Building the Celtic Strum

08/25/21 02:10:38PM

The strum stick, or stick dulcimer, is the kissing cousin of the mountain dulcimer. I have been thinking of building one for some time. I recently completed a Celtic cittern tuned DADAD for a renaissance musician and found myself playing familiar tunes on the treble DAD strings. So I decided to build a strum stick, but with a few alterations. I call it a Celtic Strum, since it has some design elements that remind me of  something that might have existed in medieval Ireland or Scotland. The scale is 23.2”, all strings are doubled, and the body is both wide and deep. These changes are for more sustain and volume.


The long neck required a truss rod. Tuners are geared violin pegs. The body is spalted sycamore with a spruce top. The “almond” body and triquetra sound hole are very distinctive.


I hope to have it finished in a couple of weeks.