These pictures are of an Appalachian lap dulcimer that my son Jim built for me from a kit. I obtained this kit from Elderly Instruments. It came with the fret board already fretted, but the rest of the dulcimer had to be cut out, assembled and glued. Once it was completed, it was stained with 4 coats of Tung oil. He did a really great job on it and it sounds really good. I wish I had more time to play it, but alas, the banjo is my first love....
You play this instrument,
by laying it in your lap with the tuners pointing to your left. Some people
use yarn or a cord around your body and encircling the hour-glass shaped
frame of the dulcimer to keep it from sliding off of your lap. It also
has a noting stick, (wooden dowel 3 or 4 inches long) which is used to
play the instrument. It frets the notes for you as well as providing a
slide sound, (vibrato) which I really like. You can also just use your
fingers to barre notes or form chord shapes. To strum the dulcimer, you
can either use a rather large plectrum, (pick) or the back of your nails,
or even use finger and thumb picks.
Have you ever seen this fellow
with his eyes open? I really love the sound that this "Ol' Timey" instrument
makes. If you get a chance to try one, don't pass it up. You will be hooked.....
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