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  1. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 21 Three Approaches To Playing The Same Song As in all my articles, nothing is written in stone. They are merely suggestions to make you a better dulcimer player. Why would you need three approaches to playing the same song? The answer is that it depends upon the type of play and the venue of where that song is played. We will discuss group playing at a jam or in a club; group playing at a performance; and solo playing in any situation. Let us begin in group play. Whether in a jam or in a club situation we just whip out our music and start playing, right? Well, maybe not. In this type of situation, you have the great latitude in playing. Different arrangements of the song can be played together as long as the chord changes are the same and at the same position in the music. Yes, you can deviate somewhat from the written chord changes by substituting a minor chord where there is a major chord. For example: Instead of play a D-chord, you may substitute a Bm-chord (as long as it sounds good). In all group settings it is important that everyone be on the same page. It is up to the group leader or whoever calls the song to set the tempo and give a lead-in so that everyone knows when to start playing and at what speed. Playing a recognizable phrase from the song is always a good way to lead everyone into the song. For example: In the song, “Amazing Grace”, a good place to play your lead-in phrase is: “Was blind, but now I see”. You are playing enough measures so that everyone can follow along and know when to start playing. Whoever calls the song should also state the number of times that it will be played. Another way to play a lead-in is to play a series of chords from the key that the song is in. For example: Play D-G-A for songs in the key of D. Play G-C-D for songs in the key of G. Group play gives us great latitude for embellishments and creativity. For example: If a song has four quarter notes in a measure, you may want to play any combination of quarter and eighth notes. Try going up or down one note. Decades ago when I took a course from Stephen Seifert, he referred to these notes as Up-neighbors and Down-neighbors. They will add spice and color to your music. If your song has a series of tied measures, there will be a lot of “open space” in the music. Sometimes this sounds good and at other times, the silence can be improved. For example: Your song has two measures of a D-chord tied together. That is eight counts. You may want to arpeggiate the first D-chord (D-A-F#-A) and play the second D-chord once. Let us move onto group playing at a performance. Someone should be designated as the group leader. He or she will introduce the song and play the lead-in for each song being played. It is important here for consistency, that everyone use the same arrangement of the song. Recognizable phrases are important because it helps the audience recognize the song, sort of a teaser. Prior to playing the song, if there is some information about the song that you know, share it with the audience and that will help the them to better understand who wrote the song and why it was written. For example, the background of “Amazing Grace” is amazing. Share this type of information with your audience. If, during your group performance, you will be playing some songs that require the use of a Capo, save those songs for last. That way you will only have to retune one time. This brings us to the third approach of playing a song. Whether we are playing a solo at our respective clubs, in jam, or at a performance, we have the most latitude for playing a song and making it “our own”. Many of the techniques and suggestions of the first two approaches will be applicable to our solo play. One of the things that can be used effectively in solo play is dynamics. Here you can play a phrase softer or louder, increase or decrease your tempo, change the key of the song, etc. Chord-Melody strumming will give you the most volume. Flat picking a song will give you the most volume for solo play.. Finger picking adds a softness and fluidity to your song. Economy of motion is best achieved through finger picking. Hopefully these suggestions will help you to Become A Better Dulcimer Player.
    3 points
  2. The lyrics to this song were written by Robert Burns. The melody was taken from an older Scottish folk song, author unknown. Pay attention to all the dotted quarter notes followed by eighth notes. It is straight forward and easy to play with just three chords, D-G-A. Auld Lang Syne.pdf Auld Lang Syne.mid
    3 points
  3. Lyrics 1. We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens his will to make known; the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own. 2. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine; so from the beginning the fight we were winning; thou, Lord, wast at our side; all glory be thine! 3. We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant, and pray that thou still our defender wilt be. Let thy congregation escape tribulation; thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free! "We Gather Together" is a Christian hymn of Dutch origin written in 1597 by Adrianus Valerius as "Wilt heden nu treden" to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout. It was originally set to a Dutch folk tune. In the United States, it is popularly associated with Thanksgiving Day and is often sung at family meals and at religious services on that day. We Gather Together2.pdf We Gather Together - Bass.pdf We Gather Together - Melody and Bass.mid
    3 points
  4. Welcome; thank you for taking on this enormous task and saving the domain name. Best of luck from UK.
    3 points
  5. So glad Everything Dulcimer is back. FB is good but loved going to E D. To read about dulcimer stuff. Thank you to whomever brought this back.
    2 points
  6. Can one play Opera on the Dulcimer? Of course! Our instrument is very versatile. The attached aria from the Opera Rigoletto is in the Key of A. La Donna E Mobile.pdf La Donna E Mobile.mid
    2 points
  7. Russian folk song. Kalinka.pdf Kalinka.mid
    2 points
  8. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 20 Embellishments and Other Tips Embellishments should be used sparingly. To many of them will spoil your song. The following thoughts are just that - my thoughts. If they work for you, great. The following suggested thoughts will be applicable to solo play and/or group play. They are not written in stone. 1. Hammer-ons and pull-offs. To be used sparingly throughout solo play. Yes, you can use them in group play; however, they will get lost by the sound of the other players. 2. Dynamics - These are very underused techniques that will add a lot of color to either solo or group play. Do you want your audience to have to “strain’ to hear you? Play a phrase of your song softly. Do you want to emphasize a phrase or measure in your song? Play louder. 3. Note emphasis - To be consistent when playing in 4/4 time, the emphasis is on the 1st. And 3rd note. In ¾ time, the emphasis is on the 1st note. In 6/8 time the emphasis is on the 1st and 4th note. 4. Playing speed - If you are not practicing with a metronome, you should be. Can’t afford one? There are many free digital metronomes available on the Internet for your computer, tablet, or smart phone. As I see it, one of the biggest problems in group play is that when someone speeds up, the rest of the group do the same. A better solution would be to stop the play and start all over. Many players do not listen to the player on their right, left, or where ever and consequently start speeding up. One possible solution to this problem is when in group play, the person calling the song tells the other players how many measures they are going to use as a lead-in to the song. The other players can then follow along until they are supposed to join in to the play. The caller sets the playing speed. If you are playing a gig, your strongest player in that group should be the lead-in player and he/she will announce to the other players how many measures they will use to lead-in. This can be done verbally or by the use of raised fingers that all can see. That way, everyone will know when to join in and at what speed. Play a recognizable phrase from the song to tantalize or tease your audience. 5. If you are going to play songs that require the use of a capo, play those songs at the end of your gig. Once everyone has put on their capos and are sure of the tuning, you can finish your session without having to retune your instrument.   6. Finger picking and flat picking - Both are best suited for solo play. Slow songs such as ballads or slow waltzes, songs that you want to be heard softly are best played with the fingers. Flat picking is done with your pick and will give more volume to your play especially when arpeggiating a chord. Finger picking is much easier than flat picking. These thoughts are my own and they will work. If something else works for you, go for it?  
    2 points
  9. I think my journey with the dulcimer is best summed up in a description I heard at a workshop: "The mountain dulcimer is the last best hope to play a musical instrument." 😂 I'd tried to learn a few instruments over the years including violin, ukulele, and guitar. With guitar and ukulele I felt like I was doing contortions to get chord shapes and never became comfortable with them. Violin was a little better in that it was only one note at a time, but I had a lot of trouble hearing if I was on pitch. My teacher was always having me move my finger a little bit and I couldn't hear the difference. I learned some songs and a bit of music theory, but I never felt comfortable playing the instrument or that I was doing well. One day, a friend asked me if I'd heard of the dulcimer. I hadn't. She told me it was easy to play and I could probably do it. I was skeptical to say the least, but I watched some Youtube videos. I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs, but I liked listening to them and they reminded me of my grandparents and their country roots. I searched for some workshops and found one not too far from me in September 2017. In a couple hours the instructor took a class of complete beginners who'd never touched the instrument from Boil 'em Cabbage to Ode to Joy and Southwind. Playing on one string, with drones? I can do this! I had to get a dulcimer. Someone at the workshop mentioned the old EverythingDulcimer. I joined, got some great advice and ended up buying my first dulcimer. There aren't too many instructors / workshops near me, but I was able to teach myself drone melody style from tabs and videos. Eventually I got a little adventurous an played a few chords. 😁 I found I enjoyed learning songs and finally felt some success in learning to play an instrument. I took a bit of a break for the second half of 2018 to move and focus on some other things, but I still enjoyed sitting and playing. In 2019 I decided to go to a festival and signed up for Kentucky Music week. I didn't really know any of the instructors so I signed up for classes based on descriptions alone. As it was a few months before KMW, I looked for other festivals and found the Crooked Road Dulcimer Festival that was not too far from me in Virginia, so i signed up for that too. Crooked Road was great! I met a lot of great people and dulcimer players are a very welcoming community. Everyone was just there to learn, participate, and enjoy themselves. Don Pedi gave a history class one morning on his journey with the dulcimer and playing in the drone-melody style. That really spoke to me and just by chance I'd signed up for one of his classes at KMW. That class was the first time I left DAD tuning, and things like major and minor scales suddenly clicked. I was hooked and I loved the old songs, especially fiddle tunes. I took some other classes for flat picking, rhythm, and chord-melody and enjoyed learning about them, but I still need a lot of practice. 😁 At the end of the day it's a lot of fun and very relaxing to sit down and be able to play a couple songs. If it weren't for the mountain dulcimer (and the amazing diatonic fretboard) I don't think I would ever have learned an instrument. Now I can't imagine not playing one! I would love to hear how others got started!
    2 points
  10. You're welcome. When you've been messing about with dulcimers as long as I have, paying forward to folks is just what I do.
    2 points
  11. As you can see in the picture below, ball-end strings (top) have a brass "ball" in the end. Loop-end strings have a twisted loop. Those of us who build instruments never use Gorilla glue -- it expands and has a tendency to open cracks. Likwise we seldom, if ever use epoxy. For hairline cracks which can be opened by pressing on one side or the other of a crack, we us a cyanoacrylate (Super) glue. For cracks which need filling, we use a mixture of fine sawdust and Titebond or Titebon II, I often run a bead of the glue into such a crack and then sprinkle sawdust on top,. Then press the mixture into the crack and clean off the excess with a damp paper towel.
    2 points
  12. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - Part - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion In my first article on “How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player - Part 1”, I briefly touched on the subject of finger positioning. A big impediment to smoother dulcimer playing is not using economy of motion and misplaced finger positioning. Are finger positions written in stone? Absolutely not; however, there are those combinations of finger positions that will result in economy of motion and smoother playing. As stated before, our instrument usually does not have much sustain or volume. One way to counteract this is to attempt to leave one or more fingers down on the current melody note/chord while moving on to the next melody note/chord. This is not always possible; however, it will work a large percentage of the time. I have attached a PDF file that I created using an example of the 1st fret on our instruments. You are essentially creating a barre chord with your index-middle-ring fingers to achieve your economy of motion. You then lift a finger or not and add your thumb to reach other notes. It is usually possible to reach up to the 4th fret with your thumb. The techniques are applicable at each fret as you move up the fret board of your instrument. If you are fortunate to have long fingers, you usually can move your index finger on the bass string 3 frets, i.e. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd frets. The same holds true as you move up the fret board. If you do not have long fingers, use your thumb on the bass string where indicated. My example is by no means complete for every possible finger combination. It it but a starting point to improve your playing. Finger Placement.pdf
    2 points
  13. For those players that would like to play contemporary music on their dulcimers, a chromatic dulcimer would solve that problem; however, there is an easier solution. If you have a 1½ fret added to your instrument, you will be able to play in additional keys. I have found that with the added 1½ fret and the bending (for half tones)of one or more strings in a song, you will be able to play almost any song. My experience is that most contemporary and classical songs usually require the bending of no more than 1-2 strings throughout the song.
    2 points
  14. Here's a video I made for playin' on the porch. Dave
    2 points
  15. I have a CD player that will allow me to load 6 CD's, so I load it with CD's while I'm working in the garage/work shop. One of the CD's I had loaded was the Classic Folk Music CD from Smithsonian Folkways. A song came on and as I listened to it I stopped working on whatever I was working. I went to the CD player and examined the CD insert and found the song to be "John Hardy" by Mike Seeger. I knew I had to learn the song. I found many versions had been recorded in a major key but Mike and Pete Seeger recorded versions in a minor key. I found I liked both versions and worked to learn both versions. Attached are PDF files and MP3 files for the versions that I learned. The DAC/CGC version has a CGC tuned dulcimer playing chords where the melody is played on the DAC dulcimer. I hope some of you will add one or both versions to your songbook. Dave P. S. You can listen to Paul Clayton's version of John Hardy on YouTube at this link. John_Hardy_DAC_CGC_20200211.mp3 John_Hardy_DAD_20200211.mp3 John_Hardy_DAG_20200413.mp3 John_Hardy_DAC.pdf John_Hardy_DAG.pdf John_Hardy_DAD.pdf
    2 points
  16. Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Mel.pdf Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Melody.mid
    2 points
  17. A person contacted me through my YouTube video "Muss I Denn" and a discussion started about constructing a scheitholt/zither/zitter type of instrument. To facilitate sharing the information, I moved a lot of my Zither construction pictures and notes to my OneDrive. While I was there, I reorganized my dulcimer files into PDF files and MP3 files. If I have a PDF file I might have an MP3 file to support it, and vice versa. If anyone sees a PDF without a matching MP3 and vice versa, I can create an appropriate file on request. The PDF files include multiple tunings and usually the file name includes the tuning (CGBb, DAG, DAC, etc.). Dave https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!APZ7kXyURRnmQ9s&id=4E95DE6FFA7B2AEA!548&cid=4E95DE6FFA7B2AEA
    2 points
  18. How to Become A Better Dulcimer Player 15 Adding Variety To Your Playing There are a number of ways to add variety to your solo and/or group dulcimer playing. i.e. playing a harmony; playing backup chords; playing a counter melody; playing a bass part. For this article we will concentrate on playing our melody on a combination of the melody and bass strings. As you know, the notes are the same on both your melody and bass strings when you are tuned to DAD, CGC, GDG, etc. They are one octave apart. When playing songs that you already know, trying mixing up the song by playing part of the melody on the melody string and part of the melody on the bass string. This works best on those songs where you can use drone notes. One method that I like to use is playing the song, as written, all the way through. The second time you play it, try playing one or more measures within the song by flipping the melody notes to the bass string. I have posted one of my arrangements of “Shortnin’ Bread” on this Everything Dulcimer as an example of how you can mix up your melody. Another way of adding variety to your playing is not to play the song the same way each time you play it through. Twenty years ago, Steve Seifert introduced me to “up neighbors” and “down neighbors”. These are notes that are usually one note higher or lower than your melody note. Within a song if you have a quarter note, you can play it twice as an eighth note or play the first eighth note as written and play the next note, one note higher or lower. ie. In your song with quarter notes you have these notes: 1-2-3-4. Try mixing it up by playing 1-1, 2-3, 3-2, 4-5, etc. There are no correct combinations. Same thing with eighth notes. i.e. 4-4, 5-5, 3-3. Try changing to 4-3, 5-4, 3-4, etc. What you are achieving is a variety in your playing by not playing the song the same way each time that you play it. Additionally, if you have a single note within your tab, try adding some drone notes to it. This article is but the “tip of the iceberg” when adding variety to your playing. Perhaps my thoughts will help you to become a better dulcimer player. The bottom line is: If it sounds good, play it! Shortnin' Bread2.pdf
    2 points
  19. Key of D version easier to play. Key of G version easier to sing. In the Good Old Summer Time - D.pdf In the Good Old Summer Time - D.mid In the Good Old Summer Time.pdf In the Good Old Summer Time mid.mid
    2 points
  20. Sheer memorization, Dave. I listen to a song 50, 100, 200, or more times, until I can sing/hum or whistle it; on demand. At that point I sit down and pick out the melody tab for it, and play it regularly for about a week in between other tunes. By that time it's imbedded in my long term memory along with a couple hundred other tunes. When I perform I have a Cheat Sheet which has the opening measures of either the tunes in the set I'm going to play, or a general page of maybe a hundred tunes with opening measures (thank Murphy for adjustable lettering in word processors!) printed two columns about 50 lines each. I have my cheat sheets in a sheet protector that I can clip to a music stand.
    2 points
  21. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 9 The Pentatonic Scale The majority of dulcimer jams that I have attended are usually fast and furious. There are a lot of songs played that you may not be familiar with. Someone calls a song and they start playing immediately Either you know the song by heart or don’t. For the most part, written tab is usually not used at a jam. So what is a person to do? 1. If there is a guitar player at the jam and you can visually recognize the chord changes, you can play backup chords. 2. You can try playing the melody by ear (if the song is played often enough). For whatever reason, songs are usually played three times. OR 3. You might try playing within a pentatonic scale. What is a pentatonic scale? A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave, in contrast to the heptatonic scale, which has seven notes per octave (such as the major scale and minor scale). For our purposes we will use the key of D and the key of G. D Pentatonic Scale: D-E-F#-A-B On the melody and bass string of our dulcimers this equates to the following frets: 0-1-2-4-5 On the middle string of our dulcimers, this equates to the following frets: 0-1-3-4-5 What do these number have to do with playing at a jam? I am glad that you asked. If you don’t know the melody or don’t know the chords, you can play any of the notes within the pentatonic scale for that key and it will usually sound OK. You won’t be playing the melody; however, it will let you participate in the jam. The song itself does not have to be within the pentatonic scale; however, many songs have been written that fall within that category. The following list contains some songs that are pentatonic: A La Claire Fontaine (French Canadian ) Amazing Grace Auld Lang Syne (Scottish) Cotton-eyed Joe Derby Ram, The Git along little dogies (trad cowboy) Go Tell It On the Mountain How Can I Keep From Singing Land of the silver birch (Canadian) Loch Lomond Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (spiritual) “Old Chinese Song” by Marcel Grandjany (based on Chinese trad. tune) Old gray mare, The Old MacDonald Rain, Rain, Go A Way Ring-A-Round The Rosie Sakura (Cherry Blooms, Japanese) Skye Boat Song Sukiyaki Swing Low, Sweet Chariot The Cherry Tree Carol They Stole My Wife Last Night (Scottish pipe tune) Wha wadna fight for Charlie? Wayfaring Stranger Ye Banks and Braes …. plus numerous other spirituals, Scottish pipe tunes, Japanese and Chinese songs, etc. Give it a try! It will let you participate in a jam and will help you become a better dulcimer player.
    2 points
  22. I am so please to seen that Everything Dulicmer is back on the internet. Several years ago I spent a lot of time reading posts and downloading songs. Thank You for creating a gathering place for us. Jerry
    2 points
  23. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player.pdf How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player – Part 1 This is the first of three articles that I have written on how to become a better dulcimer player. Please bear in mind that the opinions expressed are just that – my personal opinions based on 20 years of playing the mountain dulcimer. If you find the thoughts helpful and applicable to your playing, then I have achieved my goals. If you disagree, our dulcimer community would welcome your thoughts. It has been said that you can learn to play a song on the dulcimer in five minutes and take the rest of your life to master that instrument. What follows are my thoughts about effective playing. They have worked for me and perhaps they will work for you. When given a new piece of dulcimer tablature, most players jump right in and start playing. This is neither right or wrong; however, you may want to consider one or more of the following to improve your playing. Audio It is easier to learn a new song if you are familiar with its melody. The Internet holds tens of thousands of free songs for the listener. I find most of my melodies by using a MIDI search. Which ever Internet search engine you use, type in: “MIDI (name of song)”. You can do the same thing by using: “MP3 (name of song)” Your search results will be voluminus; listing many MIDI/MP3 sites and YouTube links. It does not matter if the song is in a key that cannot be played on the dulcimer. What you are listening for is the melody and timing of a particular song. Download and play the song until you can hear it in your head. Hand Positioning The most effective hand position will be in the form of your hand dropping a ball. The wrist is bent downward in a relaxed position and all five fingers are pointing down. Many players flatten the wrist and fingers while playing. This limits your range of motion and will often dampen your middle and bass strings. Very few players use their pinky. If you incorporate its use into your playing, you will be able to extend your range of motion with your other fingers. There is no right or wrong way to finger a chord. It boils down to whatever works. There are; however, effective finger positions. Those positions are determined by the chord changes. Before jumping into a piece of music, review the chord changes and determine how you will finger those chords. Practice those changes before you start playing. Your ultimate goal is as little finger movement as possible. This is called economy of motion. The dulcimer is not a loud instrument. Some have better sustain than other, but in the end, there is not a whole lot of sustain. One way to improve your sustain is to keep, where possible, one or two fingers down on a chord or melody note when moving to the next chord or melody note. What we have here is both improvement of sustain and economy of finger motion. Timing We cannot play a song effectively if we do not know its timing and note value. Each piece of music should contain its key, number of notes and type of notes,i.e. 4/4 = four quarter notes; 6/8 = six eighth notes, etc. Before playing a song, look for the different type of notes, including dotted notes. Many players blow through the dotted notes and play them all as either quarter notes or eighth notes. The author of the song put those dotted notes in there for a reason. Rests in the song are just that. If a measure contains a rest, you need to know its value. Just like notes, the rests have the same values. One way to emphasize a rest is to dampen the string/s with either your left or right hand. This will stop the sound during the rest. Other wise you will have a sustain from the previous note and have sound instead of a rest. Use of a Metronome Have you noticed when in solo or group play, the music gets faster and faster? Fast playing has its place when required. Playing fast usually covers up a multitude of mistakes. It is best to learn a song playing it very slowly, playing each note and chord correctly and gradually building up your speed. A metronome is suitable for both solo and group playing. Once you determine and set the beats per minute, you can correctly keep the proper timing. Chords I am a firm believer that a piece of music should not contain a chord for every melody note. The sounds seem to run together. How do you determine how many chords to play? Try playing the song as written by the author. Does it have too many chords? Not enough chords? Your ear will tell you the correct amount of chords and connecting melody notes. Having a chord with each melody note complicates playing and requires a lot of fingering. Your goal is to achieve the correct balance. When I am arranging a piece of music from a melody, the timing usually tells me how to place my chords. In 4/4 time, I use a chord on the first note of a measure and then, perhaps on the third note of that measure. In ¾ timing, I usually place my chord on the first note of each measure and play single notes for the second and third notes. In 6/8 timing, I will place a chord on the first and fourth notes of each measure. It boils down to whatever sounds good for that particular song. Less is usually more. Reading Music When I first started playing the dulcimer, I was told by one of my mentors that I should learn as much about music that I could. The result would be that I would be a better player. Over the years, I have found that to be true. Should you learn to read music? Perhaps. Learning to read music is not all that difficult. As children we learned the 26 letters of our alphabet. The musical alphabet only contains 12 notes. Why learn music? Is it necessary to learn to read music in order to play the dulcimer? Definitely not; however it will improve your playing. Very few dulcimer players, play a song solely by reading the standardized musical notation. We all play by fret numbers. If you learn which notes are on each fret of all three strings of our instruments, you can more often than not find alternate positions to play the same note/s.and chords. You will learn which notes harmonize with one another and which don't. If you plan on writing songs/and or arrangements, reading music, I believe, is a necessity. Hopefully, this article will help you in improving your playing. It is but a start.
    2 points
  24. During Table Hill's last performance of 2019, @Adrian and I were playing for tips at the Blueberry Cafe in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and someone tipped us with a fruitcake! Have you ever received anything weird in your "love bucket" (that's what the tip bucket is called in Clarksdale)? Luckily, it was a really tasty fruitcake!
    2 points
  25. Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Frere Jacques, and Hush Little Baby are good songs for beginners. If a beginner plays another instrument, then these might be too simple. But if a beginner has never played an instrument before, I don't think any simple song is too simple. Dave
    2 points
  26. I've had several different things happen at the home. Often, the staff tends to leave us with the residents and sometimes they do exhibit some unusual behavior. One time Stan was upset with Ernie for blocking the door with his wheel chair, so Stan got out of his wheel chair and started wailing on Ernie. I put my guitar down as we were finishing A Beautiful Life and went to stand between them to stop the violence. When I was early in my assisted living session experience, I was providing a short dissertation on our next song and one of the residents interrupted with "Are ya gonna play or are ya gonna sing?" It really surprised me and it took me 3 or more songs before I could settle down. Just recently (and I'm much more aware and flexible with behavior) we were playing music and one resident started wandering around. She came up and stood next to us for a while, then she wandered behind us for a while, then she wandered off. On one of our last songs she reappeared, she came up to my partner and decided to turn the page on his music binder. We were singing a song we know pretty well, so he was able to get by until he wandered over near my music stand to finish the song. Still, our involvement is great and after we finish each set we are lifted through all of our trials and tribulations for the next few days. Dave
    2 points
  27. This is the waiter's table that I use. Set me back $23 at a local restaurant supply store -- same price as if I'd have ordered it on line and paid shipping...
    2 points
  28. Hello folks! My name is Greg, and this is my first post. I just finished building my first dulcimer, completely from scratch. It’s not perfect, but I learned a lot to use in the future. I used the article from Woodcraft magazine as a guide, but made changes due to the size of lumber I had, and the fact that I wanted a scroll peg head. I made the body from a remnant of a curly maple gunstock blank (one of my other hobbies is building flintlock rifles), and made the peg head and fretboard from scraps of black walnut. The position markers are from a lighter colored piece of English walnut. Bone nut and bridge, and ukulele friction tuners from CB Gitty. This one is a little small, 30.5” x 7”, and the scale is 25.5”. I’m already planning #2…
    1 point
  29. This song was written by St. Francis of Assisi as a poem, circa 1225. It was not put to music until, circa 1899 by William Draper. Like most of the older songs, the timing is unusual. The song is in 3/2 timing (3 half notes per measure or 6 quarter notes per measure). As in all songs, the timing is everything, i.e. look at the second measure. The 2-3-4 is a whole note (four counts) followed by 2-0-0 (two counts) for a total of six counts. The song is easy to play with only D, G, and A chords. Listen to the audio file for the timing. All Creatures Of Our God And King.pdf All Creatures Of Our God And King.mid
    1 point
  30. N-I-C-E! Great job. You've got "the bug" now!
    1 point
  31. Well I called it quits after a soft luster of 6 coats. I used brads at the tail block and strung it up. Cut one string too short in the process and had to get another. The important thing: it has a nice tone and the intonation is fine! I will be adjusting the action in the coming days. Thanks everyone for all the tips and suggestions along the way, and for the future! Time to move on to the “learning to play” discussions! Here are the final pics...
    1 point
  32. Tabledit file for finger positions and economy of motion. Finger Placement.pdf
    1 point
  33. Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.pdf Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.mid
    1 point
  34. Moving to smaller home - need to thin the herd 😔: => Mell Hanson (4/15/2019) 28 3/4" VSL 1 1/2" wide fretboard GOTOH Tuners Loop end strings Leather strap and Double gig case included => $200.00 obo Price for pick-up in Evanston, IL or for ship plus shipping cost Freddie Beaulieux email @ freddie.beaulieux@gmail.com Text @ (773) 875-9006
    1 point
  35. I got these from a local estate sale in Springfield Mo. I thought they were too neat to leave behind. the picture of the finished one is his son. I wish I had gotten more info on them.
    1 point
  36. If you have not seen the following link you will find it very informative. https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2020/05/margaret-macarthur/ I would suggest contacting the Vermont Folklife Center, which seems to own her life collection: https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/
    1 point
  37. Hello everyone, I just purchased a vintage tear drop dulcimer and was wondering if I should tune to DAA or DAD. I tried to tune the melody string to D but there was to much tension so I defaulted to DAA. I have a few questions as a beginner☺️ - Do I need to purchase new strings in order to reach a DAD tuning? - The wood pegs tend to slip at times and I loose the tuning. I pushed the pegs inward to bite tight on the peg hole. Any thoughts to keep the pegs tight? Anything used to coat the pegs to keep them tight? Lastly, does anyone know or have met John D. Young the builder? How rare is this instrument? It’s so beautiful... I really love it and the sweet crisp sound. (See photos) Thank you for your assistance. Kevin
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  38. In order to be a counter-melody, the music not only has to harmonize with the melody, but must also be able to stand on its own as a melody. God Of Our Fathers 2 parts.pdf God Of Our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand Melody and Counter Melody.mid
    1 point
  39. Hello, All, I'm always trying to maximize the sonic potentials of my dulcimers (or just of the dulcimer in general), and have been trying out and using various finger picks, since I can't keep my fingernails long. Furthermore, the picks produce a greater variety of sounds than I could make with my fingernails. I wanted to share that I've figured out a way to get a sharp point with nail clippers and a nail file on the Fred Kelly Delrin finger picks (which by themselves, worn the correct way, produce too dull a sound for me). Having the sharp point on the Fred Kelly allows for a sound like that of regular plastic picks but also allows the possibility of frailing away from you. (I wear the Kelly pick backwards, for comfort and for smooth take-off from the string.) What I like about fingerpicking, of course, is the possibility of playing 3 of the four equidistant strings, even if they're separated (for instance, 1, 2, and 4), simultaneously. I also like the fact that different fingers, with their differing strength and positions above the strings, produce different sounds and tonal qualities. Anyway, I wanted to show you all the picks I've been focusing on, in case others want to try them. I've found the ProPik FingerTone picks allow for the muting of the string with your finger pad, so preventing the clanging sound of the average metal or plastic finger picks as they hit the string, but I also like them for the tone they can produce. I post a picture of my finger picks below: the sharpened, pointed Fred Kelly, worn as I do when I play with it (it can be put on any finger), a standard Dunlop metal pick (which produces a nice, softer tone, but can clang against the string when muting it, if you're not careful), the unsharpened Kelly finger pick worn the regular way, and the ProPik FingerTone pick. Just some choices for people to consider!
    1 point
  40. Hello to all and thank you for reviving this beautiful dulcimer site! I have been playing dulcimer since about 1994. With some long stretches of not playing due to raising children. I started playing noter-drone style in DAA with the Larkin book using the cassette tape that accompanied the book. After about a decade I found a nearish dulcimer group to play with, they played DAD chord-melody style, so I switched to that. About a decade later I had David Mckinney build me a chromatic 3 string dulcimer with a 25 inch VSL - I love it! I tune it to DAE.
    1 point
  41. Yup I took the plunge! As I reported in another forum, "best $20 I've spent." I'm still fairly new to the Dulcimer World (I'm not sure why it took me so long to find my way here) but I have played the guitar for years, as well as piano, and received quite a bit of formal training. I say this just to indicate that I've had enough formal training in music to know that the phrase I've heard tossed about a lot in the dulcimer world that goes "just play the damn thing," while it might work, usually (never) works as well as having someone who knows what they're doing teach you how to play the damn thing. It is quickly obvious that he would be a perfect clinician. In three short hours this afternoon Seifert's teaching made many things much easier, just by making slight adjustments to my 'self taught' ways. I know nothing of his bio, but I'm pretty sure the guy has to be a well schooled musician. His approach is logical and linear, and true to the billing, that series would accommodate just about any level of player, from someone who knew almost nothing about music in any way to....well I haven't seen it to the end but I expect he'll go a lot farther up the ladder than I will ever climb. Thanks to Covid19 and Mr. Seifert, I'm probably gonna come out my current 'house arrest' fatter, hairier, and a pretty fair dulcimerizer.
    1 point
  42. ...and easier to build that cigar-box guitars! Welcome. You got questions? We make up pretty good answers.
    1 point
  43. The nice thing about a chromatic is you can play chords in any key. All that is required is learning the chord patterns in your tuning. Using a 1-3-5 tuning, a capo, or 4 equidistant strings, can help.
    1 point
  44. As a newer player, one of the challenges I had going to jams at festivals last year was simply not knowing tunes that were being played and having to muddle my way through learning them while playing in a group. They were beginner jams and it was encouraged for everyone to participate and play the bits they could figure out, try to read hands, learn by ear, strum an open D chord, or mute the strings and be percussion otherwise 😄 I wrote down a few tunes that came up repeatedly: Old Joe Clark Liza Jane Spotted Pony Wildwood Flower June Apple Forked Deer Whiskey Before Breakfast Cherokee Waltz Southwind I think it would be helpful to have a list of common tunes that come up often for beginners. If others can add to this with more that would be great!
    1 point
  45. Thanks for posting these videos Carla! They're great examples of what I;d like to be able to play. I recognize the song from jams, but didn't know the name. I'll have to put this one on my list to learn!
    1 point
  46. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 2.pdf
    1 point
  47. I didn't know meade was the up and coming beverage in the USA. The meade we received at our session was good, but they went out of business some time after our time at the place. So here's a little extra information. At that time wine could not be sold in stores on Sundays in Tennessee but the meaderies and wineries were considered part of the tourist industry, so wine and meade were sold at wineries and meaderies on Sunday (not in stores). In the Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner, he approaches the man that was a servant in his household early in the morning. The previous night Robin and the man and others were sitting around the campfire drinking and telling stories.. So, Robin approaches the man who looks a little weary and asks him "too much meade?". I interpreted the statement to mean "too much meat" until I learned about meade. It's just one of those things and I often don't hear the exact words in movies but learn what was really said later. Dave
    1 point
  48. Sounds fun, enjoy your time.
    1 point
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