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Everything posted by NoterMan

  1. Decent looking one-off. Seems nicely done, but nothing special. I'd probably start a selling price at $350-400 and see if you get any bites.
  2. No maker's label when you look inside either sound hole? Are the bottom or top made from plywood? I don't immediately recognize the off-center sound holes arrangement; nor the fleurs de lys and round designs.
  3. Couldn't begin to guess without a lot of photos to judge by -- closeups of the pinblock side and tuning pin side, bridges, etc. whole back. top and sides, etc.
  4. The dulcimer can be tuned to ANY of the 8 keys: A, B, C, D, E, F, G and their sharps or flats. However, any given set of string gauges will only allow the instrument to be tuned to 3 or 4 keys without strings breaking or being too floppy to sound correctly. Generally speaking, the instrument is tuned to a particular key by tuning the bass string to that note. If you are playing/singing for yourself or with others who agree, then you all tune to the same keynote. Most dulcimers are tuned and played together in the key of D -- the D just one note higher than middle C on a piano. The
  5. What you have is NOT a hammered dulcimer. It is a Salterio mexicano -- a Mexican 'plucked psaltery' with a very old history in that country. It is played with ten fingerpicks and sounds absolutely wonderful. Many, many years ago (30+) at a dulcimer festival in Arizona, I had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing a young Mexican lady who at the time was their national champion player, along with her classical pianist husband. She was phenomenal. Their duets on piano and salterio were otherworldly! Here's the Wikipedia entry on the Salterio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa
  6. Pictures, or it didn't happen!
  7. I found pix of a couple of instruments by him, but he must not make/sell many since he has no website, no Facebook presence, and no presence on MeWe. The instruments look good -- almost too good -- meaning it's strange that he has built such professional looking instruments but no one seems to know him. There are several builders of banjimers/banjammers/dulcijos, notably Mike Clemmer from North Carolina, a well respected builder and player. I've even built a couple myself.
  8. If you're doing re-enactment, your dulcimer without the 6+ fret, tuned DAA, Ddd (not DAd) or (with a new bass string) ddd, is most appropriate for the CW era. Lots of great music back then too. Several of us build and play early dulcemores from the mid 1800s rather than modern dulcimers.
  9. You can play DAd tab on a DAA tuned dulcimer by adding 3 to each number on the melody string. You won't be able to play chord-melody chords but you can play just the melody. When you come to one of those pesky 6+ numbers, you play fret 9 instead of fret 9+ (because, of course, you don't haver a 9+ fet either!).
  10. The "trick" of a Lute shaped dulcimer is to not cross the line into a stick instrument with a neck. I would make it a real "teardrop", wide and deep, with a true rounded tail end. Then I'd add a steeply down-angled peg box. It would have to be relatively short scaled, so that body would not be too 'stretched' looking. Hmmm, I'm in the middle of another project just now, but I'll start looking through my scrap pile and see what wide planks I can come up with...
  11. Not being a collector of Tab books (I play by ear), I know of Lorraine and her reputation as a performer and writer. That she spends time helping the budding Renaissance player get set up correctly says a lot for the quality of her work. The other book I've not seen either, but from what you say I don't think I'd trust it. The author is doing a great dis-service to his(er) audience by not explaining what's going on. Playing with thin, unwound strings isn't as uncommon as many dulcimer players think. If you know of Phyllis Gaskins and the Galax style dulcimer, that's what she uses, a
  12. Not sure what you mean about those tunings calling for a middle string and two melody strings, Admin. The Gdd tuning you mentioned above is a standard key of G 1-5-5 tuning with bass of G plus middle drone d and melody string d. Gauges of 12 and 9 for G and d on 27" VSL are VERY light indeed. The Strothers String Calculator recommends 15 and 10. Those books could be recommending non-wound bass strings -- very common among traditional dulcimer players as it helps give that 'high silvery' sound we love so much. Fat wound bass strings add a 'mushiness' to the sound of a string which is com
  13. Sheer memorization, Dave. I listen to a song 50, 100, 200, or more times, until I can sing/hum or whistle it; on demand. At that point I sit down and pick out the melody tab for it, and play it regularly for about a week in between other tunes. By that time it's imbedded in my long term memory along with a couple hundred other tunes. When I perform I have a Cheat Sheet which has the opening measures of either the tunes in the set I'm going to play, or a general page of maybe a hundred tunes with opening measures (thank Murphy for adjustable lettering in word processors!) printed two column
  14. Shake Sugaree was written in 1966, and should still be under copyright protection. Not exactly a well known song. .It was written by Elizabeth Cotton, one-time nanny to Pete Seegar, who also wrote the classic Freight Train. Shake Sugaree is a simple tune and should be very easy to tab out yourself.
  15. Welcome "back" to dulcimer! Sounds like you've got a good "support" group there, I wish we had something like that where I live. I play mostly Celtic -- Scottish Border Ballads mostly -- at local Open Mics and similar performance venues. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
  16. Welcome to the "New/Old Everything Dulcimer! You're gonna love your Ferguson when it arrives, I'm sure. In the Jam Sessions section , under Introductions, tell us about yourself and your dulcimer journey!
  17. Not quite the same as the original ED. The name is the same, the format of the forum has been copied, and the original Tab collection. The Admin here is anonymous for some reason; rather than a personality we can relate to and with.
  18. The only disadvantage to a hammered dulcimer is carting it around to and at festivals and such. However many folks use some form of collapsible cart these days, which makes it easy. Like Ardenvoir, I think you can be perfectly happy playing by yourself at home, but getting out and getting together with others challenges you to learn and improve you skills. I don't know where you live, but I strongly advise getting involved in a local dulcimer club, even if it means an all day trip once a month to get together with other HD and MD players.
  19. I tabbed it out in DAA years ago, and play it once in awhile. But like KWL I've never seen published dulcimer tab or sheet music. Have you checked Steve Seifert's Join the Jam books? It might possibly be in there. Also check with Sam Edelson and Tull Glazner they do a lot of modern music.
  20. OK then. I understand wanting to make pegs, I guess. Here's a link on how to make and use a peg shaft taper cutter using your reamer and some scrap hardwood. Rustic but effective and 'way less than the $90+ for a commercial peg shaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt75XRPvimU Getting the taper of the peg and the taper of the hole to match is the critical part of making wooden pegs work well.
  21. That's the one. The price has gone up a bit since I bought mine, I guess. Unless you're really into historical accuracy building a replica, modern violin tuning pegs work great, look good, and are pretty darn cheap. And with a reamer you drill regular 1/4" holes through the scroll head, then turn the reamer in to open the holes out at the correct taper to make a perfect fit. You also adjust how much of each peg you want sticking out. Here's a link to International Violin, where I get the pegs I use. I usually get 3/4 size pegs for a regular size dulcimer for under $1 each for plain
  22. Great idea Carolina. Your article assumes we're all tuned in DAd, which many people are not. What is the Key of G pentatonic scale? Is that G-A-B-D-E? That would be frets 3-4-5-7-8 on the open D string(s), correct?
  23. Lookin' forward to hearing/seeing you play that new friend! No reason your teardrop or elliptical (slightly different) can't be at least as wide as the wide bout on your hourglass. I can't remember if we got the final specs on your build... Anyway, 6"-8" is just fine. Sometimes width is defined by the wood you have handy... The cubic inches "under the hood) are a major definer of the mellowness of the sound. Less cubic (1.5" or less) is more "high silvery", where 2-3" is more mellow... Pear wood is more than hard enough for pegs, and would be beautiful. Do you have the taper cut
  24. Any things to report Dylan? How did the tuning to the sound samples go?
  25. Good ideas, DulcimerJim. Although your #1 won't work if there is little or no instrument "behind the saddle" like some of my instruments. Otherwise, I suspect this is what Melody is referring to. The drawback -- to my ear -- is that your picking is so close to the bridge that you get a 'sharper', more tinny sound. Your #2 idea seems to me to be the most all around useful.
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