pointed feet

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

Moderator: Dave

Post Reply
Justin

pointed feet

Post by Justin » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:02 am

Are the Ivory feet with nail-like tips common to all zithers?
What can you recommend I put underthe zither feet toprotect table tops but will not muffle the sound?
What were period zither tables topped with?

ilseharris
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:33 am

Re: pointed feet

Post by ilseharris » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:20 pm

Hi Justin,
All old zithers had spike feet, but most of them can be unscrewed and replaced with modern screw-in feet that have rubber instead of a metal spikes.
I used to put pieces of cork under my old zither. In some of the old zither tutors they say to play on a wooden table perhaps made of pine and
perhaps with a drawer to amplify the sound.
good luck with your restoration!
I have two sons who are professional musicians (Accordion, Trumpet, Clarinet, Sax) they can hum and strum most instruments, but think
the zither is far too old fashioned and complicated. But some of us really like it.
Kind regards from Australia
Ilse Harris
www.zither.com.au

kiemnguyen

Re: pointed feet

Post by kiemnguyen » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:41 am

I am curious as to why the feet have points like nails, the zither I just bought has them like that !!! Only when it pokes my arm then I remembered and lift it off my 2000$ dinner table right away. Luckily I had 3 layers of table cloth on the table.
Is this to keep the instrument from slipping around on the table when being played ?

Kennethpauls
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: pointed feet

Post by Kennethpauls » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:18 pm

It keeps the zither in place, of course; but I think it helps the sound resonate as well.

kiemnguyen

Re: pointed feet

Post by kiemnguyen » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:48 am

I see, the pointed feet keeps the bottom board above the table and therefore can resonate better.
This is similar to the toneguard that some player added to the back of their mandolin so the back of the mandolin is kept away from the player body, and therefore produce louder sound.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: pointed feet

Post by kenbloom » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:15 am

The table acts as an amplifier for the instrument. If you put cork under the feet, that insulates the instrument from the table top and thus you get nothing in the way of sound from the table. The bigger the table the more bass response and volume you get. The air space enclosed by the table doesn't seem to matter. My favorite zither table has a top that is about 1/2" thick and is made from lacewood. This wood is a technical hardwood but has about the same density as mahogany. These "soft" hardwoods have given me the best results in terms of volume and tone. The spruce topped tables I've made do not work as well. Those little nails keep the zither in place when you are doing vibrato and you don't have to chase the instrument all over the table.

Ken Bloom

Post Reply