The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69302 Message #1176907
Posted By: KateG
03-May-04 - 11:29 AM
Thread Name: Mountain Dulcimer - Jean Ritchie Book
Subject: RE: Mountain Dulcimer - Jean Richie Book
Blue Lion, McSpadden, Folkcraft/Folkroots all make excellent dulcimers that are very fairly price. Stay away from the "starter" dulcimers in plywood in the $100 range - you'll be frustrated far too soon. I have one that I started on: the action was about twice as high as normal, and the strings were far too heavy. Correcting those problems to make it playable was easy, but due to the inescapable laws of physics, it no longer played in tune with itself. Fortunatelly my dear husband took pity on me and bought me my McSpadden (walnut with a redwood top and a scroll peghead - I love it).
Depending on where you live, there are quite a number of dulcimer festivals going on over the summer. They usually have vendors who will let you try the different instruments (nothing like the old ear test for buying an instrument) and beginner/novice level classes for people who have never picked up a dulcimer before in their life. It's a great way to get started and to meet people with similar instruments. Kerry Anderson, a dulcimer maker in Arizona, has a good list of festivals on her website. Kerry's Festival List
Explore and enjoy!!!