Hi, folks! I'm taking my very first hammered dulcimer lesson this evening at the Homestead Pickin' Parlor in Richfield, MN, with Stu Janis of Greenwood Tree. Because his availabilty is very limited, I'll primarlily be taking lessons online through Dan Lundrum's Dulcimer School. I've also just ordered myself a used (but in new condition) TK O'Brien 12/11 (natural birch model with the rosewood Celtic knotwork soundholes) from a Music-Go-Round in Lexington, KY. Should arrive in a few days. It was a deal I couldn't pass up; only $149. My budget precludes me buying anything more expensive until I decide I like playing. Of course, I'm already daydreaming about a Cloud Nine, a James Jones, a Rick Thum professional, or Jerry Read Smith *sigh* model someday...
I've toyed with folk instruments in the past--I own a mountain dulcimer, a mandolin, and an autoharp--but have never learned to play any of them to speak of. I love the sounds of the HD, and feel it will be easier for me to learn to play than the mandolin (since I can't fret for beans and my hands feel so big and clumsy on that little neck). I have a percussion mentality and love patterns, so hopefully the HD will be just the right instrument for me to learn! (Nothing like finally learning to play an instrument at age 40.)
I'm interested in exploring the HD as a rhythm instrument backing up bluegrass music, and also seeing how it works when taking a lead banjo or mandolin line in a song. Of course I also want to learn how to play pretty Celtic tunes, too.
Great to meet you all, and I hope to meet other HD enthusiasts while I learn and grow here!
St. Paul, MN