The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38630   Message #1859714
Posted By: JohnInKansas
15-Oct-06 - 06:33 PM
Thread Name: Help - Buying a Dulcimer
Subject: RE: Help - Buying a Dulcimer
Doe 1 -

You might look at the Everything Dulcimer Discussion on Applecreek Dulcimers.

As with any "discussion group" - including here at mudcat - you need to assess the commenters about as critically as the comments. There are a couple of "comments" in the discussion at the link that are noticeably "uninformed opinionating," but there also are some apparently informed comments from people who have some dulcimer experience and who actually have played the Applecreek Dulcimers.

One person in the linked thread asserts that the Applecreek factory is in Romania, and it is said that they make a range of dulcimers, some of which are good ones. The comments on variability in individual ones of their beginner dulcimers, and the need to replace strings, de-gunk the frets, and lower the string action on all of them would be my primary concerns about having you order one without the chance to "see it in person" before purchase.

These are not difficult adjustments to make, but you'd likely - as a beginner - need the assistance of a more experienced dulcimist to know what needs to be adjusted before worrying about how to do it.

My own somewhat-informed opinion would be that you can probably get something significantly better, at very near the price, from almost any one of the many US or UK dulcimer makers (or from a more local builder in the country of your choice).

That having been said, an Applecreek beginner dulcimer is probably better than no dulcimer at all, if that's the only option you're willing (or able) to pursue.

I would not hold much hope that a packaged instruction kit will make you an "instant player," and suggest that "anyone who actually plays a dulcimer" probably could show you everything you'll learn from most such "packages" in about an hour or so. If you don't have access to an experienced player, it might be helpful.

There are many good books, and web sites full of all the "instructions" you need. Nearly all areas have at least one or two "clubs" where you should be able to find friendly help, and I'd urge you to look for one.

The first requirement is to have your hands on an instrument that's fun to fool around with.

Please do come back and let us know if we've confused or helped.