String gauges-please help! UPDATE: PROBLEM SOLVED!

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

String gauges-please help! UPDATE: PROBLEM SOLVED!

Postby Wellspringsing » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:21 pm

BS"D

So I just began renting my first dulcimer, while my dulcimer is being built. It seems that this dulcimer cannot be tuned to DAD but rather DAA, as I get the distinct feeling that if I raised the pitch on the high A strings they would break! I live in a place where dulcimers are almost non-existent, and wouldn't be able to buy strings specifically for dulcimer at a music store.

Please help me figure out what I should buy, to change the double course to D! The reason I need to do so is because I am strongly considering joining a video-learning program that works mostly with DAD.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Wellspringsing on Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wellspringsing
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:44 am

Re: String gauges-please help!

Postby Robin the Busker » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:46 pm

What's the length from the nut to the bridge on your dulcimer.

And can you post a photo of your dulcimer or tell us what make and model it is.

Thanks,

Robin
User avatar
Robin the Busker
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:03 pm
Location: Snowdonia, Wales

Re: String gauges-please help!

Postby KenH » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:05 pm

As Robin suggests, we can't begin to tell you the right gauge of strings unless we know the distance between the nut and bridge. There are some dulcimer String Gauge Calculators available.
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10080
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL

Re: String gauges-please help!

Postby Skip » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:30 pm

If the rental place is reasonably close, I suggest you take it to them and let them deal with it.

Second, you don't need to get 'dulcimer' strings, get guitar strings of the appropriate size.

Thirdly [is that a real word?] .011-.012 strings would probably work on most VSL melody strings. Find a vernier caliper/micrometer owning friend and measure what is there, .014 or larger probably could break, .013 ---? [VSL = Vibrating String Length = nut to bridge.]
Skip
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 7:22 pm
Location: Arkansas (West Central)

Re: String gauges-please help!

Postby Wellspringsing » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:37 am

BS"D

Thanks everyone. So it's 28" VSL. It's made by Boulder Junction Inc., and if I'm reading the tag inside correctly it was made in 1979. I'm renting it from a private owner because that's all I could find.
Wellspringsing
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:44 am

Re: String gauges-please help!

Postby Wellspringsing » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:11 am

BS"D

Boy I feel kind of silly...I basically realized that the actual problem was a slipping tuning pin. Thankfully I was able to fix it and can now tune in DAD! So don't worry all-and thanks for the help! I believe a good deed never goes to waste :)
Wellspringsing
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:44 am

Re: String gauges-please help! UPDATE: PROBLEM SOLVED!

Postby KenH » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:28 am

Just make sure you're tuning the melody strings up -- to DAd, not down to DAD. The lowercase d indicates that the melody string is tuned an octave higher than the bass string D.

Here's a copy of an article I wrote several years ago and recently revised, called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What? It's an illustrated glossary of dulcimer terms (so we all talk about the same thing), plus answers to many beginner questions about the tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new instrument.

I Just Got A Dulcimer 2016.pdf
(1.07 MiB) Downloaded 138 times
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10080
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL


Return to Mountain Dulcimer Beginner's Area

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests