Tuesday, September 11, 2012
At the Music Shop...
I finally got a chance to sneak off to the music shop. I know, I know... You're thinking, "Why didn't she get there as soon as she got the instrument if she was so excited about it?!" Umm... :cough: Anyways.
I parallel parked (big deal for me - my siblings can attest to that). I walked into the store cradling the dulcimer in my left arm. Gorgeous guitars, sleek cellos and violins lined the walls. An older man with a full gray beard was in the back working on a guitar with strings going every which-way.
"Hi, do you do instrument repairs?"
"We sure do."
"Do you work with dulcimers?"
"Well, it depends on what needs fixing."
I handed the dulcimer to him, "It's not staying in tune... I've tried to tune it at home, but as soon as I start doing anything with the strings it drops in pitch."
"Well let's have a look." He walked over to a table with some antique chairs and we sat down. He started plucking those woefully out-of-tune stings, tweaking the pitch, and strumming. Man, you know what you're doing. I came to the right place, didn't I? Not every music man knows how to play dulcimer if you just handed it to him and said, "Can you fix it, please?"
"Your action is really high, and these need to be completely replaced - hear the clicking?" He was pointing to the tuning knobs.
I grimaced. "How much is that going to cost?"
You could see him mentally working the numbers. "$36."
Only $36?! I must be used to flute and piano repair bills... "That works for me!"
He headed back to the front desk and continued, "I know what book this is from."
"A man from (insert here some college/university in Ohio) published a book on how to make dulcimers."
Whoa! Really? "Is the book still in print?"
"Oh, no. They stopped publishing it back in the 70's. Too bad whoever made this used plywood."
"It just makes it look funky."
"Oh, I can totally live with that. The world would be rather dull without character."
"You can see where they sanded down the curves and the layers of the plywood are revealed."
We filled out all the necessary paperwork.
"It's going to be a little while until we can get it fixed. Everyone is needing their school instruments fixed that they knew needed work back in June and now they need it by Tuesday." You could hear the tease in his voice.
Soon, very soon, my dulcimer will be in playing order and I'll get to actually try to learn a couple tunes on it without my sisters groaning as soon as I hit the first chord. Oh the mixed blessing that is having perfect pitch. :P