The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25806 Message #2984369
Posted By: Howard Jones
11-Sep-10 - 02:53 AM
Thread Name: Dulcimer for dummies
Subject: RE: Dulcimer for dummies
Some years ago, John Pearce did a TV programme in the UK about making and playing dulcimer. He made a "stick dulcimer" which is basically just the fretboard with no body - however if you play it on a table the tabletop acts as a resonator and gives it some volume. They're fairly easy and cheap to make as you don't have to build the body. It's basically a strip of wood with frets, guitar tuning machine heads at one end and banjo strings looped over nails in the other end.
If your school has a woodwork class then you could even get the kids to make them.
Our own Catspaw wrote instructions on another Mudcat thread:
How to make a stick dulcimer
His has only two strings but you could easily adapt his design to take three.
By the way, if you google "stick dulcimer" you'll come across instruments with a dulcimer neck and small mandolin-like body. These are not the same thing. What I'm talking about is far less sophisticated, but quite easy to make - and it works.