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Design Your Own Folkcraft LAP-JO®

Item Number 9122161

Regular price $1,395.00 (Plus additional options, if added)
This item ships for free, worldwide.

Design your own musical instrument! If you haven't yet heard a Folkcraft LAP-JO, here's the lowdown: A Folkcraft LAP-JO is a dulcimer/banjo hybrid. The fretboard is 100 percent mountain dulcimer, and the instrument is played just like a standard dulcimer. The tone-generating end of the instrument is 100 percent banjo. Banjo rim, hoop, ring, lugs, tailpiece, bridge. This is the only dulcimer/banjo hybrid that actually sounds like a banjo. It can be played quietly, but is also loud enough to hold its own with a guitar, or with a hammered dulcimer. There are plenty of videos on YouTube where you can see a Folkcraft LAP-JO in action. Go to, and search for "Folkcraft LAP-JO".

The Folkcraft LAP-JO (our dulcimer/banjo hybrid, which is Loud And Played - JOyously) is handmade in our Woodburn, Indiana workshop. Built of solid mahogany, this instrument has a dulcimer neck/fretboard with a banjo body - play it like a dulcimer, get the sound of a banjo. With a full two-octave range, a 28" VSL, and your choice of "extra" frets (1 1/2 and 8 1/2, or even fully chromatic). If you choose the Folkcraft LAP-JO Pro, you'll also get a Gabon ebony fretboard veneer and "custom-made for Folkcraft" L.R. Baggs LAP-JO pickup.

LAP-JOs all have real banjo heads, and hollow banjo-style bodies. Our head of choice is an 11" diameter Remo Fiberskyn head, which gives long life (it is a Mylar film head) with a special coating on top which gives it the look and sound of a traditional hide head.

Bing Futch playing his Folkcraft LAP-JO

Wendy Songe playing her Folkcraft LAP-JO

And now, here's the fun part. Design a Folkcraft LAP-JO to your own specifications. Think about how you want your Folkcraft LAP-JO to look, sound, and play. Select from the options below to design your own musical instrument and we'll build your new dulcimer the way you want it!

Each of our handmade dulcimers comes with our best soft carrying case, made here in the Folkcraft workshop. Our rigid case, which offers more protection, is available for an upcharge. Strap buttons are also included.

There are a lot of options to choose when designing an instrument for us to make for you. We have a reference/resource page here, and you're always welcome to contact us for help and guidance in making great choices.

Please allow us three to four months for shipping on your custom-built instrument.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Oscar Stern
Very cool

I was thinking of a MaxDAD version because you'll get quite a fun range. A Low, Medium, High Action Nut would allow me to adjust the action so I can also play slide blues as well. A 10 string Chromatic version w/ 5 pairs of strings (also a version that you can hold like a Guitar) could double as what I call a "Banjo-Cittern" or Banjittern.

Chuck Bennett
Fun Hybrid between a banjo and dulcimer.

Work is first rate and African Mahogany is really eye catching.
Had rosewood fret veneer and looks really nice. Richard is easy to work with and will do basically any custom work you desire. The instrument plays very well and will stack up with any customs made. I would recommend Folkcraft and Richard’s work without reservation.
If you ever wanted to play the banjo and was afraid it was too difficult give the Lap-Jo a try. Easy as playing a dulcimer but sounds like a banjo!

Kate Humphrey
LapJo is fun

I am having a blast with this instrument. Everyone who hears it thinks it’s a banjo! (Which is basically the point) it’s great to have a new instrument that you can pick up and play right away. I’m sure there are plenty of new things to learn, but it’s playable right from the get go if you already play a dulcimer. It has a really great sound and is just -lain fun!!

Suzanne Benoit
Beautiful Lap-jo

I love my Folkcraft Lap-Jo! It is beautifully made and sounds terrific. It has a real banjo sound with the ease and simplicity of playing a dulcimer. I have always loved the sound of banjos and have wanted to learn to play one. Now, I can learn with my new Lap-Jo.

John Farmer

The instrument is beautiful and well made. I have not played the LAP-JO at this point. I failed to order a manual on how to play. I also normally play in DAA. I also did not expect it to be chromatic. I’ll read the details closer on future orders.