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:
Baritone dulcimers Tuned A-E-A for a deep, rich sound,
amplified by an increased depth of 2 3/8".
Babydoll The cute little guy. Tuned to a high G-D-G;
VSL is 23 7/16".
Jazz Has the same VSL as the Babydoll, and is tuned (from
treble to bass) D-D-G-high B, facilitating easy jazz chords. Built in the
standard hourglass shape, or in the distinctive "S" shape upon
request, with your choice of four or five strings.
Below are examples of the different types of Kudzu Patch dulcimers, with details
on the particular instrument. (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.)
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
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!
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.
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 (see below.)
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
Quilted maple two-point
teardrop dulcimer with western red cedar top. This
dulcimer has a tone like a cello -- full-bodied and resonant.
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
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
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.
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
quilted maple ankh inlaid in ebony diamond. Articulate mellow
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.
Bill Lee's (TX)
Two-Point Teardrop has a western red cedar top. Back
and sides are built from colorful walnut, including both heartwood
Angel dulcimer with fine abalone inlay.
Rose dulcimer. Quilted maple back, sides and fretboard with
manufactured rose motif inlay.
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!
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.
(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
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
Beautiful quarter-sawn lacy sycamore dulcimer made for Grieg Vanlandingham (Kingsport,TN).
Kokopelli Dulcimer with walnut back and sides and western red cedar for
the top; catalox overlay on the fretboard.
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.
*"Magna Oblonga Dulcimelos Excelsior!"
Ben gave a Kudzu Patch dulcimer to Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls in March 2004.