The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39792   Message #569212
Posted By: Pinetop Slim
10-Oct-01 - 04:01 PM
Thread Name: BS: Help/info on a dulcimer
Subject: RE: BS: Help/info on a dulcimer
Kat, it was probably six or seven years ago that I saw the "church dulcimer" in the catalog.
I think you'd find a capo useful; it saves a lot of retuning (although you usually have to make a little adjustment when you move it from one fret to the other). I've been spending a lot of time lately in DAD with the capo at the fourth fret. One example of its usefulness there: You can play a medley of the Shaker tunes "Simple Gifts" (typically done in an Ionian tuning), "Willow Tree" (Mixolydian), and "Come Life, Shaker Life" (Aeolian). It's also kinda neat that finger positionings you use for chords at DAD remain the same when you slap the capo on.
See Neal Hellman's "Dulcimer Songbook" for illustrations of how to rig a capo with a chopstick and rubber band, or a couple of thread spools and a couple of clamps.
Professionally made models start around $8. Ron Ewing in Cincinatti has a nice selection; George Hagerty in Vermont carries a serviceable plastic model that I like a lot. I don't have links for them, but I believe their capos would be available through Elderly or the other usual sources.