Using a noter or fingers on Mountain Dulcimer

Help for new mountain dulcimer players of all ages!

noters

Postby Gail Knapp » Thu Aug 01, 2002 4:21 pm

I do believe that Ken H. uses a noter and it is bamboo, is that correct Ken? I like the squeeks of the strings when we slide. It reminds me of the classical guitar players. I love that music. the capos were easy and inexpensive to make Carol. Try it out.Wink GailK
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Postby Carol Keeton » Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:39 am

Thank you for your reply about using a noter. I was experimenting last night between using my fingers to fret the notes and using a noter. I think I actually prefer using a noter and I guess some of the squeaks are kind of nice. I have noticed that I enjoy playing my dulcimer more when I use a noter. I believe I need a better one than I have though. As for making a capo, that might be good to try, but I am not good at anything like that - not a creative person.
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noters

Postby Gail Knapp » Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:33 pm

Carol, you don't have to be a creative person to just follow the directions. Trust me, it will work out. i have confidence in you.Wink GailK
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noters et al

Postby KenH » Tue Aug 06, 2002 2:26 pm

Yep I use a lot of bamboo noters. The material is VERY hard, usually, which means you get great slide effects. Another wood I like for noters is Ebony -rob a piano if you have to EEK! I love the sound they produce... also, since I do do some finger noting, I find that unless you've got REALLY THICK calluses Rolled Eye that you can't play fast songs nearly as fast because of the friction of the fingers on the strings... Since you have a doubled melody string, you may be getting some "squeaks" and other noises by not having the tip of the noter parallel to the surface of the fretboard, allowing one string to be "up" a little - not pressed firmly down. You may want to consider temporarily removing one melody string for a few months, until you get the basics down well. I suggest a noter that is about the diameter of your own index finger - something like 1/2" diameter and 4-5" long. Press DOWN with the index finger on the tip of the noter as you cradle the rest of the noter in your hand. This puts your hand in a "palm down" position. The old pix in Jean Ritchie's book, etc. show holding the noter PALM UP. This is VERY HARD. unless your have very thin hands and a very tall fretboard so that your knuckles don't make more clatter than the noter on the frets LOL!
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Postby Carol Keeton » Tue Aug 06, 2002 2:50 pm

Thanks very much for your reply to my msg about using a noter or fingers when playing the mountain dulcimer. The note was very helpful. One other question I have is if I am going to use a noter, would it be better to be tuned D A A? Right now I have my dulcimer tuned D A D. I've tried switching back and forth between using my finger to fret the notes and using a noter and I really think I like using a noter the best. The noter I have right now is a wooden dowel that is 4 inches long and 3/8" dia. I may try a 1/2" dia one.
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Postby bruce » Wed Aug 07, 2002 12:52 pm

Tuning shouldn't matter. They both sound great! Bruce
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Postby Carol Keeton » Wed Aug 07, 2002 4:43 pm

Thank you. I have tuned my dulcimer to both D A D and D A A and I think they both sound good. I was just thinking maybe it might be harder using a noter tuned in D A D since you have to go to the middle string on certain notes. Didn't know if you could use a noter anywhere except on the melody string(s).
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