Last night, Flamingo Joe sent me a link to a Craigslist ad featuring a hammered dulcimer for $100 at a consignment shop in St. Pete. We bought a hammered dulcimer this summer when we were in North Carolina and Casey and I start official lessons on Tuesday. But we’ll be sharing the instrument and I can already see that the real fun begins when we can play duets.
Dude. Do you think the name “Dueling Dulcimers” is already taken by some group?
We are quickly becoming that weird family, aren’t we?
When I clicked on the ad I saw a neglected dusty dulcimer with only one hammer.
Poor sad thing — only one hammer.
The boys and I drove down to rescue it this morning. We negotiated the price down to $60 but even then, we probably still paid too much.
The strings need to be replaced, both bridges are broken, and there was no stand or case.
And there’s a crack in the top.
Really, they should have paid us $60 to take it out of the shop for them.
But look at the pretty craftsmanship around the edges:
And all of the tuning pegs are in place and none of them are loose. (Oh my . . . just look how sophisticated we are — our hammered dulcimer is resting on top of The Hobbit, which we of course leave laying around so that visitors will know that we don’t just play LEGO Lord of the Rings, we’ve actually read the books . . . as if the two hammered dulcimers sitting on the table wouldn’t be enough to clue folks in.)
In the consignment shop, we talked to Flamingo Joe using FaceTime on our phones so that he could see the condition of the instrument, so he knows he may have to make two bridges. I didn’t realize how bad the crack in the top was until we got it home.
But if we’re replacing bridges, how hard can it be to just go ahead and replace the top, too?
Don’t answer that.
****Update: It might be awhile before Casey and I hit the road on our Dueling Dulcimers Tour, but not due to our complete lack of basic playing skills and technique. Flamingo Joe took a look at the top when he got home last night and said, “Well this may just be wall art.” But I did some researching on the internet and found someone who has done a similar repair and told him it really could be done. Nothing like challenging your husband’s sense of manhood to goad him into unreasonable projects . . .So he showed it to Jamie this morning and Jamie says he thinks he could get the top off. The only problem is that Jamie has about 6 other projects ahead of the hammered dulcimer, one of which is building me a chicken coop and helping Joe finish the roof. Sigh.****