Acmespaceship wrote:This is my son 8 years ago (age 11). He insisted I photograph him with his dulcimer. I think he was inspired by some tab books I showed him. Smart boy: planning ahead for his author photo. The dulcimer is an old Walnut Creek "Arkansas Traveler" model with 6-1/2 fret.
At the time, DS was playing Mozart in piano competitions. He is currently a jazz studies major. His interest in dulcimer has waxed and waned over the years, but he never saw the diatonic fretboard as a limitation, only an interesting puzzle. Since he already had a chromatic instrument, adding a diatonic provided a different perspective on music. When they hit Dorian Mode in middle school jazz camp, he was right at home.
YMMV of course. I think most beginning pianists would enjoy a diatonic (after all, the diatonic fretboard has a direct analog in the white keys on the piano). Also, FWIW, I have a little chromatic dulcimette (by Ron Ewing) and I love it dearly but it is pretty cramped having all those frets on such a short fretboard. If the siren call of those Eedy Beedes ever overwhelms me, I think mine will have 6-1/2 and 1-1/2 frets. And dolphins
jakstall wrote:I would think that a diatonic instrument would be ideal for a young child. The diatonic arrangment makes it easy to start playing recognizable music quickly as you noted. If she continues to play music, your daughter might or might not want a different instrument, but you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
FWIW, someone has an Eedy Beede offered on eBay right now:
eBay Listing: "David Beede "Edie Beede" Octave Mountain Dulcimer"
kwl wrote:Like Acmespaceship's son, my son was not hindered by the diatonic scale. He played my dulcimers yet managed to graduate from Berklee College of Music with a major in film scoring and guitar as his principal instrument. I think he even used the mountain dulcimer in the first short film that he scored. At my retirement he played mountain dulcimer for our church. He is currently Minister of Music at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA where he plays piano, organ, guitar and percussion as well as directs the Senior Choir, handbell choir, and two praise bands. He also teaches guitar to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at the school affiliated with the church. Having had a diatonic dulcimer while he took piano lessons was never a problem.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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