#69 of 71 Gatlinburg Things To Do

Smoky Mountain Dulcimer

Smoky Mountain Dulcimers - Handcrafted Traditional Dulcimers
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Smoky Mountain Dulcimers makes traditional dulcimers by hand and offers all the necessary accessories. If you’re an aficionado of the classic Smoky Mountain folk style, the instruments and CDs here will bring music to your ears.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Smoky Mountain Dulcimers ais a pop-and-son shop that specializes in handcrafted dulcimers. Mark Edelman has been building and playing these instruments for over three decades, and he continues to teach the instrument at the John C. Campbell Fold School in North Carolina every year. His son, Brad, has also been building these instruments for years.

The dulcimers that Mark and Brad make are a traditional Smoky Mountain instrument that’s been enjoyed in the region for generations. There are both lap dulcimers and hammer dulcimers available in a variety of styles and grades, and Mark will gladly custom-build one if you prefer. In addition to making beautiful folk tunes, these instruments are themselves a piece of artwork that’s suitable for display in any home. Prices for the dulcimers start at $199 and go up depending on the model.

If you purchase one fo the instruments, three types of cases are available to keep it in. The standard, plush, and canvas cases aren’t included with an instrument, but they’re available at a discounted price of $30 or $40 if you do purchase a dulcimer.

In addition to making instruments, Smoky Mountain Dulcimers also has CD and DVDs of some of the best dulcimer music you’ll hear available — and that’s not just them talking. Several feature Tim Semik, who has won the National Hammer Dulcimer Champion and the National Mountain Dulcimer Champion competitions. Along with Tim’s playing, you’ll also find acoustic, gospel, holiday, and other collections available. CDs sell for $12.95 or three for $30.00, and DVDs are priced at $20.00 each or two for $25.00.

Dulcimer music is an integral aspect of Smoky Mountain culture, and it’s a style of music that many people find they like. Whether you’re already a dulcimer player or just know you like the folk music of this area, Smoky Mountain Dulcimers is worth visiting to learn about the instruments and take home some songs from the mountains.

A few of our favorite items at Smoky Mountain Dulcimers include:

Professional Lap Dulcimer
If you already play the dulcimer, you won’t find a better instrument than the Professional Lap Dulcimers that Mark and Brad make. Expertly crafted to your custom specifications, this takes some time to make but will be your perfect dulcimer when it’s finished.

15-14 Full-Size Hammer Dulcimer
The 15-14 Full-Size Hammer Dulcimer is a percussionist version of the dulcimer that lays out before you. Try it out in the shop, and see what sorts of tunes you can learn. It takes about two minutes to learn a tune, and some people find this easier than the lap version.

Standard Case
If you purchase a dulcimer, you need a case to protect it. With its solid exterior and soft interior, the Standard Case offers good protection at an affordable price.

Smoky Mountain Aires Vol 1
For a CD to take home with you, opt for the Smoky Mountain Aires Vol 1. Full of traditional melodies from the region, this is the perfect music to remind you of your visit to the Smoky Mountains.

Beginning Mountain Dulcimer
Taught by Champion Tim Semik, Beginning Mountain Dulcimer is an excellent introduction to this instrument. Pick it up if you want to begin learning how to play your new instrument.

Insider Tip: 
– Plan on spending some time here when you visit, especially if Mark is in the shop (which he usually is). Mark’s known for playing any of the instruments in his shop, and he’s an accomplished dulcimer musician in his own right. He’ll also provide tips on playing and might even pull out a harmonica if you ask him to. In his hands, the harmonica is also a real treat to listen to.