Review by Thomas Wheat
Bear Meadow Apprentice
I built my own student version of the Bear Meadow Concert Teardrop in the summer of 2009. Having now played it for nearly a full year, I feel confident in recommending it as a superb instrument, whether for a starting dulcimer or for the serious student of many years.
This instrument design is a technical work of beauty. The refinements in any Bear meadow design are what make these instruments truly unique. Clear attention is carefully given to even the small detail of construction from sound board selection and precision thickness to the beautiful ruby/amber shellack sealer that sets the tone and character of the finish. Each element contributes to the greater sound, and the beauty of the final form.
The Concert Teardrop I built during my Apprenticeship at Bear Meadow, and currently play, may be the last dulcimer I ever need to own. I have yet to play an Appalachian dulcimer that can compare with the responsiveness, clarity, and variety of voice produced by this instrument. I personally tend to prefer mixing a variety of playing styles from simple strumming and finger picking, to tapping and thumping -- all of which sound wonderful on this instrument. Another great feature which I use constantly is the ability to quickly and effortlessly change to the configuration of "three" strings (with the melody course doubled) to four separate strings allowing for a truly expand range of options for arranging songs in a variety of tunings. I highly recommend all Bear Meadow dulcimers, but you're if looking for a less expensive instrument that in no way sacrifices voice, volume, responsiveness or playability, this Concert Teardrop is the instrument for you.
-- June 18, 2010 Thomas Wheat, Bear Meadow Apprentice, 2090