Leo Kretzner


Location: Lytle Creek, CA
Country: US

My Latest Followers:

NateBuildsToys dforrest Joyoussinger dulcinina John W Gregg Schneeman Tumbleweed Wayne Jiang Patricia Delich Marc Mathieu Rob N Lackey Paula Brawdy Mark Gilston Dusty Turtle Steve Eulberg Robin Thompson Strumelia


youtube videos: 10
images: 55
events: 1

I grew up in Detroit, MI, and started playing mtn dulcimer in 1975 after having played drums and guitar. The first dulcimer I ever saw was when Brian Jones played one at a Rolling Stones concert, on "Ruby Tuesday." I subsequently saw one here or there at folk music events and finally had to get one after having a chance to play one and staying up till the wee hours doing so. 

I took a few lessons with Margaret MacArthur who was very influential on me in left-hand technique such as hammer-ons and pull-offs. But instead of finger picking with right hand as she did I've always used a pick and done a strum + picking out single strings combination. I try to give pieces a strong beat, especially on the upbeat. I listen to almost anything under the sun. 

I play four equal strings, D-A-D-D, low to high. I wouldn't be without it - along with a 1.5 fret. Four equidistant is most common in the greater Boston area due to Lorraine Lee's longtime teaching around there, and it's otherwise a bit rare, I find.  Lorraine and I met a year after I'd spent time with Margaret MacArthur. We both played three-string dulcimers, mine D-A-D and hers the uncommon A-D-D. It was a "worlds collide" experience for both of us. I had bass notes for chords and little bass runs, she had beautiful treble triads - and neither of us could play the others arrangements. I saw Lorraine about a year later, and we had both gone to four equidistant strings - the best of both worlds! The rest is histerical (sic).  

What I'd love to find is a six-equidistant (or at least 5), to get REAL bass notes - down to the 'drop D' bass string of a guitar. Sam Rizetta built one, a prototype that I played in a happy daze and I'd suffer much to have. But I can't pay him enough to build another - he has too many back orders for his hammered dulcimers! 

Besides here, I can be reached by email at leokretz@gmail.com or by phone/text at 909-896-2483.

Best regards to all,

Leo K

PS - I've even figured out how to change the little comments under picture. I'm a bit slow, but persistent. 


Latest Activity

Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • one month ago • comments: 4
Posted a new Comment on Pigtown Fling - by Leo Kretzner w the Old Grey Cats...:
"Thank you both. so how many jazz bass players?  1  b3  3  5  b7 ... Alas, even in SoCal, the weather for outdoor playing gets quite iffy for the next couple..."
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • one month ago • comments: 4
Posted a new Comment on Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring: :
"Thank you, Robin. "
Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • one month ago • comments: 3
Posted a new YouTube video:
O’Carolan’s Draught
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • one month ago • comments: 4
Posted a new Comment on Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring: :
"I'm excited about my new 'hybrid' dulcimer tunings, with low G's (as here) and A's, as described in more detail in 'Description.' Two full octaves in first..."
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • one month ago • comments: 4
Posted a new YouTube video:
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring:
Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 4
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 4
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 5
Posted a new Comment on Wide World of MD Variety, Ch 4: Sound Holes! Pg B:
"Yes, among others, and these can be seen on many west coast dulcimers. Thanks for mentioning that. "
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 5
Posted a new Comment on Wide World of MD Variety, Ch 4: Sound Holes! Pg B:
"It's by James A Tranthum of Canton, NC, who I know nothing further on. Almost all of these were taken back in the 80's. Especially at that time, a lot of..."
Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 3
Posted a new Comment on Wide World of MD Variety, Ch 4: Sound Holes! Pg A:
"Love the grammatical analysis! 'compound modifier preceding a noun...' YEAH, ROCK THAT GRAMMAR NITTY-GRITTY! A general observation is that I see people..."
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 6
Posted a new Comment on My first Mountain Dulcimer.:
"Very nice looking, and the perfling seems very nice esp from a kit! "
Leo Kretzner
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "I am a study in inconsistancy":
"What a great title for a thread! (poem, article, etcetera) I feel that way about many things, certainly wrt consistency of practicing - frequency and time..."
Leo Kretzner
@leo-kretzner • 3 months ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on Saratoga Hornpipe:
"Hey Mark, that's really nice! The B part sounds dang challenging!! : - )  Leo "
Leo Kretzner

Latest Group Discussions


Latest Photos

unicorns by Linda Foley, Lost Valley D's, Apr'82 (d25).jpg
unicorn s holes, by Eddie Damm  Apr'81 (d87).jpg
fish s holes, by Pete Kappes (d94).jpg
duck sound holes, Jul'82, unknown (d98).jpg
dog head s holes, by Pete Kappes, May'82 (d93).jpg
butterfly holes, detail, Holly W-U.jpg
'wheat' sound holes, no other notes.jpg
f-holes and hearts, 8 string by DavidField, Glassboro NJ.jpg
heart f-hole sort of, by AlanDarveaux.jpg
f-style, maybe d14 by Bill Davis.jpg
f-holes, by Steve Smith, Phila PA (d68).jpg
f holes w mottled top, by RevMaxGilmore....jpg
heart f-holes, by James A Tranthum, Canton NC.jpg
heart-embellished f-holes Romey Pittman.jpg
trailing hearts, by Bill Keay, ElkNeckD's, ElkNck, MD.jpg
trailing hearts by Peter Cooney, KY Mar'82.JPG
embellished hearts by Romey Pittman, NEDS'83.jpg
big trailing hrts, by Bill Keay, Elk Neck (MD) dulcimers, Jul'82.jpg

Latest Forum Discussions


What happened to 6 photos I tried to...

Posted: Wednesday August 5 2020, 9:02 PM
By: @Leo Kretzner


Leo Kretzner
08/05/17 05:43:39PM @leo-kretzner:

How do I change the generic dulcimer photo that appear with any of my posts?

Ken Longfield
05/29/15 10:17:08AM @ken-longfield:

Hi Leo. I've had the same problem at other places. Glad you signed up again.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

John Keane
05/29/15 06:36:33AM @john-keane:

Howdy and welcome back to fotmd!

Benjamin W Barr Jr
05/28/15 07:25:00PM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:

Hi Leo, and welcome once again to the wonderful world of the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. It's a good place to come, spend some time, learn about the dulcimer, and to meet some good people.

Ben Smile.gif

Rob N Lackey
05/28/15 07:20:16PM @rob-n-lackey:

Welcome back, Leo, to this little corner of dulcimer heaven. I've been enjoying your cds, but sure would like to get some more. When are you going in the studio again?


Karen Keane
05/28/15 07:16:44PM @karen-keane:
Hello and welcome to the site. This is a great place to share ideas and listen to music. I hope you enjoy!
Jim Fawcett
05/28/15 05:30:38PM @jim-fawcett:

Hey Leo, welcome aboard. Glad ya found us.

Cynthia Wigington
05/28/15 09:56:29AM @cynthia-wigington:

WB Leo. Guess you know the drill. Greetings from Vermont - we just had torrential rainstorms and power outage yesterday. Wish I could mail you some.