New 6 String Dd Aa dd

04/16/17 09:57:08PM

Hi All - 

I've just started my third dulcimer.  There's been a short hiatus since I built my last dulcimer in ... um... 1976.  That one was also a six-string with a 25 3/4" scale length, and that's been the problem.  

You see, my dulcimer has two octave pairs, nominally Dd Aa dd.  But at that scale length, it's almost impossible to get a string up to the high a in the middle.  The only thing that works is .007 strings, and only about one in four strings survives tuning to the note, and then only after being coaxed up there over a couple of days.  So it's a problem.  (But I've contributed a significant amount to keeping D'Addario profitable over the years...)

This summer I'm going to the Dutchland Dulcimer Gathering in Pennsylvania, and I won't be able to play with other people without a dulcimer that is firmly up to pitch, so I'm building a new instrument.  This one will have a scale of 23" or a bit less, and the .007 should be fine at that length.  

I'll keep you posted!