The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85910   Message #1594563
Posted By: JohnInKansas
31-Oct-05 - 08:01 PM
Thread Name: my non-lap dulcimer
Subject: RE: my non-lap dulcimer
One of our friends uses one of the folding stands intended for portable electronic keyboards as a dulcimer stand, and it appears to work quite well for him. Height is adjustable over a fairly wide range, and they're not too expensive. I'm not sure what the actual range of adjustment is on his, but similar stands are used by keyboardists when standing. Portability is good, although it still hasn't stopped him from leaving his coffee cups behind (unintentionally) when trotting around through the campground. Maybe it needs a cupholder.

One other, who was having some problems "tensing up" because the dulcimer kept sliding around on his knees, claims to have solved his "repetitive motion syndrome" problems simply by getting a small scrap of chamois to put between the britches and the instrument to reduce the exertion of chasing the danged thing around while playing.

Several players in our "circle of encounter" have added strap buttons, and use a strap around the back at about waist level. At least one has claimed that the more secure position of the dulcimer was because of "pains" he was getting due to an awkward position he'd fallen into, but wasn't very specific about exactly what was hurting. The straps seem mostly to be used by "serious chorders" who probably have more tendency to shove their instrument around.

One player has a "pet" foldable wooden camp chair that allows him to sit back to a "semi-reclining" postion while playing the dulcimer on his lap, and claims he can "play forever without getting sore" that way. That particular chair is very solid, about 35 pounds, so not exactly portable.

At least one I've known carried a "hard topped" table to sessions with the explanation that when the dulcie is played on a hard surface you don't have to work as hard (and stress your joints as much) to be heard in a group. A hard surface is touted by several of the dulcimer instruction books as a way to get a bit louder output. I've seen at least one "resonance box" that the player put his dulcie on, that he claimed made it sound a lot better and louder.

Several of our dulcimer players are a bit "vertically challenged" and quite a few of them have problems with their feet not quite reaching the ground when using common camp chairs/stools etc., so we've noted that a footrest is a useful addition for long sessions and helps a lot in avoiding "awkward positions" that could produce stress. Impovised stuff like pillows or rolled up jackets usually pop up, but something more sturdy (and stable) would be better. (Yes dear, I remember it's on my "honeydo" list.)