So I joined another web site all about dulcimers, I really just did it to get a set of plans I wanted. Anyway, I post a question about how small a dulcimer do you all make. I had made one using just a single cigar box so it was pretty small it had 2 strings and it has a sweet sound. The only response I get is some clown telling me I can't really call it a dulcimer if it does not have 3-4 strings because I can't even chord along with 2. I did not even answer although there are many answers worth giving from yes I can chord along to asking him about Galax style playing. The thing is, I do not want to be in any box. No rules opens up a lot of new ideas. So thanks to Shane for doing away with all that BS way back in the beginning. Has this happened to any of you all?

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Yep. Happens on mandolin, banjo, ukelele and other stringed instrument sites all the time. It even happens here fairly often. But at least here, when it does, a chorus of voices, including mine, shouts "No Rulz!" Then we go on to yell at the poor soul about there being actual guidelines if they wanna get proper intonation. ;-)

Nothing wrong with like minded folks having their own group.

Exactly right Gus. Good to have both types of groups. If I wanted to learn how to make an authentic, traditional style instrument, thats the place I'd look. Nothing wrong with that at all. Trouble is, some or them come off as being exclusive and snooty when asked a question like this.

Oh ya. Not just on forums but face to face. I'm into steampunk. It's a fandom with so many conflicting rules there's no real set to go by. But someone will always let you know when your breaking one of their personal mantras.  These people are collectively known as "Prop Nazis". They exist in all fandoms. But steampunk seems to bring them to an annoying point. Take it way to seriously. 

It has to work.

It has to be made of real materials. Leather, metal and wood.

Be an exact replica of something from the mid 1800's.  bla bla bla bla.

I tell them,

" The day someone floats here in a cast iron, steam powered air ship is the day I'll stop using cardboard."

but the Victorians were heavy into paper mache . i think i remember some lacquered PM boxes on antiques roadshow... and those guys didnt turn their noses up at it...lol

 

I have gotten some wierd looks from so called aficionados. I have gotten to the point of not carrying what they say or how they precieve what I do. And I love galax dulcimers they really show how ingenious dulcimer makers were to amp up the sound of their creations!

Yup Matt, for me it's usually "your cigar box fiddle sounds pretty good....you ought to try making a real one"

Here's what I think of rules...

just exactly how I felt. I play by my own rules, I take no prisoners I do no harm I hum the national anthem at ballgames but will share my bathroom with anyone. I build the cigarbox guitar with peace love and understanding and I will accept any instrument in any way you want as long as you can shred it in a way I feel deep into my ball sac. Amen!

Cigar box nation home of musical anarachism :-)
Yeah, I get the side eye and "you should build a regular guitar" sometimes, but whatever. One thing I've come to respect though are the folks who are very serious about keeping the traditional ways alive. I think there's room for both and we need them both.

I've gotten the 'look down at' from other musicians. I tell them,

"Anyone can make six strings sound good. Try using three." 

And then there's the modern tuning purists. Hypocrites. They claim there is only one tuning for a guitar. Then detune their guitars to match The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, and so on and so on.... : )

Music has never been about the instrument. It's about self expression and art.  

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