Wow! What perfect timing! I was about to post the same question and here all of you have answered it and more. Thanks!
Using a strap
I second Dusty's advice regarding the quick release straps. As he stated Folkcraft makes a quick-release strap specifically for the dulcimer. With this strap a short section of the strap (2-3 inches or so) remains attached to the strap buttons when not in use. When you are ready to use it just snap the longer section of the strap into place and you're ready to go. They can be purchased for less than $20.00 directly from Folkcraft or on E-Bay.
Here's a link to the 1-inch wide brown quick-release strap: https://www.folkcraft.com/collections/accessories/products/brown-one-inch-strap-2310435
If you own more than one dulcimer, you can purchase multiple straps so you won't have to continually struggle with getting the strap onto the strap button. Just leave the short end-section attached. The long section of the strap can be stored in the case until needed. The beauty of the Folkcraft strap is how quickly and easily it can be attached or disconnected. It's well-worth the cost.
Playing with a strap enables the dulcimer player to position the dulcimer further away from his or her body allowing easier access to the fretboard.
updated by @greg-gunner: 09/02/19 05:26:30PM
FYI- DON"T use the strap to carry the MD like a rifle or purse, over your shoulder, unless you have installed straplocks. The strap could come off the button, allowing the MD to crash and break. I've seen it happen several times to really nice, expensive MDs [not mine, yet].
updated by @skip: 09/02/19 03:46:26PM
I would advise against continually pulling the strap off the strap button. That will just loosen the hole and it won't be so secure after a while.
Personally, I just pull the strap over my head without loosening it. It's a tight fit, but that way the strap stays adjusted perfectly for me.
There are also some quick release straps you might try. Folkcraft offers a couple of models, ( 1" and 2" width) and Sue Carpenter also sells them in multiple colors. A few other dulcimer folks sell Sue Carpenter's model as well, so they are not hard to find. The quick release straps allow you to unhook the strap without taking it off the strap button.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
updated by @dusty: 09/02/19 02:36:49PM
Hi! I hope this question isn't off-topic or covered elsewhere (I did try a site search first, and didn't find anything). I'd like to get some input on using a strap with your dulcimer...specifically putting it on and taking it off.
This may seem a bit basic, but it's a legitimate question: If you play with a strap, do you detach the strap from the strap button to get in/out of it, or do you just loosen it and pull it on/off over your head?
I just got a strap button and strap for my little ACD100, and it's quite a chore getting the strap on and off the button, but I'd hate to have to untie and retie the cord around the headstock whenever I want to play.
Because of this dulcimer's small size and light weight, I really do want to use a strap rather than non-slip shelf paper, as it feels rather insecure on my lap when I play on the top frets. Any advice greatly appreciated!
updated by @redwolf: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM