Sam E. wrote: > I decided to play 3-string, rather than 4-string
> Learn one tuning really, really, really well
> If I need to add extra notes, I'd rather do it with extra frets
This is the same philosophy that I have come to use.
I am nowhere near the player that you are Mr. E, and may never be...
...but it is very reassuring to me, reading that my exact thoughts on this are in tune with your own.
A personal choice and philosophy for sure, and not for everyone.
But, I have come to this same exact conclusion for my own experience.
I was enthralled with dulcimer music, the folk sound, the history, the origin.
I began to study and play a bit... and then...
...I stumbled across a Sam E. video on YouTube.
The one with Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love
Blew my mind.
Right then and there is when I decided in earnest to master this instrument.
I'm still working on that. Probably will be for life.
Then I came in from the field one day from planting turnips and picking collards and googled up "dulcimer stuff".
I ran across a Dulcimerica podcast about the pentatonic blues scale by Bing Futch.
At the end of the segment, Bing says:
I want you to go out there now, I want you to plant some turnips, and some collard greens. I want you to come back inside with your feet all dirty like a pirate, and play some blues.
I had to clean and process the collards I'd been picking, and needed to go back out and plant more turnips...
...so I took my old beat-up dulcimer with me, and began playing the blues to the chickens and turnip patch.
Very soon after that, I was ripping the strings off and added the 6 1/2 and 1 1/2 frets to my dulcimer to gain more "Blues" notes. Best thing that ever happened to me and that ol' dulcimer. Love it.
If you would like to feel inspired by these same influences, check out the videos: