Embracing the Dark Side - Reluctantly.

Well, I now have a C tenor for travel purposes.  Not easy taking the big baritone places just to have a C.  My C and D tenors can use the same stand which is great.    I've used rub-on letters to   label my notes along the right side and then used lower case letters to label the sharps along the left.  I have a chart now that shows the different notes in each key so am practicing scales in all the different keys.  Also playing shorter songs like "Amazing Grace" in the different keys.  It will take a while for that to become natural but hoping that over time it will....   

Views: 82


You need to be a member of Psaltery Strings to add comments!

Join Psaltery Strings

Comment by Dave Holeton on July 14, 2012 at 8:47am

Just a quick note related to applying stick-on letters.  I used rub-on letters on my first psaltery.  They lasted for over 10 years but when they started to wear off I thought it would be easy to just rub them off and put on new ones.  The letters had worked their way into the finish and when I removed them there were marks that couldn't be covered with new letters.  I wound up pulling the pins, sanding the whole psaltery down, and refinishing. 


Thanks for reminding me Donna.  I haven't played Amazing Grace in all the keys for a long time, so I just tried it this morning.  It takes about 7 minutes to play them all on a baritone starting on a low C.  It's a work-out. 

I remember trying to make a job aid so I would know what was on the left and what was on the right for each key.  Starting on C#, everything is on the left, starting on C or D, everything is on the right, that kind of thing.  I think my baritone sounds the best starting on the Eb in the middle of the psaltery (key of Ab).  C and F are the only notes on the right for starting on Eb.


Comment by Terry Butler on July 12, 2012 at 8:29pm

I remember that too.  At the time that was frustrating for me as I only played by the dots and didn't really know the notes he was calling out quickly.  Now they're all LABELED.  :)  I'll get this yet.  

Comment by Donna Malus on July 12, 2012 at 7:56pm

Practicing scales is excellent and I remember Dave H. mentioning about playing Amazing Grace in all the keys last fall. I thought it was a great idea and then forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding 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 honey@offthewalls.us
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. http://www.westmaninstruments.com/Bowed_Psaltery_List.html

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.

© 2021   Created by Donna Malus.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

To add a scrolling message to your NingBar, change this text, and add the code to your Custom Code Box. If you want, you can add simple links like this: Visit JenSocial This is a great way to make announcements to your site visitors.