Strings...and how they sit

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

Strings...and how they sit

Postby Aussie70 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:40 pm

Hi...am enjoying my dulcimer immensely. My question is..."should the strings all be the same distance (height) from the fretboard?"
My middle string seems to be raised a little...they are definitely not level. I seem to get hung up on it a bit and wondering whether technique incorrect or is the raised string causing the slight hang. It is noticeable at the bridge.
As you can imagine there are very few Luthiers specialising in dulcimers in Australia, however, I have contacted one who is prepared to look at mine for me. They specialise in guitars and violins. Explained to me that sometimes strings need to be reseated at the bridge which does make sense to me.
So:
Should strings be level?
Or is it possibly technique?
Thanks in advance
Heather....South Australia
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Re: Strings...and how they sit

Postby DulciBob81 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:18 am

I'm not the expert, but I think a raised middle string is good for when playing with a bow. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure the strings should be even height.
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Re: Strings...and how they sit

Postby rtroughear » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:57 am

Heather

Unless you have decided to play dulcimer with a radiused fretboard, I think it's probably best if all the strings were level.

I don't know of any dulcimer makers in South Australia, but adjusting the string action of your dulcimer is no big deal and a guitar maker would be well equiped to do it for you and at small cost. An alternative would be to take it to a local musical instrument shop and ask if they have a guitar set-up person. New instruments often need the string action tweaked and such a person will have done hundreds of instruments.

Richard T
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Re: Strings...and how they sit

Postby Aussie70 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:05 am

Thank you for your responses. I found a luthier who has helped me out. Though he did want to seperate my melody strings! He was very impressed with my dulcimer....first that he had seen. The middle string was high...now not hanging and far less clacky. Good outcome. Again thank you.
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