Should a beginner buy this 6-string dulcimer/epinette?

12/28/21 07:33:36PM

Photo 1 - Dulcimer 6 cordes Atelier de la Cithare quasi neuf Hello all ! I am brand new to the world of dulcimers, and would love to pick your brains if you have a minute. I'm considering buying this strange fella, but I can't say I fully understand what I'm looking at.

It's chromatic, 6 strings, 26.7 inches, cherry wood with a cedar table, ash bottom, walnut decorations.

Now don't make fun of me (or not too much !), but here's where I'm confused : it's supposed to be a right-handed instrument, but the "chromatic frets" (sorry, probably not the right technical term but I don't know how they're called) are on the right. Also, that's where there are 2 strings that are further apart. So my newbie brain would understand that as melody strings on the right. Am I wrong ?

This one is second hand but it's made by a French luthier, and all the other mountain dulcimers he makes seem to be set up in a similar way. Here's his website, where you can see them near the bottom of the page :

Also, here is a video of the luthier playing another one of his own dulcimers, where it looks to me like he's using the left strings as melody strings :

But if so, what's the point of having the "chromatic frets" on the right ?

I would love to hear anything you'd have to say about this instrument before I make my choice. Would I be setting myself up for failure by going straight to a 6 strings chromatic ? Is this instrument really strange, and if so, would it make it more difficult for me to follow tabs and tutorials ?

I kind of already have a crush on it, but I don't want to make a decision solely based on that. If I do end up buying it, you'll hear more from me as I try to tame the beast :)

Thank you for your help !