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Everything posted by dholeton

  1. Carla It looks like a great place to have a Retreat. I'm probably not going to be able to attend but I hope you have many people attend and have a great time. Here are some thoughts for information people will need to know. Which airport will be the most likely airport for people from other countries? How far is the airport from Daylseford? What are the transportation options to and from the airport? We hosted people from Japan last Fall at the East Tennessee Bowed Psaltery Gathering. They wanted to take a cab but there was no cab service to a small town 40 miles north of the airport in Knoxville, TN. They also wanted to walk daily from the hotel to the Gathering pavilion, but walking was not a good option. If more than two people would have been coming from Japan, I was going to rent a van. For just two people, I provided all of their transportation needs. Are meals provided at the Retreat? What options are available for transportation and meals not provided at the Retreat? Are meals available for people with special dietary needs? Are people who speak a different language going to attend? We were fortunate that the people from Japan who came to our Gathering spoke very good English. Otherwise, we would have needed to explore options for how to manage communication. Are people who have special needs going to attend the Retreat? A person with a vision impairment might need special instruction materials and/or help getting to and from locations. Are all locations wheel chair accessible? These are some thoughts off the top of my head. I'll add more thoughts if more come to mind. Dave
  2. Wow, there is a twenty in there! What is the item that has a large 20 on it? Dave
  3. Ken I tried it again this morning and it still doesn't work. I get this message when I click the link and I'm not logged in: Oops, there was an error! You do not have permission to access this thread. It looks like I have to be logged in to TTAD for the link to work because it works if I log into TTAD and then click the link above. I think the permissions were changed so that people who do not have a userid/password on TTAD are not able to view certain parts of the site as guests. Dave
  4. Ken, it looks like a great project. Also, I wasn't able to make the link work. Dave
  5. Thanks Carla The song continues to be special to me. It can be difficult to keep my hand to the plow but the song helps me. It's a form of discipline through song for me. Dave
  6. 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
  7. That looks like the same fruitcake they sell here in the Clinton, TN, area, during holiday season. They are good! We played once around Saint Patrick's Day at a nearby meadery, a place where they make and sell meade. There were several people coming into the building to buy meade and they stopped for a while to listen to us play some of our Irish tunes. After we ended our set, the owners of the meadery gave us each several bottles of meade. It was all good. Dave
  8. 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
  9. Thanks for the picture. I can see how that would work fine and $23 is a steal. Dave
  10. Carla, I'd try and make it to Radio Springs but I don't think I can get there and be back in time for our session next week! (just kidding) Thanks for starting this topic. I think it's important for all of us to get out and play our music somewhere. My friend Dean and I have been volunteering to play music once a month at an assisted living home. It's about all we can do right now with our busy life schedules, but it helps us maintain some musical skill. We play about 8 to 10 folk/old time/rock/country/classical/whatever songs and then we play 10 or more gospel/religious songs. I like to say the residents tolerate us for the first half of our set, but they really come alive and sing along when we get to gospel songs. I play dulcimer, guitar, bowed psaltery, and occasionally other instruments and Dean plays mandolin and guitar. We sing on most of our songs, so I use the guitar the most in order to accompany the songs in keys within our vocal range. I think we're more like song leaders than performers since we try to sings songs that the residents might know. We've had some luck teaching them the refrains on some of the lesser known songs. We'll be playing next Wednesday, February 5th, starting at 6:30 PM at Morning Pointe in Clinton. We focus on special songs for each month, so we're including our Ground Hog song and all of our Sweetheart songs in this set. If anybody lives nearby, you're welcome to attend and bring your instrument. Here's our tentative set list and the instruments we play in each song. Star of County Down - Dulcimer/Bowed Psaltery/Mandolin (my dulcimer and bowed psaltery are on stands, so I can switch from dulcimer to psaltery in between verses) Happy Birthday - Dulcimer/Mandolin Groundhog - Dulcimer/Mandolin Fox The - Guitar/Mandolin Fox on the Run - Guitar/Mandolin I Love You Truly - Dulcimer/Guitar Why I Love You Tell Me Why - Guitar/Mandolin And I Love Her - Guitar When I'm Sixty-Four - Guitar Because - Guitar Oh Mary Don't You Weep - Guitar/Mandolin Go Down Moses - Guitar Unclouded Day - Dulcimer/Mandolin Open My Eyes Lord - Guitar Pass Me Not - Guitar/Mandolin Leave It There - Guitar/Mandolin Lead Me Lord - Guitar/Mandolin Beautiful Life - Guitar I'll Fly Away - Guitar/Mandolin Amazing Grace - Bowed Psaltery/Guitar/Mandolin (I can hold my guitar while playing bowed psaltery, so I start on psaltery and switch to guitar) Irish Blessing - Guitar/Mandolin Dave
  11. I have heard about the waiter's tables. If you have a picture, would you post it here? Dave
  12. I forgot to mention the two screw eyelets and the chain that hold the dulcimer stand at the desired width and somehow I wasn't able to edit the post, so I'll add it here. Dave
  13. Maybe we can use this topic to provide information on dulcimer playing stands. Here is some information on the stand that I use. Attached is a crude picture of what I use for a dulcimer stand. It was made by someone in the Knoxville, TN, area many years ago. I'm not sure if the original builder is still around or not; no one who knew him way back when can remember him today. If you're up for building one yourself, it is just 4 oak boards with wooden dowels with the fabric shelf liner over the dowels. The oak boards are 1 1/2 inches by 3/4 inch by 40 inches. The dowels are 3/4 inch by 12 inches. Holes are drilled in the oak boards for the dowels at 3 1/2 inches from the bottom, 19 1/2 inches from the bottom, and 38 1/2 inches from the bottom. It works fine for me but since it is a 4 legged stand, it's not unusual for it to rock a little on some floors. I put my foot on the bottom right dowel to keep it steady while playing. You can search my videos on YouTube if you would like to see me using it. (Search for dholeton and Arkansas Traveler, Hold On, or Carol of the Bells. The videos don't show the entire stand but give an idea for how I use it). Dave
  14. 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
  15. Oops, this phrase " doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 7.5 frets), " should have read " doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 8.5 frets), " Dave
  16. Duchess If the music requires an F note or F chord (or chord with an F note) and your dulcimer doesn't have any extra frets (i. e. 1.5 and/or 7.5 frets), you won't be able to play the F notes/chords (and G7 chord) in the key of C. You might be able to play the same piece of music if it was transposed to start in the key of D and transitioned to the key of G. What is the song? Dave
  17. Carolina Thanks for the update. I was basing my string breaking remark based on my experience trying to tune the melody strings on one of my dulcimers to d. It probably has a shorter VSL than a baritone and I use .016 strings on the melody strings. I built it just to improve the sound where the melody strings are tuned to G or lower notes. Dave
  18. Another question: What is a baritone mountain dulcimer? A baritone mountain dulcimer is usually a larger dulcimer with strings that are heavier (larger in diameter) than regular dulcimers. The heavier strings allow the baritone dulcimer to be tuned lower, most often to AEA tuning. With the heavier strings on the baritone dulcimer, it most likely can't be tuned to DAA or DAD without breaking strings. Dave
  19. I kinda' started playing a guitar around 1975 but wasn't making a lot of progress. I obtained a dulcimer from Lynn McSpadden in 1978. I joined the dulcimer club in Omaha (Wildwood Dulcimer Club) and started going somewhere. We moved to Denver in 1981. I trended back toward the guitar until I joined the Colorado Dulcimer Society, a club in Denver lead by Connie North, around 1982. For whatever reason, interest waned in the late 80's and club participation reduced and/or the club went away. I obtained a bowed psaltery around 1994-1995. In the early 90's the Rocky Mountain Dulcimer Club formed and I joined and continued to be a member until we moved to Tennessee in 1997. Now I'm a member of the Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club. I obtained music editing software around 1999, so I've learned to write dulcimer tablature and have shared tablature files in various places on the internet. It's something I can do with my schedule as it is. I also play the dulcimer in many different tunings. Many of my dulcimers are tuned to something other than DAD and when I want to play a song in a given tuning, I pick up the dulcimer with that given tuning. Dave
  20. Thanks Ken. I forgot to mention that I built it back in 2011. I just posted the information on it here so it would be here for posterity and so that something was posted in this topic. I really like your latest build, too. I purposely obtained a teardrop dulcimer years ago just so that it would provide some diversity among all the hourglass dulcimers at club meetings. Your selections of wood really make your dulcimer stand out. The peg head is over the top. Dave
  21. In the 1990's I belonged to a dulcimer group in Denver, Colorado. The group volunteered to play at the Swallow Hill Music Festival. As an effort to encourage more people to join the club, we rehearsed parts in between songs where one or two of us would say something informative about each of our dulcimers or dulcimer history. I volunteered to make a flier for people who might stop by. Swallow Hill had a library and I was able to check out "A Catalogue of Pre-Revival Appalachian Dulcimers" by L. Allen Smith. I reviewed all of the dulcimer/zither information in the book and I also reviewed all of the history from all of the other books and references available at the time (I didn't have Internet access if it existed at the time). From there I made a summary of what I believed was the development of the dulcimer in the USA. Attached is the flier and at the bottom it welcomes people to join the Rocky Mountain Dulcimer Club, which no longer exists. Also, attached is a picture from Syntagma Musicum where Michael Praetorius describes a German zither as a Scheitholt, which might be spelled Scheidtholtt in the picture. Dave Dulcimer_History.pdf
  22. Question 2. How many strings are on a mountain dulcimer? Answer: The most common arrangement for strings on a mountain dulcimer is 3 or 4 strings. Usually, the bass string is a wound string and the middle and melody string(s) are unwound strings. The dulcimers with 4 strings can be arranged with either two strings as double melody strings (similar to a mandolin or 12-string guitar) or with 4 strings equal distant from each. Common tunings for mountain dulcimers today are DAD tuning and DAA tuning. DAD tuning has the bass string tuned to D, the middle string tuned to A, and the melody string(s) tuned to D an octave above the bass string. DAA tuning has the bass string tuned to D, the middle string and the melody strings are tuned to A. Often, the bass string on a mountain dulcimer can be a wound string anywhere between .020 and .024 gauge. The middle strings often are anywhere between .010 and .014 gauge. The melody string(s) on a dulcimer tuned DAD are often anywhere between .008 and .012 gauge. The melody string(s) on a dulcimer tuned DAA are often anywhere between .012 and .014 gauge. Dave
  23. Question 1. What is a mountain dulcimer? Answer: A mountain dulcimer is classified as a zither, which is a music instrument with frets and the strings extend most or all the way across the sound box. It is said to be an instrument that evolved in the USA from the zithers brought over mostly from Germany. The German zithers are sometimes called scheitholts. The mountain dulcimer is sometimes called a lap dulcimer and/or an Appalachian dulcimer. The traditional mountain dulcimer had a diatonic fretboard (sometimes called a dulcimore, among other names), but many modern dulcimers are made with extra frets usually called half frets. Some dulcimers have all of the frets and are called chromatic dulcimers. A diatonic dulcimer just has frets to match the do re mi fa so la ti do scale and usually the scale starts at the third fret. The mountain dulcimer has been played in all forms of music (folk, old time, country, rock and roll, classical, etc.). Mountain dulcimers are constructed in various shapes with the hourglass shape, the teardrop shape, the elliptical shape, and the box shape being common. Attached are pictures of an hourglass dulcimer and a teardrop dulcimer. Dave
  24. Maybe we can use this topic as a place to store Mountain Dulcimer questions that are frequently asked by people who are new to the dulcimer. Dave
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