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Jay D Byrd

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  1. I've been mucking about building somewhat similar diatonic fretted instruments with necks. I tend to use a longer VSL similar to the mountain dulcimer. I started out building using cigar box guitars that I set up as stick dulcimers. Then I built a something more like a stick dulcimer but with a resonator which I liked, but as a beginner, it's got a lot of mistakes to be rectified in later builds. I've been side tracked by what other builders call "Appalachian Git-fiddles", basically a fiddle with the neck replaced by a longer one. This one is still a work in progress as I work out a few issues with it. Both have about a 28" VSL, fretless and have electric pickups. The resonator (aka: the "Do-hicky") was built basically as a prototype to try out some ideas that didn't work out and others that worked very well. It's a 3 string and uses a cheap humbucker type pickup with a piezo mounted to the resonator inside the body. I can can switch between the two pickups or blend them together. Or just play it acoustically as the resonator works very well with it. The "dulcifiddle" is just something I wanted to see if I could build one. It's needs some tweaking still, but it's getting there.
  2. What's the consensus here about stick dulcimers? I'll fess up that I find them very interesting. I'm not talking so much about the Merlins, but the ones with the oval bodies, long diatonic necks and the standard mountain dulcimer string setups. Enough so that I've been messing around building this thing in my spare time. I'm not sure what to call it yet, but it's a large cigar box with a 27" scale, 4 strings with a DAD tuning and a resonator cone. Still to be installed are the frets in a diatonic tuning with 1+, 6+ and 10+ frets. Along with a standard electric pickup and an internal piezo pickup with the associated switches and wiring. This test string up and tuning was more to figure out where the frets need to go using an electronic tuner. I tried to use some of the online fret calculators, but I was getting different answers for some of the frets, with those being significantly off. But it was sounding great once I got it into DAD tuning using a 026w, 017, 011 & 010 strings that were odd spares I had just laying around. Anyway, I was mainly wondering if stick dulcimers were off topic here as I'm starting to really like this one.
  3. I was an ED member about a decade or so ago. Never did get real good at the mountain dulcimer (what I grew up hearing called "hog fiddles"), but I was having fun with them no matter what everyone else in the family had to say about my playing. I took a break from them several years ago and I've recently found a rekindled interest in them. I've been toying around building cigar box guitars, but never learned to play the guitar which has got me to thinking about building a dulcimer. At least then I can play what I build (although I'm pretty rusty on the dulcimer). Anyway, if yall don't mind putting up with my nonsense, I'll be hanging around some. JDB
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