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Jane Appel

jane appel folkcraft player

Folkcraft: How long have you been playing the dulcimer?

Jane: I saw a dulcimer on my honeymoon in Gatlinburg in 1977 and picked up a small paperback book about the instrument.  In 1981 my father-in-law surprised me with a dulcimer he had made me from a kit he found listed in the back of that book.  I played by myself and was frustrated because I couldn't form chords.  I learned at my first group event in 1988 at Appalachian State University that the strings on my instrument weren't spaced properly (father-in-law was a carpenter, not a luthier).  The dulcimer doctor Joe Shelton fixed me up and I began to enjoy the instrument more.  So, I've been playing (gulp) 42 years and a few months.

Folkcraft: When did you get your first Folkcraft dulcimer?

Jane: Our RV was in for service near Woodburn in 2017 and I thought I'd take a field trip to the Folkcraft shop.  I did NOT intend to buy an instrument.  However, Richard Ash was very welcoming:  He not only showed me through the shop, he also helped me sort out the woods and features I would look for in a "hypothetical" new dulcimer.  He brought me many instruments from the showroom walls until I found the combination of woods that felt like my voice:  Butternut and walnut. I ordered an instrument when I got back to the RV that afternoon.

Folkcraft: Where do you enjoy playing your dulcimer?

Jane: I lead a song circle with my Folkcraft mountain dulcimer at our winter home in Casa Granda, AZ.  Through the years I have played with several dulcimer groups, with a friend at nursing homes and libraries, and at jams wherever I might be.  Or in a parking lot, a living room, or on a porch,

My instrument is chromatic and I have enjoyed figuring out how to use my three strings to get the best approximation of chords.  Yes, I boldly fret my version of an F#m7b5 (3, +, 1+).

My favorite time and place to play is on the patio as the sun is setting.  

Folkcraft: What other hobbies, or interests, do you have besides playing the dulcimer?

Jane: Besides mountain dulcimer, I play Native American-style flute, line dance any time I can, and search for geocaches with my husband.

Mountain dulcimer is my heart and voice and I'm grateful to Folkcraft for blessing me with a fine instrument.