Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Nathina

  1. I agree it is a salterio and a fairly decent one considering the offset bridges. 3 strings per course, designed to be plucked or picked. However it is in the family of dulcimers, just as a cimbalom, yangqin are. In fact this salterio seems to have some cimbalom characteristics by isolating the lower bass strings and the upper treble. As such it can also be struck of the each course is tuned to the same note. Even the American HD can be picked using the back end of some hammers. 

  2. On 1/22/2020 at 7:13 AM, KWL said:


    I was always attracted to the ethereal sounds of the instrument and was unable to stretch an octave on the piano although I still try to occasionally play. Guitar ended up causing my fingers to bleed. The HD I can do. And what I can play actually sounds like it should. It is possible to play chords for accompaniment, as well as play music designed for the treble staff. Depending on the range of the instrument, music may have to be converted. 

  3. Hi. I play the hammered dulcimer. I can answer most questions about the HD, and be of help on most questions. Why I chose the HD is because to the sound and sustain of the strings. Celtic music and the newer today's songs played on the HD are ethereal at least to me. Any HD can also be attached to an amp and the sounds changed (reverb etc) accordingly. I am not the best player, and there is still things I am always finding new that I can do with the instrument. It never gets old. It is also a "fairly" easy instrument to play but there is a lot of "technical" behind it like the right hammers, etc. So if anyone needs help with the HD let me know.

  4. When you say 

    On 3/3/2020 at 11:54 AM, rkilbridge said:

    My hammered dulcimer strings have a ringing, "twangy"  sound that persists after I strike the string; this is preventing me from playing.

    I thought this had something to do with a humidity level in the atmosphere that is too high. I had trouble last summer with an 80% humidity

    level in the house. I dropped it down to the 50's with the help of air conditioning and it solved the problem. This winter I have tried to keep the humidity level at between 35-40% and 

    my strings are "twanging" again. Humidity too low? Someone suggested I raise the humidity level to 45% which I am trying to do. Level is at 42% today and still twanging. Any advice here 


    When you say "too twangy" do you mean buzzing, or the sustain?

  5. What make is your dulcimer and how many octaves?. Reason for string breakings is wrong tuning, old strings, poor quality tempered strings, wrong weight of string being tuned, warped soundboard responding to environmental changes, poor quality soundboard, warped bridges either lateral or longitudinal or trying to tune to another manufacturers tunings. There are several other reasons but less likely. 

  6. Reasonably cheap strings are available on line for roosebeck 16/15, 12/11, 10/9. Not the greatest but they do work. They also have singles. Replacing a string with another weight can effect the tonal qualities, as the adjustment will effect the overtone of the nearby strings. If you are interested in more expensive strings I could refer you to several manufacturers who have a better quality.

  7. I too, also had trouble with guitar, and my fingers are not long enough for a full octave on a piano. Since the hammered dulcimer is played using hammers and only wrist motion, I find the action easy. As stated a chromatic dulcimer which contains more of the flats and sharps can play pretty much anything.They are usually around 3.5 to 4.5 octaves going from A2 to A6 for a bass extension, or A3 to E7 for a treble extension.The really expensive ones have 5 octaves. The standard diatomic however do contain F#3,4,5, D#4 and C#3,4,5, and only a B4 flat and if you get a 16/15 it is a full three octaves from A3 to E6 the top 3 notes may be tuned to sharps depending on the builder. As for music, any instruments that use basically only a treble staff, or single notes will work. That includes guitar, violin, flute, etc. The weight has been taken into account by manufacturers that now have a lite version to carry, if you intend to take it places. The headache is keeping it in tune. 

    The American hammered dulcimer that would be reasonably playable has two strings per note (course) so a 16/15 would have 31x2 = 62 strings to tune. The better the dulcimer normally the strings will stay in tune for ??. The cheaper ones approximately 2 days, and the bad ones need turning daily. There are single string dulcimers but the sound is not that great. 

    There are also newly developed piano hammered dulcimers (expensive) that provide the white and black keys of a piano up to around 55 keys. They are not mainstream but available. 

    If you are in a location of a HD teacher you are lucky. Covid seems to have destroyed most hands on lessons, and you can learn a little from videos, but they are difficult to try to figure out what strings are being played. There are 100's of free music scores from classical to Celtic available for HD. The videos are good to catch the rhythm.

    The HD will play chords, for accompaniment and in some cases you can play your own harmony and melody. I am still trying to find out how the chords are played with a melody, since a three beat chord and a 1/4 note for the melody would have to be reduced to 1/16 for the 4 notes, and I don't think this is correct.

    Hope this helps.

  8. It looks like a 15/14. How many courses (2 strings per course or more?) are there. The soundboard and peg boards look like the same wood, Closed bridges Use of delrin on the sides (not copper or metal)  and the bridges. The hammers are dual sided and appear heart shape and dark. Sound holes on one side is unusual. 


    From the design I suspect the soundboard is laminated ply. Coloration and fleur de lis looks similar to an older Folkcraft kit. Although I don't know if they ever made a soundboard with two sound holes on the bass side. They did make a kit with a single sound hole on the bass side however which would have been the fleur de lis. Normally a sound hole is on the left and the right of the treble bridge. Since it is a kit, it would be easy to drill another circle hole which is what I suspect the builder did.

  9. It looks like a 15/14. How many courses (2 strings per course or more?) are there. The soundboard and peg boards look like the same wood, Closed bridges Use of delrin on the sides (not copper or metal)  and the bridges. The hammers are dual sided and appear heart shape and dark. Sound holes on one side is unusual. 

  • Create New...