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  1. 3 points
    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
  2. 3 points
    Welcome; thank you for taking on this enormous task and saving the domain name. Best of luck from UK.
  3. 2 points
    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?  
  4. 2 points
    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!
  5. 2 points
    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.
  6. 2 points
    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
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    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.
  9. 2 points
    Here's a video I made for playin' on the porch. Dave
  10. 2 points
    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
  11. 2 points
    Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Mel.pdf Boil Them Cabbage - Counter Melody.mid
  12. 2 points
    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
  13. 2 points
    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
  14. 2 points
    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
  15. 2 points
    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.
  16. 2 points
    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
  17. 2 points
    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.
  18. 2 points
    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!
  19. 2 points
    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
  20. 2 points
    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
  21. 2 points
    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...
  22. 1 point
    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.
  23. 1 point
    This is a hymn from the middle 1800's. The key to the song is the dotted quarter notes, followed by eighth notes. I Love To Tell The Story.pdf I Love To Tell The Story.mid
  24. 1 point
    Tabledit file for finger positions and economy of motion. Finger Placement.pdf
  25. 1 point
    1. Don't recognize the maker, but the design, with the pins in the side blocks, is NOT common. 2. Those ARE loop end strings. They start on one side, cross over the top, around a pin on the far side, then back to the start. What gauges? You'll need a micrometer to measure that. You'll also want to know the length of the longest string -- from loop end across to the pin and back. Where? Folkcraft may be able to help. I buy most of my strings from www.juststrings.com; but then I know exactly what I want. 3. Yes that crack in the pin line is "worrisome". Those holes probably should be re-drilled lower and new pins hammered in. At least the cracks should be filled with one of the more gel-like super glues, which should stop movement and tighten things up a hair.
  26. 1 point
    Anytime you get a second hand instrument, it's a good thing to change strings. One at a time -- do NOT take them all off them put them all back. If the bridge or nut aren't in exactly the right place it can really mess things up if one or both fall out of place, and string tension will keep them where they belong. What is the VSL? That's the distance between the inside edge of the nut and the inside edge of the bridge. THAT, plus what you want for the home tuning, is what tells you which strings to buy. There are charts and calculators, but virtually ALL pre-packaged sets of "dulcimer" strings will work if the VSL is around 27"--28". Brand is irrelevant. As the Admin says, since your new friend does not have the 6+ fret, tuning to an Ionian/Major scale (DAA, CGG) is the best option. Some folks will tell you all sorts of nonsense about DAA/CGG tunings, but I've been playing in those tunings, without a 6+ fret, for decades -- and have hundreds of tunes in my repertoire. Plus more in other tunings. There are actually very few tunes in the common dulcimer canon which require the 6+ fret. All it means is that you will actually have to learn to tune and re-tune -- get to know -- your dulcimer. You won't find much Tab for songs in DAA, but there is an easy way to convert DAd tab to DAA. Also, if you really must play in the modern Chord-Melody style in stead of more traditionally, and this is your only or primary dulcimer, then I respectfully suggest you learn to play in DAA Chord-Melody rather than DAd. There is a rather nice article by now a sadly deceased gentleman named Merv Rowley, in which he discussed DAA Chord melody playing and gives charts of the chord positions for the various notes. Most of us who use more traditional instruments like yours with the wooden pegs, keep a bottle of Peg Drops or Peg Dope around. It lasts forever! A couple drops on the peg shaft will fix the slipping. Loosen a peg, put a couple drops on the shaft where it will be in the holes, and re-tighten the peg. Always best to push and twist when settling a peg in place. Set the string a bit sharp and let it sink into correct tune as the string relaxes a tiny bit. If you have any further questions, please post them here, or send me private messages if you like. I have a number of resources for new players which you may find useful.
  27. 1 point
    Welcome! Feel free to ask any questions you have and we'll try to help you out. Regarding the strings - most of the time a DAA set will make it up into DAd, though depending on the exact gauge they may not. Also if the strings are older you may want to go ahead and change them anyways. Looking at the fretboard, your dulcimer doesn't have a 6 1/2 fret on it so a 1-5-5 tuning like DAA or CGG may be better for playing most tunes. These are tuning for playing the major scale from the 3rd fret up to the 10th fret, also known as Ionian mode. Without the 6 1/2 fret if it's tuned DAd, it will play the Mixolydian mode from the open string. This is close to the Major scale/Ionian mode, but the 7th note (6th fret) is flat. A 6 1/2 fret allows it to play the major scale from the open string up to the 7th fret. It's possible to play major scale tunes in DAd without a 6 1/2 fret, but you'll either need to avoid tunes that call for the 6 1/2 fret, play that note on the middle string (9th fret on middle string is the same note as the 6 1/2 on the melody string), or possibly have a 6 1/2 fret added to the instrument. DAA is a perfectly good option too, though less common now. Either way you'll have a lot of fun, but I would recommend changing the string if they're more than a year or two old.
  28. 1 point
    If you're familiar with building a Ukulele, you could make it as a 3 or 4 string with diatonic frets and you'd be all set. I've seen a couple like that before:
  29. 1 point
    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.
  30. 1 point
    How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 11 Backup Chords In The Key of G Have you ever noticed that during group play that everything starts to sound the same? That is easily remedied by one or more people playing a harmony, bass part, counter-melody or backup chords. With the exception of backup chords, it is necessary to have all the above written out so that you can play your part. The backup chords are normally on your written tab sheet and are a part of the melody. That is what we are going to address in this article. For most people, singing in the key of G is the easiest. That said, most of the songs that we play and sing are in the key of D. That is because of our DAD tuning. Yes, you can play and sing songs in the key of G on our dulcimers tuned to DAD. You could also capo your instrument at the third fret in DAD tuning to be in the key of G or retune to GDG. The most efficient way to solve this problem follows. Some of the chords that we need in G require a 1½ fret, which most players do not have. In the key of G, our three major chords are G-C-D. No problem playing the G and D chords. What do we do about playing C chords? There are a number of ways to finger a C chord without having a 1½ fret. All of the following chords can be flipped (bass to melody - melody to bass). C Chords: 3-4-6, 6-6-6, 8-6-6, 13-13-13 We are talking about playing backup chords that you might see on your tab sheet. You can usually substitute one chord for another. Remember your major chords in the key of G are G-C-D. Your minor chords are Am, Bm, Em, D7. The following usually works: Am - substitute a C Bm - substitute a D Em - substitute a G D7 - substitute a D Your ability to play backup chords will add much to each song. Even if you do not know the song, you can play the backup chords. Hopefully this article will help you to become a better dulcimer player.
  31. 1 point
    Welcome, glad to have you with us!
  32. 1 point
    Welcome to Everything Dulcimer Kevin. You may recall that I welcomed you to FOTMD as well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  33. 1 point
    An easy to play classical piece. The Four Seasons - Spring.pdf The Four Seasons - Spring.mid
  34. 1 point
    Here is one book that is all classical music. https://www.folkcraft.com/collections/sheet-music-tab-books-and-tablature/products/larry-conger-the-classical-dulcimer-1 If you look through the books list at Folkcraft you will find a few other books that contain some classical music pieces. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  35. 1 point
    Welcome! Feel free to discuss stick dulcimers / backpack dulcimers here. There are strong opinions on what is and is not a dulcimer. From a technical/taxonomic standpoint they don't fit the definition. From a practical standpoint they're closely related enough that I see no reason to exclude them (open tuning, diatonically fretted, usually tuned some variation of DAd). Certainly close enough anyone playing these would benefit from the tabs and many other techniques that are used on the mountain dulcimer: drone-melody, chord-melody, modal tunings, etc. My first diatonic instrument was a Merlin before I bought a dulcimer. The response I got when asking questions in the dulcimer community nearly put me off the instrument and dulcimers too. Which is a shame because they're one of the best/easiest instruments to learn on and the community is generally very friendly and supportive. I don't want that be someone else's first experience, so again welcome. Feel free to poke around and ask questions and we'll help out where we can 🙂
  36. 1 point
    As I said above, the hourglass is the most difficult of the standard shapes to build. And the hardest part is the shaping of the sides. The easiest way to do that is to hot-water soak the sides for a couple hours to soften them. Then bend the side pieces into a jig which then holds them while they dry. I've attached a couple pix of simple peg jigs. Jig 1 is almost too simple but will work just fine. I prefer to use 1/2" dowels in a 3/4 plywood or chipboard base, similar to Jig 2 but without as many dowels. Make the dowels about 1/8" shorter than the height of the sides. That way, you leave the sides on the jib and use it to hold things while you add the head and tail blocks and the bottom and glue them into place -- making what's known as the carcass. Then remove the carcass from the jig while you make the tuning head, and the top/fretboard assembly.
  37. 1 point
    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.
  38. 1 point
    Per Dave's request, I've broken out the individual questions from this thread into their own topics. This thread was becoming a little unwieldy. Hopefully the individual topics will help people find what they're looking for a little easier. If you have any questions, feel free to post a new topic with your question!
  39. 1 point
    Greetings from the State of Seclusion! Since my rural internet will not allow me to Livestream or otherwise engage with the world in real-time, I've decided to post all of my old Kicking Mule, Flying Fish and Wizmak recordings on Bandcamp. You can listen to them free for nothing, or download them for a greatly reduced price. Here's a link to my Bandcamp page. There are a couple other things up there, too. Including the demo recording for my Folk/Jazz fusion band "Southern Light" and the only recording of the legendary Tex Pistols. And there's more to come. And yeah, I'm still around, and I still play the dulcimer. But I've been doing other things lately. In fact, I couldn't access this forum using my old log-in. Musta expired or something. :o) I wish everyone in the dulcimer community all the best. Stay well, stay home, and stay tuned! Mark Nelson
  40. 1 point
    Not bad at all. A leetle heavy on the drones perhaps, but that might just be my ears.
  41. 1 point
    I'm glad to see folks are finding their way here and I hope to make the site as useful to community as possible. I've had a couple requests to add events to the festivals page, and I'm happy to. My plan for the festival list (and other lists) is to have the ability for everyone to add directly to it. That's still a work in progress and may be a few months off. In the mean time, I can update the list manually. The ones on the list are just events I'm familiar with, but I want to add as many possible. Reply below with: Festival Name Location (city, state) (and country if outside the US) Dates A link to the website and I'll get them added to the list 🙂
  42. 1 point
    The sheet music/tablature file and an mp3 file for "Arran Boat Song" are in the tablature section here on Everything Dulcimer. Dave
  43. 1 point
    If anyone is interested in obtaining Wilfried's book, The Story of the Hummel, I found one copy available here: The Story of the Hummel. The price seems reasonable. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  44. 1 point
    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!
  45. 1 point
    I think a great "beginner jam tune" is Boil Them Cabbage Down. It's also good as a sort of "icebreaker" for confident players who have never before played together. Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss is another great beginner tune for jamming. I'll post a few video links in the video-links forum.
  46. 1 point
    How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 2.pdf
  47. 1 point
    Sandy "A Quiet Music" sounds like an excellent meditation piece for church services. I can understand why you would want to play it in its entirety. Many times I'm able to find either a different tuning or semi-suitable alternate notes for songs that have notes that require frets that don't exist on my dulcimer(s). There is one song that I really like but the only solution is a 3.5 fret needs to be added. So, this is kinda' off the wall, but I'll offer it as a suggestion anyway. I took a finish nail and filed it flat on one side until it was approximately the same height as the frets. I used Scotch tape to attach to the fretboard between the 3rd and 4th frets (see pictures below). I always play this particular song with a noter and the temporary fret works fine. I wouldn't expect the fret to work repeatedly on multiple songs in a jam session, but it works fine for the song I play and it is used once for each verse. Flexifrets might also be an option if you're willing to modify the fretboard on your dulcimer (see link to Bear Meadow). https://www.bearmeadow.com/flexifrets/html/using-flxfrts.html Dave
  48. 1 point
    This is my latest build. The back and sides are paduk. The top is western red cedar. The fret board is maple. The peg head and end piece are made of maple and walnut from scrap I had left over after making a laminated guitar neck. It is based on Scott Antes plan for dulcimer construction. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  49. 1 point
    A mountain dulcimer can be played in chord/melody style, melody only style, fingerpicked, flatpicked, bowed, with a noter, with a feather, with a corset style, just with chords, and maybe some other styles that escape me right now. Some tunes will be easier to play in one tuning than other tunings (i. e. a tune might be easier to play in DAA than DAD tunings or vice versa). Some tunings require the melody to be played on the middle or bass strings where other tunings present the melody entirely on the melody string(s). Attached is a pdf tablature file for "Angelina Baker" in DAD, DAA, CGC, and CGG tunings. The melody is presented in the tablature and the chords are listed and a person who knows chords on a dulcimer might add chords to the melody at times. The file is an example of how a song can be played in different tunings and styles. This version of "Angelina Baker" is per the original Stephen Foster composition and it is a little different from the way some people play "Angeline The Baker" or "Angelina Baker". Dave Angelina_Baker.pdf
  50. 1 point
    I like it already! Dave
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