1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Share tidbits of dulcimer history, or history of the songs we play on them

Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby strumelia » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:44 am

Considering all the possible margins of error in measuring the frets and comparing equal/just tempering etc etc....I still say it's necessary to hear this dulcimer's scale, to verify how much the frets are actually out of tune. I'd like to hear the scale played on the melody string ONLY, first from the open string to the octave, and then separately from the 3rd fret to the 10th fret.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:23 pm

I'll post some sound clips when I figure out how to use a suitable recording device. Or rather, figure it out again, because I haven't used the device I have for a long time. I'll think about it when I get back from a short trip I'm about to take.

Richard, I'm not sure what you're suggesting I do. Something to do with WFret, but I'm not sure exactly what that is.
Jim
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:06 am

Jim
Don't worry about the measurements, a recording of the musical scale as Lisa suggests will be better. The fret positions can be figured out from that.

Richard T
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:01 am

Apologies if this is going in slow motion. I've been away.

I re-read the manual for my Zoom H4 recorder and have made some MP3 clips. If I understood what Strumelia was requesting, I've done open string to third fret, and then third to tenth fret. In addition I've done 10th to 17th fret. All on the melody string only. I tuned the string to D at the third fret.

I can only post two clips, so open to third fret and third fret to 10th fret are with this message.
Jim


Open to F3.mp3
[ 347.35 KiB | Viewed 2890 times ]


F3 to 10.mp3
[ 660.82 KiB | Viewed 2890 times ]
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby jkitay » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:03 am

Now 10th to 17th frets.

I can record in higher quality if necessary. If you would like additional clips, please let me know. I'm eager to hear your views!
Jim


F10 to 17.mp3
[ 608.57 KiB | Viewed 2889 times ]
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby strumelia » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:48 pm

Sounds good to me.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby berimbau » Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Could we get a blood sample and your SSI number, too?




Just Kidding,


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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:30 am

Here's the whole scale from open to 17th fret. No processing done on the notes, only cutting and pasting.

Ritchie_211_Open to Fret17.mp3
[ 693.1 KiB | Viewed 2843 times ]

And here's a listing of the frequency of the note at each fret with a comparison to equal temperament.
NoteFreqs_Dulcimer #212.jpg

Like all stringed instruments the plucked note has a higher frequency at the start because of string tension increase, but towards the latter half of the note it settles to a more stable frequency. The measurements were made with the PRAAT software program, which is trustworthy. I checked it manually by measuring milliseconds in Audacity and the match is good. I also got gross indications by using an electronic tuner device. So I think the measurements are OK.

Allowing for errors in fret placement by M. Pickow, errors in frequency measurement by me, and pitch variations caused by Jim pressing the strings with different pressure at different frets - the scale looks pretty close to equal temperament.

We do have blood in Australia, but not SSI - society is pretty secure already.

Richard T
Last edited by rtroughear on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby KenH » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:17 am

Good job, you lot! I'm on what we're coming to call Social Insecurity!.
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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby Robin the Busker » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:32 am

Well, going back to the original question (many pages ago). I think that on the 27 7/16" scale the string gauges of 0.022w, 0.012, 0.010, 0.012 tuned to D,A,d,A should play just fine with a noter apart from a few sharp notes high up the fretboard. I would be inclined to blend the drones against the d note played on the 3rd fret, rather than tune the drones with an electronic tuner. The scale looks/sounds fine apart from a few sharp notes high up the board. The slightly flattened 3rd (5th fret) will probably sound 'true' as it has a more natural temper. The slightly flatened 5th (7th fret) can be lifted with an adjust on noter pressure. The slightly sharp 7th at the second fret will be barely audible and a light touch there with a noter may help. When I set a fretboard by ear I actually ended up with the 2nd fret a little sharp (acording to a tuner) and the 5th fret a little flat (acording to a tuner) but the scale actually sounded and played just fine. Your Ritchie/Picklow looks perfectly acceptable as a scale on an older dulcimer played in noter drone style. You will find that it is possible to make a good 5 cents or more of adjustment with your noter style or use a little noter vibrato when a sustained note on a slightly 'off' fret is played.

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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby rtroughear » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:17 am

It worried me that the list of note errors in the chart above looked OK on the first three frets when in fact the first fret spacing is clearly shorter than the second fret on this instrument. I had another look at the spreadsheet and I must have had a bit of a brain freeze when entering the open string error. All the errors were just eyeballed from a note chart listing intra-note cents in blocks of 20cents. The open string is not zero error as initially listed, but is sharp by about 13cents, which is consistent with the string being tuned accurately at the third fret and the nut essentially being moved closer to the bridge, accounting for the shorter nut-1st fret distance.

I've titied up the chart and replaced it.

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Re: 1968 Ritchie Dulcimer

Postby Robin the Busker » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:42 am

You are going to have to scroll back to pages 4,5 and 6 to get the relevance of this post.

I have found a short recording from a teching tape of Jean Ritchie's that gives some explanation why she writes her teaching books in the key of C but likes to play in the key of D. Also, you can hear that she is using D,A,A,A 4 string equidistant in this case for ionian tuning. I have also heard her in D,A,d,A for ionian tuning. Finally, who needs an electronic tuner when you can sing the pitch you are tuning too :lol:

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