The Dusty Blog

Thumbnail for Diary of a Harp Festival
Posted by Dusty - Oct 29, 2015, 1:22 PM
We just returned from the Southeastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, NC and thought we'd share some photos of the experience from a harp-maker's perspective. We came home exhausted, but with hearts full of smiles and stories form the harpists we met, and heads full of ideas and inspiration from our fellow builders.
Thumbnail for Southeastern Harp Weekend 2015 (Oct. 23-25)
Posted by Dusty - Oct 6, 2015, 3:16 PM
The vendor hall at the Southeastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, NC is one of the biggest concentrations of harps, harp music and harp accessories in the country. If you're in the market for a harp or a Christmas present for a harpist in your life, you can browse the vendor hall for free without registering for the festival. Read about the harps and accessories Dusty Strings will be bringing.
Thumbnail for New rules for flying with musical instruments
Posted by Dusty - Sep 29, 2015, 1:01 PM
Planning to travel with your harp or hammered dulcimer? We'll explain the new rules and what they mean for your next airplane trip.
Thumbnail for Do I really need an extra set of harp strings?
Posted by Dusty - Aug 5, 2015, 4:08 PM
Important information about replacing broken harp strings to help you decide if you should invest in a backup string set.
Thumbnail for Harps Going to Somerset 2015
Posted by Dusty - Jun 25, 2015, 2:28 PM
The complete list of harps that will be at the Dusty Strings booth at the 2015 Somerset Folk Harp Festival.
Thumbnail for Why You Really Do Deserve A Nice Instrument
Posted by Dusty - Jun 17, 2015, 3:53 PM
Have you ever come across a particularly gorgeous instrument with a wonderfully lush tone and fallen instantly in love? Maybe you were looking, or maybe you were just wandering along minding your own business when you were struck by Cupid’s arrow. There probably followed a period of bliss as you drooled over the possibilities, and then the practical part of your brain kicked in and said, “Wait, I don’t play well enough yet to deserve such a nice instrument.”
Thumbnail for Hammered Dulcimer: Tuning the Treble Bridge
Posted by Dusty - May 22, 2015, 1:15 PM
Help! I can't get both sides of the treble bridge in tune! Everyone who plays the hammered dulcimer will at some point or other come across some variation of this problem. There are simply too many strings on the darned thing for tuning to be smooth and easy every time, and it can be quite frustrating when you can get one side or the other of the treble bridge in tune, but not both sides at the same time. The good news is that (assuming your hammered dulcimer is structurally sound) you can most likely solve the problem yourself!
Thumbnail for Does a black soundboard make it easier to play the hammered dulcimer?
Posted by Dusty - Apr 29, 2015, 3:01 PM
We get asked this question a lot, most often by people who are new to the hammered dulcimer. They are understandably concerned with getting the combination of options that will make it easiest to learn this new instrument, and the choice of black vs. natural finish on the soundboard seems like a big one.
Thumbnail for Stephen Peterson's Harp Story
Posted by Dusty - Mar 30, 2015, 3:55 PM
It's easy to get caught up in the daily business of making, selling and supporting our harps and hammered dulcimers, but every once in a while a customer tells us a story that reminds us of why we are really doing this. Time after time, we hear about the ways in which music has enriched the lives of both players and listeners, and often about a particular experience that inspired someone to learn the harp or hammered dulcimer. Here is one such story, told by Stephen Peterson of Arlington, VA.
Thumbnail for Sanitizing Harps in Therapy Settings
Posted by Dusty - Mar 11, 2015, 11:28 AM
One hurdle that therapy harpists sometimes run into is the need to disinfect their harp. Depending on the situation, there may be specific protocols that have to be followed, and harpists are understandably worried about what this means for their instrument. So to help ease those fears, we did an experiment with sterile alcohol swabs from our first aid cabinet (70% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad) to test the effect on the finish we use.