Mudcat Café message #51577 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8351   Message #51577
Posted By: Jon W.
31-Dec-98 - 05:14 PM
Thread Name: Lap Dulcimer players
Subject: RE: Lap Dulcimer players
There are two basically unrelated instruments both called dulcimer: Hammered dulcimer which has a whole lot of strings stretched across a trapezoidal soundboard, which you hit with hammers; and lap/mountain/Appalachian dulcimer which has (usually) four strings (2 drone, 2 melody, with the melody strings strung in a single "course"). One thing I've read about the hammered dulcimer (never having tried it yet) is that it's as easy to play as it is to type with two fingers. Well I can't type very well or very fast with just two fingers. The lap dulcimer seems a lot simpler to me. The fretboard is arranged in a diatonic scale like the white keys of a piano. (Some advanced ones throw in a couple more frets so you can play in two different keys without retuning.) But like all other instruments, there are relatively simple and complex methods of playing each of these. I suspect the lap dulcimer may be easier to accompany singing but don't take my word for it.