It’s the holiday season and time for sharing gifts with family and friends. If you have a dulcimer player in your family, I have a few eclectic gift accessory ideas. Especially, if you have someone in mind who “has everything”, here are a few things that they probably don’t have. I posted a list several years ago, this is a follow-up “wish list.” Several items are DIY projects which you make yourself, some are special order. So, plan ahead.
Make your own dulcimer pick. Do you easily lose dulcimer picks? (I do.) Are you teaching a dulcimer class and need picks for a large group of new players? Well, make your own picks. It is quick and easy. I found this pick stamp at https://www.pickpunch.com/
The size punch which I use is the large rounded triangle pick punch “346” size. Cost is $29.95 for the punch. For the plastic, I use the sides of “I Can’t Believe It Is Butter” cartons. This plastic is study and flat. Hey, we can recycle, can’t we? If you are creative, you can imprint emblems on small round Avery labels, (they fit perfectly), and adhere them to the pick. No one will know that their pick came from a margarine carton!
New Dulcimer Tablature Book
It is a true fact that a dulcimer player can never have too many tablature books. Every now and then, I find one that is unique. Even if you can find only a couple of tunes which you really love, it may be worth it. This tablature book, arranged by Steve Eulberg, includes many contemporary, copyrighted songs which are rarely available anywhere else. “Blue Bayou” is my favorite “find” in the book. Purchase the book from Amazon or an autographed copy from Steve’s WEB site.https://steveeulberg.com/
Industrial Strength Dulcimer Capo
Every dulcimer player needs a good capo. Now, how many have I lost or broken? This sturdy capo comes in various widths and heights to fit different fretboards. It easily works with a bass dulcimer. You can also get one with a tuner attached. Well worth the money, I can’t recommend it enough. The capo is handmade by Terry McCafferty and he sells these on his WEB site. https://www.mccaffertydulcimers.com/capos
Metronome. This little device in an invaluable practice aide. It helps you keep an even tempo when practicing alone or in a group. This Willner quartz metronome is very old but still useful and available on Amazon. The dial let you sets the beats per minute. It runs on a 9-volt battery and has an earphone jack. Earphone is included. $32.63 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Wittner-MT50-Quartz-Metronome/dp/B0002E2YMG?th=1
Practice amps. Do you want to hear what you really sound like? Do you need to amplify your sound volume when playing a gig or with other instruments. Especially, if you play outside, dulcimer “sound” quickly gets lost. These two practice amps are lightweight, easy to carry and really so valuable. The practice amps shown here have been around for so, so many years — I tried to find comparable ones on Amazon. Even if you don’t have a pick-up mounted on your dulcimer, you can purchase an expensive acoustic piezo contact pickup (for Guitar Ukulele Violin, Mandolin, Banjo, Kalimba, Harp) on Amazon. Don’t forget to include the cable.
A similar, updated model to this Peavy Roccmaster Practice Amp is available on Amazon listed as a Peavey Solo Guitar Combo Amp for $119.99. This amp uses a 9-volt battery and has various settings for volume, tone, overdrive.
This Fender Mini Twin-Amp has a much updated model version available on Amazon for $86.98. It is tiny, lightweight and uses a 9-volt battery.
Folding camp stool. If you plan on playing gigs or going to jams at various locations, then a lightweight folding stool is handy. This one is padded, has a back and folds up compactly. Holds up to 220 lb. The Wee’s Beyond Cushioned Padded Folding Stool is available on Amazon for $38.99.
A subscription to the quarterly dulcimer journal, Dulcimer Players News. This journal is full of interesting articles, dulcimer tablature, music reviews written by dulcimer players for dulcimer players. The journal also contains ads from dulcimer builders and individuals selling their music, tablature and more. Plus, most dulcimer music festivals advertise in the journal. it is an invaluable recourse to dulcimer players. I have all my issues dating back, how many years now? Ashley Ernst is the publisher.
Dulcimer art deco. This adorable ceramic butterfly dulcimer is handcrafted by Denise Guillory in Covington, Louisiana. She does not keep these little art pieces in stock, but will build to order. Truly a treasure to brighten up your Christmas tree. Plus, Denise makes all kinds of Louisiana-related ceramic pottery and dishes.
If interested, Email Denise at:
DIY 3-fold music holder. Does you music fall everywhere when you have to spread out 3 pages of tablature? The answer is make a music holder. Purchase black foam board, use an exacto knife and black duct tape to create a three compartment holder. Easy enough, make several.
A Sturdy Music Stand. Desca Nothworthy Ideas. Desca is an independent, small business located in Albuquerque, NM. Desca is owned and operated by Tracy and Tim Mallette. They build and sell the most unique music stands. These stands totally fold up into a 3.5” x 3.5” x 20” collapsed rectangle. The sturdy stand has an adjustable height and tray. And also a pencil tray! Although it is pricy at $79.00, it is well worth the money to have a sturdy music stand. It makes all the difference in the world.
Pardon the poor quality of this image — copied from the desca web site.
This is what the folded music stand looks like.
And what about that new dulcimer? Ah, yes, One can never have too many dulcimers. Treat yourself! Gotta’ love this little mahogany McSpadden ginger dulcimer.
Here’s a link to my gift idea list from December 2017. So many of the ideas on this list are still relevant and are especially great ideas for those folks who are just beginning to play the dulcimer.
Have a merry, relaxed and peaceful holiday this year. Celebrate with family and friends with lots of music!