What dulcimer do you play the most

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What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby Ttaylor » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:52 am

Most everybody has more than one dulcimer. Which one do you play the most and why? Just for conversation.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby dholeton » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:21 pm

This is a good topic Trent. I'll try to describe my instrument usage.

I keep one dulcimer tuned DAD. I use it once a month at an assisted living home to play one or two songs (for the rest of the set I use guitar or occasionally my other dulcimers in other tunings). I use this dulcimer at any dulcimer club events since all of the music for those events is arranged for DAD. I've only attended a few dulcimer club events this year. I have a few other songs I like to play in DAD and use the DAD dulcimer at random on those songs.

I keep another dulcimer tuned DAA. I play it occasionally at the assisted living home but most of the time I play it when I'm alone at home.

I keep another dulcimer tuned to CGC. I use it for bringing the high note in a song down to hopefully something my voice can reach (songs like Hard Times, Pack Up Your Sorrows, Turn Turn Turn, and Lookin' Out My Back Door). I play it occasionally at the assisted living home but most of the time I play it when I'm alone at home.

I keep another dulcimer tuned DAC (most of the time). I play it when I want to let the middle and bass strings drone. I play it mostly when I'm alone at home.

I keep another dulcimer tuned either to EBG (for Phrygian tunes) or EBA (for Dorian tunes). I play it mostly when I'm alone at home. In fact, this dulcimer has never been out of the house.

I also have a scheitholt that I built this year. I have played it a lot and I keep it tuned mostly to CGG or CGBb "equivalent" tunings. I played it once at the assisted living home this year and otherwise play it when I'm alone at home.

I make recordings at home and put the recordings on CDs to distribute to family and friends. I've used all of the instruments above on a Christmas CD I recorded this year.

So, with all of that said, it's hard to say which instrument I play the most with my music inspiration changing all of the time. For this year, I might say I played the scheitholt the most, then the DAA dulcimer, then the DAD dulcimer, then the CGC dulcimer, then the EBG dulcimer.

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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby kwl » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:15 pm

The one I play the most is a Folkcraft FSH all walnut hourglass. I play it with our club and in workshops at festivals. Most of the time it is tuned DAd. My second most used DAd dulcimer is a Blue Lion iiR. For DAA, I use a Prichard reproduction I made and the first dulcimer I made which is a rosewood hourglass.

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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby KenH » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:11 pm

Like the others, I keep different instruments in different tunings. I have nearly all traditional dulcimers -- shallow/narrow boxes with half-width frets and straight diatonic fretboards; plus one instrument made by a mentor of mine (Til Holloway) with a deeper body and even a 6+ fret :roll: :oops: :!:

My John Knopf Thomas Replica in Ccc bagpipe tuning for general playing and singing (Key of C fits my voice better)
My Bobby Ratliff Virginia Hogfiddle is in CGBb for those minor key mountain melodies
My own design of Coffin-shaped Walking Stick I keep in CGG; it's at a friend's mountain house in North Carolina
My Holloway "modern" dulcimer is in DAA also for general playing and singing and the occasional time I play with "modern" players
My Dave Lynch customized Student Model is in DAA and is on loan to a student.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby DulciBob81 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:11 am

So far, I have just one dulcimer, an Apple Creek. This brand has a bad rap, but I like mine It does have a clearly cheaper look and sound, but holds it's tuning a lot better than what I've been told. But I am just a 1 year in beginner that only plays at home.
However, having said that, I do plan to replace it with a higher end instrument when I can. My wish list also includes a chromatic, a baritone, an extra diatonic or 2...or 3, a solid body electric, and Cedar Creek in Branson, MO., makes one they call a Dulci-Lin, compact size and pitched like a mandolin. I like those a lot.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby Tatedulcimer » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:37 pm

I have a McSpadden M12-S that is my general go to dulcimer and a McSpadden 6 string for gospel music which has a fuller sound and very easy to play. I learned DAd but I am planning to tune the M12-S to DAA to learn more in that tuning.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby bret » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:55 pm

I've been playing one of my Folkcraft D Series most lately. I like the sound of the taller body and it's set up with 3 equidistant strings. I've found that's a little easier to play than a doubled melody string. This one is made of paduk, sicamore, and maple. I have a similar one that's walnut/butternut, but I play this one more because it's closer to my desk :lol: The other is stored in the closet. There's definitely something to be said for ease of access.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby Banjimer » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:25 am

Like others who have responded, I own and play several dulcimers, including reproductions of historical instruments. However, my go to dulcimer is a Blue Lion Jean Ritchie model custom-made for me with a single melody string instead of the standard double melody string. It is most frequently tuned in Ionian/1-5-5 (D-A-A or C-G-G), but it is frequently tuned in one of the other modal tunings.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby dbennett » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:33 am

When I play with others I play with my walnut McSpadden, usually in DAD. Reason: back when I first started learning to play the locals I jam with were pretty much in DAD and early on I figured that would be easier to learn (I did not think I had it within me to learn multiple tunings at the time).

When I play alone I play with the 1915 Uncle Ed Thomas reproduction dulcimer John Knopf made for me, mostly in DAA/CGG (also walnut). Reason: I like the history behind the instruments and their makers and I am trying to learn/improve my noter/drone playing.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby dbennett » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 am

DulciBob81 wrote:So far, I have just one dulcimer, an Apple Creek. This brand has a bad rap...


DulciBob81,

My first dulcimer was an Apple Creek dulcimer as well. I knew about the "bad rap" but I wanted something ...uh... inexpensive... to learn on while I was determining if I could even learn to play the durn thing as I was starting off with zero music background and orthopedic problems with my hands/fingers.

I knew when I bought the Apple Creek that if I stayed with the dulcimer that I would be replacing it, which I did.

My wife then played it when she was experimenting with learning the dulcimer (she now plays a McSpadden Ginger model).

Eventually we gave the Apple Creek to a girl living with a foster family who wanted to learn but didn't have the resources to buy a dulcimer.

Long story short, the Apple Creek dulcimer met my needs (and expectations) at the time and as you can see we got a lot of use out of it, and our money's worth.
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby kwl » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:42 pm

My own experience with Apple Creek dulcimers has been more positive than negative. I don't own one, but a friend does and the one she has plays well and sounds pretty good. Another one I played in music store had a the action a little higher than I like but still was decent. My complaint with the Apple Creek is that it is a direct copy of a Folkcraft with no acknowledgement of this on the part of the manufacturer.

Sorry for hijacking your thread for this comment, Trent. Now back to the topic: What dulcimer do you play most?

Ken
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Re: What dulcimer do you play the most

Postby Ttaylor » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:17 pm

I play my Blue lion the most and also have a Mcspadden. All tuned Dad. Three string. Hope to own a kirk Simmeron some day.
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