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Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!
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Author:  paulrace [ Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!

I was going to say "Hammered Dulcimer players," but it occurred to me that I might be getting the attention of Appalachian dulcimer players who've had too much to drink. I find this instrument delightful to hear and devilish to play. If you have anything you would like to share or ask, hit the "New Topic" or "Post Reply" button and join in the discussion.

Author:  singalongsue [ Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!

I have been working on playing this instrument for many years. It is interesting, and easier now that electronic tuners are widely available (sort of like the 12-string guitar). You have to start slowly, with easy songs. You also must pay attention to left-right-left hand technique as a beginner. So this is an instrument that is diffficult to self-teach. Peggy Carter (peggycarter.com) is a very good player (she lives in Texas) and gives monthly lessons online, for all levels. She is also a good teacher and the multi-level approach is effective. Speaking of hammered dulcimer, check out these interesting You Tube videos --

Use of hammered dulcimers for "Dutch hop" dances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9zIFwm8cJY
History of Dutch Hop in Wyoming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvmayb9Ics4
Red Desert Ramblers, from Salt Lake city, use the hammered dulcimer front and center in traditional/bluegrass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKr4z9XPK_4

Author:  paulrace [ Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!

Susan, thanks for the links. Unlike 12-string, you don't have to worry about a string going out of tune when you fret it because of bad bridge placement. :-) But you're right, it takes a fantastic amount of coordination. I'm at the age where I'm pretty sure I'll never play one in public, but they sure are fun.

Author:  paulrace [ Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!

Hammered dulcimer, like violin, is one of those instruments I've never learned, and now feel like it might be too late to learn. I admire the great ones I've seen, and I admire the great players I know. But I wasn't really thinking about getting one - I was really combing the net for a Howard Lamey Appalachian dulcimer when I came across a like-new starter model not too far from my house for $125. Ouch.

Jake's Cabin Meadowlark. Never thought about going this route, since I know so many makers who make fantastic instruments that they sell for ridiculously low prices considering how much work they have into them.

And again, this strikes me as an instrument that will be hard to learn well in old age.

I put it with the specialty banjos and guitars I never have time to practice properly. We'll see.

Author:  paulrace [ Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Calling all players of Hammered Dulcimers!

A friend told me that a number of great players use the Meadowlark on tour because they're so solid and not quite as expensive to replace. And it does have a great sound. I imagine that in most house PAs you'd have trouble hearing the difference between this one and an expensive solid-top model. It will certainly be a great instrument to learn on if I can stop trying to look at the strings and start trying to look at the bridge. :-)

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