Post by Dick Glasgow on Jun 10, 2007 9:48:27 GMT 1
I thought it might be interesting to find out who plays what make of Mountain Dulcimer, here in the UK & Ireland, particularly if you play a 'home grown variety', i.e. a locally made one. So I'll kick off.
The fact is, we only just bought our first Mountain Dulcimer on Ebay, just a few weeks ago, thanks to a tip-off from a Dulcimer player over on the ED Forum! Just goes to show these Forums are really useful after all!
Anyway, we're absolute beginners, so I can't possibly comment on this Dulcimer's performance yet.
However, does anyone else here play one of these, or have you played on in the past? If so, perhaps you could let us know here, what you think of it. That info might be especially useful for any beginners who are lokking for a first instrument.
I have five dulcimers, although one - a Tom Yocky - is awaiting collection in the USA. No doubt the number will increase as I find these instruments irresistable, but the current stable consists of:- Blue Lion walnut with spruce soundboard Dave Lynch Student model (out on loan to a friend) Folkcraft Cherry (bought off Ebay as a damaged instrument, I repaired the crack and fitted an internal piezo pickup) Jim Good Mastertone all walnut five string
They all get about the same use I suppose, although the Mastertone and the Blue Lion are my favourites. The Folkcraft is fun because I have a Marshall acoustic guitar amp and playing it through that with some reverb and chorus gives a marvellous sound.
I usually keep them in different tunings, the Blue Lion normally being DAaa, the Folkcraft CGcc and the Mastertone DAAdd (I'e changed the original setup to give doubled middle strings). That way I don't have to keep retuning as I change from song to song - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
Hi all, I am an Australian with a long English heritage, who loves playing stringed instruments from all over. I play a Simmerman for a lot of performance stuff and I tend to travel with it because it is quite loud when jamming with mandolins and banjo's etc. I am a songwriter and also use the Dulcimer to perform solo and with others.
I have two australian dulcimers made in the 1970's one a six string with intricate shaping and carving and the other a simpler but well defined instrument.
I also play a six string Hennessy. Terry Hennessy is a master luthier originally from england, now living in Oz. Terry has made instrumnets for many great players, his most notable, for Richard Farina, in the 1960's.
I also play a baritone., a dulcimette, a strum stick, and a five string equidistant, like a combo of baritone and standard. In the last few years I have begun to expand the use of the Dulcimer in my work and play, tending lately to immerse in some of the more hypnotic aspects of the blues.
I have been playing a long time, but only a few years as more of a quest for growth and development. I am untrained in music and can't read a note, have a problem with tab, and am not a good student, but love playing by ear.
I love well built instruments, but tend to go for the plain ones with great tone. Having said that, I love to get a tune out of junk instruments as well
I play a mountain dulcimer made by someone in Rockland Co., NY. I think his name is Steven (though it might have been Stephen) Schwartz. I never met the guy becauseI acquired the dulcimer in trade with a friend (he was having another dulcimer made by the same fellow and traded for a ceramic bowl I'd made and watercolor I'd done). My friend's second dulcimer was a real beauty - possibly rosewood with some inlay.
Anyway, my dulcimer is on the slim side and isn't very loud - especially if more than one other instrument is involved. It used to sound a bit different, but that was before a local harp maker told me he could fix it (something was beginning to rattle a bit inside). The reapair, I later found out, consisted of watering down some wood glue and sloshing it around on the inside. The rattle did stop, but now the back is slightly warped and the dulcimer weighs a bit more. The sound board had also started to come up a bit at the top and that has stopped, but I don't know how much that has to do with the "repair" and how much to do with my now keeping it tuned to C instead of D (which makes my playing with other mountain dulcimers a problem). I would love to get another and keep it tuned differently, but they're not easy to find around here (Israel). Ah, well, one day....
My dulcimer is a teardrop shape and was made by a luthier in Baltimore, Maryland, called Dave Sewell. The face of the instrument is made from bookmatched walnut, the back (bookmatched) and sides are from poplar, and the fretboard is of purple hear wood. You can see a picture of it at:
As a complete beginner, I am not really in a position to say whether my Stoneyend Mountain Dulcimer is good or not! It sounds ok quite a bright sound and it stays in tune, which is useful. I have heard others on this site which have a real quality, rich sound to them. Maybe when I learn to play a bit better I can ask some of you where I could upgrade to one of these better instruments.
Hello Folks, I've just had word that my new dulcimer will be arriving by next Wednesday.I would like to know from all you friends please,what make & size of amplifier should I get without spending a fortune and one that I can use with my recorders.My instrument is being built by Matthew Bascetta. Salopian(Roy)
Hi I too am awaiting a mountain dulcimer from Matthew Bascetta .Hopefully should be ready for collection early May. Cannot wait!
Currently I'm playing a 6 string MD I picked up on ebay. A home made job estimated at 40yr old. Not perfect by any means. Its triangular in shape (!) and has a laminated soundbox. Sound is surprisingly good, probably helped by the double courses. The fret board is very uneven and the fret wires all over the place .They have been extensively ground down to try and get them even .One fret is unplayable on the melody strings .Have to do some creative arranging .A good spur to learn more. I'm learning lots everytime I pick it up .Being aguitaist and mandolinist the transition to dulcimer has been surprisingly fast .I'm playing a limited repetioire in pub sessions after only 3 weeks!. Just shake it and the tunes fall out!!