Pickin' Stick

Discussion threads tucked away for browsing or searching

Pickin' Stick

Postby bruce » Fri May 10, 2002 2:22 pm

Jerry, Tell us about your pickin' stick. I have what I call a strum stick, but it ain't easy to play. I have it strung to DAD dulcimer style, but I can't chord much with it. Mine's tiny and hard to hang on to and strum/play. I certainly don't pick it. I don't think we're talking about the same thing. How is yours different? Bruce
User avatar
bruce
Admin
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:50 am
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby spoonsman » Fri May 10, 2002 4:46 pm

I tu;ne my strum stick to GBD and bar chord it. It pick occasionally on the D string. I hold it like a guitar, but I have seen people tune it to DAD and play it on the lap as a mt.D.
User avatar
spoonsman
Senior Mbr (101-500 posts)
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburg, KS

Strum Sticks

Postby DulcimerMama1 » Sat May 11, 2002 9:18 pm

Hey, those strum sticks look really cool! Everytime I go the the Folk Music Center, I stop and look at them longingly. So, I'd love to know if people are generally liking them, or if I'd be better off spending my measly $ on something else - like another mountain dulcimer!! Anybody else own and play one of these strange creations?
DulcimerMama1
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 1:08 pm
Location: Monrovia, CA

Postby SMO » Sat May 11, 2002 11:38 pm

If they are what I think, I have one made by Jim Goodsite here in Ohio several years ago. Jim made a number of them, but we call them Pickin' Sticks. It has a very small body and a guitar type neck. Mine is tuned to DAD and I play only the melody string, holding it like a guitar. It sounds very much like a banjo. They never caught on up here and I haven't had mine out for at least a couple of years. I might try it again one of these days, though.Rolled Eye
User avatar
SMO
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2002 4:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, OH

Postby bruce » Mon May 13, 2002 12:00 pm

Jennifer, I think they are interesting and can add a strumming banjo sound to tunes. They are, in my opinion, hard to hold and hard for me to chord. I usually wind up strumming. They aren't terribly loud, either, so no worries about it "taking over." Bruce
User avatar
bruce
Admin
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:50 am
Location: Jacksonville, FL

pickit

Postby KenH » Mon May 13, 2002 4:46 pm

I've been thinking of building something similar with a sort of lute/banjo roundish body about 10" in diameter. I don't know if the other 'stick's are, but I'd string it backwards, with the bass string on the opposaite side, for upright playing... even a "noter" type like me could use a finger slide on just the melody string without having to chord. I once strung one of my dulcimers "backwards" like that, it was kinda fun! KenH
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10080
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL

Picking Sticks/Strum Sticks

Postby DulcimerMama1 » Mon May 13, 2002 6:31 pm

Hmmmmm...sounds interesting...think I'm gonna go try one out! Thanks everybody. Razz
Last edited by DulcimerMama1 on Mon May 13, 2002 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DulcimerMama1
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 1:08 pm
Location: Monrovia, CA

Postby spoonsman » Wed May 15, 2002 7:13 am

Dutch E-mail Address(es): dutchwgn@ozarkisp.net Dutch down in Mt. View AK has experimented with a lot of variations of dulcimer type instruments--strum stick, banjomers, etc. He would be a good one to communicate with if you area thinking about different designs.Wink
User avatar
spoonsman
Senior Mbr (101-500 posts)
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 7:51 pm
Location: Pittsburg, KS

pickin stick

Postby pickin » Sun May 19, 2002 12:40 am

...it is funny - I just noticed this topic. Well, the strum stick is the first of it's kind - at least as far as I can tell. Made by McAnally. It is no more than the fretboard off of the mountain dulcimer. I have even heard that McAnally thought of what is now known as the backpacker guitar made by Martin. In 1994 my family discovered the mountain dulcimer. Margaret and the two boys started playing. I couldn't play anything. Then one evening I attended the North Harris County Dulcimer Society in Houston, Texas. A lady had a pickin stick. I asked to hold it and the rest is history. The pickin stick that I play was made by Larry Barringer. He took the idea of the strum stick and came up with his own design. The Barringer pickin stick is 36 and a half inches long. It is just a larger strum stick. I can tune it to anything but mostly play in DAD, DGD and AAA. Later when Larry Barringer stopped making them, he gave his patterns to Terry McCafferty. Terry's shop can be seen on the Pictures page. Yes it is hard to hold but I have gotten comfortable with it. That is still all I play. No chords - I just chase the melody. Folks like it since it gives everyone else a change to do all of the fancy stuff while I play the tune. My pickin stick cuts through like a knife and I have to hold it back most of the time. I use a flat pick, only use my index finger on my left hand and usually play only the melody string unless going below Do. When play in public and I am sitting in with a lot of great musicians - it is always funny - people come to me. Lloyd can chord it and play across the strings but like I said, I just chase the tune on the melody string. My first one is walnut with wormy chestnut. The one I always play and the one on the CDs is all cherry with an ebony fretboard. I would like to claim to be the first to every record with it but I know a lady who played a Barringer pickin stick on a recording made back around 1990. Radio stations in our area have played our CDs so I may be able to claim the fact that mine was the first to ever be heard on the radio. (well - in this area anyway). I was playing with my family at about 4:00am in the Pecan Groove at Winfield - I heard a guy say, "Well, it sure looks funny but it sure sounds good." If I have any claim to fame - it is the pickin stick. You can hear a lot of it on our first CD - The Family Album. I know a lot of other folks who have them and think of them as a novality item - it is serious to me. It has taken me a long way. We go to an old time music festival in North Carolina every year - it was 5 years before I would let anyone see it but now they have accepted me. It has been interesting. Jerry
pickin
Senior Mbr (101-500 posts)
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 6:45 pm
Location: Kennard, Texas

Strum Stick

Postby TomR » Tue May 21, 2002 11:37 am

I have a McCafferty Strum Stick that I got as a novelty item. Loved the sound and the idea of being able to walk around with it. Saw McCafferty at teh Bayou Festival walking around playing Rosin the Beau and I had to have one. A strap is a must for convenient playing; particularly with the 26.5" fretboard. (Won't tell you how long it took me to figure out THAT piece of advice!) After reading Jerry's post, I'm going to get mine off the wall and tune that sucker up!
User avatar
TomR
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon May 20, 2002 11:16 pm
Location: Pensacola, FL

Postby bruce » Tue May 21, 2002 4:00 pm

What you are calling a pickin' stick, I've called a strum stick. My first is made completely of purpleheart, virtually indestructible, and my four-year-old considers it hers. That's fine, because she can't hurt it. Being out of purpleheart, it sounds like someone strung up a tin can. ...But, a successful experiment just the same Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Bruce
User avatar
bruce
Admin
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:50 am
Location: Jacksonville, FL

pickin stick -vs- strum stick

Postby pickin » Tue May 21, 2002 5:17 pm

The instrument made by McAnally is called a strum stick. Larry Barringer took that concept and changed the design. He decided to call his a pickin stick and that is what I have. There are hundreds of folks out there waiting for Terry McCafferty to strart turning them out from his new shop. Some folks have been waiting about two years now. On the Masters of the Wooden Nickel CD, Dixie was recorded with only a pickin stick and guitar. You may be surprised at the blend in the sound. That was probably me walking around playing Rosin the Beau at Covington. Jerry
pickin
Senior Mbr (101-500 posts)
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 6:45 pm
Location: Kennard, Texas

Next

Return to The Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests