Sunday, August 26, 2018

Heading into Fall Hammered Dulcimer Sale! $50.00 off plus FREE SHIPPING on16/15 Phoebe Complete Outfit! Now Through Sept. 30

This offer is for Natural 16/15 Phoebe Complete outfit ordered in August or September 2018.  The regular retail is $599.00, and regular shipping charge is $35.00.  So the total will be $549.00, no tax, no shipping charge.

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

The total is $549.00 for the outfit with free shipping to anywhere in the 48 continental United States.  To take advantage of this deal, you can place your order on our web site, or you can call us with your order and a credit card number.  Or you can call us or email with your order then put a check in the mail, or I can email you a paypal invoice.  Whichever seems best to you.  

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 or call.   My cell is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877.  The email address is

Chris Foss

Electric Hammered Dulcimer

We have been working on this for a year, and it is now ready!  All electric hammered dulcimer with second generation sensors in the side rods.  The dampers are Cimbalom style.  They are ON until you depress the pedal to lift them OFF the strings.  Much more sensitive and intuitive than the regular American type hammered dulcimer dampers.

Check out the video!

There is a world of beautiful sounds out there to explore that can only be made by a hammered dulcimer.  The key of course is what you run the dulcimer through, and your understanding.  In the video, I am using a Marshall tube amp on only the clean channel along with several guitar effects, but you can do this other ways.  A modeling amp with all the effects built in would work great as would an all in one multi effects processor and a basic amp.  All this and more can also be done in the computer with no amp or effects.  Many basic amps also have the most useful effects built in, reverb, chorus and delay are in many amps, so you plug the preamp straight in to the amp and have much of this.

We are ready to start selling these, starting at $1500.00 for dulcimer plus case, hammers, tuning wrench and tuning diagram.  If you don't already have a good mono preamp, we can also supply you with the LR Baggs Paracoustic DI that I highly recommend.  This dulcimer is Cherry and Maple, but we can do them in most any wood.  If you are interested or have any questions whatever, our email is, or just give us a call.  563-571-5296

Chris Foss

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Songbird 16/15 Finch Solid Top complete outfit $549.00 plus FREE SHIPPING

We have been experimenting with how to make a stress free solid top hammered dulcimer.  The top is composed of 7 individual boards connected only with tongue and groove joints and not glued.  It works great, and they are remarkably stable.  The top of this one is quarter sawn Douglas Fir which though unusual, is a recognized tone wood.  It is also beautiful, though a little hard to work with.

Ideas just happen to me, and I believe they come from outside myself, they are just given to me at the right time, and this is one.  This is how it happened.  My aunt, Dottie Raun passed away, and we wanted to go to the funeral, which was scheduled for 8:00 AM in Des Moines, 150 miles away.  So we had to go and stay overnight, and ended up in a real flea bag motel.  The bed was horrible, I wasn't sleeping well, and dreamed this dulcimer.  It was vivid and went on all night.  By the time I got up, I had it all worked out.  Now this wasn't something I was thinking of or working on, or even concerned about, but I knew the idea was worth trying.

The problem with solid wood is it expands or contracts across the grain but not with the grain with changes in humidity.  The rule of thumb in cabinet making is not to glue wood cross grain that is over 8 inches wide or you are asking for trouble.  But we do it in the hammered dulcimer world and sort of get away with it by taking precautions with moisture content of the wood, humidity in the shop, and by using only the most stable woods.  Some also strenuously specify in the guarantee that it is up to the owner to keep their instrument in controlled conditions, necessitating humidifying the house, keeping the instrument from extremes, and if cracks or warping happen, telling the owner it was their fault for not taking proper care of their dulcimer.

The new Finch with the divided top solves that completely.  Each individual board can swell or shrink up to 1/10 inch which isn't enough for you to see in the cracks, but if it was glued solid together, the whole top could move 1/2 inch across the whole width, causing major stress on the instrument.  We've tested it, it works, and they sound great, too.  All the sound holes need to be in the back for strength reasons, but that actually helps the sound anyway.  It is smoother, and projects better.  Check out the video.

At $549.00 for the complete outfit plus free shipping, this one is a deal.  The final model will be $699.00 plus shipping when we put it on the web site later this year.  If you are interested, or have any questions whatever, our email is, or call 563-571-5296.

Thanks for looking!
Chris Foss

BTW:  Lifetime guarantee on this one.  you can take it anywhere you like, and not worry about it.  It'll be fine.  Death Valley?  No problem.  The Amazon?  Ditto.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Beautiful David Lindsey Bill Spence Edition 16/15 hammered dulcimer $950. Lots of extras

We are selling this lovely dulcimer for our friend Barb Fick who simply decided the hammered dulcimer isn't for her.  Great dulcimer in virtually new condition, includes the case pictured, and adjustable stand, a music holder specifically for dulcimers, 2 pair of hammers, the tuning wrench, and lots of paperwork.  From what we can gather, this one was made in 2011.  Barb bought it from an older lady, and neither of them played it much.

This link is to a video of it being played so you can hear and see it in action.

You would need to pay for shipping, and the stand will come in a separate box.  If we had to ship everything to California, it would be around $75.00.  If you are interested, call us 563-571-5296 is my number.  Melanie's is 563-260-7877.  Or email us at

Chris and Melanie

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

June/ July 2018 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 applies to both Complete Packages, and Just Dulcimer options.  Anywhere outside the 48 states, we will take $35.00 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

HOT SUMMER SALE! $50.00 off plus Free Shipping on Phoebe Chromatic Natural Complete Packages thru July 31st.

$50 off plus Free Shipping, an $85 savings now through July 31st!  If you have cabin fever and have been thinking of getting a hammered dulcimer, now is the time!  The free shipping offer applies to anywhere in the 48 contiguous US states.  Anywhere else, contact us for a shipping quote.  We only charge what it costs us to ship to you, and will still deduct the $35.00 savings from your shipping cost.

The Phoebe Chromatic is our best workhorse dulcimer.  Good enough that you may never want to upgrade to something else.  Even though I could play any dulcimer that  I want, it is usually a Phoebe Chromatic that I choose.  There are no dulcimers that are better, only fancier, more highly decorated, or built of more costly woods.  Fully chromatic over 3 octaves, durable, stable, sounds great, you can't buy a dulcimer with this much functionality anywhere else for twice this price.  So if you've been thinking about a good hammered dulcimer for yourself or for a loved one, now is the time!

To take advantage of the sale, you can just go to the Phoebe Chromatic page on the web site and buy it there, I have the site all set for the correct price.  Or you can email us with your order and I can email you a paypal invoice, Or you can call us with your order and a credit card number, Or you can call or email and then put a check in the mail, whichever seems best to you.

If you have any questions whatever, feel free to contact us either by phone or email.  The web site is  email is  My phone is 563-571-5296, and Melanie's is 563-260-7877

Chris Foss