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Hammered dulcimer flat or angled?


What are your thoughts on playing your dulcimer at an angle vs. on a flat plane? Are there benefits to both? Does one feel more comfortable for your body? Is playing flat just for flashy professional players, or is it the wave of the future? Can you really see the notes at the top of the instrument when they’re that far away?


I prefer to have the instrument angled for both sitting and standing (about the same angle). If I don’t have it at an angle, the knuckles on my last two fingers sometime scrape on one of the courses.


I have played flat and at several different acute angles in my 30 years of playing hammered dulcimer. I generally like it more flat when I stand, and prefer some bit of angle when I sit…

Having it at a slight obtuse angle away from me (but not as dramatic as Bill Robinson!) surprised me at how comfortable it felt.

I guess I’ll just keep experimenting…that’s one reason I love the Tri-Stander and Flat-Stander systems!


I don’t have years and years of playing experience to cite, but I do know that leaning over my D650 and reaching to play the top C section for too long a time can actually make my back sore. That’s the main reason I play with a slant.