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
John Molineux uses a striker on a mountain dulcimer
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.
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.
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
updated by @robin-thompson: 11/30/19 03:59:30PM
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.)
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:
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
updated by @strumelia: 11/30/19 12:59:22PM
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
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie