The Ron Gibson came today. A really nice instrument. Now I have to get a pick that will work in the hollow, otherwise all my picks, and I have many, are too stiff for the strings and I'll have to play on the fret board.
Can you tell me about a Ron Gibson Barbara Ellen 3 String
Ron Gibson makes very fine instruments. I've played several but don't own one.
The Barbara Allen tm model is Ron's nod to a traditional teardrop shaped 'Virginia' style dulcimer; but with a deeper than traditional body and the 6+ and 13+ frets which, as the + sign indicates, are not traditional. Check out his website.
DAd, DAA, and CGG can all be tuned from the same set of strings. DAA and CGG are the same Ionian Mode tuning but one is the key of D, the other key of C. DAd is also called Mixolydian Mode. The melody string in DAd or CGc is tuned an octave higher than the bass string note, usually indicated by the lowercase letter d or c.
Tuning up to Ggg is not particularly "Asian", but it will require different strings to prevent snapping the bass string. It is what we call a Bagpipe Tuning in the key of G. The three strings are all tuned to G but the middle and melody strings are tuned an octave higher than the bass string.
You may want to have a read of the article/booklet I wrote a number of years ago which answers many beginner questions about tuning, playing, care and feeding of the dulcimer, It's called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What? and can be found here:
Just bought a RG Barbara Ellen. I know woods, and sounds, structure etc. but know little about the MD and playing as yet. I will attach a piezo, one that I have always liked and use for my smaller HD. Otherwise I have been told to tune it to DAD, then DAA, then CCG, if I want to go Asian GGG. Are there requirements for different string dia. for different tunings?