Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

A New Year And Some New Dulcimer Adventures!

Sassafras and walnut dulcimer in progress.

A year or so ago I had decided to stop taking advance orders for custom dulcimers in order to focus on making more dulcimers to have available for immediate sale.

I did not follow through with this plan.

I would get requests from very nice people to make a dulcimer from a specific type of wood or with a specific number of extra frets or a specific number of strings and found it difficult to say no. 

The experience led to the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people and to make some very nice dulcimers but it also confirmed my reasons for not wanting to take advance orders; I felt the weight of deadlines and was not able to have dulcimers on hand for immediate sale.

My current plan is to once again stop taking advance custom orders so I can use my time to make the best dulcimers I am capable of from a variety of beautiful tonewoods with a variety of string and fretting arrangements and have them available for sale as they are made. 

I made this decision as I shipped the last advance order I had completed just as 2019 came to an end. I felt a sense of joy and relief that I could now go back to making dulcimers completely designed by my own inspiration.

As we enter a new year I have already told some people who wanted to place orders that I will let them know when I have dulcimers available. I have a few dulcimers in progress that I put aside to make time for custom orders and I started 2020 by starting work on the dulcimer in the photograph above. It will not have an owner until it is complete and someone falls in love with it.

I’m also planning on doing some recording this year though I am not sure what form that will take. Rather than making an album I may occasionally release single tracks or videos. 

Since having back surgery #3 I am physically in much better shape and can travel again. This means I might offer more concerts in the future, though again, I am not quite sure what form this will take. I enjoy teaching dulcimer and hammered dulcimer but I enjoy the musical freedom of performing outside the expectations of much of the dulcimer festival circuit. Things will unfold as they will unfold.

But for now, I am a happy man in a happy land with happy chisel in his happy hand and I am happy making dulcimers which should soon start appearing on this site.

You can always see what I’m up to in the shop by following me on Instagram.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom Devers

    I wish you well in your goal. It sounds like a good way to go.

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers