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Posts posted by NoterMan

  1. When we refer to a hollowed fretboard we mean down the length (except under a strum hollow) turning the fretboard into an inverted U shape.  This reduces the mass of the fretboard and gives a tiny bit more soundboard to vibrate.  The other hollowing -- crosswise -- is called an arched fretboard.  There is no real need for top braces -- the top already has that massive brace (called the fretboard) running down it's length.  Some of us re-inforce the area around delicate sound holes with thin pasteboard or veneer on the underside, but true top braces are not necessary.  

  2. Where are you from? Nice choice of woods.

    Build looks very nice.  Good job for working from on-line stuff without asking questions first.  The build seems over-built by modern techniques -- stub ends of the tuning head inside the box, all those kerf strips, very thick scroll head bits, heavy braces.    These days almost no one uses kerf strips unless they are going to install bindings at the side/top and side/back junctions -- the kerf gives you somethings to glue the binding to.  Modern glues such as TiteBond are so much stronger than hide glues and earlier glues that there is no need today for the extra glue surfaces of kerf strips.  Cross braces only need to be 1/4" x 3.8" maximum.  

    How thick are the bottom/top/sides?  Is the fretboard hollowed underneath?

  3. Are you just looking for more tab to play?  Or interested in the history as well?  There are are several good resources for history.
    What kind of music are you interested in playing?   Blue Grass, American Folk, World Folk, Celtic Fiddle  Tunes?  Anglo-Scottish Ballads?  Hymns and other religious music?  Americana?   

    There are thousands or resources, depending on what it is you're looking for.

  4. The schedule for the 2021 Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering has now been added to TheTraditionalAppalachianDulcimer.com In the Gathering Thread.

    Registration Deadline 15 May 2021

    Registration 8-5 on the Porch. Impromptu porch jamming and discussions.
    6:30 General Gathering Welcome and Introductions. Also Grand Dulcimer Display
    7:30 until... Mini-Concert/Open Mic – Open to anyone who wants to perform.

    9-10:30 Traditional Playing Foundations
    10:30-12 Open Jam
    1:30-3:00 Making and Installing Staple Frets
    3:00-4:30 - Sawn Frame Dulcimers
    6:30 - 9:00 Dulcimer Videos, Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore Giveaway

    9-10:30 Dulcimore History
    10:30-12 Jam 2
    1:30-3:00 Traditional Tunings and Tunes
    3:00-4:30 To Be Announced
    6:30-8:00 To Be Announced

    9-10:30 Hymn sharing/singing and a very short meditation

    10:30- Final Gathering, Giant Jam, general discussion
    1:00-3:00 Last Gasp


  5. Not sure what Dwayne at Bear Meadows does with openings in the top; like KWL I've never looked that close.  I can't think of anyone who builds arched or scalloped fretboards who also opens the top under the arches.  I've built both, and as far as I can tell the acoustic effect of one technique over the other is negligible.  IMHO the primary reason to hollow or scallop a fretboard is to reduce the mass of that huge block of wood, so that it can physically vibrate better and send those vibrations into the body where they become sound. 

    For simplicity of construction I prefer the hollowed fretboard, whether over a slotted top or not; for aesthetics I prefer the arched fretboard.  One of my favorite dulcimers has the arches matching the widths of the spaces between the frets -- wide and narrow -- which I find particularly pleasing to the eye.

    FWIW, an easy way to cut that "slot" under the fretboard is to first glue the two top pieces together.  Then use a Forstner bit (not a twist drill or spade bit) to drill a series of nearly connected holes 1/2" or 5/8" in diameter down the centerline where the fretboard will sit.  Forstner bits cut nice clean edged holes in thin material...

  6. Room & Board Update

    Room -- $20 per night Double, $30 per night Single.   If you want a single you must pre-Register as a Single.
    Total Lodging Fee will be collected at Sign-In.  Cash or check only, please

    Meals -- Individual Meal Purchase at the Campus Cafeteria.    Lots of good, healthy food choices.  Last time it was $5 per meal!!  Hopefully the same this year! Great price and good food.

  7. There really is no "correct" width for a fretboard.  Those who build 3-string traditional diatonic staple-fretted boards make them about 1" wide.  Most 4-string fretboards are around 1-1/2" wide --- 1-3/8ths to 1-5/8ths.  1-1/2 is convenient because it's a stock lumber size called a 1x2. 

    Part of the choice has to do with the "look" of the board on the design.  A really wide fretboard on a narrow-waisted hourglass. IMHO doesn't look as good a s somewhat narrower board.  A wide-bodied elliptical like a Galax design looks good with a wider board, as does a Tennessee Music Box.

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  8. Welcome Woodchuck.     Nothin' wrong with being 70 or a Newbie -- we all have to start sometime!   I'm coming up on 73, but I did start this journey about 40 years ago! 

    If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask; the only dumb questions are those which don't get asked so we can answer them.  

  9. Since I can't seem to post in Festivals I thought this should go here.  From The Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore website:

    Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering 2021
    When: June 3 – June 6
    Where: Berea College, Berea, KY
    Cost: $20 Pre-Registration fee
    applied to your total lodging bill, otherwise Free

    Because of the events of the past year we must insist on a few conditions this year:

    We, and Berea College, need to know IN ADVANCE how many people will be attending. Do not just show up and expect to attend. Even if you live in Berea you MUST Pre-Register to attend any of our activities. The Registration goes towards your On-Campus lodging bill. Not staying on Campus? Your Registration goes into our Coffee & Snacks kitty. REGISTRATION DEADLINE MAY 15th.  

    In order to insure that people feel safe during this event, masks are required at all activities. No one without a mask will be allowed to participate in the activities of the Gathering.

    We do not yet know which dormitory we will be using.

    COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES To Be Announced. When we have it sorted out, we'll tell you.

    AS ALWAYS – THE EMPHASIS IS ON THE TRADITON. The tuning used by participants is DAA or similar 1 – 5 -5 tuning.. Some tunes may be played in the Aeolian or Dorian modes We are all about traditional dulcimores and dulcimore playing in noter/drone or fingerdancing styles. Contemporary dulcimers are allowed as long as you play them in a traditional manner. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore through presentations, instruction, jam sessions, etc. We hope to see you in Berea.

    10 Jam Tunes to know are posted with words and tab on The Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore website:  https:thetraditionalappalachiandulcimore.com

    Questions?? Post them on the website,  in the Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering thread. One of the Gathering organizers will respond to your question.

  10. You use the same strings for DAd and DAA.    You'll find people passionate about BOTH DAd and DAA.   I've played for decades primarily in DAA but shifting to minor tunings like DAC and DAG when the tune calls for it.

    Admin is right in that there is a ton of tab written for DAd.  However -- very little of that tab actually requires the use of the 6+ or 13+ frets so touted in that tuning. -- and those tunes can be play just as easily in DAA.

    TWO factors you need to figure in to things.  
    1.  What KIND of music are you looking to play?  Old time folk and bluegrass?  Celtic?  Hymns and other religious music?  Americana?   Some of the modern songs in those genres have very complicated structures.
    2.  What TECHNIQUE are you going to use:  Modern 3 Finger Chord-Melody; or more traditional Fingerdancing or Noter & Drone

    I recommend that everyone start learning the dulcimer by picking out on the Melody string(s) a handful of simple tunes imbedded in your childhood memory.  Tunes like Twinkle Twinkle, Frere Jacques, Three Blind Mice, etc.   Tunes you know.  Once you have half a dozen of those tunes down pat on the Melody string with the drones added in, then you can think about other things.

    From the guitar and mando you are familiar with chords, but the Chord-Melody style is not the original, traditional sound of the dulcimer.  And from your guitar standpoint the chords are sorta weak -- only 3 notes not 5 or 6...    I admit to being a strong advocate for celebrating the dulcimer as a distinct instrument -- playing the dulcimer traditionally -- and leaving those chords to your guitar and mando.  

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