5106 Whitman Way, Carlsbad, CA 92008
The mountain dulcimer is an instrument with fretted strings that allow for the production of a sweet melody when you play it.
While many musicians will insist that it’s a uniquely American instrument, in fact, the sound comes from Scots/Irish settlers in Appalachia.
The good news is that it’s not hard to find an Appalachian dulcimer that sounds great for a reasonable price, to get started with learning the instrument.
We have five things that we expect from a mountain dulcimer that is aimed at beginners:
We really like this dulcimer from the first moment we plucked at the dulcimer strings and the solid wood laminated spruce build is definitely built to last.
If you’re used to playing classical guitar then you shouldn’t find that this is too hard to pick up.
Roosebeck is one of the best dulcimer manufacturers in the business and their mountain dulcimers tend to come with impressive features that you don’t usually find unless you buy mountain dulcimers that cost a lot more money.
However, we should note that some customers appear to have received this instrument damaged when ordering online. This wasn’t our experience but nobody wants a broken middle string when they unbox their instrument either.
If you think your future is in playing mountain dulcimers then you might want to consider this awesome dulcimer, it’s one of the best mountain dulcimers in our tests and much of that is down to the gorgeous cherry finish on the product.
It has a very distinctive hourglass shape and users say this helps with enabling chord playing.
Not only does this have a great sound but it also comes with a robust, quality case that really feels like value.
This super-affordable almost teardrop shape dulcimer made of solid mahogany seems to have been inspired by the German lap zither. The rock maple neck is built to last too.
We found that the strings unlike with most cheap teardrop instruments gave out a really great tone when we play chords and it certainly competes with the best offerings on the market today.
One thing you’re going to love about this is the inclusion of a diatonic fretboard which makes it much, much easier to learn the major scale, and if you refer to the owner’s guide, you’ll be playing tunes much faster than you might on other models.
This is probably the best-selling beginner dulcimer of them all. It’s super easy to play and you can develop your skills easily and when you reach the quality that you’re aiming for – you can make the kind of music that professionals make on it too.
The wood is very popular as a spruce soundboard leads to the perfect tone from four strings and it’s also likely to last for many years as long as you take care of it properly.
However, some consumers have said they find it harder to keep this dulcimer in tune than some of the other models in our tests.
So, there we have it a simple buyer’s guide to what is a relatively simple instrument to learn to play.
It’s worth investing a little more money in a dulcimer made of good wood if you can because this will ensure your purchase lasts for a long time to come.
If you’re getting into this instrument then you should check out our guide to Appalachian Folk Music.