Q. Where can I buy a dulcimer in the UK?
A. The club web site has a makers list
   
Q. I don't have much money to spend. What do you suggest?
A. The club does hear about second hand instruments from time to time. We advertise these in the newsletter and also on the website. See Roger's article 'How to choose a hammered dulcimer' for advice on second hand instruments. A good instrument second hand generally costs at least 250. If it is a lot cheaper, beware. There are quite a few makers now selling 'student' models too. You could also try a loan scheme to see if you like it.
   
Q. Are there any plans or advice on making an instrument available?
A. There is a lot of material available on the web. Try these sites for a starter:

dmoz.org.Arts

www.luth.org

www.hamiltonardie.com/DIYBookPage.htm
   
Q. Where can I get supplies to make my own instrument in the UK?
A. Not an easy one to answer... There is no one-stop supply shop in the UK although some makers will supply materials, or suggest sources to buy from. Alternatively there are several outlets in the US that are willing to ship materials over to the UK.
   
Q. I am trying to do up an old instrument. What advice is available?
A. Try the makers on the makers list. They will often take a look at an instrument or offer advice by phone without charging.
   
Q. I have an antique dulcimer. What is it worth?
A. This is almost impossible to say. If it is playable then it will fetch a value as a playable instrument. Also there are a few people who are interested in collecting unusual examples, but generally old instruments that aren't playable aren't worth much.
   
Q. I would like to sell my dulcimer. Can you suggest the best way of doing this.
A. We can advertise it in our quarterly newsletter or on the web site.
   
Q. I am interested in playing greek/ klezmer / balkan music on my dulcimer. What type of instrument do you suggest?
A. There are a number of options (none ideal!). Factors which will influence the choice will be cost, flexibility with other music genres, and your ability to learn on your own. A chromatic instrument (maybe from Greece or Eastern Europe) will give you all the notes you need but you will find you are a bit more on your own as far as learning it is concerned. Some makers also make chromatic instruments which are the same as 'regular' dulcimers but with extra strings. These are useful if you are playing UK folk etc as well. Another option is to buy an instrument with moveable bridges. You can retune notes to fit what you are playing.
   
Q. What do you know about <XYZ's> dulcimers made in <somewhere in the USA>?
A. This is a UK website so we are not the best people to ask. try the hammered dulcimer email list
   
Q. My dulcimer needs repairing. Can you suggest someone?
A. Try the maker's list.
   
Q. Why is your club called Nonsuch?
A. This tune was the one everyone was learning at a weekend workshop when the idea of a UK dulcimer club was first mooted. Nonsuch or Nonesuch (more frequently used spelling) is a tune from the Playford English Dancing Master collection from 18th Century England.
   
Q. What notes are on a hammered dulcimer?
A. There are quite a few variations but this diagram will give you the note layout for a fairly standard instrument.
   
Q. How easy is it to tune?
A. Because of the number of strings involved, it can be a problem. An electronic, chromatic tuner can be purchased quite cheaply (20 upwards) and is worth every penny. Some old instruments are very difficult to keep in tune. Beware (see article by Roger) when considering purchasing one.
   
Q. Can I hire an instrument to see if I like it?
A. Nonsuch operates a loan scheme for it's members. Cost for three months is 30 + club membership fee if you need to join. We also require a 50 deposit which is refunded at the end of the hire period, provided the instrument is returned in good condition. For more information, please contact Margaret Arton. Some makers also loan out instruments and discount the payment against a purchase, although they generally charge more than we do.
   
Q. How easy is a dulcimer to learn?
A. It's easy to pick out a simple tune. It's fun getting started, even if you've never played an instrument before. However like any instrument the more you learn, the less you realise you know!
   
Q. Can you suggest a teacher near me?
A. Can you suggest a teacher near me?
There are a few professional teachers in the UK. If you get in touch we can suggestion someone in your region. If there isn't a teacher near you we may be able to put you in touch with a buddy who can give advise. Also you could consider travelling a bit further occasionally to an event. The club organises several each year. Also try this international list:
   
Q. Can you tell me about workshops and dulcimer events coming up?
A. We have an annual weekend at Launde abbey in Leicestershire at the end of October each year. There are other workshop weekends sometimes at other times of year, too. We also have local get-togethers in a number of areas. Have a look at our Events page
   
Q. I am learning on my own. What tutor books can you suggest? Are there any videos?
A. There are a number of books you can get, mainly written by US based players. Maddie MacNeil has a book + CD/tape/video published by Mel Bay. There is also a US based magazine, Dulcimer Player News  with lots of info & help. Note there is a hammered and mountain version of her book. See:-

You can order Mel Bay books in the UK via your local music shop, or...

www.amazon.co.uk  has quite a selection of books as does www.the-music-room.com
   
Q. Are there any dulcimer newsgroup or discussion lists?
A. Dick Glasgow runs a very useful UK based forum

There is also a newsgroup (which is not very active)
rec.music.makers.dulcimer

The most active discussion area is the hammered dulcimer email list.

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For Mountain dulcimer there is the Sweet music list
   
Q. I'd like to get in touch with an old friend who is a UK dulcimer player. Can you help?
A. Please contact us via our queries form We will see if we can help.
   
Q. Can I swap web links with your site?
A. We generally do a 'link swap' for club members, and for sites of general interest to dulcimer players, however the final decision is at the discretion of our web master. Click here if you want to contact her ...
   
Q. Can my group do a gig/spot at your festival?
A. No, it's more of a workshop weekend for dulcimer players only. Unless you play dulcimer we wouldn't be interested.
   
Q. Can I use information on your site for my book/article/webpage etc
A. Please contact us for your specific requirements. Some of the articles are not our copyright, we would need to contact the copyright holders.
   
Q. I'm looking for contacts with US clubs
A. Try:

www.dpnews.com
   
  If you didn't find the answer you were looking for, here are some other dulcimer faq sites

Boston Area Hammered Dulcimer FAQ


Griffin Dulcimers FAQ