I'm spending the day in the workshop. Got the heaters going and it's about 60 degrees in here. A good place to be when it looks like this outside.

It's been a while since my little workshop looked like this.

I've been putting the strings on a few psalteries after building and finishing the bridges. Experimenting with piezo pickups. I've got my amplifier plugged in and sitting on my router table. I'm testing with different placements of the piezo disc and also different mounting adhesives and foam tape. I'm also playing with some of the piezo film material to use for a pickup. So far that has given me problems with terrible feedback, I'm using the shielded wire as suggested. I may need to shield the soldered connections for it to work. The piezo discs work great with no, or very little, tendency to feedback. I just got in some flush mount input jacks that I really like.

Glad the neighbors are far enough away to not hear all this racket I'm making.

After getting everything hooked up how I wanted it, I started practicing tunes. Beautiful Savior (Fairest Lord Jesus) is a beautiful tune double bowed on the psaltery.

If you ever amplify your psaltery try adding some chorus effect to the sound. It really smooths out the sound of an amplified psaltery. Some guitar amps have that built in, or you can add it through an effects pedal. I also use a preamp that I attach to the tripod. That lets you adjust the volume, treble, and bass without stepping over to the amp.

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Comment by Tish Westman on February 5, 2010 at 10:15am
No Rick, our only shop is at Tamarack. We tried working in a home shop but it always worked out that the piece of wood or the tool I needed was at the other shop so.....production was hampered. We decided to keep everything in one place. I also kinda like that when I go to work and come home I can not feel like I have to go do somemore. I can go play music........ I did like not having to go in if I didn't want to and work at home. Torn......
Comment by Rick Long on February 5, 2010 at 7:02am
That's where they were made, Strumelia. It's just a 20' x 20' two car garage that I took over as my workshop. Just enough space for me, though it does get crowded at times. I store my lumber in a shed behind the shop. You can just see the bottom of the stairs on the left rear side, those come out of my house. I love only having to walk 20 feet to get to work now. It's insulated enough that two of the small ceramic heaters will keep it comfortable for working.
Comment by Rick Long on February 5, 2010 at 6:53am
Tish, looks like you are far enough south or inland to miss the big snow this time. I just heard two feet expected in D.C. Do you and Gregg have a shop at your home, or do you do all your work at the Tamarack studio?
Comment by Tish Westman on February 4, 2010 at 9:12pm
We are sun starved here in WV also and here we go again with the bad winter storms. I am hoping for some really good practice time. Rick I agree with Donna. Your shop looks like a wonderful place to be snowbound in. Great picture with the sun low in the sky.
Comment by Donna Malus on February 1, 2010 at 5:23pm
Your work shop looks like a Christmas card, and so cozy. Sixty degrees isn't TOO bad : ) I'm sun starved here in Illinois.

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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!

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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 honey@offthewalls.us
Melbourne, FL

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

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