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EverythingDulcimer

Admin

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Posts posted by Admin

  1. Right now I put my dulcimers back in their case when I'm done playing, but I'd like to have get a stand for them.  My main motivation is ease of access, so I can just grab one and play when I sit down in the living room.  I'd also like to display them, like folks do with guitars. 

    Does anyone have recommendations for a good stand?  I did some searching, but most of what I came up with were either hammered dulcimer stands or generic instrument stands that looked like they may not work well for a dulcimer. 

  2. I think my journey with the dulcimer is best summed up in a description I heard at a workshop:  "The mountain dulcimer is the last best hope to play a musical instrument." 😂

    I'd tried to learn a few instruments over the years including violin, ukulele, and guitar.  With guitar and ukulele I felt like I was doing contortions to get chord shapes and never became comfortable with them.  Violin was a little better in that it was only one note at a time, but I had a lot of trouble hearing if I was on pitch.  My teacher was always having me move my finger a little bit and I couldn't hear the difference.  I learned some songs and a bit of music theory, but I never felt comfortable playing the instrument or that I was doing well.

    One day, a friend asked me if I'd heard of the dulcimer.  I hadn't.  She told me it was easy to play and I could probably do it.  I was skeptical to say the least, but I watched some Youtube videos.  I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs, but I liked listening to them and they reminded me of my grandparents and their country roots.  I searched for some workshops and found one not too far from me in September 2017.  In a couple hours the instructor took a class of complete beginners who'd never touched the instrument from Boil 'em Cabbage to Ode to Joy and Southwind.  Playing on one string, with drones?  I can do this!

    I had to get a dulcimer.  Someone at the workshop mentioned the old EverythingDulcimer.  I joined, got some great advice and ended up buying my first dulcimer.  There aren't too many instructors / workshops near me, but I was able to teach myself drone melody style from tabs and videos.  Eventually I got a little adventurous an played a few chords. 😁  I found I enjoyed learning songs and finally felt some success in learning to play an instrument.  

    I took a bit of a break for the second half of 2018 to move and focus on some other things, but I still enjoyed sitting and playing.  In 2019 I decided to go to a festival and signed up for Kentucky Music week.  I didn't really know any of the instructors so I signed up for classes based on descriptions alone.  As it was a few months before KMW, I looked for other festivals and found the Crooked Road Dulcimer Festival that was not too far from me in Virginia, so i signed up for that too.

    Crooked Road was great!  I met a lot of great people and dulcimer players are a very welcoming community.  Everyone was just there to learn, participate, and enjoy themselves.  Don Pedi gave a history class one morning on his journey with the dulcimer and playing in the drone-melody style.  That really spoke to me and just by chance I'd signed up for one of his classes at KMW.  That class was the first time I left DAD tuning, and things like major and minor scales suddenly clicked.  I was hooked and I loved the old songs, especially fiddle tunes.

    I took some other classes for flat picking, rhythm, and chord-melody and enjoyed learning about them, but I still need a lot of practice. 😁  At the end of the day it's a lot of fun and very relaxing to sit down and be able to play a couple songs.  If it weren't for the mountain dulcimer (and the amazing diatonic fretboard) I don't think I would ever have learned an instrument.   Now I can't imagine not playing one!

    I would love to hear how others got started!

    • Like 2
  3. 17 hours ago, Fiddler said:

    Recommendations for dulcimer? How much should one expect to pay for a nice dulcimer.

    I was asking the same question a couple years ago.  It's hard to find good info on all the different builders. There's a lot out there and the price range varies by builder, features, and how fancy the instrument is.  Prussia Valley's store page can give you an idea of some of the different makers/prices.  This is just a starting point for you to browse and get some information:

    http://prussiavalley.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=21

    I'd spend some time searching and looking at different shops/builders to see what suits you.  In general, features like ebony fret boards or fancy/exotic woods are options that will tend to push the price of an instrument up.

    You might also take a look at the builder's page.  It's in development and the info on the page is incomplete/just for testing, but the ones on there currently are actual shops and builders:

    https://everythingdulcimer.com/builders.php

  4. 5 hours ago, KWL said:

    I'm glad to see the new Everything Dulcimer site. How do we add festivals to the list?

    I saw your other post in the events section and I've added the festival to the list 🙂

  5. 5 hours ago, KWL said:

    I'm glad to see the new Everything Dulcimer site. How do we add festivals to the list?

    Welcome!  I'm going add the ability for users to add to the list directly, but at the moment I have to manually update it.  I've created a post that I'll monitor for adding festival info.  If you have the details, post them there and I'll get them added for you: 

     

  6. I'm glad to see folks are finding their way here and I hope to make the site as useful to community as possible.  I've had a couple requests to add events to the festivals page, and I'm happy to.  My plan for the festival list (and other lists) is to have the ability for everyone to add directly to it.  That's still a work in progress and may be a few months off. 

    In the mean time, I can update the list manually.  The ones on the list are just events I'm familiar with, but I want to add as many possible.  Reply below with:

    1. Festival Name
    2. Location (city, state) (and country if outside the US)
    3. Dates
    4. A link to the website

    and I'll get them added to the list 🙂  

    • Like 1
  7. Welcome to the new EverythingDulcimer forums.  Feel free to post and help build the community.  The site is still being built, so if you run into any issues, please let me know! 

     

    Enjoy! 😊

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