Choosing Your Dulcimer

McSpadden dulcimers are unique and personal instruments.

McSpadden has hand-crafted more than 64,000 exquisite mountain dulcimers since 1962. McSpadden is regarded as one of the finest mountain dulcimers in the world. Locally sourced Ozark Walnut, Cherry and Sycamore, as well as the attention to detail make McSpadden’s a popular choice among beginners and professionals alike.  

With an ongoing commitment to quality, every instrument is designed with the player in mind. We are proud of our world-wide reputation.

No matter your level of experience, there’s a perfect dulcimer for you.

McSpadden mountain dulcimers are an excellent choice for a beginner. The quality will ensure a beginning player will not become frustrated with an inferior instrument.  

But as your skill level increases you will have a longtime companion of an instrument that you will not outgrow or be in search of higher quality.

As you consider the dulcimer that will inspire you for years to come, below are options and upgrades.  

  • Standard 28.5 VSL
  • Standard 26” VSL
  • Ginger 
  • Baritone
  • Bass
  • Dulci-banjo 

The standard size and standard tuned dulcimers offer the maximum range of available arrangements and instructional materials.

Standard Dulcimer - 36" Body

The Standard 28.5” VSL offers a longstanding reputation for a rich melodic        tone. 

The Standard 26” VSL dulcimer has frets slightly closer together which can aid in playing for hands that are smaller or have impaired capacity.

 Ginger Dulcimer - 30" Body

With an overall length of approximately 30” the VSL is 23-5/16” giving it a relatively short skill length. This allows it to be tuned to a higher key of G (GDG) providing a brighter voice, very reminiscent of a mandolin.  If requested Ginger dulcimers can be tuned down to the key of D as the Standard models.

 Baritone Dulcimer - 36" Body

A rich deep voice is produced by the Baritone mountain dulcimer, similar to the low strings of a guitar. We recommend a 28.5 VSL for the larger Baritone strings. But, the instrument can be requested with a 26” VSL. Typically the Baritone is tuned in the lower key of A (AEA).

When played with a standard tuned dulcimer, the Baritone can add a depth to the duet that is satisfying to the ear. For a singer with a low voice, the Baritone can provide a beautiful accompaniment.

Bass Dulcimer - 36" Body

The Bass mountain dulcimer resonates with a nice foundation sound. It is tuned an octave below a Standard dulcimer in D. Because of the large strings the Bass is offered with a 3 string peghead not utilizing the traditional double melody string. The VSL is 28.5.

The Bass will enrich ensemble playing and may give a better fit to some players’ singing voices.


The Dulci-banjo is a dulcimer style instrument in teardrop shape with a banjo head. The string and fretboard arrangement are like a dulcimer, but the sound is like that of an old style mountain banjo. The usual tuning is D-A-d but may be D-A-A or G-D-G using alternate string sets. This is a great addition to your musical collection.

Visit our YouTube channel to hear dulcimer sound tracks and listen for yourself.

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