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  1. Yesterday
  2. Can anybody give me some advice on wood finishings in regards to gloss or semi-gloss colored lacquer vs. stain & varnish & what to do about white glue spots? My music dealer has concert and soprano Ukulele kits very cheap. In fact the wood finishing products will cost more than the instrument kit it's self. LOL 😂 The kit in question has a fret board and neck out of maple and the body is all linden wood. (I believe that's called lime wood in English.🤔 Anyway they are very pretty trees & look solid.) I need a ukulele like a "hole in the head" right now but my wife is in love with the idea: maybe she liked songs like "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts" or something. 🙄 But anyway it would be fun to construct and I also have a fully equiped workshop. Bye! Charles
  3. Last week
  4. Thanks so much for your essay; I printed it out nicely on paper and really enjoyed reading it! I like using my noter because my Dulcimer sounds better with 4 strings. Now I have exact equal volume for bass, drone and melody (the melody was too weak with 3 strings). Also I can usually keep my eyes more on the notes which helps me not to loose my place so much. (This was also my problem playing the pipe organ because looking from the notes to my hands and up again made me loose my place a lot.) Of course I would like to learn my songs measure by measure and then play the the whole song by memory (but some people say this is bad). Playing organ was a nightmare: playing 2 voices with the right hand on the upper manual, 2 voices on the lower with the left hand plus two feet on the 30 bass pedals (which northern German organs have). The notes also hung there like clusters of grapes 🍇 to have to sort out as fast as lightning. 🙄 Anyway I review the tabs but only play by the notes. Bye! Charles
  5. That nut and bolt capo is easy to make --the wood bits don't have to be perfectly round, and they don't even need the cork liners, Any bolt with a wingnut works just fine, I put a piece of rubber tubing over the bolt between the blocks. Noters can be anything (look at the ones in my avatar photo), but cardboard is far too soft. Yes, the one at the bottom is a stone pestle from a mortar & pestle set! You can use glass, metal or wood dowels (plastic is too soft). Bamboo is perfect. Wooden clothes pins work well. Chopsticks are good but very small in diameter. You want a hoter to be 10-12cm long and about the same diameter as your index finger. I've attached an essay I wrote several years ago about how to get started playing in noter & drone style. I hope you like it. Get Noterized.pdf
  6. Here is a link to another discussion at is similar to this one. I don't know what parts you can find around you, but the capo below works well and is easy to make. https://jcdulcimer.ecwid.com/Working-Class-Capo-p51492762 Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  7. Hi! Can anybody give me some tips on how to make a self-made capo & noter? 🙄 I only found one capo in internet over here for 28 € 💰 and I could buy a lot of lumber for that amount! 😉 (Retirement is slim pickings here in Germany; LOL 😂 ) But finding a piece of oak is no problem and I also have N-scale model railroad cork roadbed and some felt. Of course I don't want to loose any fingers notching out the oak block. (I already cut the tip of my left, middle finger really bad cutting up carrots 🥕🥕 for bean soup 🍲 the day before my Dulcimer arrived!😬) I would also need some sort of threaded insert or "furniture nut"🔩 to thread the oak block for a thumb-screw. My Fret board is 1 3/8" wide and 11/16" high. But how wide or thick should a capo be? 🤔 (It has to be wide enough to drill into for the screw but not too wide.) 🥕🥕🥕🥕😕 After 5 days of cutting up carrots (plus my finger) it still hurts to play so I decided to put my 4th string back on the Dulcimer and play with a noter for a while. (Getting this already used string back on was really a chore; this Romanian Dulcimer is built like a Cello on the end and there is also no good place to clip my tuner-gizmo onto either. 😂) I'm using a hard, little 3/8" cardboard tube but it's a bit too short being only 2 3/8" long. How long should a good noter be and should the tip be tapered a tad bit? While playing "Bury Me Beneath the Willow Tree" a noter sounds nice but I have to grab over to the A-string a few times with the end of the noter to pick up the low A & the low B. Bye for now! Charles
  8. Welcome to our dulcimer family. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask!
  9. Charles, I think you made the right decisions. Yes, removing one melody string will affect the volume. "Brighton Camp" is a nice tune and fun to play. I would have enjoyed it the organist in my church broke out with tune after worship. Enjoy your new dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  10. Hi! 😃 I'm new here & live in Germany. I just bought a Dulcimer made by a big violine factory in Romania. It has 4 strings but I removed one because I'm new at this & wanted flat-picking to be easier. So I removed the inner d string because it's 1,3 cm from the D to A & 1,4 cm from the A to the outer d. Is this correct? 🙄 If I removed the outer d instead then the distance from the A to d would be a tad bit closer at 1,2 cm. It's easier to play now but the melody hat a bit more punch with two strings. I'm starting out with "Brighton Camp" (Girl I left behind me) in D Major. PS: I use to be a church organist & liked to practice this one on the pipe organ when nobody was around. LOL 😅 I never played a stringed instrument before. Best wishes, Charles
  11. I agree with Imcwilli -- If you're serious about selling this, provide LOTS of - full length and closeup. Also complete specs, including whether it was actually made by Bonnie (with #481 I doubt it) her partner, or some the family friends who help assemble the cut-out pieces. AFAIK Bonnie hasn't actually built a dulcimer is some years... BTW the arched fretboard was NOT made that way to accommodate a capo... capo use is secondary to the design and tone of the instrument which the arches supply.
  12. Earlier
  13. On Facebook today, 01 February 2023, Ashley Ernst announced that DPN will cease publication in 2024. She did not give a volume or issue number, but I suspect the last issue will be the first one that comes out in 2024. Again, that is just speculation on my part. Having been a columnist and contributor to DPN over the years, I will miss the magazine. I understand why Ashley made this difficult decision. Many print publications are ending that aspect of life and shifting to electronic (online) editions. There was no mention of this as a possibility for DPN. In the early days of DPN it seemed the "newsletter" worked to create a community of dulcimer enthusiasts. It helped people share ideas, arrange meetings (festivals), and find places to buy instruments. It also kept us posted on what we were all doing. While these things continued over the life of the magazine, over the last 10 or 15 years the emphasis seemed to shift to teaching techniques or songs. In a sense it became a quarterly lesson for mountain or hammered dulcimer. The connection of getting to know "dulcimer people" seemed to have been lost. We knew contributors were good players and provided excellent lessons without learning what brought them to play the dulcimer, desire to teach, etc. I know that much of that community building happens at festivals, but with so many festivals going virtual what we are experiencing is group video lessons and little real community (but that is a whole other discussion). I offer my thanks to Ashley, Dan, Maddie, and Phil for their hard work and dedication to DPN and the dulcimer community it created. Without them who knows where we would all be. So to those five folks and all who contributed to the magazine over the years, "So long, and thanks for the all the fish." Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. What's the fret arrangement? Diatonic? Added frets (6.5, 1.5)? Chromatic? At this price point, complete specs and photos should be provided 😎
  15. I suggest you post photos and instrument specs 🙂
  16. The Strothers Calculators are one of the most credible resources out there. I've been using them for many years. True, their recommendations re noticeably light, but that's a good thing. If you start with their listed gauges it's hard to go wrong, and you can usually go 1-2 gauges heavier. Ken's recommended gauges are exactly what i would use.
  17. Thanks for your reply Ken. I tried the Strothers calculator but, being a dulcimer newbie, didn't now if its recommendations were credible. I appreciate your link to the JustStrings string source. My usual string source (for violin, guitar and ukulele) is StringsByMail. I'll get a set of 0.017, 0.011, 0.008/0.009 in case my standard set doesn't hold up.
  18. Using the Strother's string size calculator F = 0.017, C = 0.023, and f = 0.008. If the "C" is supposed to be middle C the designation in the calculator would be "c" and then the string gauge would be 0.011. I am assuming that you are tuning the strings two steps higher than DAdd. Here is a link to the calculator: http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.html I'm thinking an acceptable string set would be 0.017 (F), ).011 (C), and probably a (0.008 or 0.009) for f. You can buy individual strings (loop end) from www:juststrings.com Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  19. I recently pulled off the shelf a Jean Richie style diatonic dulcimer my wife built 50 years ago (26.125" scale length). I soon discovered that in order to sing along with what I'm playing, I needed to alter my tuning from DAdd tuning to FCff. From a quick bit of searching, this tuning seemed to be at the upper end of acceptable for a standard set of D'Addario dulcimer strings (0.012, 0.012, 0.014, 0.022w). So, I tuned 'em up to FCff. No strings broke. The strings are noticeably higher tension but easily playable. For finger picking, I like the increase in volume. My question is: if I intend to stick with this tuning, should a really be using different gauge strings? I checked various online string gauge calculators and their "opinions" vary. Suggestions?
  20. I'm not surprised you can't find dulcimer tab for Water(s) of Tyne (not Waters of the Tyne). It's a not quite obscure Northumbrian tune that dates to the 1700s. The city Newcastle-on-Tyne is the capital of Northumbria. You might possibly fin a member of the UK Nonesuch dulcimer club which has tabbed out Waters of Tyne, but even that's problematic. There are quite a few versions of SMN written of the tune. If you have one of the music writing programs you could enter the notes from the SMN to create the tab. There is one YouTube recording of a dulcimer version of this lovely tune. There is also a YouTube vid of a guitarist singing/playing the song, where the chords are shown -- you can use that to create your own tab, since a C chord or Am chord is the same whether its on a guitar or dulcimer (although the guitar version will be 'richer' due to the extra strings).
  21. Blue Lion offers the option of an L.R. Baggs piezo pickup. I have L.R. Baggs pickups in the Taylor and Godin acoustic guitars I play. The sound is excellent. From Blue Lion, I've ordered a chromatic with this pickup but haven't tried it yet. Myers makes excellent acoustic pickups. They provide a model specifically for the dulcimer. I use their Feather model so I can move it between my diatonic dulcimer and baritone ukulele. These acoustic pickups provide natural sound but,--as with any mic--are subject to feedback.
  22. If you rely on tablature, you might have an additional issue. The tablature might be for a "Jean Ritchie"-style pure diatonic instrument or--more likely nowadays--for an "enhanced" diatonic instrument with an added 6.5 fret. I have a pure diatonic dulcimer (no 6.5 fret) built 50 years ago (see attached photo) and have been frustrated to find that a lot of music available now assumes that you have the 6.5 fret. One solution--at least for the current dulcimer era--is to consider getting two dulcimers: one enhanced diatonic (added 6.5 fret) and, if your musical taste demands and your budget allows, a chromatic.
  23. Hammered Dulcimer, Russell Cook Master Series, Signature Edition. Mint condition, incl. custom stand, padded case, two sets of hammers, tuning tool, damper set with pedal, dusting brush. ($4877 is the price for a new one, and this one is like new.) $2750 plus shipping from Hawaii.
  24. 1.5 octave lap dulcimer by Bill Berg out of Nashville Ind. Beautiful tone, detailing, hourglass shape. Incl. custom padded case. $1300 incl. shipping from Hawaii. Don't know how to insert image but can email you photos.
  25. When you're typing in a message there will be an area at the bottom left with a paperclip icon. You can drag images into the message box to attach them, or click "choose files" and it will let you select images to upload. Hope that helps!
  26. I am looking for the tab to Waters of the Tyne I have looked every where Carmen Also How do I add a photo to a classified? Thanks
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