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Dulcimer/buying my first dulcimer


Hi John,

I have been wanting to buy and learn to play a dulcimer for quite a few years now. I am 69 years young . What would you recommend  as  a good beginner instrument?  My right hand and fingers are somewhat stiff bu feel the dulcimer could be good exercise, not just for my hand but really for my heart and soul.

I live in Florida and see that is where you received your champion title!!!

Thank yiu very much.


Well good for you! Playing dulcimer definitely will help with flexibility - after I broke two wrist bones in a motorcycle accident, dulcimer was the best, though painful, therapy. Where in Florida? I live in West Palm Beach
As for buying that first dulcimer, it all depends on how much you want to spend. You're going to drop anywhere from $250-$500 for a decent instrument.I usually suggest that if you don't have access to dulcimer players around you, who can advise you, or a festival to go to, where you can see and try out various dulcimers for sale, that you stick to known dulcimer dealers, like McSpadden Musical Instruments (I like their cherry redwood with the guitar-type tuning head). There are a lot of junk dulcimers out there that are cheaper, true, but some of them have poor "action," i.e., the strings are too high, making it hard to play, or too low, making them buzz, or the frets are in the wrong locations, making it impossible to play in tune. McSpaddens (by the way, I have no financial interest and don't own a McSpadden) are reliably made. Also suggest the Dulcimer Shop in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  David Beede in Melrose, Fl., makes a fine dulcimer too. The Florida dulcimer festival will be held in February in Mt. Dora - that might be a good chance for you to hook up with a good dulcimer, and some VERY good players, for advice. If you're down this way, feel free to look me up - you can reach me at, my CD is posted online at and I have three pieces on YouTube, just search "john blosser dulcimer" Good luck with it!


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John Blosser


All questions pertaining to the playing of mountain dulcimer, acquisition of dulcimers, books, CDs, etc., how to play, how to learn, WHY to play, where to get a good dulcimer, what books are most helpful to beginners, etc.


Teacher/performer: French Creek (Pa.) dulcimer symposium Teacher/performer: Sunshine State Music Camp, 2000 Teacher/Performer -- NGFDA Fall Festival, 2000 Performer - various venues for the past l0 years. Current Florida dulcimer champion, 2000.

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