hit tracker Ringing Strings Bowed Psalteries

Recent Updates

12-15-14  Currently working on eight new tenor psalteries in my workshop.  The tenor has been my most popular model.  Good range of notes, 2 1/2 octave 30 strings.  Starts at G below middle C.  Even with that, they are still compact, slightly over 21" long.  You can preview these tenor psalteries and see them in various stages of construction on my Facebook page.  While there give us a like and you will have notifications when I post anything new.  A lot of what I post on there will not be on this website.

11-4-14  The 2014 East Tennessee Bowed Psaltery Gathering is now in the past.  We had a wonderful time.  My Facebook page has lots of pictures and videos, plus more to come.  Plan to join us in 2015.  I'll have all of that info up very soon.

2-20-13  I have some more tunes from a recent jam with my friends up in the Cumberland Gap area.  I am playing a D Tenor, since most all the songs were in D.  The D tenor sounds great with the dulcimers and I can even play the faster tunes, up to speed, not having to reach across to the left side for the C# and F# notes I need.  They are tuned into the scale along the right.  Four to five dulcimer players, two guitars, a mandolin, upright bass, and Terry was switching out between dulcimer, banjo, and the dobro.  Hope you enjoy the tunes, I just want to share how the bowed psaltery works great jamming with others.

Coleman's March                              Sugar Hill

Soldiers Joy                                     Southwind

My Old Kentucky Home                     Nail That Catfish to a Tree

Black Mountain Rag                           Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies

Whiskey Before Breakfast                  River (Bill Staines)

2-6-13  I have the page ready to tell the story of a new series of bowed psalteries I have started building.  It is the Chestnut Series, so click that to find out more about them.  One of the first is already listed on the Tenor page.

Shall We Gather at the River

Life's Railway to Heaven

Uncloudy Day

You are My Sunshine

Spanish Fandango

The Fiddler has Played His Last Waltz of the Night

1-4-13 - I have added my thoughts on the types of bow is best for the bowed psaltery.  Go to the Psaltery Bows page and scroll down to the red print to see my opinions.  This stemmed from a discussion I was having the other day.  I could see the common misconceptions and thought I should post an explanation of my thinking on the subject.  I have also been asked where to find my adjustable tripod attachments for mounting a psaltery to a camera tripod, for double bowing.  That info is at the bottom of the Tenor page.  Just go there and scroll down past the instrument listings.  Four new Tenor Bowed Psalteries are almost complete.  Two of them have internal pickups built in.  Should be ready by early next week.


Ringing Strings

handcrafted by
Rick Long
Clinton, Tennessee
(865) 660-4026

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Copyright Ringing Strings Music 2004-2014  All Rights Reserved

Here in my little corner of the "web" you will find -

  • Handcrafted Bowed Psalteries
  • Accessories
  • Helpful Information
  • Pride in Workmanship and Service

I have been building and playing bowed psalteries for the past 34 years.  A love of music and woodworking began at an early age.  At my fathers side, I became familiar with walnut, cherry, cedar and other woods native to North America.   I gained great love and respect for the use of these materials  The projects we completed provided the skills required for creating the beautiful instruments you find here today.  My love for music came from my mother, she is very talented and can play the piano really great by ear. Quality and service are my top priorities.  My long experience in playing the bowed psaltery gives me the knowledge to know what works well and what doesn't.  My goal is to create the very best bowed psalteries available anywhere.

I love to tinker and come up with new designs.  Some new ideas come out of my own head.  I do listen to customers, many design changes have come from customer comments and wishes.

Please take a moment to browse the site.  See the variety of figured woods used.   Listen to the samples of my recordings.  Visit my workshop page and see where these wonderful instruments are made.  I take pride in offering lots of sound clips and videos, showing how my psalteries sound and are played.  I even give you some sound clip examples of each psaltery I list for sale.  I believe I am the only builder that offers this on their web site.  The only better way to shop and compare, is to be standing in my workshop trying them out in person.  You are even welcome to travel to East Tennessee to do that.  I do all this because I am very proud of the quality bowed psalteries that I build and want you to be able to judge them for yourself.

Enjoy your time here, come back and visit often.

2015 East Tennessee Bowed Psaltery Gathering
Oct. 29 - Nov. 1
at Cove Lake State Park, Caryville, TN
just off I-75 Exit 134

Go to this page for details. Pre-registration is required. There are only sixty-five spaces available.  I already have twenty registered.  After those are claimed, the registration will be closed.  Don't miss out, this is one of only a few events that are focused only on the bowed psaltery.  I have spoken to a couple of folks that didn't see the part about the pre-registering requirement.  Don't plan to just show up, I'll have to be strict about turning folks away. I'm just not going to have it be too crowded for the attendees that have followed the rules.

Green is Soprano

Blue is 2 1/2 Octave Soprano

Yellow is Tenor

Red is Baritone

Purple is D Tenor

Orange is D Psaltery
Here's how the voices of all the different models of psalteries I build, compared to the piano keyboard in pitch.  You can clearly see that they all have quite a few notes in common.  Some folks are confused by the names soprano, tenor, and baritone, but they are just names to distinguish each model I build.  Other builders may have a different opinion of what they call the psalteries they build.  The important thing to consider is the range of notes, from the lowest to the highest.  This will tell you what to expect.  The first sound clip listed by each psaltery I offer for sale, gives you something to listen to and hear the entire range of notes.  Every builder should do the same, so you have a chance to hear and compare.  Even with some of the notes overlapping, there are still differences in tone.  The has a lot to do with the size of the psaltery soundbox and the type and size of strings used.
Click here to go to my new Ringing Strings Bowed Psaltery Facebook page.  I'll be putting things on there that you won't see on my website.  Be sure to like the page to
receive notifications of new content.  The Facebook page will also give you
another way to contact me for questions, post them on there or pm me.