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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Night Owl MudCat Thank You - Part II (99* d) RE: MudCat Thank You - Part II 09 Apr 02


In late Oct., 2001.... playing on Mudcats, I found a thread by "Whistleworks" describing a Hammered Dulcimer he had for sale. He had placed it in the auction but received no bids on it.

I had given up on finding the "right" guitar. It had been a full year since I enjoyed playing Kendall's, and in playing other guitars I found....I just felt sad and uncomfortable.

I guess what really caught my attention is that he mentioned the HD came with a couple sets of hammers... and I had a quick "mind flash" picture of my brother's hammers that had been on my "memorial wall" in my home.

I re-read the information a few times....and then decided that if trying to find a new guitar made me feel sad.....I should learn something new...and REALLY start fresh. So, I contacted him and......yes...the HD was still for sale. I also discovered that he lived within a few hours drive from me. We agreed on a price and made arrangements to meet halfway...in the parking lot of a mall....near the highway exit ramp. I called an acquaintance who teaches Hammered Dulcimer here and asked a few questions about the instrument and what to check on before I bought it. He also, in the conversation, offered to teach me HOW to play it...in exchange for teaching his wife autoharp. (More than an equitable exchange!!!)

So, Whistleworks and I exchanged cell phone numbers, I grabbed a friend and off we went. We called him on his cell phone when we found the parking lot, he put his emergency flashers on in his vehicle and like a plane landing with the help of the runway lights....we manuevered our way through the crowded parking lot...to the flashing lights on his car.

And there, in the parking lot, he gave me my first lesson on a Hammered Dulcimer..and showed me how to play a scale on it. We went into a Pizza shop there, had dinner and a fun mini "get acquainted" conversation. My friend and he shared a lot in common with their knowledge of Classical and Organ music....which was wayyyyy over my head but a delight to listen to.

I came home with the HD, a portable stand for it, three sets of hammers, a padded stool to sit on while playing it...AND a cd. When I got home, and set up the HD in the 17th century (small) living room, it looked like it had ALWAYS been there. Before I went to bed that night, I played the scale Bob had shown me in the parking lot, JUST to be sure I could remember it, and then picked out a couple more "trial and error" simple tunes...AND it "fit"..... me and my new home....and it sounded gorgeous.

I put the hammers down, and stared at it for a while.. amazed....because I was suddenly feeling like I had just completed something for my brother...full circle....and that he was grinning.

I've been going to music festivals for a looong time now, and every so often....over the years, someone has a "booth" selling Hammered Dulcimers...and as I walk by...I would pick up the hammers.....just to try it....and was NEVER able to come close to making the sound I heard when other people played them.....never could co-ordinate both hands playing. This one won't let me pass by it without playing something on it....using BOTH hands!!


THANK-YOU Whistleworks...please know she continues to have a good home here.


and that was my SECOND successful step in replacing instruments through Mudcatters.


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