News

RIZZETTA TUNE ARCHIVE: on the SHEET MUSIC page you will find most of my original music plus some traditional tunes and workshop class tunes, all in standard notation.

The next generation of Carbon Flex Shaft Hammers is now available. See the HAMMERS page.

I am offering for sale one of my favorite mountain dulcimers. It has been my personal performance dulcimer for a long time and was used on some classic recordings. It also won many awards for artistry at exhibitions and art shows. Check it out on the MOUNTAIN DULCIMER page.

There is a new hammer dulcimer feature to report. A long time ago I invented the third playing bridge to add extra low bass notes to traditional American dulcimers. This “Super Bass” third bridge has become a standard feature of the best dulcimers. It was 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 has been introduced on the Dusty Strings D570 and D670 models. See tuning charts and more information on the Hammer Dulcimer page.

Dulcimer Fandango is my most recent 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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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. You will also find a supplemental PDF on making kayak paddles. A new photo article, KEVLAR CANOE REPAIR PROJECT, is on repairing Kevlar, carbon, or fiberglass hulls. Also, 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. See more on the Canoes & Kayaks page.
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 I like playing Native American flutes outdoors but don’t like exposing 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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September was a great time for another late season canoe trip to the Boundary Waters. We experienced some of the most amazing displays of northern lights and star studded heavens reflected in mirror calm lakes. New tunes resulted: Cowboy Coffee, The Stars Like Dust, and Voyageurs Farewell. See the SHEET MUSIC page. There will be many tales to tell while huddled around the wood stove this winter. In late October  I spent a few wonderful days solo backpacking in the high country of West Virginia’s Dolly Sods Wilderness. The fall colors were phenomenal and the rock scrambling was much fun.

It has been a crazy year with lots of interesting trips and projects. I restored a Kevlar canoe that was broken in half. No, I wasn’t in it! I got it as salvage. See the Canoe & Kayaks page.

Approaching winter will, I hope, give me time to record new music and continue some exciting, ongoing experiments. These include new developments in carbon hammers, ultralight hammer dulcimers, tone braces, and bridges with variable response from low bass to high treble. I will post information on the HAMMER DULCIMER and HAMMERS pages as projects come to fruition.

There were some exciting projects that Ray Mooers and I collaborated on, along with the talented staff at Dusty Strings. Projects involve some of the hammer dulcimer brace and bridge experiments mentioned above as well as Super Bass courses that are playable on both the left and right sides. Such features are now incorporated in the new Dusty Strings D670 and D570 dulcimers.

Cheers,

Sam