B) Make a loop in the end on the string by putting the end of the string through the ball end and pulling tight. Larkin’s book, while excellent … and was the book that I used to teach myself …. it is a very comprehensive book and gives a wonderful overview of the dulcimer and acquaints the student with many of the basic tunings…. The body of the dulcimer is usually made of harder wood like cherry, black walnut, or mahogany. Hunting bows could also be plucked or blown by the mouth to make a vibrating sound. I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken Ray’s dulcimer class recently and was pleasantly surprised to find this wonderful book about Ray and Shirley Jacobs!
And if you actually tune your dulcimer along with each post as you go along, you will grasp the concept of modal tuning even more quickly and easily. I was fortunate in having found a copy of The Dulcimer Book” by Jean Ritchie, without which my dulcimer would probably still be hanging, unused, on a wall. Fearing future failure and the resulting embarrassment, I’m not going to say much about where I’m going with this dulcimer except that it may have more than thirty strings!
Such striations will give the finished dulcimer visual as well as aural beauty. She had listened to her Dad, Balis Ritchie, playing many times, and finally had the courage to borrow” the family dulcimer and work things out from memory of what she had seen and heard. Today, the fretwork is precise on the more than 55,000 McSpadden Mountain Dulcimers that have been made by the nation’s largest dulcimer maker.
Usually there is not a lot of singing going on. I confess that I have not spent enough time developing my own skills to sing and play dulcimer at the same time. In the background, you can also see two more lengths of cherry trim wood which will become the other side of my mountain dulcimer’s sound box. We have started a little group over on the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer online community. Many people moved through the mountain passes moving westward and some remained to farm the beautiful but infertile land.
Roosebeck Emma Mountain Dulcimer 4 String, Vaulted Fretboard, Spruce Soundboard, Knotwork Openings, Blemished BLEMISHED: This Deluxe model offers the best features from the Roosebeck Mountain Dulcimer line! I was looking for information on the types of wood used to construct the mountain dulcimer, and you have provided a wonderful insight to this process, and a great overall view as well. The hammered dulcimer is considered a member of the zither family and may have origins in Iran as the citar or santir, an instrument used to produce the ancient classical music of Persia.
When I look at older dulcimer instruction books, or watch older recordings of dulcimer players such as Jean Ritchie or Richard Farina for example, I notice something different from so many of the dulcimer method books and recordings offered today. After the basic dimensions are chosen, a pattern is made on paper or cardboard. With only three or four strings and a simple diatonic fret pattern, the Appalachian dulcimer is generally regarded as one of the easiest stringed instruments to learn.