Tell me your "my first zither" story!

Interested in learning how to play the zither and wondering where to start? Use this section to post your questions.

Moderator: Dave

Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Tell me your "my first zither" story!

Post by Musicmaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:30 am

Hello, I am brand new into this forum and this is my first post.
I talk too much so be Warned!
You wanted a Zither story.
When I was a young man serving in Germany at the time, I happened to walk past a little old second hand book shop window and always interested in old stuff I walked in and an old fashioned bell rang as the door opened.
A smiling old man asked if he could help me.
I said I want to have a look around if I may.
Certainly, he said.
I noticed an instrument on the table that I had never seen before ( a zither ) and asked him what it Was?
He informed me with the details to which I asked " Können Sie die Zither Spielen?"
He sat to the table, composed himself and proceeded to play " The Third Man " note perfect.
I had to fight to hold the tears back as beautifully played music on certain instruments triggers something off within me.
I hope you enjoyed this story.
I have just bought two zithers on ebay and am waiting for them to arrive here in Australia.
The first one is a very old Markneukirchen model and needs a bit of restoration help. Got it really cheap.
The second one I just had to buy and did not know how I could have missed it.
It is a rather nice old Framus which looks well looked after. It is complete even with the guarantee certs, tuning key, picks and set of five spare and new fingerboard strings.
I am excited to start learning. It is not going to be easy and if it was to be easy I would never have chosen it.
I had a bash years ago but this time I will go for it.
Apologies for not knowing when to shut up.

Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
Location: Connecticut!

Re: Tell me your "my first zither" story!

Post by NutmegCT » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:01 am

Welcome to the forum!

I posted my own story earlier, but we do have one thing in common: I found my Markneukirchen zither on ebay also. Fortunately shipping wasn't across the Pacific Ocean!

We'll be interested in your learning experience, as you say elsewhere you don't have a teacher. I sure wish I had one here in New England! In the method books, there's always some good technical advice and explanations of musical terminology. But so far I haven't found an explanation of how the beginner should actually practice the exercises in the books. I just assume you play each one slowly, then gradually faster, then move on to the next one.

So please do share your "plan of attack" in the Learning forum with us:


Great to have another beginner to learn with! Hopefully we'll get more experienced zitherists to share their own "plan of attack" when they just started out - altho' it seems few ever start with method books without having had some instruction first.

Tom M.

Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX

Re: Tell me your "my first zither" story!

Post by Andy » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:45 am

Welcome aboard!

To echo Toms sentiment, I look forward to hearing all about your learning adventures. It is a fun instrument and has been incredibly challenging. Also please share some pictures of your Zithers once you’ve received them and have started your restoration!

- Andy

Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Tell me your "my first zither" story!

Post by Musicmaker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:44 pm

To tell the truth i am 67 years and should have done this years ago.
I will not live long enough to master this beautiful instrument but my plan of attack is to master a few simple tunes and i will be happy.
I am a multi instrumentalist anyway and already have a good command of musical jargon.
When i learn a new piece i study the first bar ( measure ) and practice it till perfect.
I then have a cup of tea to celebrate the triumph.
I then do the second bar till perfect.
I then practice the two together.
Learn third bar only.
Practice all three together and so on and so on.
After practicing the first bar till perfect, i then concentrate on hand positions to make sure i am doing ut correctly.
Then the second bar likewise.
Eventually, the aim is to play from memory and then to add my soul to it with vibrato, expression and dynamics.
Behind this strategy is also a stubborn determination hard to break!
Thanks for your nice replies .

Post Reply