Playing with a strap

David Lynch
David Lynch
@david-lynch
6 years ago
35 posts

You may get a chuckle out of this. Once when install a set of strap buttons at a festival the husband of the dulcimer owner made the comment that he could have saved money by doing it himself. His wife promptly replied that he could not do it himself....and off they went: "Yes, I could".... "No you couldn't"....."Yes, I could"...."NO,You could not do it!"

Finally the wife ended the exchange by saying "No, You couldn't, and the reason you could not is because I would never let you anywhere near my dulcimer with a drill!"

Colleen Hailey
Colleen Hailey
@colleen-hailey
6 years ago
67 posts

I went to a festival this past weekend and had strap buttons installed on both of my dulcimers. What a difference the strap makes! I always felt like the dulcimer was going to fall off of my lap, even using rubber fabric in my lap and a footstool for my feet. Now, I can just focus on the playing without subconsciously worrying about the darn thing falling off of my lap.

I'm glad that I paid someone else to install the buttons--I'm not a very precise or handy person.

Carolyn Fleming
Carolyn Fleming
@carolyn-fleming
6 years ago
5 posts

I recently got a new strap and after using it for a few weeks one end of the strap kept slipping off the button, I went on line and found an easy solution. Get 2 rubber washers with 5/16 inner diameter put it on the end of the button over the strap and it works great. Only cost 60 cents each. Thought it might help someone else. Carolyn

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
6 years ago
56 posts

You mean the home of the JERSEY Giants? :-)

Steven Berger said:

Fortunately, my Folkcraft dulcimer came with strap buttons installed...I've installed them on a guitar once, and I might on an old Hughes dulcimer. I'm a former Jersey boy and Dusty, just so's you know, I lived close to the Meadowlands, and as everybody around there knows, it's just a peaceful bird sanctuary...you know what I mean? 3.gif

Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
6 years ago
141 posts

Fortunately, my Folkcraft dulcimer came with strap buttons installed...I've installed them on a guitar once, and I might on an old Hughes dulcimer. I'm a former Jersey boy and Dusty, just so's you know, I lived close to the Meadowlands, and as everybody around there knows, it's just a peaceful bird sanctuary...you know what I mean? 3.gif

John Henry
John Henry
@john-henry
6 years ago
257 posts

Hi there Wout ! A while back someone asked me if I could change the camera angle I used when recording, so as they couild see what my noter was doing ? Easier for me, being a non techno, to change the angle that I played ! So I dropped the left knee, and away to go , no problem with noter drone, tho' as you say, almost a necessity to use a strap ?

best wishes

John

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 years ago
666 posts

Looks like your husband did a good job Maryann. Usually at festivals when I work on someone's dulcimer I do it in private so they don't see me drilling holes or pounding on their precious instrument. These instruments are tougher than they appear. BTW, another former Jerseyite here.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Wout Blommers
Wout Blommers
@wout-blommers
6 years ago
97 posts

I love the position of the right foot normal placed, but my left foot under the chair, which lowers the left knee. I can play much faster that way than in horizontal position. It can only be performed using a strap.

Playing more than one dulcimer in a performance one can use more straps, or, as I mistakenly thought, use two carabiner (hooks), but the metal makes the dulcimer too noisy! I wanted to avoid the idea changing 'strapped' dulcimers reminds the audience of changing clothes on a crowdy beach...

I attached eyebolts on the instruments and shoe laces on the strap.

BTW the slope position of the dulcimer doesn't work well when playing drone&noter style.

Sam Searls
Sam Searls
@sam-searls
6 years ago
5 posts

I too had trouble keeping the dulcimer on what little lap I have. I recently installed strap buttons and starting looking around the web for a strap. I couldn't find one that suited me so I bought some latigo lace leather and am in the process of braiding an adjustable strap. When I finish it I will try and post a pic.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 years ago
1,289 posts

Having spent lots of time in Jersey (and more to come later this summer) I think it fair to say that there are a lot more guns than there are dulcimers.

BIG_DULCIMER_SMILEY.gif?width=100

Some of those guns might be for hunting in the Pine Barrens or Poconos, but those in the Meadowlands have less noble functions.

gangster-with-gun-smiley-emoticon.gif

Maryann Lang said:

guns and dulcimers - yup I think this former Jersey family is thoroughly redneck now! (and lovin it!)




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
6 years ago
56 posts

Yeah, I was fighting back tears - my husband said " now you know how I feel" he doesn't play an instrument - I think he was referring to the recent modifications he had to make to the stock of his beloved trapshooting rifle - guns and dulcimers - yup I think this former Jersey family is thoroughly redneck now! (and lovin it!)
Dusty Turtle said:

Well you can imagine me installing strap buttons on my own on my very first dulcimer. I was drilling holes and covering my face in tears at the same time!109.gif42.gif

But that strap made all the difference in the world. 113.gif The instrument "became mine" immediately. I can position it exactly the way I want regardless of how high my chair is or how far my legs are apart. And I can play more vigorously, not worrying about moving my precious instrument. I would have given up on the dulcimer had I not found the courage to install strap buttons.

folkfan
@folkfan
6 years ago
363 posts

I guess I'm just not vigorous enough as I don't use a strap, and have never had a dulcimer fall off my lap or my possum board yet. Knock wood!!!!!! Of course, one of my favorite possum boards has an extra leg that gives me a sort of tripod placement on my lap.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
6 years ago
1,289 posts

Well you can imagine me installing strap buttons on my own on my very first dulcimer. I was drilling holes and covering my face in tears at the same time!109.gif42.gif

But that strap made all the difference in the world. 113.gif The instrument "became mine" immediately. I can position it exactly the way I want regardless of how high my chair is or how far my legs are apart. And I can play more vigorously, not worrying about moving my precious instrument. I would have given up on the dulcimer had I not found the courage to install strap buttons.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
6 years ago
56 posts

Oh no, could not be around for that one - like watching major surgery on a loved one!

folkfan
@folkfan
6 years ago
363 posts

Just you wait until you decide to have an extra fret installed. Now there's mental agony, not only do they cut into your baby with a saw, they hit it with a hammer as well. Shudder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maryann Lang said:

I would never judge but I would highly encourage! It is very frightening to watch. Almost as bad as watching my daughter get her ears pierced! (Except my dulcimer did not cry - althought I almost did for both events!)

My daughter plays the uke and she definitely would never add a strap.

Mandy
Mandy
@mandy
6 years ago
142 posts

I love using a strap on my dulcimer. I play pretty aggressively (I guess) because it would be almost impossible for me to play without one I think. LOL.

I'm a "pro strap" type though because even when I'm sitting down I like to be wearing my banjo strap, guitar, strap, and mandolin strap too. I can't imagine playing without it actually. I tend to like to go from sitting to standing a lot too though (not on dulcimer of course though).

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
6 years ago
56 posts

I would never judge but I would highly encourage! It is very frightening to watch. Almost as bad as watching my daughter get her ears pierced! (Except my dulcimer did not cry - althought I almost did for both events!)

My daughter plays the uke and she definitely would never add a strap.

Tim Shortt said:

Nice! So now the question is do you ever think you'll get to the point where you look at another player and go: "why don't they just install strap buttons?!!?!! It makes life so much easier." Without being judgmental of course :-)

Reminds me of many uke players. They too experience anguish over installing strap buttons. Puzzles me because guitar players complain when they DON'T have strap buttons (even on something high-end like a Martin).

Maryann Lang
Maryann Lang
@maryann-lang
6 years ago
56 posts
  • My husband reluctantly installed my strap buttons last evening as I stood there face in hands praying! (and I wonder why he doesn' t like to do things for me!) Tried it out and what a difference! I can sit more comfortable and move around more so my back doesn't get so stiff and achy. Also I am strumming better because I am not afraid of knocking my dulcimer off my lap -it was worth the anguish of watching my sweet dulcimer go under the drill!


updated by @maryann-lang: 01/18/16 01:53:06PM