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