Homemade beaters for mountain dulcimers-?
You could do what we did once when we drove 30 miles to a friend's house and discovered we'd left our hammer bag at home. We took a wire coathanger and cut it and shaped it into hammers. Here's a very rough mouse sketch - I'm not sure where the originals are.
A bit heavy, but they worked surprisingly well. I'm sure you could do the same for a mountain dulcimer, and probably making them shorter would make them lighter, too.
The problem is that the 'hammers' need to have hammer heads. That's why plain sticks don't work, and splits of bamboo would be the same. If you have some 3/4" wide splits of say 2" bamboo, hammers with heads could be sawn out. You could try gluing small block heads onto sticks, also.
This is an unusual request, but I was wondering what sort of everyday items could be turned into those beaters used to hit the strings. I'm involved with some kids getting them to play some music together - as a sort of ensemble. The instruments and music are "folky", cheap and cheerful. A few of the children are the "strings section" - on those lap harps often sold as toys. So far they pluck the lap harps with a pick. But it's occurred to me that you can hit the strings on these lap harps, just like a hammer dulcimer. How would I go about sourcing/ making some kind of inexpensive pair of homemade beaters? Pencils and wooden chopsticks don't seem to work that great. Maybe slim bamboo canes?
updated by @ruth-lawrence: 01/14/16 10:26:30AM