Three String dulcimer

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Postby harpmaker » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:05 am

LOL! I had completely forgotten about this thread goes back almost 3 years to about when I went from part time to full time building. What I do now is when someone asks about having a dulcimer made with only 3 strings is suggest they go ahead and get it as a 4 string, then set the extra string into drop pins. This way if they decide to play it as a 4 string doubled melody, they will have the tuner and string available. Another thing to consider is the 4 string equidistant playing style that I am seeing more and more of. It's a little tough to explore that tuning if the 4th tuner isn't there. Ain't it great the way our instrument is evolving?
Last edited by harpmaker on Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dulcimerbuilder » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:02 am

Originally posted by harpmaker Ain't it great the way our instrument is evolving?
It sure is. Also, I hadn't notice how old the original post was till after I sent my reply. Should have considered that we were in the archives. Friends,
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Postby John Shaw » Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:00 am

I'm another one who mainly likes to play a 3 string set-up - for all the reasons that others have mentioned, particularly the evenness of tone across the strings, and the clarity, expressiveness and responsiveness of a single treble string (rather than a pair) to a variety of techniques such as hammering on, pulling off, vibrato etc. I'm also not convinced that 2 strings are significantly louder than one. One string is well capable of standing out against open drones in older styles, including noter style playing. I'm not an engineer and I've never conducted any measurements, but I would tentatively suggest that adding a second string boosts melody volume by not more than about 10%. It would be nice to hear from the scientists among us about this!
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