Which Dulcimer?

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Which Dulcimer?

Postby SLucchesi » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:41 am

Recently attended my first Trad music camp ( Shelley Phillips, Community Music School ). My instrument, the fiddle. BUT, on the last day Shelley heard me say "dulcimer" put one in my lap and taught me "Go Tell Aunt Rhody"...loaned me the instrument ( to be returned at Redwood Dulcimer Day on 8/20 ). The dulcimer she loaned me has a hard time keeping tuned, so I am on a search for my very own. In my research, I see so many options. Various lengths, woods, etc. I impulsively bought one on ebay, and I am sure enjoying it BUT I am sure I will be upgrading.

What would be your recommendations? Think I should wait until Dulcimer Day? ( Ohh waiting is hard )!!

Are some set ups easier to play?

P.S. I sure love your Tablature!!

S
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby danc9 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:52 am

Are you going to play traditional or contemporary?

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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby SLucchesi » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:27 am

Most likely Traditional!
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby danc9 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:23 pm

My student model is all poplar with maple fret board and pin head. $150 shipped state side with tuning wrench.

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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby joe sanguinette » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:48 am

a dulcimer fest is a great place to be able to try and compare a number of instrments.
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby SLucchesi » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:08 pm

Guess, I had best be patient and wait until 8/20 Redwood Dulcimer Day. Until then I will self teach with a 10 year old Cripple Creek I bought off of eBay...

:D
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby KenH » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:33 am

You want want to check this out -- I recently revised the article and it's even better than before. I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What? is an illustrated glossary of dulcimer terms, plus answers to many beginner questions on tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new friend.

I Just Got A Dulcimer 2016.pdf
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby Judy K » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:06 am

SLucchesi, there are many great dulcimer builders to chose from. Most players have their favorites. Some swear McSpadden is the best choice. My personal favorite builders are David Lynch (Sweet Woods Instruments), Gary Sager (Prussia Valley), Nicolas Hambas, David Hanson, and Ron Ewing. I own dulcimers by each one; each dulcimer has its own distinctive sound; each wonderfully crafted. Dave L, Gary & Ron have websites; Nic has a YouTube channel, and David H sells on ebay and on ED occasionally.

So many builders .... so little space to store dulcimers! ;)
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby Shape note singer » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:06 am

How delightful to hear a tale of dulcimer introduction from sunny California. Good to hear news of Shelley, too. Isn't she wonderful! I made her acquaintance through shape note singing decades ago, and I really admire all she does at the Community School there in Santa Cruz. So many get their start in this music because somebody put a dulcimer into their hands!

As for which dulcimer to purchase, all the above advice is spot on. I would strongly recommend waiting until you have a chance to play and hear a variety of dulcimers in person.
Good luck!
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Re: Which Dulcimer?

Postby SLucchesi » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:22 pm

Thank you all so much for the information and encouragement. I am looking forward to Redwood Dulcimer Day in August. I am also fortunate enough to get to visit the workshop of Howard Rugg of "Capritaurus".

Time will tell, there is so much I want to learn.
Cheers,

Sharon
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