Recently acquired an all-walnut McSpadden - beautiful tone, although different from my well-aged Bill Taylor dulcimer. DAD tuning remains a struggle - brain doesn't tell fingers to move fast enough on all those chord changes. Another local group is more focused on DAA, etc. plus we're learning 'modes'. An entirely new world, but so much for this old brain to absorb. One must keep working at it!!
Who knew, a little over a year ago, what a life changing event I'd experience! I was invited to sit in with a group near New Castle Indiana, now known as Chords of Friendship. Small world - many of them seemed to know each other and turns out they are retired teachers and taught my kids. All survived! The group has grown, outgrown several locations for practice, and keeps going. Periodic requests for the group to play have provided joy to the audiences and us too. Most show up for the weekly practice sessions way ahead of time, anxious to get started. Great group of people, various levels of proficiency, very supportive of each other through life's struggles, but we keep going.
Success story. Friend at church expressed interest in learning to play so we visited the closest dulcimer shop just 'to look'. She ended up taking a walnut Ginger McSpadden home with her and later shared with me that as soon as she walked in the shop door, that dulcimer was beckoning her to come take it home with her. Honest, I just wanted her to look, listen and see what she thought...no pressure! It's just her size. Too bad she doesn't have computer access. I think she would love this site.