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FAQ | On Buying a Dulcimer

The Yam
Shown here is the Yam, a 3-string small Teardrop dulcimer with walnut top, cherry sides and back and cherry fingerboard.

$350 (this is the last published price)

Jerry Rockwell
PO Box 79
Guysville, OH 45735-0079
Phone and voicemail:
E-mail: jcrockwell@gmail.com



The Yam: Small 3-String Teardrop
The Yam had its beginning as a small teardrop-shaped instrument designed for building in multiples as a stock design rather than one at a time. It's a short scale length instrument (24 or 26 inches) that's an easier reach for persons with short hands or arthritic fingers than some of my other instruments.

Several years ago I built sets of woodshop fixtures-- molds and gluing jigs-- with an eye toward offering building and playing classes for budding woodworker-musicians (see sidebar).

In the course of working out the cutting, gluing, fitting, clamping, finishing and fine-tuning, I made a Yam or two for myself. I find myself picking up one of them almost every day in the shop, and enjoying the extra notes my very large hands can reach.

I didn't intend to add another model to the line, but a couple of longtime dulcimer teachers thought that the Yam would be a good choice for their just-past-beginner students who were looking for a professionally set up, handmade instrument with a smooth action.

Flat Headstock

The photos here have a very simple slotted headstock. After many years of building this simplest of headstocks -- with the thought that it is quicker and easier to build than my standard flat headstocks -- I have decided that the flat headstock has many advantages and all the YAM models ended up having a flat headstock.

String length, Nut to Bridge: 24"

Woods: There are many combinations of woods available, but I usually favor walnut and cherry in general.

2 Circle Soundholes (special shapes not available in this model)

Tuners: economy open-gear guitar tuners

String gauges:
.010" melody, .014" middle, .022" bass

Tuned D-A-D for shipping

SPTD-CW 3 String:
Price: $350 (this is the last published price)


Photos © copyright 2003
by Mary Lautzenheiser.
All rights reserved.

The YAM is named for SPiCYAM, a great community organization in our neighboring county (Southern Perry County Youth Arts Media in Shawnee, Ohio).

SPiCYAM, along with the Holland Center in Corning, and Sunday Creek Associates in Shawnee, supported by the Ohio Arts Council, arranged the place and time (5 Friday nights) for a community dulcimer-building extravaganza.

We had a great time and produced 12 very respectable and playable instruments. Each person's individuality was reflected in the choices they made in shaping headstocks and endblocks, but each instrument also achieved basic playability and intonation standards.