News

At long last I have assembled a RIZZETTA TUNE ARCHIVE including most of my original music plus some traditional tunes, all in standard notation. You can find the Archive on the SHEET MUSIC page.

My Carbon Flex Shaft Hammers are now available with single-sided heads and at slightly less cost than double-sided heads. See the HAMMERS page.

There is a new hammer dulcimer feature to report. A long time ago I developed the idea for a third playing bridge to add extra low bass notes to traditional American dulcimers. This “Super Bass” bridge is generally placed on the left side of a dulcimer because it sounds better there and is structurally better for the dulcimer. Some players have argued for placing the Super Bass bridge on the right for the convenience of playing some passages. Well, now you don’t have to choose. I’ve developed a way to add another bridge and play the Super Bass courses on both sides without compromising structure or tone. In fact, tone is improved. And yes, these courses work with dampers. The Super Bass Left and Right feature is available now on my dulcimers, and we hope to introduce it on some Dusty Strings Chromatic Series dulcimer models soon. See tuning charts and more information on the Hammer Dulcimer page.

Dulcimer Fandango is my latest CD. Uplifting compositions using the luscious tones of acoustic, carbon fiber hammer dulcimers on every cut. My carbon dulcimers are my favorites, and this is the first recording using them exclusively. Sound clips, CDs, and MP3 downloads are available at popular music websites and at: Rizzetta at CD Baby. Read more on the Recordings page.
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The Mountain Dulcimer page also has information on pickups and amplification.
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The Carbon Fiber Instruments page has the latest on carbon hammer and mountain dulcimers.
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I am finally making some of my waterproof traveling Native-style flutes to sell; see the new Flute page.

Moonlight On The River CD features mountain dulcimer on every cut. Sound clips, CDs, and downloads are available at popular music websites. Rizzetta at CD Baby. For the original Trapezoid: Trapezoid at CD Baby. See the Recordings page for all the Rizzetta CDs.

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See the Canoes & Kayaks page for a FREE and newly updated PDF on canoe and kayak flotation, rescue, and safety. The book CANOE AND KAYAK BUILDING THE LIGHT AND EASY WAY, available at bookstores and online, is helping home builders make their own ultra light weight canoes. A free supplemental PDF has more on making kayak paddles.
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 I like playing Native American flutes outdoors but don’t like subjecting them to bad weather and rough use. So I make Native American-style flutes out of PVC for backpacking and canoe trips. They sound surprisingly nice. See the Flute page.
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After a long cold February the calendar has flipped over to March 1, which Carrie tells me is meteorological spring. I feel warmer already. This winter has been a veritable blitz of exciting hammer dulcimer experiments resulting in some wonderful sounding instruments. Two experiments that have been especially successful are: first, a new design for internal tone braces, and second, bridges with variable response from low bass to high treble. I hope to post more information soon on the Hammer Dulcimer Page.

There are a couple of neat developments in my continuing collaborations with Dusty Strings. They have started making dulcimer hammers with sustainably harvested, eco-friendly bamboo, and I just completed some experimental hammers for them designed specifically for the advantages of bamboo. Even more exciting is the experimental D550 that Ray Mooers at Dusty Strings and I are collaborating on. It incorporates the experimental braces and bridges mentioned above to produce truly wonderful tone throughout the entire range, low to high. In addition, the Super Bass courses are playable on both the left and right sides. I have my fingers crossed that Dusty Strings might be able to put these features into production on their Chromatic Series dulcimers. Stay tuned for more!

When I’m home visitors are welcome. Just scare the cats and whitetail deer away from my workshop door and give a knock. Next projects include experimental mountain dulcimers and a new canoe.

And if I’m not home… well, I’m probably paddling my Kayoo, flying my little Grumman AA1, playing a dulcimer somewhere, or walking the trails with Carrie.

Blessings,

Sam

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