Noters?

All strummers welcome!

Re: Noters?

Postby Robin the Busker » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:51 am

I have found that different noters can have quite a marked effect on tone (noter 'noise') and playability.

My preference is for noter of about 3" to 3.5" long and 1/4" to 3/8" diameter round dowel. I like slightly softer hardwoods or river cane. I test the hardness/playability by touching the melody string but not fretting it, and then plucking the string. I'm listening for a dead thud rather than a ringing note. If I can play the string with a noter like a slide guitar then the noter is definitely too hard for me. The reason for this is that I like precision and clarity in my playing - I will often lift my noter to move between frets during a phrase and I want the notes clearly separate rather than running together. A hard noter is OK if you always slide between notes, but if you lift between some notes then a softer noter is better. When I say 'lift' I mean that the noter may not necessarily loose contact with the string but it will unfret it. Here is an example tune where I have used 'lifts' to staccato some phrases and slides to slur others:


Sussex Carol - 14 nov 13a.mp3
[ 2.27 MiB | Viewed 1187 times ]


The noter 'whistle' when moving between frets can be controlled to a certain extend by again using a slightly softer noter or tuning up to a slightly higher pitch (remember you don't have to stay in DAA!) - slacker strings tend to give more 'whistle'. Sometimes I deliberately tune to create more whistle.

My noters do not last long - I can heavily groove one at both ends in an evening's playing! I do carry a little sandpaper to de-groove the ends. I have never oiled my noters but have just tried a little lemon oil and it seemed to give the noter slightly less drag. River cane (bamboo) has a natural slippery outer and so it can be 'quick' on the strings.

I use both thumb on top and finger on top grips plus a hybrid between the two. All my grips are 'guided' and I have only a small amount of noter (if any) protruding beyond the finger or thumb.

Quill stubs will work as noters and can be light and quick until they groove, but their hollow shape can amplify noter whistle so I use them with that in mind.

My advice would be for folks to experiment as widely as possible and discover for themselves the different sounds and playability of noters using various woods, shapes, grips and music styles.

Robin
User avatar
Robin the Busker
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:03 pm
Location: Snowdonia, Wales

Re: Noters?

Postby dbennett » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 am

User avatar
dbennett
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:12 am
Location: Athens, AL

Re: Noters?

Postby strumelia » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:18 pm

User avatar
strumelia
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: Upstate New york

Re: Noters?

Postby dbennett » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:50 pm

Today I received two noters that I ordered. The one with the face I ordered from Ron Cook and is made from walnut. The other I ordered elsewhere and it is made from Roosebeck (never heard of it until last week).
Noter1.JPG
TPv1B87.tmp.jpg
User avatar
dbennett
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:12 am
Location: Athens, AL

Re: Noters?

Postby dholeton » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:02 pm

Cool
Let us know how they sound.

The one with the carved head is about 4 1/2 inches long before the head. That is about the length I prefer (4 1/2 to 5 inches). Anything shorter doesn't give me as much control. Also, I am working with some bamboo noters that started at 3/8 inch in diameter. I sanded one of them more or less to about 3/16 of an inch square and it is really quiet on the strings.
User avatar
dholeton
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 748
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Clinton, TN

Re: Noters?

Postby strumelia » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:19 pm

dbennett wrote:The other I ordered elsewhere and it is made from Roosebeck (never heard of it until last week).


Roosebeck is the Mid-east instrument selling company that sells/deals in all manner of musical instruments: http://www.roosebeck.com/default.asp
User avatar
strumelia
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: Upstate New york

Re: Noters?

Postby dbennett » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:45 pm

Just received a Pyrex noter that I ordered. Perhaps not so traditional...
IMG_8920.JPG
User avatar
dbennett
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 915
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:12 am
Location: Athens, AL

Re: Noters?

Postby danc9 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:06 am

I just got a "batch" of river cane. Nicely round, very smooth and feels right in my hand!

DAN
www.dulcimore.com
www.etsy.com/shop/dulcimoredan
User avatar
danc9
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:04 pm
Location: New Tazewell, TN

Re: Noters?

Postby JohnH » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:45 am

Chuckle, I am definitely a 'Philistine' ! Having tried 'em all, bamboo, river cane, butt end of quills, hard and soft woods (flat, elliptical and round), glass and even metal tube I am currently using the plastic barrel of a discarded 'biro' pen ! Different dia at each end, nice rubber(?) grip in the middle, what more could I want !

JohnH
JohnH
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:34 pm
Location: Bristol, England

Re: Noters?

Postby strumelia » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:51 am

I'm almost always using wooden noters made by John Henry! :D
User avatar
strumelia
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: Upstate New york

Re: Noters?

Postby JohnH » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:53 pm

Glad to hear that they were of use ! ;)

JohnH
JohnH
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:34 pm
Location: Bristol, England

Previous

Return to Playing Mountain Dulcimers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests