Thw Woodrow vs the Dulcimer

All strummers welcome!

Thw Woodrow vs the Dulcimer

Postby Aurelio » Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:57 pm

Hello, I am interested in buying an appalachian dulcimer. I have run into a website, www.thewoodrow.com, which sells a similar instrument and would like to know if anyone has bought the woodrow, and if there are any differences By the way, i have an interest in classicla music, is the dulcimer an apt instrument for this? Cheers
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Postby KenH » Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:27 pm

Hi Aurelio; Welcome to the world of dulcimers! I looked at the Woodrow site. That instrument is what many of us here call a Walkabout or Strumstick style dulcimer. You can use the Everything Dulcimer Search button and find other discussions on those topics. The problem is that the Woodrow is intended to be played guitar fashion rather than on the lap in dulcimer fashion. Because of its size and lack of weight, I think it would be very difficult to balance correctly while getting all the complicated note runs that classical music uses. In addition, the instrument has a distinctly "plunky" sound similar to a banjo - not a musical quality usually desirable for classical music! Yes, mountain or Appalachian dulcimers can certainly be used for European classical music, and are so used by a number of players. Paul Oorts, a native of Blegium living in Washington, DC, uses the Belgian "hummel" which is nearly identical to the dulcimer, to play classical music, as do thousands of native Belgian Hummel players... Lots of pleople play Irish "classical" music such as the compositions of Turlough O'Carolan on the dulcimer.
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Postby space cadet » Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:05 pm

Hi, Aurelio, Welcome to EDSmile I have a classical music background and love to play classical music on the dulcimer. I recently purchased a book titled " The Classical Dulcimer" by Larry Conger. It is wonderful. It comes with a CD so you can hear it all and the songs are played at a slow enough tempo to play along with. And...the arrangements are such that they aren't that hard to play. (Hey, if I can play it, anybody can - if it's hard, I can't do it) If you want something a little more challanging, check out Randy Wilkinson's "Classical Guitar Music for Dulcimer" and if you want something to really make you want to tear your hair out, take a look at Randy Wilkinson's Elizibethan Dulcimer. The CD is out of this world, and when you get a look at the music, you will wonder how anyone can even get through it, much less at the speed that he takes some of the pieces. Carrie Crompton also has a couple of really good books featuring classical and pre-classical music. So there is a lot to choose from in the Classical realm. Let us know how you are doingSmile
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Postby kwl » Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:26 am

Welcome, Aurelio! You've found a good place to ask questions about dulcimers. If you want a more traditional "Appalachian" dulcimer, check out the builders on this site. As KenH told you, the Woodrow is a Strumstick syle dulcimer and very different from an Appalachian dulcimer,
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Postby harpmaker » Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:51 am

Did anyone else notice that it only has 7 frets? Hi Aurelio. If you want a more traditional moutain dulcimer there are many options available to you. You can browse here at ED for various threads about builders. I build full time so if I can answer any questions, you can write me here or at harpmaker@webtv.net A standard dulcimer usually has about 2 to 2 1/2 octaves and will give you a much richer sound than a strum stick. Take care and I hope we can help you out
Last edited by harpmaker on Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Titus2woman » Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:55 am

*WELCOME AURELIO!* (((((HUGS))))) sandi
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Postby jakstall » Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:34 pm

Welcome, Aurelio. In addition to the dulcimer, I play a Pickin' Stick which is similar to the Woodrow you asked about. There is a picture of my stick in the photo gallery. Like Harpmaker, I would be concerned about only having 7 frets. My instrument and most of the others I've seen similar to the Woodrow have at least two octaves. I like my pickin' stick, but it is different than a dulcimer in both tone and playing style as others have pointed out. The tone of the Pickin' Stick would probably be fine for Baroque music. I also play some Madrigal music (I know, that's not really "classical") on mine. For most types of "classical" music I think a dulcimer woul be a better choice due to the more mellow sound of most dulcimers.
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Postby Aurelio » Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:49 pm

Thanks to all for the input. Living in Italy means that i'll probably have to order a dulcimer from the States; i'm still deciding between a folkcraft instrument or maybe a blackmountain. Any of few have any idea of the difference in quality between them? I prefer buying an instrument that lasts although it costs more; i've heard that also the mcspadden instruments are of high quality. Any ideas? Cheers
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Postby folkfan » Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:00 pm

Aurelio, Welcome aboard. I have a question to ask you about the price range of instrument that you are interested in. Can you give us an idea of the minimum and maximum you can spend? This will give us a better idea of the type of instrument to recommend. If you are just getting started and not really sure you want to commit yourself to several hundred dollars, I might recommend that you contact Harpmaker here at ED. He makes a nice entry level instrument that cost $100.00. A number of us here at ED have one or more of these instruments, so you can get feedback on Harpmaker's quality. Play on, FF
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Postby Aurelio » Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:20 pm

Hey FF, I can spend around 300 dollars for a dulcimer. On the other hand, if there are starter instruments for around 100 dollars, i would be interested in knowing who sells these. I would really like to handle one and get the feel, cause it's not my style to buy something unseen, so i really have to be sure it's a good instrument! ;) Can you give me the link where these cheaper dulcimers are offered? Thanks
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Postby folkfan » Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:31 pm

Try harpmaker@webtv.net for the entry level instrument. He'll be able to tell you about his new web site (It's just being constructed) For additional information on his instruments, you can try the search engine here at ED. Just click the button and put in "student dulcimer" and several threads with information and comments will pop up. FF
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Postby Neil » Tue Dec 23, 2003 9:17 pm

Aurelio, Why not just buy a kit and build it the way you want. Just do a dulcimer kit search on the net and go from there. By the way,welcome from Alabama. Neil
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