John Henry


Location: Bristol
Country: GB

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youtube videos: 42
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videos: 36

Wayfaring Stranger

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Duration: 00:01:46
Played noter/bow on a mean tone fretted, Honduras Mahog and Butternut teardrop dulcimer, tuned DAc, strung with 0.023 ph b, 0.013 & 0.012 plain steel ( bow b...
12/01/20 11:48:44PM @irene:

I love bowing my dulcimers and it's much like how John Henry is playing.  The slow tunes are best and the harmony's ring out.   I'm going to try my hand on making this kind of bow you have here.   thanks for playing one of my favorite songs.   aloha, irene

John Henry
11/23/14 11:42:30AM @john-henry:

Terry ! sorry 'buy' even !!!


John Henry
11/23/14 11:41:24AM @john-henry:

Terry ! thanks for watching ! I made that bow many years ago to use on a bowed psaltery, a piece of Ash, with a bit of a 'profile' to its section, and horsehair from an old violin bow. A couple of knots and some suitable notches, and away to go. If you are looking to but, Google the stuff Rick Long makes and sells, he offers a useful little bow at a good price ?

best wishes


Karen Keane
05/12/12 05:22:43PM @karen-keane:

Great job, John. Loved the story. HEE HEEGrin.gif

John Henry
05/12/12 09:14:33AM @john-henry:

Sorry Geeling, I somehow missed your last posting, thanks for the comment! Appro the bow, and inherent dangers ! A couple of years back I was invited to talk to a group of ladies about the construction of stringed instruments. As is usual, when you get a gaggle of gels together, there was a fair bit of yack going on at start time, having anticipated this , coupled with the date, Feb 14 th, I had 'fletched' some slender reeds with neat little red paper hearts, and just about 7.30 pm, I said nowt, but commenced shooting these very safe, lightweight 'arrows' over their heads, using the very same bow you speak of. That got their attention! Trouble was I had only prepared about a half doz 'arrers...... about three doz ladies?......... you'd think that those arrows were solid gold........ it took a while for things to settle down !!! Hey ho.


John Henry
05/11/12 05:28:36PM @john-henry:

Thanks Dave, I am not sure that I am consious of having a definite approach to bowing, its more that I like to explore all the possibilities of the dulcimer, and bowing is something I have tried on and off for years, usually in isolation. (This site has a lot to answer for!) Without giving a bridge some 'extra' treatment, my feeling is that the melody has to sing out, and the rest sorta just happens. I like to think that this is what would have been happening 'back in the day'. The other thing to note is that I tend to play slower stuff than you, coming from a background sans fiddle, I don't push me luck ,lol. I restrung that old ash stick I had been using (after buying a 'half size' bow) and it has made quite a bit of difference. The other thing I'm having fun with is trying a bow on all my dulcimers in turn, with some surprising results !


John Henry
05/11/12 05:09:44PM @john-henry:

JohnK, KImberly and Mandy, thank you for your comments, I appreciate you spending time to listen!


05/11/12 08:35:25AM @mandy:

Very nice John Henry! This one sounds haunting too, love all these bowing vids and clips.

Kimberly C.
05/10/12 11:23:49PM @kimberly-c:

Wow! That's really neat! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Robin Clark
05/10/12 07:46:30PM @robin-clark:

Those minor tunes sound justright for the bow John Smile.gif

John Keane
05/10/12 06:28:20PM @john-keane:

That is such an unusual and haunting sound...really neat!

John Henry
05/10/12 02:59:52PM @john-henry:

Thanks Carrie, glad that you managed to keep up with all my shifting from Youtube to here, and then having to repost the whole shebang all over 39.gif . Thes new fangled gizmos don't sit to kindly with me 7.gif


John Henry
05/10/12 02:53:44PM @john-henry:

Hello Mandy, thank you for the comment!, tho' I had to delete and repost the video!!! the first try did have the look of the woods at night, lovely bluey hue. Don't know what happened !!

Bobby, good to hear from you, I had thought that maybe Dave and I would have dragged you into bowing before now (we ain't so good at it as R...n T.....n is, but then she's got one of them all singing, all dancing, bowed thing a me jigs ?? xxx's Robin!)

Hopefully this posting will stay ok, whenever I use my Zoom thingy something goes wrong, maybe I ain't pedalling fast enough!