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Kudzu Patch Dulcimers
      Dulcimers in Ben's own style
Ben Seymour, Luthier
2142 Coxe Rd., Tryon, NC 28782-7773
(828) 863-4384 
Standard Models Updated January 28, 2018 Custom Instruments
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Ben Seymour's Kudzu Patch dulcimers are constructed in the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch hourglass shape.  His dulcimers feature precision machined tuners, a unique tailpiece facilitating the use of loop end or ball end strings, and Ben's signature leaf-shaped soundholes.  Both bridge and nut are grooved for stringing either with four equidistant strings or with doubled treble strings.  Kudzu Patch dulcimers are fine instruments, boasting a big sound and a full, rich tone.

Kudzu Patch standard dulcimers come in Short and Long fretboard lengths.  Vibrating String Length (VSL), or scale length, for Short fretboards is 26 15/16"; VSL is 28 1/4" for Long models. Depth of standard model dulcimers is 2".  Other models include:

See Prices & Terms page for ordering information.

Below are examples of the different types of Kudzu Patch dulcimers, with details on the particular instrument. Your instrument can be made from any of a variety of woods. (Some of those pictured are early instruments with larger soundholes.  Ben later began making smaller soundholes for esthetic reasons; this does not affect the volume or quality of sound.)  

(Click on the thumbnails for enlarged views.) 

Long Standard   Short Standard   Baritone

This dulcimer is made of palm wood, which is in the grass family, so one might say this is Ben's "grass dulcimer!"
(VSL=28 1/4")


Zebrawood with a western red cedar back.(VSL=26 15/16") Baritone Top.jpg (70698 bytes)   Baritone Back.jpg (60919 bytes)   

Baritone Side.jpg (67520 bytes)
Western red cedar top with quilted maple sides, back and fretboard

Sound files (mp3)
Unplugged    Plugged

Jazz Model   Babydoll

Jazz dulcimer.jpg (34920 bytes)
Five strings, S-shaped body
(VSL=23 7/16")
Listen to the jazz dulcimer
playing A Windy Day in May
( Ben Seymour, 2005)
  And a surprise link!
(Scroll most of the way down)
Baby Doll G.jpg (54734 bytes)   BabyDoll back.jpg (51153 bytes)  Cherry sides and back, western red cedar top,
(VSL=23 7/16")
Hear Ben play one:

<   <   ◊   ◊    First Dulcimer Located !    ◊   ◊   >   >

Blarney Pilgrim Jenny Lind
Skye Boat Song Thickety Creek

This dulcimer was brought to Ben for repair by Phil Goodrich, who had purchased it many years ago.  When Ben looked into the soundhole, he saw "001" on the label inside--this was the first dulcimer he built, around 1994!  It possesses the same great tone and huge volume that all of Bens' dulcimers have.
Listen to the tunes Ben played on it by clicking the titles at left!


Custom Kudzu Patch Dulcimers

NOTE: These instruments all have been ordered by and sold to individuals unless otherwise indicated.

Richard Graham (Asheville, NC) owns this rosewood back and sides dulcimer.

Olivewood dulcimer
 Hear Ben play this dulcimer:
  Custom split fretboard dulcimer with Indian rosewood false back and sides, and a spruce back and western red cedar top, made for Richard Latker (Hong Kong).

"Dulcinator II"-- Resonator dulcimer made of walnut, inset with a handspun resonator cone. Better crafted than the first try.

Here's an Electric Dulcimer! Ben thought he ought to make at least one of these.
It sounds great, amplified!  $750

Electric dulcimer
Electric Dulcimer
  This is a Teardrop Dulcinator with walnut back and sides, a birdseye maple top and a walnut fretboard. The soundholes are horned toad silhouettes. It has an excellent, clear voice.
Visit this link to hear this and other dulcinators played by Ben.

Teardrop Dulcinator  Teardrop Dulcinator 
Teardrop Dulcinator  Teardrop Dulcinator
This Rosewood Dulcimer has a western red cedar top and a bookmatched, figured rosewood back. Sides are slightly deeper at 2 3/8". Fretboard is mahogany with an ebony fingerboard. Especially remarkable for its excellent sustain. A fingerpicker's delight!

rdfretbd.jpg (45402 bytes)   rdtop.jpg (59705 bytes)   rdback.jpg (55736 bytes)   rdbackdet.jpg (73394 bytes)    rdside.jpg (44523 bytes)

  Quilted maple two-point teardrop dulcimer with western red cedar top.  This dulcimer has a tone like a cello -- full-bodied and resonant.

Leopardwood dulcimer (long standard) with spruce top.  This was my first time using leopardwood, and it may well be my last--I found that I was very allergic to its dust!  An exotically beautiful dulcimer with a crisp and well-balanced tone.

  The Palmwood dulcimer. Technically, the palm tree is a member of the grass family; its wood is stringy and is not normally used to build most things that common woods are usually employed in.  [To Ben, this means CHALLENGE!!] The result is a surprisingly fine-sounding instrument.  This is one of Ben's favorites to play.  NFS 
palminlay.jpg (79728 bytes) palmside.jpg (60661 bytes)
palmgrain.jpg (154542 bytes)

  palmtop.jpg (428803 bytes)
  palmback.jpg (212979 bytes)

This Yin/Yang Maple Dulcimer has a quad bookmatched flamed maple back, lightly flamed maple sides and quarter-sawn redwood top. Soundholes have inlaid quilted maple details. Fretboard is ebony w/flamed maple sides and birdseye strum hollow. Sound is bright w/excellent sustain. Hear The Water is Wide played on it.

yyfront.jpg (63932 bytes)  yyside.jpg (46069 bytes)   yyback.jpg (45268 bytes)  yybackdet.jpg (43428 bytes)  yysh.jpg (43882 bytes)   yyhead.jpg (35599 bytes)   yydots.jpg (34439 bytes)
  Custom chromatic Baby Doll with false back, built for Becky.  Bubinga top, sides and false back, with western red cedar back.  Ankh soundholes and abalone fretboard dots.  Back inlay: quilted maple ankh inlaid in ebony diamond.  Articulate mellow tone.  NFS 

Bdl Front.jpg (230030 bytes)  Bdl Back.jpg (215595 bytes)  Bdl Side.jpg (206596 bytes)  Bdl Detail.jpg (199668 bytes) 
Laminated Baby Doll teardrop style with laminated alternating African mahogany and sycamore back. Sides are walnut & sycamore; fretboard is walnut and fingerboard is sycamore. Very sweet tone and excellent action.

bdlfront.jpg (63393 bytes)  bdlback.jpg (57418 bytes)  bdlside.jpg (29468 bytes)  bdlsidedet.jpg (50832 bytes)
  Bill Lee's (TX) Two-Point Teardrop has a western red cedar top.  Back and sides are built from colorful walnut, including both heartwood and sapwood.

td1.jpg (225304 bytes)  td2.jpg (214031 bytes)  td3.jpg (200065 bytes)  Bill Lee.jpg (146381 bytes)

    Angel dulcimer
with fine abalone inlay.

  Angel dulcimer--front   Angel dulcimer--detail

Rose dulcimer.  Quilted maple back, sides and fretboard with manufactured rose motif inlay.

Quilted maple dulcimer--back  Quilted maple dulcimer--front  Quilted maple dulcimer--detail


Ben's first "Dulcinator" has a steel cone and a banjo-like sound.  (Ben made this for himself.) Hear Ben play Mississippi Sawyer on it.


The Scottish dulcimer. Soundholes are Scottish lions rampant in a top with a pattern very like ermine. Celtic cross inlaid in sides of headstock. A beauty with a huge sound!
"Scottish" dulcimer headstock  "Scottish" dulcimer--front  "Scottish" dulcimer--back

Kathy Howell and her new bass.  Hers was an experimental model, made all of walnut except for a spruce back.  (The false back is walnut.)  It is an outstanding bass dulcimer.

Mark Gilston's (TX) exceptional custom model has a divided fretboard: melody side diatonic and the middle and bass chromatic. Walnut back and sides, western red cedar top, ebony fretboard and overlay headstock.


  Jenny Banefield's (Reidsville, NC) beautiful walnut dulcimer, with butterfly soundholes and a walnut slice  cameo inlay.



Wayne Seymour (Reidsville, NC--Ben's brother) owns this lovely teardrop, inlaid on the back with a reproduction of a drawing of cosmos flowers originally rendered by their mother, the late Christine Watson Seymour.


Beautiful quarter-sawn lacy sycamore dulcimer made for Grieg Vanlandingham (Kingsport,TN).

Sycamore dulcimer  sycamore dulcimer  sycamore dulcimer  sycamore dulcimer  sycamore dulcimer  sycamore dulcimer
Listen to Ben play it on YouTube
here and here

Dulcinator #3, made with a western red cedar top, rosewood back, sides, and false back, built for Cliff Cyphers (Texas).
Dulcinator 3 top
Dulcinator 3 back
Dulcinator 3 side
Dulcinator 3 cone  
  The grand "Pleiades" Dulcimer, made of cherry with a spruce top, and full of stars!
Pleiades dulcimer 
Pleiades dulcimer 
Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer  Pleiades dulcimer
This dulcimer was custom-made for Jeff Menzies (Ontario). It has a short standard body with a 26 1/2" VSL. The top is mulberry; the back and sides are walnut.
Mulberry dulcimer   Mulberry dulcimer  
Mulberry dulcimer  
Mulberry dulcimer
Lynn Parson's curly cherry galax with a spruce top and morning glory inlays.

Don "Country" Strickland's custom walnut back and sides, spruce top dulcimer with sycamore inlay.

NEW!!Hawaiian-Style Dulcimer!
On a scale similar to his regular dulcimers,
Ben's newest experimental instrument has dulcimer fretting and an extra bass string, lending additional richness to its huge sound. Ben already has orders for this marvelous instrument!
Hollow-Neck "Hawaiian" Dulcimer
Hollow-Neck "Hawaiian" Dulcimer
Hollow-Neck "Hawaiian" Dulcimer
Listen to Ben play it!
Kokopelli Dulcimer with walnut back and sides and western red cedar for the top; catalox overlay on the fretboard.
Kokopelli dulcimer
Kokopelli dulcimer
Kokopelli dulcimer
Kokopelli dulcimer  Kokopelli dulcimer
The Big Boy, or M.O.D.E.*
Ben received the wrong size cases and the manufacturer gave him credit but didn't want them back, so Ben just made an instrument that would fit them! Walnut with a redwood top and saligna fretboard. HUGE sound!

The Big Boy in case   The Big Boy
The Big Boy   The Big Boy
*"Magna Oblonga Dulcimelos Excelsior!"
Hawai'ian Style dulcimer
This instrument, made mostly of koa wood from Hawai'i, was sent to New Hope, Minnesota.

Hawai'ian-style dulcimer
Hawai'ian-style dulcimer
Hawai'ian-style dulcimer
  Dogwood Dulcimer
A custom Standard diatonic walnut dulicmer
inlaid with gum tupelo dogwood blossoms

Dogwood dulcimer
Dogwood dulcimer
Dogwood dulcimer
Dogwood dulcimer  Dogwood dulcimer  Dogwood dulcimer
Dogwood dulcimer
Courting Dulcimer
It is said that a courting dulcimer was employed by Appalachian parents when a young fellow was courting their daughter. The couple could be put out on the porch, sitting on either side of the double-sided dulcimer. Their propriety could be monitored from inside by listening and ensuring that all hands were in play on the instrument at all times. This one is made of Afrian acacia with a spruce top.

Courting dulcimer
Courting dulcimer
Courting dulcimer   Courting dulcimer
Ben gave a Kudzu Patch dulcimer to Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls in March 2004.

AmyRay.jpg (55595 bytes)
Click for larger image.

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