Richard's Instruments

One of the main things that helps me sound a little bit different are some of the instruments I use in both performing and recording. Here's a rundown of some of them. If you'd like a closer look, check out when I'll be playing in an area near you. I'm always happy to talk about my music and instruments!


Hammered Dulcimer

The hammered dulcimer is truly ancient and is known in most cultures around the world, although by many different names. It is considered to be the ancestor of the modern piano.

It is played by striking the strings with wooden hammers, hence the name. I built this one in 1984 and over the years it has developed a beautiful voice. It has a total of 96 strings!



Mountain Dulcimer

The mountain or Appalachain dulcimer is considered by many to be one of the few truly American instruments around. It is in no way related to the hammered dulcimer; they are completely different instruments.

The mountain dulcimer is played on the lap using one hand for chording and the other for strumming or fingerpicking.

The mountain dulcimer is a favorite among beginning musicians because it is exceptionally easy to learn to play.



The zither ranks right up there with the hammered dulcimer when it comes to amazing sound! The one I play is an antique almost 100 years old.

The instrument is played in the lap similar to the mountain dulcimer. The melody strings, which are arranged in pairs tuned together, are plucked with the fingers while the other hand strums chords on the groups of strings on the lower area of the instrument.






Autoharp ®

Autoharp is the registered name for the chorded zither, invented in the late 1800s. Another favorite for beginning musicians, many folks have fond memories of seeing their first autoharp in grade school where they have enjoyed a prominent place for decades.

The autoharp is equipped with a varying number of chord bars and is played by pressing the appropriate button with one hand and strumming across the strings with the other.