Good to be back home, but I sure have enjoyed the last few weeks. Several craft demos and dulcimer festivals later, I am tired, but happy.

The festivals are great fun with loads of music and meeting old and new friends. I learned a lot of new tunes that I can add to my list. I gave a short workshop at the last festival on bowing technique. This seems to be where most folks struggle. I think most that attended went away with some idea of how to improve on that. I notice that the main problems can be too much wasted motion that can rob you of the ability to be expressive or to play smoothly with any speed at all. I also notice a problem with being "heavy handed" with the bow.

I'm seeing a lot of great tips in the recent discussions on use of the bow, all are good and I'll try to throw in some of my thoughts in the forum posts.

I also got to play the other instruments that I am interested in, or have played for years. I have built and played the washtub bass for many years, but am new to the musical saw and clawhammer banjo. There were workshops on all these at the festivals. I'll have to say I am really going to have to devote some time to practice the saw and banjo. Both are said to be fairly easy to play, but not until you develop your technique. I always comment that "earplugs are required" when you are anywhere close to me when practicing these new instruments. I know the neighbors are wondering what those strange sounds are coming out of Rick's workshop now :-)

I'll be slowing down for a while now and concentrating on getting some work done in the workshop. I am going today to look at some thick air dried walnut that an 89 year old dulcimer builder has for sale. He said he's ready to part witrh some of it and hasn't really built instruments for the last four years. I am anxious to meet him. I have seen his dulcimers over the years, but have never met him.

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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
Melbourne, FL

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

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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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