Friday, February 10, 2017

Rick Thum 16/16 good condition plus case, hammers, tuning wrench $950.00

This is a real good Rick Thum 16/16 from October, 2000.  It is number 92 in Rick's series.  It plays great and holds its tune really well, comes with a very good case, hammers, tuning wrench and some misc. papers  from the original purchase.  It was owned by Vickie Brittain in Wisconsin, and she played it a lot.  I have tried to show all the little nicks which are just normal wear on a well loved instrument.  The name medallion on the upper rail is peel and stick, so should come off fairly easily, but there will be a shadow from it on the cherry wood.  You might get something with your own name made to put in its place.  Vickie passed away 5 years ago, and her son Steve Berg brought it to us to sell for him.  There is no one in the family who is interested in it, so best thing to do with an instrument of this caliber is get it into the hands of someone who appreciates it.  Steve wants $950 for it, but will probably come down.  If you are interested, give us a call.  My number is 563-571-5296.  Melanie's is 563-260- 7877.  Or email us

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tax Day Sale! Free Set Laminated Bridges on any Phoebe Natural Complete Outfit ordered before April 15

Free set of laminated bridges ($50.00 value) with the order of a Phoebe Natural (unstained) Complete Outfit placed before April 15th.  The laminated bridges help the instrument stay in tune because they don't shrink and swell as much with changes in humidity.  They aren't the complete answer, you will still have to tune your dulcimer, but they do help.  You'll tune your dulcimer less, and it will stay in tune with itself better than if it had a regular set of hardwood bridges.  The above picture doesn't show them, but you can see them on the Bridges page of our web site.  Just hit the link below, then find the bridges page. 

You can get the particulars on all of our models on our web site,

The total will be $599.00 for the outfit plus $25.00 for shipping to anywhere in the 48 continental United States.  Best way to take advantage of the sale is to go ahead and make the purchase on the web site using the shopping cart.  Go ahead and click the checkbox for the laminated bridges and they will be added to your order.  I have set the value of that to zero until April 15th.

If you aren't comfortable with using the shopping cart online, you can call us with your order and a credit card number, or you can email us or call us with your order and put a check in the mail. 

The 16/15 Phoebe is of course the best entry level hammered dulcimer made.  Not only does it sound wonderful (clear as a bell is one of the comments we have heard), but it is durable and with legendary tuning stability.  The link above goes to one being demonstrated, so you can clearly hear how it sounds.

The complete outfit includes everything one should need to learn and play the hammered dulcimer; the instrument, case, the stand of your choice (whether to play seated or standing), good double face hammers, T- handle tuning wrench, Chromatic electronic tuner, and Mel Bay's You Can Teach Yourself Hammered Dulcimer book/ online video.  

If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to email through the contact form on the web site.  Or just call, my cell is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877.

Chris Foss

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 2017 Special! FREE SHIPPING on any Chickadee Complete Package!!

This is our 13/12 Chickadee.  The Chickadee is designed so you can have a really good smaller instrument that will do everything it is supposed to reliably, sound good as well, but not need a second mortgage to afford.  The above link is of it in action so you can clearly hear how it sounds and see it played.  It is durable enough that it should last into the next century, and small and light enough to easily carry around.  I took one to our local old time fiddle tunes jam which is loud, and it held its own very well. I am the leader, so need to be heard, and it was no problem.  The beautiful clear sound carried well in the tough environment.  I didn't feel restricted by it in any way, and could play every tune we do. Good dulcimer.

The free shipping applies to anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States, and to either of our Chickadee models; 13/12 Chickadee or 14/13/8 Chickadee Chromatic.  Also free shipping only applies to complete outfits.  Anywhere outside the 48 states, we will take $39.00 off the shipping

You can get the particulars on all of our models on our web site,

Several ways to take advantage of this sale:
You can email us your order, or call, then put a check in the mail to us. Our address is:
Songbird Dulcimers
803 Whicher St.
Muscatine, IA 52761
Or you can call us on the phone with your order and a credit card number,
Or you can email us your order and I can email you a Paypal invoice,
Or you can go ahead and make the purchase on the web site.  The web site will charge you the full price plus shipping and I will then issue you a rebate for the February Special savings.

Specifications: Laminated Birch top and back, Cherry top and bottom rails, Hard Maple pin blocks and Walnut bridges.  It is 38 inches long, 15 3/4 inches wide, and will weigh about 12 pounds.

The Chickadee and one of our scissor stands fit perfectly in the case for our larger dulcimers with a 1" pad to separate them.  So the complete package is the dulcimer, the large case, stand of your choice, double face hammers,  tuning wrench, chromatic electronic tuner, and Mel Bay's You Can Teach Yourself Hammered Dulcimer book/ online video.

If you have any questions at all, please call.  My cell is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877.  Our email address is 

Thanks!  Chris Foss

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

News Flash! New Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer Model! $369.00

This is called the 14/13/8 Chickadee Chromatic.  The link goes to a video of it in action.

When I designed the new 13/12 Chickadee hammered dulcimer, I specifically made it large and strong enough to put a full chromatic layout on the same body, and it was a very good thing!  I really like this instrument.  I learned many years ago that it is much easier to get a clear ringing tone out of a small dulcimer than a large one, and this one has a beautiful sound.  And it is a durable little workhorse.  Really fun to play, I took it to our old time fiddle jam which is loud, and it held its own very well.  I wasn't restricted in any way, I could play anything in any of our normal keys that we use.

It is of course an augmented 12/11.  Two courses are added at the top of both bridges to carry the missing chromatic notes on the high end, and the three that are missing at the bottom of the bridges are added at the top of the third bridge.  The five notes below on the third bridge are low bass notes, and can be tuned in many different ways depending on what you want to do with them.  In the video above, they are G, C, D, E, and F# from the bottom up.  D, E, and F# complete the lower octave of the key of D, giving 3 plus octaves diatonically in that key.  If the C is tuned down to B, then there is actually 4 full octaves of the G major arpeggio.  Sometimes I tune that note to A, then low bass tonic notes for all three chords in the key of D are right there.  It is a really intriguing, versatile little dulcimer.

The price of these is $369.00 for the dulcimer, double face hammers and T- handle tuning wrench.   Or $494.00 as a complete outfit which also includes case, stand of your choice, chromatic electronic tuner, and Mel Bay's You Can Teach Yourself Hammered Dulcimer.  We discovered that the smaller dulcimers go in our large case, and the stand fits also with a 1" pad to separate them.  It works splendidly.

The Chickadee Chromatic is a new thing in the market.  There is nothing else like it.  All other chromatic models are larger, heavier, and much more expensive.  Like the 13/12 Chickadee, it has a durable 3/8" Baltic Birch top, cherry rails, maple pin blocks, and walnut bridges.   It is 38 inches long, 15 3/4 inches wide, and will weigh about 12 pounds.  We fully expect this to be one of our most popular dulcimers, it is that unique.

If you have any questions, please call.  My cell is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877

Thanks for looking! Chris Foss

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Black over Green Crackle Finish Phoebe Chromatic plus Dampers $999.00

This dulcimer is SOLD
I just left it here so you get an idea of some of what we can do.

This is one of our current 17/16/8 Phoebe Chromatic models done in one of our Art Finishes.  This one is Black over Bright Green Crackle finish.  We did one custom for a person in the spring, and these were the colors she wanted.  The green underneath is very vibrantly bright, and when we put it on the original dulcimer, we thought it would never work.  But when the black went on over it and crackled, and the varnish top coat was applied, it was just stunning.  We liked it so much that we did one for ourselves which is this one.  The black mutes the green so that the dulcimer has an overall gorgeous green look, and you don't even perceive that the top coat is pure black.  I really like doing these crackle finishes.  Love it!

This dulcimer is very versatile.  It will play anything well, and the dampers give it all the options for tone control and texture that you could ever want.  A professional's dulcimer with all the bells and whistles at a reasonable price.  Top and back are laminated Baltic Birch for durability and stability of tuning.  Need I say that it also sounds great!  You can read more about the design of the Phoebe Chromatic on that page of our web site.  It has been very successful.  I chose to put the sound holes all in the back of this dulcimer just for aesthetic reasons.  But that also means this dulcimer projects well.  The sound comes out all those holes, bounces off the floor and folks on the other side of the room can hear it well.  It won't get lost in a jam, you can be heard.  

Price above is for the dulcimer, foot pedal, double face hammers, and T- handle tuning wrench.  If you want it in the full package, that will be $1,124.00 plus shipping.  

I have always felt, "why do I have to be just like everybody else?"  Going my own direction, and this dulcimer is one of the results of that.  We are very happy with it.  So if you want a great hammered dulcimer that isn't just like everybody else's, this is it.  It is unique, and inspires awe when I take it out in public.  Fun!

Give us a call.  Chris and Melanie Foss 563-571-5296