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  2. yes the break-angle of flat head dulcimers is usually 12-15 degrees.
  3. Hello, Just starting on my 2nd Dulcimer build and was wondering, does a mountain dulcimer have a preferred angle for it's head stock? Would it be 15' like a scarf joint head-stock on a guitar? Thanks - Muzzy 🙂
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  5. Tony, I asked you a question about this over at FOTMD. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. This just came up on Friends Of The Mountain Dulcimer. Check the novels of Sharon McCrumb -- IIRC her novel Songcatcher was the loose basis for the movie of the same name. Not novels, but there are a number of folk tales and similar writings out of Kentucky and Virginia which feature the dulcimer in some way/shape/form. Look under Appalachian Folklore.
  7. Anyone know of any novels featuring mountain dulcimers?
  8. Songbird Dulcimers "Meadowlark" 13/12 for sale. Unknown year for this, but in great condition. The top note is missing one string, but sounds good. INCLUDED: soft padded bag with pocket tuner hammers $350 for all plus shipping
  9. Basic Masterworks bag for a 13/12 or 12/11 hammered dulcimer. No pocket on this model. New condition. $50 plus shipping
  10. Hi Don! Another Septaugenarian here... I'm 75 next month and like my old friend Ken have been playing since the early 70s. I've been playing Noter & Drone style the entire time, where you fret the melody notes on the string closest to you and let the other strings just hummm along. In that style we use a stick called a noter to press down on the string, but if you use just your finger(s) we call it "fingerdancing". There is a LOT of music available in "tablature" which shows where to press each note in succession, including a major collection from a now defunct website called EverythingDulcimer.com. If you tell us some songs you'd like to learn, we can help you find tb for them. I always start my students out with Frere Jacques also known as Are You Sleeping Brother John. It's a simple, repetitive melody which can played with endless variety. the notes are: 3..4..5..3 3..4..5..3 5..6..7 5..6..7 7..8..7..6..5..3 7..8..7..6..5..3 3..0..3 3..0..3 where 0 means you're not fretting any strings but you are strumming them. I've attached a copy of a booklet I wrote years ago for new players, called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What? which is an illustrated glossary of dulcimer terms (so we all speak the same jargon) plus answers to many beginner questions about the tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new instrument. I Just Got A.pdf
  11. Hello Don, I'm 76 and have been playing for 49 years. If you want to play on the melody string only my suggestion is to tune your dulcimer to DAA or CGG. The first string listed being the bass string with the middle and melody strings tuned the same. The scale starts at the third fret. Search around for noter style playing and you will find lots of information on playing on just the melody string. Think of a simple tune you know and try picking it out on the melody string. A book like Mel Bay's Fun With the Dulcimer and The Best Dulcimer Method - Yet! by Albert Gamase (not really the best) can get you started. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. 35 years ago I bought plans to build a mountain dulcimer. During Covid I did make one. Now for the hard part. I would like to learn how to play some simple songs. First of all I am 75 years old and have absolutely no musical knowledge. I read some place that the early players only played the melody strings. Are there books that only have the fingering for the melody strings.
  13. Gail, I've never tried a walker as a playing stand. I have used an X stand for keyboards and that works well. Noterman uses a tray stand that you can buy at restaurant supply stores. BTW, this thread is about stands for storing your dulcimer while not playing. You might start this discussion in a separate thread with the title playing stands or something like that. It might get more responses that way. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. Has anyone used a walker as a stand up playing a dulcimer stand? what did you add to keep dulci from sliding off when playing? has anyone added a music binder holder to the walker?
  15. You're welcome. We are here to help each other. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  16. Hello KWL! Thank you so much. These instructions look really good! 🙂
  17. Here is one plan (in a magazine article) that may be helpful: https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/WJC001-Mountain-Dulcimer.pdf Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  18. Hello, Ive been searching for some dulcimer plans after I started trying to build one from images. But finding the block and side joins difficult without some real measurements. I have seen a couple of papers plans online but was hoping a PDF as I am in Australia and not all US stores ship OS. Would appreciate any help. Regards Robert
  19. I play with a noter a lot of time and find I can play much of what I play in DAd simply by retuning one string as NoterMan mentioned. On the other hand I do play noter in Dad as well. There is no right or wrong way to play the dulcimer. Play what you like and feeds your soul. I enjoy educating folks in the history of the mountain dulcimer but don't require everyone to play in the old style. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  20. Most Noter & Drone players (and Fingerdancers) who I know will re-tune to whatever Mode is appropriate for the tune(s) they want to play -- rather than stay wedded to one tuning for everything. After all, retuning between the seven modes means only changing the tuning of 1 string; and if you're al all competent, that takes less than a minute. Also, Noter & Drone and (most Fingerdancers) simply do not like jumping from the Melody string to the Middle drone or worse yet the Bass drone. That said, there are actually very few tunes in the usual dulcimer canon which require the flatted seventh note of the DAd diatonic scale. When I want to play a tune requiring the flatted 7th, such as Leonard Cohen's Susanne.
  21. I learned to play dulcimer in DAD, both drone-melody and chord-melody styles. The main advantage is having a wide range of notes under your hand for chords or melody compared to a tuning that has duplicated strings like DAA. However, DAA or CGG are more traditional tunings. A lot of melodies go down to the 5th below the root, so if you can only fret 1 string, having that ability is useful. Another thing is a difference in sound of the notes. On a string instrument, the different thicknesses of strings will have a different timbre when playing the same note. In DAD if you play the D at the 7th fret on the bass string, the D at the 3rd fret on the middle string, and the D on the open melody string, it's all the same D note (same pitch), but you may notice they sound a bit different. That quality of the sound is called timbre. Playing all the melody notes on the same string, as in DAA, they would all have the same timbre. This is even more pronounced on a dulcimer with a double melody string. When the melody moves to the middle or bass string, it is going to sound even more different. If that's a sound someone's trying for, then jumping strings could affect that. I think like most artistic pursuits, it comes down to preference and what someone's trying to achieve from their art. Sometimes it's just to maintain tradition, and that's fine. There's room for all styles of playing.
  22. I know dad is usually associated with chord melody style playing, but I find it's great for drone style playing as well. I don't use a noter.......more of a finger-dancer......but I was wondering why most drone style players don't use it more? It's not that hard to play the middle string, either open or fretted at the first fret when needed, even while holding a noter. Just wondering......tony
  23. Got it--Thank you very much! I can tune my very old John Goodman dulcimer, with only the traditional frets, DAA, keep the newer one DAd, and make use of the dual carrier that a friend bought me.
  24. Hello Tom L and John D I have noticed your posts. I also am a fairly new dulcimer player well into my retirement years. I also make dulcimers (mainly for the love of it) I am working on No 11 now.I would love to find some other players to share this interest. It would be good to know where you are located. I live in Ararat in SW victoria. Cheers Harold.
  25. Thanks for the extensive suggestions, Dwain! I still consider myself a relative beginner in all of this, though at the moment I am working on dulcimer #5. Because of life and other projects I haven’t checked this forum in awhile, but just noticed your post today. I am nowhere near that level of detail in installing frets. But your suggestions clearly give me ideas on how to improve, and avoid fret issues later. One thing I am curious about, however, is leveling humps. If you are sanding the area in between the metal frets, that doesn’t seem to address the issue of a high metal fret to me. Am I missing something? Again, thank you!
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