JUdith, My name is Ron Moss and I recently joined the community. I saw your video playing you Blue Lion dulcimer. I have 3 questions. (1) Is your dulcimer a baritone dulcimer. (2) In your video is culcimer amped, a chord running from the dulcimer to a amp to amplfiy the sound. (3) what model of dulcimer are you playing.
Thanks in advanced for you kind response. LOved your playing and even though I don't own a dulcimer yet, I'm drawn to the mellow sound of the baritone and the Blue Lion is one that I'm considering.
Judith, Thanks! The sound isn't bad, but a "friend" asked me to help him make a dulcimer recently. So I gave him some ash wood and ended up doing most of the work myself. It is really ugly looking as he cut the sound holes with a strange design, and did so quite messy. BUT, it has an amazing voice! Based on that, I think I'll use ash for the teardrop I'm planning.
My son (an architect) drew up what I asked for for the hummingbird soundholes. It was a CAD drawing, so I took it to the laser engraver/cutter at Ball State University, from where I retired, and with a Grad asst. to help, cut out a few white spruce and sitka spruce top designs. I'll probably do the same with the teardrop Blue Lion take-off. Maybe a nice F hole. Actually the laser cutter could cut the entire top out of a rectangle of wood at the same time as cutting the design, leaving less waste wood.
I have a series of photos documenting that entire Zebrawood build. I'm posting it on Luthierforum.org. You might be interested. In a few days, on the FOTMD, I'll post photos of a sycamore dulcimer build that has top and back bindings. Right now some elementary school kids are participating in a Science Fair competition and we are building 3 instruments; a tubulum, a xylophone, and a Tennessee music box. I might be in over my head! They'll be out to my shop tomorrow morning.
In the meanwhile, YOU keep playing and recording. I anxiously await your next offering.
I just uploaded 4 photos of a recent Zebrawood/spruce dulcimer; first time I've uploaded a (short) album to FOTMD. I think you'll be able to find it.
Last night at church music practice a fellow with an electric guitar brought in the exact same amplifier as yours. I can see why you like it! It amazed me for its size and ease of use. I will order one for myself, but am not sure what to use for the pickup. Perhaps a piezo to start with, but the Baggs undersaddle might have to wait for my next dulcimer. I went to the Blue Lion site and saw their "tenor" teardrop. I had been ready to begin construction of one similar to that, and their description of it gives me more insight into how I might proceed.
I don't have a sound file for the Zebrawood, or for any of my dulcimers for that matter, but would love to have someone with your skill and talent record it for me! Maybe next summer if I can attend a festival to meet some good players I might be able to arrange that.
I built my first dulcimer in the mid 1970's, and didn't resume building them until about 2009.
Thanks for asking to see a photo.
I love your playing. I enjoyed listening to Eleanor Plunkett and Sir Festus very much. The quality of the sound you are recording is wonderful as well. I'm wondering how much of that is due to the instrument's construction and how much is due to the recording techniques.(Obviously much of it is due to your skill in playing.) I know you mentioned your little amplifier, and I'm wondering what kind of pickup you are using. I believe I see a small mike near your bridge...?