My fingertips are toughening up nicely, so much so that I can easily do slided with at least my left index finger. I'm also working on some L shaped chords so I can get the side of my thumb used to this business as well. After seven days of play I am getting some song-like things coming out of my little beauty, and I am still trying on some different names for her as well. Tonight I was playing around with noting, and I stumbled upon that old familiar tune "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" along the way. As I played I concentrated on strumming cleanly and gently, and getting a good tone with my left hand. The sweet melody was so pure and reminded me so much of summer days when I was a little girl it actually brought a tear to my eye.
Where once I was wishing on a star to get my dulcimer, now we wish together as I get to know her form and tone. My mountain dulcimer is my BFF for sure, it's no wonder the group I joined is called Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer! She is my constant companion in the evening, and when I'm ready I will share her with some of my other friends. I like what Bing Futch has to say on his dulcimer blog Nowhere,Nevada:
From the music made to the sights seen, with the spark of inspiration to the joy of being around folks that have tapped into this mystical little instrument and claimed it as their own personal totem...Which is what she is quickly becoming. There is a spiritual quality to music, as is well known. It communicates and carries a message from one soul to another. Sometimes the instruments seem to have a voice of their own as well. Each dulcimer sounds a little different. The type of wood that goes into them makes a huge difference in the tone they give, and then every player plays a little differently too. We are creating a symbiotic voice, she and I. She really is a mystical little instrument. :)