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  1. If you're familiar with building a Ukulele, you could make it as a 3 or 4 string with diatonic frets and you'd be all set. I've seen a couple like that before:
  2. From what I can find on plum it should be similar to a very hard maple. It'll probably make a bright sounding instrument. And it looks like it glues and finishes well, so you should be fine. Dulcimers are commonly made out of walnut, cherry, mahogany and sometimes have a spruce, redwood, maple or butternut tops. But really they're made out of all sorts of woods. Even cardboard.
  3. I agree with @NoterMan, you're not likely to find a pattern for one as it's a commercial instrument they created on their own pattern. I use to have one of these and they're definitely carved from a single piece of wood except for the top, which a separate piece laid on the body. Just want to mention one thing about the tuning / frets on these. They come tuned DAd, which is fine, but they don't have what would be called a 6 fret on a dulcimer (only 6.5). The fret pattern is Ionian instead of Mixolydian from the open string, which has a couple consequences: 1) You can't play Mixolydian tunes and 2) It's missing the G note on the middle string (only has G#) which makes forming some chords odd. 3) Modal tuning is problematic. You can still do it, but the modes will not match the ones on a dulcimer because of the fret pattern differing. If you're building one, I'd at least add the regular 6 fret on there. Also the number of frets is a little low. You can still play a lot with it, but there are also a lot of tunes will go to the 10th fret, some the 12th. You may want something with a few more frets for more versatility. If you do build one, would love to see some pics 🙂
  4. The link you posted is just one image. Can you give a better picture of the label? I can make out the words "Salterios" and "Atlizaya"(?) which I would guess are the brand, model or manufacturer. And then it says "Reproducion de ..." which means "Reproduction of ...". I was thinking "Salterios" is somehow related to Psaltery and Google translate confirms that's the spanish word for psalteries. I don't personally know much about hammered dulcimers, others will know more, but the label will likely be the most helpful thing to track down more info. edit: Is what I'm think of as the label, actually the business card you mentioned?
  5. Hi Carla, Sorry to hear you have to cancel. Things are still dicey with the pandemic, so probably the right call. Have you considered doing an online workshop? I've attended a few over Zoom and those have gone well.
  6. Hi Elizabeth, Welcome to the site. I'm not familiar with that maker and I haven't seen one by them before. Doing a little searching, the only thing I came up with is probably the same listing you're looking at. There was also a reference to someone with that name starting a dulcimer club ~25-ish years ago but that was about all I could find. It could be a one off / personal instrument that they built for themselves. I remember seeing a class last year for building this style of instrument, I think it was at the Black Mountain festival. So it could be something like that as well.
  7. A luthier (instrument builder/repairer) would probably be the way to go to have one added. Most dulcimer builders can do that for you, but local places that work with fretted instruments (guitars for example) would have the tools to do it. They basically need to saw a new slot for it, hammer in the fret wire and then dress it so it's the right shape/height and doesn't have sharp edges. DAD is the most common tuning you'll find in modern books and publications and also at jams / workshops. It's still fairly common to retune the dulcimer to play in other modes (like DAC for the minor key), but most classes and instruction books will assume you're set up for and starting in DAD with a 6+ fret.
  8. Feel free to post any questions as you come across them! You might consider having a 6+ fret added if you want to explore more. With that and a string change you can set up to play in DAD with most modern material you'll find.
  9. Glad to help 🙂 In regards to your book, the 6+ won't generally be a problem playing DAD tunes on DAA as it will be the 9th fret as I mentioned above. The regular 6 fret is where you may run into a little difficulty. You could bend the 8th fret to get that note if needed. Most DAD tunes in modern books are going to be D Major (Ionian mode) songs and will mostly use the 6+ fret and rarely the 6. In that case, just add 3 to the fret numbers on the melody string and you're all set. If you come across a song in DAD with a lot of 6 frets and no 6+, it's a probably a song in Mixolydian mode and is intended be played on a dulcimer like yours without the 6+ fret, but tuned up to DAD. An example of this would be Old Joe Clark. You're not likely to run into too many of these, so not something to worry too much about, but worth being aware of. Happy playing!
  10. If it's actually a DAA tab that's calling for a 6+ note on the melody string (G#) that would be odd, but without the extra fret you'd need to bend as KWL said. But do you mean playing a DAD tab on DAA? If so the 6+ fret would be the 9th fret. An easy way to convert DAD to DAA is to just add 3 to the tab notes. (0 would be 3).
  11. Yeah, the other book (Renaissance Ayres) doesn't go into set up or technique. The intro was probably a bit of an unnecessary turn off. It's essentially just a book of tab, which themselves seem ok, but it's pretty barebones otherwise. I unfortunately haven't met Phyllis. I signed up for her Galax class last year, but her husband was ill and she wasn't able to make it. We did get to try out Galax dulcimers, but it was just a brief intro without her there. Yep, with a couple books using these tunings I'll probably set up a dulcimer for it the next time I need to restring. I would like to hear how it's intended to sound since Lorraine went into such detail in her book. That would be great to see a lute style dulcimer. One book I came across (I think Robert Force's) listed the lute style as a major type along with hourglass, tear drop, etc. I believe there was a picture, but I've never seen actually seen one.
  12. I saw a copy of An Elizabethan Songbook by Lorraine Lee up there if you're looking for that one. I couldn't find the others again, but they're sure to come back up. Thanks for pointing me to Steve's site, I hadn't seen those before. I may have to pick up a couple of those. I love this style of music.
  13. I just meant in terms of the string gauges on a "standard" dulcimer, though they're on the very light side even for that. Gdd is 1-5-5 as you mentioned and these could be played in DAA, but it would be like playing something for a standard dulcimer on a baritone. The tuning they call for is tuned up to where a ginger dulcimer would sit, but on a 27 inch scale length. You're right that it's asking for an unwound bass string of 0.012 tuned to G and the middle and melody strings being 0.009 tuned to d. This is from "An Elizabethan Songbook" by Lorraine Lee. She dedicated 7 pages at the front of the book going into detail on how to setup the dulcimer for these songs, techniques for playing them and her notation. It's nice that it's there. I read through that section a bit and there's 4 tuning in total it uses. Gdd, Gdc, Add, and Adc, all with those thing gauge strings. The Renaissance Ayres book uses the same tunings, but it doesn't have any explanation on the setup. It actually spends a page basically saying "you're on your own" 😂 An actual quote from the intro: "Diagrams of dulcimer parts, and elementary books on how to play the dulcimer are easily available; however, since this little book is not intended to be a book of instructions, they are intentionally omitted. I am also leaving out the musical staff, key and time signatures, etc." It's just tabs with note names and that's all there is.
  14. The ones I have are: Renaissance Ayres Arrangements for Dulcimer Written for Dilettanti Book I by P. B. Dickerman An Elizabethan Songbook With Arrangements for the Appalachian Dulcimer by Lorraine A. Lee Nonesuch for Dulcimer by Roger Nicholson Musicks Delight on the Dulcimer or the New Elizabethan by Roger Nicholson I picked all of these up on eBay. I'm sure these would work in other tunings. I just found it interesting that they seem to mostly call for a middle string and 2 melody stings. They don't call for a low bass string though I'm sure it would be fine with one. I could probably also figure out another tuning that would work, but it would be neat to play/hear them as they're written. Blue Lions are nice instruments. I've heard a few but haven't had a chance to play one myself yet. Hopefully when festivals start up again I'll get a chance to try one. I've mostly been going between a Folkroots and a McCafferty lately.
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