Dulcimer/new to dulcimer


I purchased a new dulcimer.  The action seems to be hard, I have a hard time pushing the strings down to make a chord.  My son who plays guitar said perhaps the bridge has to be lowered or  perhaps get softer strings?  Is that a possibility?  If it is softer strings, what kinds of strings should I get? Thanks for your advice.

Well, Linda, your son is right -- if a bridge/tuning nut or both are too high, you will get the problem you're facing -- conversely, if it's too low,you'll get buzzing on your strings and be unable to play a clear note. You need to take your dulcimer to a decent luthier to have them adjust what is called the "action" or the height of the strings. I do suggest you don't try this yourself, since it is something that requires a bit of skill. As to strings, I don't think that they are your problem, but I use plain steel guitar strings, .012s for the top two, a .014 for the middle and a .023 Elixir bronze wound for the bass, and that works for me. Some dulcimers play/sound better with lighter strings, some with heavier. It's all a matter of trying out which works for you and gives you the best tone/action. By the way, if you'd like to hear me playing, check out my facebook page, John Blosser, or check out www.duckslammer.com. I put my entire CD on there. Also, on YouTube, I have a few pieces posted under John Blosser Dulcimer

Good luck with your dulcimer.....Hope this answer helps


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.