9/9/9 Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer

(1 customer review)


The vireo bird that this small dulcimer is named after is a small, sweet singing, high flying long distance traveler, and that exactly describes the 9/9/9 Vireo Hammered Dulcimer! The Vireo is only 6 pounds, has a lovely sound, and you can easily take it anywhere with you, including the airport! Comes with a playing leg and handy backpack case.

Demonstrating the 9/9/9 Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer│Songbird Dulcimers

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Looking for a dulcimer that is small and light but very capable that you can tote around wherever you go? You’ve found it. The Vireo Chromatic hammered dulcimer is the best travel dulcimer on the market today! It’s ultra-portable, capable, great sounding, stable, and of course lots of fun!


  • 9/9/9
  • Length: 31 1/2″  Width: 11″  Height: 3 1/2″ including the bridges
  • Weighs a little over 6 pounds
  • Top is Quarter Sawn Douglas Fir and the back is Pine plywood
  • Pinblocks are Hard Maple, the rails and bindings are Cherry, and the bridges are Walnut
  • Comes with a backpack case, altogether weighs only 7 to 8 pounds
  • Comes with a playing leg that screws into the back
  • Perfect intermediate/advanced travel dulcimer!
  • Comes with hammers, tuning wrench, tuning diagram, playing leg and backpack case

Easily Portable Travel Dulcimer!

Our Vireo weighs only a little over 6 pounds. Along with the sturdy backpack case, it altogether weighs 7-8 pounds (depending on what else you have in there). Easily store your hammers, tuning wrench, and music notes in the secure pocket of the backpack case. Strap it on your back, and off you go to your jam or performance! There is also a handle for easy carrying.

Watch Chris demonstrate the Vireo’s backpack case:

Demonstrating new backpack case for smaller #hammereddulcimer It works for the Fledgling and Vireo

The Vireo is Fully Chromatic

The bottom marked note on the Vireo’s bass bridge is middle C, so that gives you two octaves in C up from there. The dulcimer is fully chromatic over the whole range of the treble and bass bridges; that is two octaves plus high D. The third bridge is mostly the missing chromatics except the bottom three notes which are G, A, and B to complete the lower octave of G. The keys of C and G are easy and mostly just like your larger dulcimers. D is also fairly easy but probably different than you are used to. A is not a problem either. All the minor keys are there and easily played.

Chris hasn’t found anything he can’t play on the Vireo, though some tunes need to be relearned for the small dulcimer. However, relearning songs you know is a really good mental exercise and a total blast when you conquer them! There is a learning curve, but it is fun and rewarding and just toting it in to the local jam makes heads turn and questions get asked. People also comment how well it cuts through a noisy jam.

Here Chris explains how the Vireo is set up and where the notes are:

Explaining 9/9/9 Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer Setup and Note Structure │Songbird Dulcimers

Comes with a Playing Leg

A playing leg is included that screws into a threaded insert in the back. The dulcimer itself is too small for a conventional dulcimer stand. But if you find that the playing leg is not comfortable for you, we recommend purchasing a camera tripod for stable playing. If you don’t already have one, we found a good one on Amazon by the name of Joilcan AH75. It only costed $40 and it works perfectly, plus it comes with its own shoulder bag.

Explaining Playing Leg/Tripod Setup for the Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer │Songbird Dulcimers

Perfect for Intermediate or Advanced Players On the Go!

This is not really a beginners instrument. The Vireo Chromatic is intended for people who already play, but want a dulcimer that is more portable and reliable for traveling, going to play with friends, etc.  We typically recommend that beginners learn on a simpler dulcimer like our 13/12 Chickadee or 9/8 Fledgling (2 string version).

But if you know your way around a hammered dulcimer, you will find the Vireo a fun challenge! This wonderful little dulcimer will surely become your constant companion and friend. Fly high and far with the Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer!

1 review for 9/9/9 Vireo Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer

  1. David Elosser

    To start with, this little hammered dulcimer is built with the same quality build as all the larger dulcimers. The addition of the third bridge fills in notes that would normally be missing in other instruments of this size with only two bridges. The string spacing is the same as the larger Songbird instruments, making it easier to transition if you already own one. The sound is very pretty, with a little more resonance being added with the third bridge notes. Great for a beginner, or a seasoned player like me. If you are buying, or already own, a larger Songbird instrument, I would seriously consider getting the Vireo as a companion dulcimer.

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