Saturday, November 12, 2011

Six Months with the Mountain Dulcimer

This morning I woke up with music going through my head, it's the perfect thing for a Saturday morning, I think. Tomorrow marks the six month anniversary since my Mountain Dulcimer arrived on my doorstep. My fingertips on my left hand and the side of my thumb are now nicely calloused, and I'm just so happy to have my darling Mary Ann, I think I will commemorate the anniversary with a photo today, as the weather promises to be absolutely beautiful. I think it's time I recorded her details from her build as written on the label inside:

Handcrafted by
Folkcraft Instruments
model: Folkcraft FSH
serial #: 20111636
luthier: S.J. Ash   date: 4/19/2011

She is my own darling dear, and I play her just about every day. Just over a week ago I wrote my first tune which I've titled Kari's Song, in honor of my friend who inspired it. I'm building a nice play list, with seven songs solidly memorized, and three more on the way I've made good progress. I'm still working on my technique, with chord transitions not going as effortlessly as I'd like, and my fretting not as clean as I want. I'm thinking it might be about time to change the strings, and maybe giving her a good oiling before winter sets in.

There is a very fun thread going on in the beginner players group over on Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer called "Cure for dulcimer shortage" which I am finding quite amusing. I am currently without a working Autoharp, and as I've mentioned before, have decided I want one that is luthier made rather than factory made. Two reasons for this: I love my luthier made mountain dulcimer and kantele, and I don't want the same problem to happen again with the bridge lifting like it did on my Oscar Schmidt. I have yet to obtain a quote on having extra frets added to my Mary Ann, but I will email Hoffman guitars to find out. Their website shows that they charge $90.00 an hour for labor, so it might be more than I am willing to pay to modify my current instrument. In that case, I might just want to get a second Mountain Dulcimer with extra frets. But I have plenty of time to ponder the situation as I save my nickles and dimes up in my new instrument fund.

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