I have belonged to this group for about two months, all the while never even once, the whole of my lifetime, having so much as touched a mountain dulcimer. I have seen them, and heard them (while visiting family in the mountains of western North Carolina) - and that pretty much sums up my entire life experience with the mountain dulcimer; other than what I am able to see and hear on YouTube.
Yesterday was a milestone for me, in what is shaping up to be my burgeoning (solo) career with the mountain dulcimer; I placed my order with Wood-N-Strings dulcimers for a walnut (sides,back and soundboard) dulcimer. For the next few months, I will be anticipating its arrival, which is enjoyable in its own right, since I will only every anticipate the arrival of this dulcimer this one time. (So I am bloody well going to savor it!)
I have literally no idea what I am doing, I have no idea where to start, and other than a few things that I was able to glean through reading posts here and on YouTube videos, I didn't really have much of a clue insofar as what my preferences in a dulcimer even were (are).
I suspect that somebody, somewhere is thinking (if they are reading this..) 'cardboard starter dulcimer' - but, nothing is foolproof, my friend; we fools are much too ingenious for that sort've thing!!
I live by the unwritten code; "Anything worth doing, is worth Over-doing!!"
Although I have no idea how to even begin, in truth, I have never let that stop me in the past, and I am much, much too set in my ways to start allowing it to inform my choices today. So, whenever my new instrument arrives, I will spend some time being utterly perplexed, and then I will decide upon a course of action, and begin....
Wish me luck!! I am really looking forward to this new journey. I am (or have been for quite some time) a piper. A couple of years ago, however, I was afflicted by a sudden life-threatening medical emergency (my intestines spontaneously tore open... creating a 4"-6" tear... and spilling all of that nasty stuff into my abdominal cavity.
This happened on a Monday evening... I actually felt it occur, but, having never experienced anything of that ilk in my life, I literally had no idea what had happened. By 10AM the next day, at work, I began having difficulty keeping my eyes in focus, and I was not able to walk down a rather wide hallway in the office without ricocheting off of both walls... and from about 11AM(ish) I have no conscious memory to this day, until I snapped back to full awareness... sitting on my sofa.. literally pouring sweat as though someone was dumping a bowl of warm water over my head.... I crawled up the stairs.. (literally crawled.. on the floor) and was violently ill for the next hour or so.. then I dragged my sorry self to my bed where I remained (this was Tuesday night) until Thursday morning, without ever getting up at all... until my wife called Bullsh*t, and relentlessly kept at me until I very, very, *very* painfully got up, put some clothes on, and walked the longest, most excrutiating 40 feet or so to get into the vehicle, and had an exceedingly unpleasant 5 or 6 minute drive to our primary physician's office, then staggered inside.
They put me on a table, the doctor palpated my lower left abdominal quadrant.. and I came off the table from the pain... and was pretty much back to full awareness from that point... the doc advised us to drive straight to the ER (she didn't feel comfortable waiting for an ambulance to come get me) they called ahead... and a few hours later I underwent emergency open abdominal surgery. I pressed the surgeon for my chances of survival, and after me being adamant (this is my specialty), he told me that he thought I had a 15% chance of surviving the surgery, but perhaps a 1% chance of surviving the night, due to several extremely virulent and advanced bacterial infections leading to sepsis.
Several months later I returned for a scheduled second surgery, which had some severe complications. I ended up unable to eat or drink anything for seven months ( I lived on infusions ), and then the pandemic hit, and I live in what was, at the time, the epicenter of COVID in the United States.. so it wasn't looking good.
By the grace of God, I am alive, I am relatively well, but I will probably not be able to play bagpipes again due to the internal pressure that the blowing causes. This was not good news to me, and I will perhaps look into playing bellows blown pipes at some point... but, this new instrument is a direct result of all of this. My hope is to be able to sit quietly, and simply play some music. I have no interest in playing for audiences... I just want to be able to play something lovely.
So... now the wait begins. Approximately four months was the anticipated waiting period. I generally add some time to these estimates, because life happens.
I am excited!! Wish me luck!! Perhaps I might even be able to actually learn to play this thing!! :)