on order) (spruce/walnut)
We did this 11 years ago, and then again 8 years ago. So, I thought it would be fun to do it again, and see members' current lists. I know I enjoy seeing what dulcimers (makes/models) others own. After all, DAD (dulcimer acquisition disease) is real.
My stake make a lot of noise while I play. Are these straps quiet?
If you look at Dusty's response, he suggested that maybe the noise is coming from the movement of the strap end against the dulcimer. I just looked at the Legacy Strap end tabs where they connect to the strap buttons. On the Legacy Straps, they have a soft layer (felt-like) on the inside of the tab. I think this might solve any noise issue, if that's where the noise is coming from, for you. Here are a couple pictures that might help.
My stake make a lot of noise while I play. Are these straps quiet?
I don't notice any noise from these straps, but then again, I've never noticed a noise from any of my straps. Once I get situated to play, my dulcimer doesn't move much. I think it comes down to technique. Being these straps are 1" wide vs 2", I'm guessing a narrower strap might help, if you get noise when you play.
I had one of his dulcimers for a while. Nicely made, great intonation, beautiful tone. You have a gem, enjoy!
I wanted to replace my 2” guitars straps on my dulcimers, since I find them to be big, bulky, and overkill (just my experience….not trying to discourage the use of them for anyone else.) I searched and found Legacy Straps (www.legacystraps.com). They have a category called “Mandolin and Ukulele Straps”, which offer ¾” and 1” wide straps. I thought the 1” wide straps were exactly what I was looking for.
I inquired as to the maximum length of these straps (turns out….about 50”). That was at the max of what I wanted/needed, so I got in contact with the owner. He was very responsive and said that length was no problem. He said he could make the straps up to 54” instead, to be sure I had sufficient length.
I’ve been conservative my whole life and was thinking about going with solid color straps. My husband told me to “liven up my life” and pick straps with designs instead….I’m glad I did. I picked out 6 designs that I liked, enough for each dulcimer, plus one for my guilele. I got tab ends on each end, as all 6 of my instruments have 2 strap buttons.
I just received them and wanted to report that they are nicely made! The tab ends are on the stiff side, but the holes that he cuts out for the strap buttons work well, allowing them to fit nicely on standard strap buttons. I will have to enlarge the hole for my dulcimer that has a pick-up, because it has a larger diameter button. They easily adjust for length and feel nice while playing. The prices were very reasonable and the owner’s communication, customizable sizes, and prompt shipping was awesome.
I’m really happy with them. If you are looking for a narrower strap for your dulcimers (or any other instrument), take a look.
I’ve put pictures out here so you can see how they look (the ends, etc.).
I've never relied on the string gauge calculators. When I've tried them, they have always seemed to be too light for me. I've always started with what the maker of my instrument recommends, in the tuning that I use, then go from there. After playing for awhile, I determine if a change is necessary, based on how the strings sound in relation to each other and how they feel on the instrument (where VSL matters). I just recently adjusted just the 1st and 2nd string gauges a little heavier on one of my dulcimers, which made a improved change in the sound. The other thing that makes a difference for me is the makeup of the string. What might sound fine on one instrument, sounds awful on another. Strings are cheap and experimenting is all part of the process.
Well, my experiment on body shape affecting sound went awry do to me forgetting one important variable. However, I did end up with a couple decent dulcimers. Both made from the same poplar board. Ebony was used for the overlay on the fretboard. Other than shape, all components and dimensions are identical.
Those are beautiful!
Thank you Strumelia, a great reminder and a wonderful message. I value this forum (and the guitar forum where I moderate), because they are safe places to talk about our love for music and instruments. At each place, the members are kind and supportive. We are lucky when we can be a part of groups like these, especially during these stressful times. Hugs back to you and to all the members.
Like Dusty said, the Ewing capos are a good value.
Terry McCafferty now makes some really nice capos for a little more. I have since purchased 2 of his. Nice mechanism, perfect pressure.....my new favorite dulcimer capo.