The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26903   Message #326885
Posted By: DonMeixner
25-Oct-00 - 08:59 AM
Thread Name: Help: Disabled Musician
Subject: Disabled Musician
Hello Cats,

I have had a client in the shop who has been limited in the use of his hands much the same as I. Bad brush with a saw blade and other trauma. So perhaps this question is as much for him as me. I am looking for a fretted instrument that will allow for more expression than a banjo or a tenor guitar but still have the narrow width of the finger board that both those instruments offer. We have already gone the Autoharp route and ruled it out as a primary instrument. We have discussed the lap dulcimer to a limited extent and that remains an option. I have seen a 10 string instrument that on first glance looked guitarish. It had 5 pair string courses. Could this have been a Citern? If so, how are they tuned and what is the weight of the strings? Greater or less than a guitar? Strength is less a concern than width and reach in both directions on the finger board due to permanantly curled fingers. I saw Tim O'Brien on TV once playing a guitar like instrument that had 4 paired courses of strings. It was arch topped and my first guess was an octave mandolin of some type. But the chords he was playing weren't what I recall as Mando' chords.

As always , any help is greatly appreciated.

Don Meixner