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Jerryc41
08-19-2018, 07:07 AM
Looking at the NJ Uke Fest site, I saw that Strumstick will be one of the vendors. I hope I can resist buying one. Do any of you have one of these clever instruments?

https://strumstick.com/

Croaky Keith
08-19-2018, 08:22 AM
No, but I have got RISA solids, they're smaller & more convenient. :D

ScooterD35
08-19-2018, 08:36 AM
I have two Strumsticks, a standard and a grand. Wonderful instrument that’s even easier to learn than the Uke. It was invented by my dear friend, Bob McNally (who you may well meet at the festival). He gave a couple to Jon Anderson of Yes, who plays them regularly at his solo shows.



https://youtu.be/HObQBGKtd6o


Scooter

peanuts56
08-19-2018, 09:09 AM
Have never heard of them and took a look. Resembles a balalaika imo.

Doc_J
08-19-2018, 09:28 AM
Looking at the NJ Uke Fest site, I saw that Strumstick will be one of the vendors. I hope I can resist buying one. Do any of you have one of these clever instruments?

https://strumstick.com/

Saw another maker of these in Asheville last year. Thewoodrow.com (http://thewoodrow.com/)

These are pretty much a version of a steel string dulcimer. Steel strings are bit hard for me.

Josť de Londres
08-19-2018, 09:28 AM
Have never heard of them and took a look. Resembles a balalaika imo.

They have similarities, except the strumstick is diatonically fretted. If you look, the frets are at different intervals, so to make chords you just fret the bottom string and slide it up and down the fretboard. I think the strumstick slogan is "no more wrong notes" or something like that.

jer
08-19-2018, 09:37 AM
I haven't owned one of those specifically, but I have owned a Seagull M4 (formerly known as Merlin), which is a very similar instrument. I've also owned a dulcimer, which was also played the same way except in a different position. They are a blast to play. Anyone who can fret a note can pick one up and start making music right away. You can do a lot just by pressing down the melody string only, but you can get more complex things going too.
These instruments are limited in range but unlimited in fun! They can be hard to put down once you pick them up.

FYI: The guy who makes the ones mentioned here is also the guy who came up with the Martin Backpacker travel guitar. That's a neat story too. I'm not sure of an exact link on where to read it.... That said it goes a little something like this:
He was making a travel guitar out of scrap wood he was buying from Martin. Martin found out and called a meeting. Some laughed at the instrument until they found out what he was making it of. They decided they could profit and entered a licensing agreement with him..The rest is history...The guitars are produced in Mexico... Some hate them, some love them. I actually like them. It's sort of a banjo meets guitar sound to my ears.

ScooterD35
08-19-2018, 10:05 AM
I haven't owned one of those specifically, but I have owned a Seagull M4 (formerly known as Merlin), which is a very similar instrument. I've also owned a dulcimer, which was also played the same way except in a different position. They are a blast to play. Anyone who can fret a note can pick one up and start making music right away. You can do a lot just by pressing down the melody string only, but you can get more complex things going too.
These instruments are limited in range but unlimited in fun! They can be hard to put down once you pick them up.

FYI: The guy who makes the ones mentioned here is also the guy who came up with the Martin Backpacker travel guitar. That's a neat story too. I'm not sure of an exact link on where to read it.... That said it goes a little something like this:
He was making a travel guitar out of scrap wood he was buying from Martin. Martin found out and called a meeting. Some laughed at the instrument until they found out what he was making it of. They decided they could profit and entered a licensing agreement with him..The rest is history...The guitars are produced in Mexico... Some hate them, some love them. I actually like them. It's sort of a banjo meets guitar sound to my ears.

Actually... the story goes like this.

Bob McNally had a booth at the Philly Folk Festival, selling Strumsticks and Backpacker guitars. Chris Martin walked up to the booth to check out the Strumsticks and then asked Bob about the Backpackers. Bob told him how he invented it to have something with a full size fingerboard for travel and camping and that he was literally making them out of scrap Mahogany from Martin’s dumpster and Spruce from the Guitar Makers Connection. Chris was very intrigued and helped Bob set up a presentation to the Board of Directors.

The rest, as you said, is history!

Scooter

etudes
08-19-2018, 10:05 AM
Thanks for sharing, it has a special sound. I think it would be amazing mixed in with some ukes and guitars..

kypfer
08-19-2018, 11:32 AM
I've also got a Seagull Merlin ... bit of a short neck compared to a full-size dulcimer/strumstick but a breeze to play, if you're happy in one or two keys, and a very distinctive sound.
There is a "repertoire" for these instruments which mostly comes from the Appalachian dulcimer, so mostly "old-timey" and folky, but none the worse for that!
If you've got the cash to splash well worth picking one up ... broaden your horizons :music:

Jeffelele
08-19-2018, 12:04 PM
Thanks for sharing Jerry. Very tempting.

Good luck on holding out although I’m not sure exactly what good luck would be in this situation.

bsfloyd
08-19-2018, 12:21 PM
I have two Strumsticks, a standard and a grand. Wonderful instrument thatís even easier to learn than the Uke. It was invented by my dear friend, Bob McNally (who you may well meet at the festival). He gave a couple to Jon Anderson of Yes, who plays them regularly at his solo shows.



https://youtu.be/HObQBGKtd6o


Scooter

Love Yes - love Jon Anderson and his unique voice - love the strumstick and other stick dulcimers. So, for me this is a win, win, win!!

Jerryc41
08-19-2018, 03:59 PM
Actually... the story goes like this.

Bob McNally had a booth at the Philly Folk Festival, selling Strumsticks and Backpacker guitars. Chris Martin walked up to the booth to check out the Strumsticks and then asked Bob about the Backpackers. Bob told him how he invented it to have something with a full size fingerboard for travel and camping and that he was literally making them out of scrap Mahogany from Martinís dumpster and Spruce from the Guitar Makers Connection. Chris was very intrigued and helped Bob set up a presentation to the Board of Directors.

The rest, as you said, is history!

Scooter

Great story. He should have named it Dumpster King 😁

El Viejo
08-19-2018, 05:28 PM
Chalk me up as another person who owned a Seagull Merlin. I loved it! For me, it was particularly fun for playing Irish music. The scale made it very easy for others to pick up and play and learn quickly when I'd bring it along to jam sessions. Sadly I sent it on its way since it wasn't getting enough play time once I really caught the ukulele bug.

These types of diatonic scale dulcimer-style strum sticks are really fun, though!

RafterGirl
08-20-2018, 02:42 AM
I've had one for a few years, but don't play it much anymore. Fun instrument, especially for someone with zero music experience. No Wrong Notes is indeed the McNally Strumstick motto. I think mine is a G strumstick. Maybe I should post it for sale???

Link to their website https://strumstick.com

ScooterD35
08-28-2018, 06:21 PM
Looking at the NJ Uke Fest site, I saw that Strumstick will be one of the vendors. I hope I can resist buying one. Do any of you have one of these clever instruments?

https://strumstick.com/


So... what did you think of the Strumstick? Inquiring minds want to know.


Scooter

Jerryc41
08-29-2018, 01:32 AM
So... what did you think of the Strumstick? Inquiring minds want to know.


Scooter

It's interesting, but not interesting enough to part with my money. There was a silent auction for one last weekend at the NJ Uke Fest, and I resisted.

igorthebarbarian
08-29-2018, 04:56 PM
I've had one for a few years, but don't play it much anymore. Fun instrument, especially for someone with zero music experience. No Wrong Notes is indeed the McNally Strumstick motto. I think mine is a G strumstick. Maybe I should post it for sale???

Link to their website https://strumstick.com

I had a Seagull Merlin and regret getting rid of it (one of the rare ones). Maybe I should buy it

Noelle12
08-31-2018, 04:41 AM
I have one. It's awfully fun to play, but I don't really know all of its capabilities. My abilities are a bit limited anyway.

Noelle12
08-31-2018, 04:43 AM
I have one. It's awfully fun to play, but I don't really know all of its capabilities. My abilities are a bit limited anyway.

I will add that it was a gift. I would like to think that I would not spend my own money on it. (But I've been known to spend more money than I should on instruments.)