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Everything posted by Admin

  1. I saw a copy of An Elizabethan Songbook by Lorraine Lee up there if you're looking for that one. I couldn't find the others again, but they're sure to come back up. Thanks for pointing me to Steve's site, I hadn't seen those before. I may have to pick up a couple of those. I love this style of music.
  2. I just meant in terms of the string gauges on a "standard" dulcimer, though they're on the very light side even for that. Gdd is 1-5-5 as you mentioned and these could be played in DAA, but it would be like playing something for a standard dulcimer on a baritone. The tuning they call for is tuned up to where a ginger dulcimer would sit, but on a 27 inch scale length. You're right that it's asking for an unwound bass string of 0.012 tuned to G and the middle and melody strings being 0.009 tuned to d. This is from "An Elizabethan Songbook" by Lorraine Lee. She dedicated 7 pages at the fr
  3. The ones I have are: Renaissance Ayres Arrangements for Dulcimer Written for Dilettanti Book I by P. B. Dickerman An Elizabethan Songbook With Arrangements for the Appalachian Dulcimer by Lorraine A. Lee Nonesuch for Dulcimer by Roger Nicholson Musicks Delight on the Dulcimer or the New Elizabethan by Roger Nicholson I picked all of these up on eBay. I'm sure these would work in other tunings. I just found it interesting that they seem to mostly call for a middle string and 2 melody stings. They don't call for a low bass string though I'm sure it would be fi
  4. That's great info, I'll definitely consider getting a set of the ProPiks. Unfortunately she didn't mention the brand she uses as it was just a quick demo, but I grabbed a screenshot from the videos she sent. Maybe you recognize the brand?
  5. This is one of my favorite things about the mountain dulcimer! When I first became interested in learning music and learning, the Lute was the instrument I wanted to learn. Turned out there were only a few Lute teachers in the US and I couldn't get in contact with the one near me. (This was before online video lessons had started to take off.) So I decided on something that they're lots of teachers for: violin. Oops! When I switched to Baritone Ukulele the first thing I bought were a few books of Lute music that had been arranged to for the Uke. It quickly got too difficult for a beginn
  6. Thanks for this! I was just watching Aubrey Atwater's workshop on 4 string equidistant and she did a couple demos of finger picking with 4 strings. She used finger picks, which sounded great and that got me interested in getting a set to try out. I've only done finger picking with just the pads of my fingers which produces a soft lute-like sound. It sounds good for some things, but it's very muted. Do you have any thoughts on which of those might be good for a beginner to start with?
  7. @NoterMan I went with the default account when setting up the forums. I'll eventually come up with a better username 🙂
  8. @Ardenvoir Welcome back 🙂 I wish the posts from old forums had been available, but they went down with the old site. We'll build it back up in time 🙂
  9. I checked all of Stephen Seifert's books (I have his USB), not in any of those. It's not in Dave Haas' Jam book or Fiddle Tunes book either. I also went through most of the stuff Bing Futch has put out, also not there. It's also not in the older books like Cripple Creek Dulcimer Book or Best Dulcimer Method Yet. You may have to tab this one out from sheet music or by ear.
  10. Yep, those are the notes for a G Major pentatonic scale. That's a way to play it. You can also play it in "the box" with 3 on the bass, 4 on the bass, 5 on the bass, 3 on the middle, 4 on the middle. And catching 3, 4, and 5 on the melody for higher notes. The 5th fret on the middle string is F# and not in the scale. The E minor pentatonic scale can be played similarly at the first fret. It's the same notes, but in the order E G B A D. Those are at the 1, 3, and 4 frets on the bass, middle and melody.
  11. Anchoring can be useful for better control of the pick. You'll see it most often with finger picking or flat picking styles of play, though there are some performers, like Bing Futch, who anchor when they're strumming as well. I think most players don't anchor when strumming though. I've seen some anchor with their thumb on the side of the fret board for finger picking. Another common way is for the pinky or ring finger or both to anchor on the far side of the fret board or on the top. I've seen that both with flat picking and finger picking styles. I find that technique helpfu
  12. It sounds like you may not be pressing hard enough on the frets. That could account for issues 2, 3, and 4. They tend to require more pressure on the higher number frets. I've had difficulty with this myself. Recently I've been working on playing a version of Whiskey Before Breakfast that plays in the upper octave (7th fret up) and all of these are true. The notes being more difficult to pluck is due to the shorter vibrating string length when fretting higher up. These are inherent problems in playing in the upper notes. Some things that might help: Try tuning down a whol
  13. I made a quick recording of a freshly tuned dulcimer for DAdd and DAAA. Maybe these will help as a tuning reference. DAAA.mp3 DAdd.mp3
  14. What string gauges did you go with? For DAdd you'll probably want something around a .012 on the melody strings, .015 on the middle, and .024 on the bass. Up or down a thousandth of an inch or two should still be ok. For DAAA you might go with 0.014 on the 3 A strings and .024 on the bass. As Ken mentioned, you may just be tuned an octave low. The strings are usually tight enough to sound at that point when tuning up, but will be very floppy. Assuming the string gauges are good, one thing you can try is to slowly increase the tension until the strings feel right and see what the
  15. Good catch Ken - reading it the other way threw me off. It is indeed a nickel on the 7th fret!
  16. The dime at the first fret, nickle at the last on top of the 7th fret is a good rule of thumb. It's not really related to skill level, but more so ease of play and intonation. When the string is pressed down, the tension on it is raised. Lower action will be easier to press down (less force needed) when fretting and less fatiguing. There's another effect going on related to the string tension. The more the string has to be pressed down, the higher the tension will be when it's fretted and this can affect intonation (how close the fretted notes are to what they're intended be). This i
  17. That's great! I've been taking some online dulcimer lessons over the past few weeks and they've worked out really well. I still prefer meeting in person, but online classes have been fun too. Barely 2 weeks until Quarantune, I'm looking forward to it!
  18. Your dulcimer's come out looking great! The string setup you're describing is one of the more common ones. The two closest to the player being a doubled melody string, and then a middle and bass string that are single strings. For the single strings they're usually about 1/2" apart from each other and from the doubled string. The doubled strings are separated by somewhere between 3/32" to 1/8" on the instruments I have. You'll also want to leave an 1/8" to 1/4" of fretboard outside the strings so the strings don't slip off the fretboard when they're pressed. It's also common to
  19. For ball end strings on brads, you'd slide the hole in the ball over the brad. Obviously that wouldn't work for ball ends that are solid, though I've only ever seen a few strings with solid ball ends. Worse case, you could pop the ball out and you'd have a loop end string.
  20. Welcome, glad to have you with us!
  21. Is the other side (tops of the sides/ribs) bowed too? Does the top sit flat on the sides if you lay where it will eventually go? Putting it in a closet with a dehumidifer would be a way to get moisture out.
  22. That's looking great! Good job on the sound holes, that tool works really well. How thick are your top/bottom plates? You'll have it together before you know it! I measured the thickness of one of my dulcimers that has a flat head with calipers. It shows 35/64" - so just over half an inch. Do your tuners have any bushings or washers/nuts? Make sure it's the right thickness to support those if your tuners have them. If they're just through hole tuners without any additional hardware, it may make sense to stay a little on the thicker side so they don't stick out a lot.
  23. Welcome! It sounds like you have some fun times ahead building a new dulcimer. I'll try to answer a couple of your questions. As @Skip mentioned, the 'New building looking for advice' thread may be helpful to you. I think there's a few reasons for the flat head style becoming more popular. On one hand it can be easier / more natural to use the tuners as it puts the knob of standard tuning machines on the side where pegs would normally be. Using them on a traditional scroll head they end up on top and are can be a little harder to work with (though by no means difficult). Planetar
  24. You're numbers look good for a 27" scale according to StewMac's calculator. One thing that may make laying the fret spacing out easier for you: If you have a yardstick / meter stick with millimeters on it, using a milimeter scale may be a little easier to work with than thousandths of inches.
  25. I've read a few accounts of trying nylon strings on a dulcimer. None really worked out well because of the way dulcimers are generally constructed. The strings are usually attached to tail block and the scroll/peg head. On instruments like a classical guitar or ukulele they're connected to the soundboard and the soundboard vibrates freely. Or on a violin they cross the bridge that vibrates the top plate directly. Nylon strings are much lower tension than steel strings and will have lower energy when you strum them. On a dulcimer you'd get a very weak sound. Aaron O'Rourke has som
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