5 string dulcimer

Lisa Golladay
Lisa Golladay
@lisa-golladay
3 years ago
101 posts

More often than not, I can't find a .09 string when I need it! 

Old strings can get floppy even if they were the right size back in the day.  I can relate ;-)

marg
@marg
3 years ago
557 posts

Thanks lisa for the info.

The nut & bridge look fine and since the 9 should fit snug I wonder if the 10 or 11 string maybe wouldn't fit. Only way to tell, is to try. The 9 just seems loose, could be it's just time to change out the strings anyway. Why did you go with a 10, did you not have a 9 or just wanted to have it a bit heavier? I may try the 10 first, to make sure it fits. A new string maybe all it needs.

Other than that, I do like this dulcimer. It packs a lot of wonderful sounds 


updated by @marg: 01/04/17 04:53:12PM
Lisa Golladay
Lisa Golladay
@lisa-golladay
3 years ago
101 posts

I have a Bill Berg 5-string hourglass that measures 27-1/2" from nut to bridge.  Bill recommended these string sizes:

.24-.09-.13-.11-.11

The wound bass string is on the outside.  For the inner string on the bass course I often use a .10 instead of a .09 and it works fine.  You can try .11 if you want, but I don't think string size is your problem.  Bill knows how to set up a dulcimer and I am certain your MD did not leave his workshop with string interference.

Ken's right that changing strings is the first thing to try, since it's easy.  But I'm wondering: does your MD have the original nut and bridge?  Have they been damaged?  If somebody took a file to the bass slots (perhaps to install a second wound string instead of a thin octave string) then they could have messed up the string spacing.  The .09 string should fit snugly in its slot.  If you can, post a close-up photo of the nut and bridge.

Rarely do I pass up an opportunity to suggest that people learn how to strum with a lighter touch, but unless you're strumming like a gorilla that isn't your problem; it's the dulcimer's problem. :-)

marg
@marg
3 years ago
557 posts

Thanks ken,

That is what I was thinking, just too thin. The 11 does make more sense. 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 years ago
1,766 posts

I checked against  the Strothers String Calculator (known to be "light")  According to that you should have 

D = 19w; d= 10, A= 13

 

But since that is light, I would use D= 22w or 24w, d= 11; and A = 14

The D and d octave couplet may indeed be hitting each other occasionally since that .09 you have is so floppy.  Change strings before trying anything else.

marg
@marg
3 years ago
557 posts

27.5"

DdAdd

The inside d string is tuned like the 2 melodies. I got it used & this is how it came but looks like original stringing.

   I was wondering if instead of the 9 string maybe I could try an 11, unless there is some reason for the 9

Thanks

5 strings.jpg
5 strings.jpg  •  206KB

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 years ago
1,809 posts

How long is the scale from nut to bridge, and what have you been tuning it to?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
marg
@marg
3 years ago
557 posts

I have a 5 string, elliptical long scale BERG dulcimer

 

Question:  It has 2 base strings:

 The heavier string is the outside string, the thiner string inside next to it.

            Sometimes I feel they are hitting themselves from the strings vibration; 

  1. Should I try & strum differently? 
  2. Should I try putting on a bit heavier string on the inside one?

String gauges on it now:

.024 for the wound bass string

.009 the string next to the bass string

.013 the middle string

 011 for each of the two melody strings                .                                                                                                                                                

 

 

 


updated by @marg: 01/02/17 08:21:43PM