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Answer to a question about my Five-String Dulcijo

Posted by jbrosser on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I was asked on a forum post what differentiates a five-string dulcijo from a regular banjo.  Let me first say that I have no financial relationship with the folks that either market or construct this instrument.  I have talked with the maker, Michael Fox, over the telephone as he was constructing my instrument.  Outside of that, I have no relationship with anyone involved.

With that said, even though I'm not even close to an engineer typer person, I'll explain differences as best that I can.  From what I understand, the original Dulcijo is a three stringed instrument that was designed to combine the sweet sound of the Mountain Dulcimer with the Banjo.  Having played "at" the Mountain Dulcimer, the sound is something that I fell in love with many years ago.  However, my expertise has always been in playing a five-string.  The three-string Dulcijo has a small 8-inch drum and a shorter neck.   The five-string is designed with a slightly shorter neck and a 10" drum which contains only 8 brackets. 

For over thirty years I've played Scruggs style and enjoy the songs I play.  Recently, however, as I have been doing a lot of research on the Rosser family in the civil war, I've developed a strong interest in wanting to re-create the pre-civil war banjo sound.  I didn't want to buy a collector's banjo, but wanted something new.  When I heard the sound of the five-string Dulcijo, I heard the sound that I was looking for.  Being a novice at this, I don't know if it's the smaller drum, the shorter neck, the scooped neck or a combination of these that gives the sound I like.  I'm sure anyone interested can get more information from the dulcijo.com site. 

I've posted a pic of my Dulcijo.  I really love the elaborate pearl inlay that a fella named Richard Shook created.  When the light hits the neck, the flower blooms go from reds to blue, etc.  The instrument is very light weight and will be great for travelling.  I first heard the sound on ezfolk.com under clawhammer. 

I know that technically this probably doesn't answer some of the questions, but I suppose all that really matters is that I love the sound that is created from playing.   Thanks for the inquiry.



1 comment on “Answer to a question about my Five-String Dulcijo”

pastorharry Says:
Wednesday, May 9, 2007 @2:52:15 PM

Thanks for the answer, lovely instrument! God bless, PH

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