I had become interested in mountain dulcimers by a fairly round about method. Having been working on a copy of a Soviet era electric guitar I became aware of the balalika, the Russian three string folk guitar (The weird triangly one.) and since I'd wanted a light simple instrument to sit around the repair shop I was working in I started researching it. It seems like there are three string folk instruments of a million varieties all over the world and I settled on the mountain dulcimer for it's simplicity and diatonic scale. I knew about backpacker guitars, but I didn't know about strum sticks at all, so it's funny that's what I ended up with. It's so damn fun to play though, that I kind of thought I'd build some more of them. My versions being somewhat more guitar-like and durable than most.
I've seen these things like this advertised as "Great for Begginers" and "Never a Wrong Note!" but that's not quite right either. I've put the 6+ frets on mine, so there's 6 wrong notes per instrument at least. I also don't see any reason why you couldn't get just as serious about this instrument as you'd like. It's versatile. I set it by my chair and play it all the time, especially when I'm trying to figure out a song.
Like all my instruments you can custom order versions with different scale length, numbers of strings, arrangements of strings, fretboard layout, accoustic or electric or whatever. Prices for accoustics start about $175 and electrics start at about $250.
If you're interested in seeing what makes my instruments better quality than others, check out How I Build Dulcimers.
Lately, I've been selling some of my dulcimers on . Click here to see if I have any listed just now.