The Cutaway Dulcimer plays the same and sounds the same as a traditional mountain dulcimer. One side, however, is narrower which allows the dulcimer to be played in a "guitar position" in addition to the normal "lap position". Thus the fingering is inverted from normal style. It is kind of a missing link between the traditional mountain dulcimer and our "stick style" Wildwood Dulcimer. The inverted fingerings are a little easier for guitar players but it still produces the rich, full sound of a mountain dulcimer. When you want to play in a traditional style, lay it flat and play it like any other mountain dulcimer.
The solid spruce soundboard features three F-holes. The back, sides, and fret board, are sheesham. The fret board has arches underneath allowing free space between the soundboard and the fret board. The carved scroll peg head features gold colored, geared 4:1 banjo style tuners. Many tunings will work, but we recommend the traditional DAD to make it easy to pick up and play. A pick and noter are included.
Traditionally, mountain dulcimers had three, equally spaced, strings: a melody string, a middle string, and a bass string. Later developments created a 4-string dulcimer by changing the string spacing and doubling the melody string. Doubling the melody string created greater volume to the melody line. Contemporary dulcimers, such as ours, include extra notches on the nut to allow more personalized string patterns. The inside doubled melody string can be removed completely to revert to the traditional 3-string set-up. Or the Inside melody string and the middle string can both be moved over one notch to create an equal spacing between all four strings. Find the set-up that works best for you.