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Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer

SharonA 09 Dec 10 - 02:58 PM
Bill D 09 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM
Bill D 09 Dec 10 - 03:48 PM
Leadfingers 09 Dec 10 - 08:09 PM
Arthur_itus 10 Dec 10 - 01:58 AM
Walzil 10 Dec 10 - 04:41 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Dec 10 - 05:10 AM
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Subject: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: SharonA
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 02:58 PM

I am, as of this very day, the proud new owner of a used hammered dulcimer. It is the Maple Valley MV-8C chromatic model shown here: http://www.maplevalleydulcimers.com/oldsite/mv8c.html. 16 treble courses, 16 bass courses, and 6 additional chromatic courses. It has all the flats and sharps from low D on the bass bridge to the top E of the treble bridge, with four additional bass strings (low G, C, A, and D). String spacing is 1" which, I'm told, is ideal for me as a beginner. I've been attending some workshops this year, borrowing others' HDs, but frustrated in my attempts to learn without an instrument at home on which to practice, so I took the plunge and purchased this, my first HD.

I'm thrilled, of course, to be embarking on this new adventure, but I realize that I am going to need some guidance in order to maintain the instrument properly, tune it efficiently, and play it most effectively. So, thought I, where better to turn for folk-instrument advice than here at Mudcat?!

Hoping that Catspaw and others will respond with their tips so I can give this HD the best new home possible.

First order of business: taking the HD out of the shipping box after its cross-country trip from southern Colorado to southeastern Pennsylvania in a cold UPS truck. How best to acclimate it to a heated room and, more generally, to this more humid climate?

Thanks!

Sharon


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM

Since HDs don't usually live in a case, but are often left out on a stand, a bit of retuning as it adjusts is probably all that is necessary....especially in Winter when humidity is generally lower.


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 03:48 PM

Since it is Birch & hard Maple, reaction to humidity & temp will be much less than old instruments with light construction like my wife's old Zither, which is quite particular and needs to be covered when not in use in sertain weather.


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 08:09 PM

Feeding - NO problem if you havea regular supply of Bad Banjo players !


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 01:58 AM

Sharon
Some time ago, I was asking Maclaine Colsten http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WohzbfXgkg about any decent websites that help people wanting to look into buying a dulcimer.

He gave me the website for Becky Edwards AKA Dizzy Dulcimer which is a great website and well worth spending time on their.
http://www.dizzi.co.uk/dizzivideo.php

This page will probably answer your query http://www.dizzi.co.uk/careandmaintenance.php

I hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: Walzil
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 04:41 AM

Also check out the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club website, for Mountain & Hammer dulcimers in Britain.


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Subject: RE: Care & feeding of the hammered dulcimer
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 05:10 AM

Welcome to the Club!

Well, actually, you shouldn't use a club, just hammers! But you do have two other choices - you can pluck it (as done in some cultures) or use a small 'bow' - often a small circle of a heavy nylon cord.

Which reminds me, I should play mine more ....


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