Jump to content
EverythingDulcimer
Sign in to follow this  
Michael

Selecting dulcimer strings

Recommended Posts

I am learning to play the dulcimer(D-A-D) that I have had for many years and it needs new strings.  I can't find a resource for reliable information on the brand,  type of metal, or gauge I need to get to achieve a tone with a bright melody with a warm bass. Recommendations appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brand of strings makes virtually no difference.  There are only a literal handful of foundries in the world which make music wire.  They sell it in giant spools to companies like Martin, D'Addario, etc, who cut it to lengths and put either loop ends or ball ends on.  Some of those companies do the winding of strings, other buy wound strings and put on ends.  

The gauges you can determine using something like the Strothers String Choice Calculator --  http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.html   But you must understand the correct terminology.  For example, you are not tuning to DAD.  You are tuning to DAd where the melody string d is an octave higher in pitch than the bass string D, which is what the two different Ds are indicating.  You can safely go UP in gauge at least 1 or 2 points (say .022 instead of .020) from a Strothers recommendation, as the calculator is noticeably "light" in its recommendations.

Some people swear by phosphor bronze or other exotic metal wound bass strings; other swear at them and only use plain steel wound.  Some like flat wound or other theoretically squeakless bass strings.  This is one area when you're just going to have to buy one of this and one of that and experiment.  I suggest www.juststrings.com as a source as they sell individual strings and have a huge inventory of strings to choose from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...