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Author Topic: Any hammered dulcimer players?  (Read 814 times)

winona

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Any hammered dulcimer players?
« on: March 22, 2020, 09:02:16 PM »
I've had a hankerin' to learn and play the hammered dulcimer.  This was renewed when I saw a Celtic group a couple months ago.

Question:  how feasible is it to get a hammered dulcimer on the internet from trusted sites (several makers).  And how feasible is it to learn via YouTube since we're shuttered in here a home?  I've done a lot of reading on sites and a lot of listening.

I've played the piano and can still peck out a couple songs, even without touching it in years (kinda like my golf game  :D).  Years ago I tried the guitar, but my brain and hands didn't compute from horizontal piano to "vertical" guitar, plus my wrists and fingers aren't that flexible anymore.

Any advice?

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8Muddypaws

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 11:12:49 PM »
You'll need a chromatic tuner too.  I know a player who uses one.  He says he tried to do it by ear for many years.

I have no idea where to buy one.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 05:35:39 AM »
I have bought a lot of instruments off the web and been very happy. Most every place will offer a money back guarantee. Amazon usually pays shipping both ways. And I am so jealous of the modern generation getting their music lessons for free off of YouTube. I have learned lots of song that way. Here is one hd I found for sale;

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SXFEOY/?creativeASIN=B007SXFEOY&linkCode=w61&imprToken=RZRKtto1EkGKQHVxsoYzMQ&slotNum=0&tag=1stmusic-20

Great Horned Owl

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 09:15:43 AM »
This might be a good place to start looking: https://www.clemmerdulcimer.com/.

They don't show hammer dulcimers in their product list, but they do show them on the last page of their catalog. Give them a call. They love to talk about dulcimers.

I stopped in their store about 30 years ago. On a whim, I bought a dulcimer kit for my daughter. After I assembled and finished it, the sound was great and it looked beautiful.

Joel
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 09:34:11 AM by Great Horned Owl »
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PancakeBill

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 09:29:04 AM »
definitely add a tuner into that purchase. 
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SeilerBird

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2020, 09:44:02 AM »
Well I had no idea what a hammered dulcimer was so I went to YouTube and found one of my favorite 80s songs done by a master of the instrument. Absolutely jaw dropping performance. I wondered how he would handle the guitar solo and he nailed it.

https://youtu.be/E6QOr-oCTwU

Now I know what a hammered dulcimer is. It is not a drunk European. ::)

Tom

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2020, 09:59:48 AM »
Thanks for the link Tom. That is quite a sound. Regrettably, playing this instrument is way beyond the limits of my dexterity.

One of the ladies in our uke band plays a dulcimer on a few select numbers, but she plucks it, usually in an instrumental breakout with a uke and a guitar. I had no idea there was such a thing as a hammered duclimer.
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Matt_C

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 10:30:32 AM »
Winona,

Every year there is a Dulcimer Festival in Evart Michigan.  What is that near???  Nothing, but there is room to camp and even easier if you can dry camp for 3 days. 

The event has not been cancelled yet, but it is usually the third week in July (Hot).   If you go there and you cannot learn everything you wanted to know, you didn't look hard enough. 

There are usually 200+ educational sessions (free with admission) admission and camping are usually cheap, and two evenings of great performances. 

To find Evart, get out a map and look along M-10.  It is about half way between Midland and Ludington.   

I am just hoping that the plague has settled down by then.

Matt
A lifelong waterman with a trophy wife and a pair of mutts going places we cannot get by boat.

UTTransplant

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 11:26:52 AM »
Lots of bluegrass and southern Appalachian music uses a hammered dulcimer, and they have a beautiful sound. They are bulky though. I played a xylophone some in high school band, and that was hard enough! I am sure you could get a good start using the internet and YouTube for lessons. I would definitely second the recommendation to get a tuner though. All string instruments need frequent tunings, especially new strings.
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Larry N.

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 12:16:13 PM »
My sister-in-law plays the hammered dulcimer, and it's definitely large. It sure sounds sweet. A local man who makes various dulcimers (including hammered) displays every year at "Broomfield Days," a small "fair" in a city park in Broomfield, CO that they hold every September. I've repeatedly been tempted, but it's more than I think I can learn at my age.

Quote
All string instruments need frequent tunings, especially new strings.

And the more strings, the tougher it can be.

Passages, Dancing With The Strawman features a lot of hammered dulcimer, Irish flute, penny whistle, vocals and more, and it's a delightful listen. I picked it up at the Renaissance Festival at Larkspur, CO a number of years back from the artists in person, but I linked to it on Amazon above.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2020, 03:06:11 PM »
RV Forum member Dave Derway has played his hammered dulcimer at an RVForum Southeast Rally or two.  Some of you older members may remember Dave & wife Joanne, aka  "the cat lady".     Dave sold his motorhome a couple years ago and hasn't been around here lately.

It's a lovely sound, but way beyond my dexterity these days.
Gary
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2020, 05:56:58 PM »
The first Rally which, was in Nashville, I attended had 2 RV'rs who play two  different types of dulcimer, the one I remember is Dave Revis, but I can't tell if either was a hammered variety.  As I recall they sounded great.

Ed
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2020, 09:31:14 AM »
Dave Reavis strums his hand-held dulcimer with a pick, similar to a mandolin or ukelele.  Dave Derway's  hammered dulcimer is an upright, free standing, stringed instrument whose strings are struck with small hammers. As I recall, both played at the Nashville Rally, but I can't find any photos of it in my archives.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 09:58:58 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2020, 09:53:35 AM »
     Thanks Gary, your memory is better than mine.  However as an excuse, I did make a 2,000 mile dash home on the weekend.

Ed
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Matt_C

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2020, 10:34:07 AM »
Winona,

I forgot all about tuning.... 
That is stupid on my part as I play an autoharp (it only has 36 strings).   Of those 36, there are seldom fewer than 34 that need tuning.

Do not buy a tuner... 
Download one for your smartphone.  Much cheaper and the battery lasts longer. 

I bought my first electronic tuner (until then, I made do with tuning forks) about 40 years ago.  It worked but it was not simple device to use. 
Then came the modern digital devices.  They are more simple but were slow to respond.  They always had dead batteries and a life of 3~5years. 
Then (about 2 phones ago) I found an app.  That is all I have used since. 

The app that I like best is called PanoTune for Android.  My wife likes something else for guitar.   

Matt
A lifelong waterman with a trophy wife and a pair of mutts going places we cannot get by boat.

BinaryBob

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2020, 11:04:59 AM »
I enjoy reading posts by all of our forum musicians, and always learn something new.
Looking at the subject, was wondering if you really need to be drunk to play the dulcimer?
Ahh.. Now I get it..  :)
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Larry N.

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2020, 03:32:56 PM »
Winona,

I forgot all about tuning.... 
That is stupid on my part as I play an autoharp (it only has 36 strings).   Of those 36, there are seldom fewer than 34 that need tuning.

Do not buy a tuner... 
Download one for your smartphone.  Much cheaper and the battery lasts longer. 

I bought my first electronic tuner (until then, I made do with tuning forks) about 40 years ago.  It worked but it was not simple device to use. 
Then came the modern digital devices.  They are more simple but were slow to respond.  They always had dead batteries and a life of 3~5years. 
Then (about 2 phones ago) I found an app.  That is all I have used since. 

The app that I like best is called PanoTune for Android.  My wife likes something else for guitar.   

Matt

I didn't care that much for those 15+ years back, either, but the Snark is one of many small electronic tuners available. It, along with many others, has the ability to "hear" your instrument, but that can be awkward in noisy places. But the Snark clips on to the instrument and can also be set (as I do) to read the vibrations in your physical instrument rather than needing actual audio, so even overwhelming ambient audio doesn't disturb your tuning. And, at $12.99 it's not very expensive. Batteries seem to last forever and I have yet to have one fail (I have two Snarks and a Sabine Zoid, which appears to no longer be available, but is still working quite well, and on the original battery.
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winona

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2020, 07:18:46 PM »
Well, I'm not getting any younger and with sheltering in place for who knows how long and the ubiquitous if not now, when, I ordered a hammered dulcimer! 

What a learning curve it will be, but I think my biggest hurdle will be keeping my cat away --- he's into everything.  The dulcimer is being strung now and will be shipped shortly.  And as far as a tuner, it comes with a Snark which was recommended (so will that make me Snarky??). 

And Gary RV Wizard, one of the makers is in Black Mountain!  Small world.

When I can play something besides Mary Had a Little Lamb, I'll let you all know!
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Domo

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2020, 09:31:13 AM »
I usually play mine when sober. :)
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Matt_C

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2020, 10:05:41 AM »
If you ever get to see that people that are good at these things (like about the top 100 of the 300+ at Evart) you will be convinced that they have not imbibed anything that mattered in several days.  They get those hammers moving in a blur.  They people that play with more than two hammers just amaze me. 

Matt
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Domo

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2020, 10:45:44 AM »
If you ever get to see that people that are good at these things (like about the top 100 of the 300+ at Evart) you will be convinced that they have not imbibed anything that mattered in several days.  They get those hammers moving in a blur.  They people that play with more than two hammers just amaze me. 

Matt


Thanks for the reply - however, my post; "being sober" was based on the definition of "hammered" as "drunk!" (maybe I'm showing my age?) LOL
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muskoka guy

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2020, 02:43:20 PM »

Thanks for the reply - however, my post; "being sober" was based on the definition of "hammered" as "drunk!" (maybe I'm showing my age?) LOL
That was my first thought as well, but being Canadian, I didn't know if Americans used the term "hammered" to imply being impaired. I have seen the odd hammered guitar player.

winona

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2020, 03:04:22 PM »
That was my first thought as well, but being Canadian, I didn't know if Americans used the term "hammered" to imply being impaired. I have seen the odd hammered guitar player.


A country duo who will remain nameless came to play at our county fair.  Their tour was sponsored by a famous whiskey, and by golly, the duo did more than their fare share of keeping them in business.  It was an embarrassment to watch them play and sing while they staggered around. Yes, hammered.
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jackiemac

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Re: Any hammered dulcimer players?
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2020, 04:11:57 PM »

Thanks for the reply - however, my post; "being sober" was based on the definition of "hammered" as "drunk!" (maybe I'm showing my age?) LOL
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