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Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions

PoohBear 21 Mar 05 - 05:18 PM
PoppaGator 21 Mar 05 - 05:34 PM
paddymac 21 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Russ 21 Mar 05 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Norval 21 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM
PoohBear 24 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Russ 24 Mar 05 - 12:52 PM
PoohBear 24 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM
Cornflake 24 Mar 05 - 08:32 PM
open mike 24 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM
open mike 24 Mar 05 - 10:58 PM
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Subject: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: PoohBear
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 05:18 PM

I am thinking about trying to learn to play the hammered dulcimer - and live in a place where they are not common. Any advice on where to find one? If any of the available kits are good? (I have access to a pretty well equipped wood-working shop) Best books/tapes for learning?
Any advice is appreciated.
Cheers
PB


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 05:34 PM

Here's a link that might help:

http://www.tiompanalley.com/

David James is an old friend whom I haven't seen in years, but who I expect to see at a reunion this summer. He's become an award-winning hammered dulcimer player in the years since we were at school together, and he offers some teaching materials on his website, along with information on his performance dates, etc.


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: paddymac
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 06:46 PM

You might also pm our own Catspaw (more commonly called "'Spaw." Unless you really want to make one for the craftsmanship experience, I would advise you to buy one. You can find several sellers on line - just look for a good folk music shop. Be very selective in you query. The first time I googled "hammered dulcimer" (about 7 years ago) I got over 17,000 hits.


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 07:01 PM

Don't buy a hammered dulcimer without hearing it first.

I built one from a kit years ago and learned that lesson the hard way.

The instrument was not as easy to build as the literature led me to believe. After a fair investiment of time,and energy I had created an instrument whose sound was unsatisfactory to my ears.


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: GUEST,Norval
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM

PoohBear:
I stumbled on a couple of Dulcimer "Do It Yourself" construction sites which may be of some help. The second link is for the Mountain Dulcimer from which you may be able to pick up some good tips. In northern Alberta there is a large number of people of Ukrainian heritage, many of whom play the Hammered Dulcimer and they (dulcimers) occasionally come up for sale. The small advertisement below is from this weeks edition of the "Bargin Finder" and the dulcimer may still be available.

Hammered Dulcimer construction PDF download
http://www.ardiesdulcimers.com/html/diybookexample.htm

Mountain Dulcimer construction lessons
http://www.diynet.com/diy/shows_dhmm/episode/0,2046,DIY_16997_31999,00.html


Dusty Strings D10 hammered dulcimer, 12/11, factory case, hammers, more,
like new, 4yrs old, $900 obo. Tel: 780-478-5788


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: PoohBear
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for all the ideas! PG, I've added David's website to my favorite list - it's going to take me a while to work thru the whole thing, but it looks really interesting.
Russ, can I ask where you bought the kit that you built? I get a catalog from Musicmakers (I think that's right). They are in the US, somewhere in the east, I think. I was thinking of getting the partially constructed kit and then finishing it myself.
Norval, the Ardies Dulcimers looks like a great site! I have to finish reading thru it - but I'd never thought about RENTING a dulcimer before buying or building. One more option to think about!
My reasons for building are economical - not because I'm really enamoured of woodworking, altho I do like messing about with my scroll saw. It's just easier to come up with $400 than $1000 for an instrument. However, I take the point that the sound may not be what I expect.
Much to consider - and other suggestions for both instrument sources and instruction are welcome.
Cheers,
PB


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 12:52 PM

PoohBear
The kit was from Green River Dulcimers. Not sure they're still in business.

My story should not be construed as a criticism of the kit or the company. The parts were of good quality, the instructions were clear, and any problems I had were a result of my own inexperience with woodworking.

My disappointment was caused by my own expectations. When I built the hammered dulcimer I was already quite familiar with hammered dulcimer music and had friends who played hammered dulcimer.

I also built the kit to save money, but because of my disappointment with the sound I eventually stopped playing the instrument. Net result was that I wasted rather than saved money.


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: PoohBear
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 03:11 PM

Russ,
thanks for the add'l info. I'll check to see if Green River is still around - as another point of comparison. I'm not sure exactly what I would expect my dulcimer to sound like as I only have various recordings for comparison and accept that recordings do not always accurately reproduce the 'live' sound. If I'm lucky I get to hear real live HD played once a year at our Ren Faire.
PB


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: Cornflake
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 08:32 PM

I play HD. I agree on being careful with kits. You might be better off finding a used instrument and hearing it before buying. You might try the hammered dulcimer discussions at http://everythingdulcimer.com/

Good luck. It's a wonderful instrument.


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: open mike
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:56 PM

John McCutcheon is a master at Hammered Dulcimer.
He has an instruction tape/c.d./vhs/dvd out.
i think his site is www.folkmusic.com if
you go there and look under the shop or the store
you will see his HD instruction materials...
good luck! (guess it is not in cassette, but all those other formats)


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Subject: RE: Hammered Dulcimer - Source, Instructions
From: open mike
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 10:58 PM

he (John McCutcheon) has a great song he plays on the HD that soundslike a whale. Leviathon i htik is the name of it. he creates interesteing
sound effects by loosening and tightening strings . He also has invented a contraption sort of like the pedals on the piano which
he pushes with his feet to change the sound.


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