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Nuthin Nu

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Everything posted by Nuthin Nu

  1. I've used both Ron Ewing's and Terry McCafferty's capos. I actually prefer a brass one, The Walworth Mountain Dulcimer Capo, I found at The Dulcimer Shoppe (which sells McSpadden dulcimers). (Don't think the Bradley is available any longer.) Here's the link: https://www.mcspaddendulcimers.com/product/walworth-mountain-dulcimer-capo/ It costs a bit more but it stays tight and snug without any wrestling or fiddling with its adjustment.
  2. Those are interesting! Looked at Ebay and didn't see most of them for sale (have another book by Lorraine Lee Hammond (formerly Lorraine Lee)) but will keep looking. Maybe you'd like Steven K. Smith's sheet music, too? His books are available here: https://sksmithmusic.com/books
  3. Who published those books of Elizabethan tunes? How did you get them? For my tuning regimen (DAdb), with .014 for the A and .012 for the d and b, I'd just tune up or down a few. I'm very curious myself about these tunes, if you wouldn't mind sharing more information about them. Would you be playing on a Blue Lion? To me, some dulcimers seem better for lute type music than others.
  4. Hi! I'm unfortunately not sure what brand of fingerpicks those are. They're a pretty standard design, though. White plastic, with a pointed edge. Hm. Dunlop? (Don't think so.) Maybe D'Andrea? I've usually found soft plastic finger picks, like in the picture above, producing too dull a sound for me, but perhaps since those are very pointed, they'd be nice. If you find out what brand they are, I'd be curious.
  5. I am a classical pianist by training (since the tender age of 7) but find myself overseeing with my wife her family's farm in the middle of the Ozarks. I wanted to find an instrument I could play alone or with others but was not that drawn to the standard ones, e.g., guitar, banjo or violin/fiddle. My wife was acquainted with the mountain dulcimer through the Ozark festivals in town she had attended. Its similarity to the lute, to my ear, was very attractive! I could play so much: Elizabethan tunes, hymns, Bach, traditional folk tunes, etc. AND the instrument has untapped potentials, can be played in so many ways: noter-drone style, chordal style, with 3- or 4-string set-ups and a variety of tunings. That there are ergonomic challenges (longer fretboards having a different tonal quality than the shorter ones, generally speaking) and the varying designs that allow the soundboard to vibrate more freely add to its appeal. There is so much to discover!
  6. I've never seen Aubrey Atwater's workshop; I'd be curious what picks she used. Yes, using your finger pads would produce a softer sound. The sharper the point, the sharper, brighter the sound. (Of course, the thickness of the material, the type of material used for the pick, and the angle the pick hits the string impact the sound.) Of the three I mentioned, the ProPik FingerTone might be the most satisfying, on the whole, for fit and sound. Their edges, like most people's fingernails, aren't pointed, and you can't frail, as I mentioned, but they won't fall off or wear out. They're also angled slightly so they have a cleaner take-off from the string. Just be sure to mark which ones go on which finger once you bend their wraps for the best fit (I used nail polish to mark the first, second and third letters of "ProPik" to indicate my index, middle, and ring fingers). You can buy them either in a split or single wrap. I have split wraps and they fit just fine. They're available at pro-pik.com.
  7. 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!
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