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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone/text at 909-896-2483.
Best regards to all,
PS - I've even figured out how to change the little comments under picture. I'm a bit slow, but persistent.
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How do I change the generic dulcimer photo that appear with any of my posts?
Hi Leo. I've had the same problem at other places. Glad you signed up again.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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.
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?
Hello and welcome to the site. This is a great place to share ideas and listen to music. I hope you enjoy!
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.