John Molineux uses a striker on a mountain dulcimer

IRENE
IRENE
@irene
3 days ago
128 posts

I've been away down in Tyler, Texas with my brother that has also taking to making instruments.   He's made several ukulele's and guitars and his intruments are awesome.  So we finished 2 dulcimers and had sooooooo much fun working in his shop.   He has a big shop and one shirt that says it all, "I'm one tool away from greatness".  I missed going to this site daily like I do when I'm home.  I've loved using a little hammer, Lois displayed the one that I use now.  I'll see if I can get someone to film me playing THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY while using my striker.  I LOVED seeing the videos of folks using the "fiddlesticks" I Use that expression ALL THE TIME........now I have a visual of how they are used and what they're called.  OH TOOOOOOOOOOO FUN.  aloha, irene

Lois Sprengnether Keel
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel
3 days ago
152 posts

Thank heavens this site offers a way to review as I'm in only intermittently lately.  Saw this about strikers & wanted to show a simple one I was given (so they must be inexpensive).  It was part of last year's Christmas dulcimer workshop at Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan, so they may carry them.  It's about an 1/8th of an inch thick & my husband thinks it may be oak.  I'm adding a photo as many of you could make one.  I'm using mine for the last verse of Good King Wenceslaus.

striker.jpg
striker.jpg  •  111KB

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one week ago
996 posts

@marg I hadn't thought of weighting the chopstick some way when I've given using a striker tries.  Thanks for the idea!




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
marg
@marg
one week ago
546 posts

This is from a few years ago, I was just trying to hammer a tune. I wanted something other then strum strum with a pick. I am using a chopstick with a brass sleeve over the end I strike with. 

 

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
one week ago
249 posts

Thanks Robin for such a lovely video. I use a hammer from my hammered dulcimer. HD hammers have just the right balance, making it easier to pick out individual notes, and create that distinctive bouncy sound... Robert

 

 

 

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one week ago
996 posts

@bryan-fridlund I've imagined Doug Thomson's hammer is used that way.  It may feel more balanced in the hand than a found object of some kind used as a striker.




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Bryan Fridlund
Bryan Fridlund
@bryan-fridlund
one week ago
3 posts

Doug Thomson at www.banjomer.com makes a fretted dulcimer hammer. I wonder if it could be used as a “striker”?  

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 weeks ago
996 posts

Thank you for the name correction, @pierre-yves-donnio and @john-shaw!  I've edited the posting.  

From my experience of trying to use a striker, John Shaw's pointing-out the important factor of having a loose well-balanced hold is true.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!

updated by @robin-thompson: 11/30/19 03:59:30PM
Steven Berger
Steven Berger
@steven-berger
2 weeks ago
117 posts

I've tried this with knitting needles.....to me, playing this way is about as easy as touching your nose with your elbow!boggling

John Shaw
John Shaw
@john-shaw
2 weeks ago
59 posts

John Molineux uses a chopstick or a ball point pen.  The "secret" of his technique is that he holds the stick very loosely, well balanced so that it bounces a little and does a few further light hits on the string.  (This is something I've never been able to manage, as I can't stop myself holding it far too stiffly.)

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 weeks ago
1,715 posts

Be sure to look at these two other fun discussions on the use of strikers (also called "fiddlesticks" technique)... they include a video showing use on an epinette, which is like a small mtn dulcimer:

https://fotmd.com/forums/forum/general-mountain-dulcimer-or-music-discussions/4572/fiddlesticks#r4575

https://fotmd.com/forums/forum/general-mountain-dulcimer-or-music-discussions/22623/oh-fiddlesticks

jive




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 11/30/19 12:59:22PM
Gale A Barr
Gale A Barr
@gale-a-barr
2 weeks ago
55 posts

That use of a striker is fun and intriguing. I will try this but anyone seen any videos of mountain dulcimer instructors using this technique? 

Pierre-Yves Donnio
Pierre-Yves Donnio
@pierre-yves-donnio
2 weeks ago
7 posts

The player is not John Renbourn (who is the one with the guitar, on right at the beginning of the video) but the great John Molineux

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 weeks ago
996 posts

I do not know what was being used as a striker in the video yet I've used a chopstick when I've tried the technique.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Dan
Dan
@dan
2 weeks ago
107 posts

Irene showed us how to do this @ the Berea Gathering!

ukgb
@ukgb
2 weeks ago
2 posts

Ballad Gal:

I was fascinated with the striker, too. Wonder what he was using as the striker?

Chopstick?

Ballad Gal
Ballad Gal
@ballad-gal
2 weeks ago
22 posts

I was fascinated with the striker, too. Wonder what he was using as the striker?

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 weeks ago
1,164 posts

His playing and singing are good enough (you gotta love the little smile as he sings the slightly bawdy lines) but the rhythms he gets with that striker are just amazing.  I'm in awe.




--
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
Susie
Susie
@susie
2 weeks ago
332 posts

That was a really neat video. Loved the song and the music. Thanks for sharing. 

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 weeks ago
996 posts

Though it doesn't come until near the end of the video, I was fascinated with seeing how Mr Molineux used the striker.  




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!

updated by @robin-thompson: 11/30/19 03:55:04PM