Psaltery Pstudents

Members: 108
Latest Activity: Feb 3

Links to Psaltery Pstudents Lessons and Beginner Resources

Discussion Forum

practicing tips?

Started by SUE C WHEELER. Last reply by SUE C WHEELER Jun 30, 2017. 5 Replies

Online Instruction

Started by S. Oravec. Last reply by Bonnie Blue Crouse Jan 25, 2016. 7 Replies

Question on chords or notes

Started by Bubba Jordan. Last reply by Tish Westman Aug 23, 2015. 10 Replies

Bowing technique question

Started by Ruth Lawrence. Last reply by Bonnie Blue Crouse Jul 30, 2014. 2 Replies

How do you know what key your psaltry is tuned to???

Started by nancy Carlzen. Last reply by nancy Carlzen Aug 16, 2011. 8 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Rick Long on March 9, 2011 at 11:08am

Usually the mic is best on a boom type stand.  That will give you lots of freedom to find the best placement.  If you use a pickup and preamp, it is best to mic the amplifier.  This will give you the ultimate control over your sound at you fingertips, through the preamp controls.  In a performance you will still need to depend on other ears, it's hard to know what the audience is hearing from the stage.  I don't know much about this end of it, but have played a few times on stage.  Kind of scary!  When you are recording you will use your headphones to monitor your sound.  Be sure to use closed back headphones for the best results.  With the open ones you are hearing what is being recorded and also some of the sound of the psaltery, so it's hard to gauge what is happening.  Of course, you will always listen to it after recording each part. 


Comment by Rick Long on March 9, 2011 at 7:44am
Here's tip for those just starting out.  Use a loose grip when holding your bow to play.  Grasp it between the pads of your thumb and fingers, not the tips.  If after you play for a while, you notice your hand is a little sore and cramping, you are gripping too tight.  I heard one instructor call it a "death grip".  You should think about being relaxed when playing, this can be said for any instrument.  Any strain you feel will show up in your playing.  When I play, I hold my bow so loose, I am almost on the verge of letting it fall from my hand.  That sounds kind of risky, but it really does go a long way toward getting a better sound.
Comment by Rick Long on March 9, 2011 at 6:51am
I am using a guitar amp that has built in chorus fx.  Running it through a pre-amp before the amp.  This is pretty much necessary to smooth out the sound of a piezo pick-up.
Comment by Rick Long on March 8, 2011 at 5:53am

Here's one that shows a little double bowing with the same technique that you use.

There are a few more at the top of page 7 on the video section here on psaltery strings.  Donna posted them sometime last year.

Comment by Rick Long on March 7, 2011 at 7:03pm
Hi fellow pstudents,  I've been playing the psaltery for just over thirty years now, but still can qualify as a student.  I learn new things about playing all the time.   I love to play and also experiment with new techniques.  I'm sure we can learn from each other.  I have recently taught some beginner workshops at a dulcimer festival.  That forced me to pay attention to my technique, so I could hopefully be of help to those just starting out.  I'll share some of the tips on here from time to time.  I surely don't know it all, but have settled into what I feel comfortable with in my playing style.  The main thing is to have fun with it.  Great to be here.
Comment by Donna Malus on February 26, 2011 at 10:07am

It's all about FUN, FUN, FUN

If you don't believe it, come to the Symphony in April....beginners don't believe me when I say the symphony can accomodate EVERY level of player...there are parts for each song that are so simple you would have to try hard to mess up : ) I admit we work very hard but we have so much fun doing it that my face hurts every day from smiling (about time, it's been hurting everyone else for 50 years)!  You will leave the event with renewed inspiration, heightend appreciation and affection for the bowed psaltery and a feeling of community that will warm your heart for months to come. You can't beat a $39 per night room rate either and NO CHARGES for any part of the, how can you refuse that offer??????

Hope to see some (all) of you there : )

Comment by Tish Westman on February 26, 2011 at 7:31am

I am a builder, player, teacher and performer of the Bowed Psaltery.  I started out a beginner as we all have and if I can help answer some questions or give you some tips I will be lurking at the ready to jump in and hopefully give some good advice.  The group that Bonnie made reference to at Tamarack was our group practicing for the 2nd Annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony.

Comment by Bonnie Blue Crouse on February 25, 2011 at 6:06am
I haven't played in months. I just got my bow fixed and am looking forward to resuming. It would be very helpful to hook up with a few other players in this area and get together but I haven't found any yet. The group that meets at Tamarack on Wednesdays is awesome. When we complete our move to West Virginia I expect to be a regular but till then we're splitting our time and I'm almost always in North Carolina during the week. Still don't have enough confidence to play in front of anyone but family. I'm not usually shy but I come from a family that emphasized musical excellence and I'm still at the fooling around stage with the psaltery. I love this instrument, however, and it will be part of my life forever. It's perfect for me.

Featured Video

Amplified Psaltery with Cello Strings built by Rick Long

This video is a personal favorite because it shows a unique type of bowed psaltery with a gorgeous sound. When I heard it I broke out in goose bumps!

Featured Song

Click on the title for the current
featured sheet music!

Clergy's Lamentation




What is Psaltery Strings worth to you?
A dollar a month?
Your help to offset the cost of keeping our Community alive is appreciated.

Thank you.



Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

Spring Creek Psalteries - Sharon & Terry Kirby


From the Wood - Wayne Gaydos


to see his work visit

Waynie Psaltery - Wayne Simms


Prairie Psaltery - Richard Celata


Loon Song Psalteries-Charlie Marshall


New Tradition Dulcimers- Dan Daniels


Psalteries by Dave- Dave Lucas


Jon Williams Psalteries
(386) 853-0944

Westman Instruments - Tish & Greg Westman

Ringing Strings - Rick Long

Michael J King Instrumetns - Diatonic Psalteries

Inspired Instruments – Carol and Joe Esch

James Jones Instruments

Omega Strings – Richard Spencer

Master Works Bowed Psalteries - Russell Cook

Members that teach Bowed Psaltery

Paul G.Sykes - MS  

Located in Hattiesburg
Contact Paul at

or call him at



Gregg Schneeman - California
Contact Gregg here on Psaltery Strings


Peter Tommerup - California
San Francisco Bay Area
Bowed Psaltery and other Instruments


Celeste Howard Ray
Bowed Psaltery lessons via Skype
Skype name celesteray88


Maureen Barnes - Illinois
Bowed Psaltery lessons in Bloomington, IL


Dona Benkert -

Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
& Folk-Lore Center, Warrenville, IL
Phone: 630.393.1247

Tish Westman - West Virginia
Lessons at Tamarack, Beckley, WV. Wednesday workshops also available for individual classes and to teach at festivals.
Sunday "Jam" 3:30 to 6:00. All instruments welcome, play mostly Old Time, Celtic & Gospel Music, not opposed to trying any tune called, once did a rap on Bowed Psalteries.

Rick Long - Tennessee
Lessons at Rick's home/workshop in Clinton, 30 mins N of Knoxville
(865) 660-4026

Karla Armstrong - Pennsylvania
Karla plays a variety of instruments and does workshops as well. Please visit her web site for additional information or contact her via the web site or the information below.
(717) 632-8099

Carol Esch - Kentucky
Lessons in Carol's home/workshop south of Lexington.

Honey Smith Walls - Florida
e-mail Honey for more info
Melbourne, FL

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Please sign up on the bowed psaltery players list

Tish's list is a valuable resource when searching for other players.

If you are already on Tish's list, why don't you stop in and update your info? While your there take a look to see if there are new players in your area. Who knows, you might get together and make a recording.

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