bass dulcimer

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

base baser bassist

Postby KenH » Thu Sep 05, 2002 7:47 pm

A Bass Dulcimer is usually a wider, deeper, longer dulcimer... 8-10" wide, 2-3+" deep and a string length of 28-32", and will have heavier strings. It is tuned to AEA or some LOW key, but played exactly the same as an "ordinary" dulcimer.
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Postby missy » Fri Sep 06, 2002 7:05 am

actually, my bass is tuned DAD - a whole octave below the "regular" dulcimer (my baritone is AEA). As Ken said, you play it just like a regular dulcimer, but the sustain is MUCH greater, so for fast fiddle tunes, you have to play chords, bass licks, or really back off your strumming. And the strings are much heavier, all wound, I think mine are 24, 32 and 52. If you want to hear some clips of one, go to: http://www.strothers.com/mp3's.htm any time you hear the lower dulcimer notes, that's me on the bass. The bass is also doing the lead on "Dream". Missy
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Postby SMO » Mon Sep 09, 2002 8:03 am

I very rarely strum my bass. I flatpick it and use it more like a standup bass or an electric bass. I use it to play a backup bass line and counter-melodies. I'm not sure about the volume on most of the basses, but mine is rather soft, so it needs amplification. Like Missy's, mine is tuned to DAD, an octave lower than the regular dulcimer.
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Postby SMO » Mon Sep 09, 2002 3:41 pm

If I gave the impression that I hold it like a stand-up bass, I'm sorry. I hold it in the regular way. I pluck individual strings to fill chords or make running counter-melodies, much as would a bass or electric bass player.
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