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Everything posted by NoterMan

  1. It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Berea Traditional Dulcimer Gathering. Due, of course to the effects of Covid-19. The Good News is that we'll be back next year -- May 2021!! And, we already have a lot of the planning and schedule done! As soon as possible we will announce the *actual* dates for next year. Those who pre-registered by Paypal can expect a refund from us in the next few days. Those who pre-paid by check, please contact kenhulme@mindspring.com and send me your address again please.
  2. Things keep on the way they are, the Stephen Foster Retreat may be the first festival of the 2020 season!!
  3. Not bad at all. A leetle heavy on the drones perhaps, but that might just be my ears.
  4. More complicated… not more difficult. I don't recommend adding any extra frets.
  5. Where are you in Florida. I'm south of Sarasota on the Gulf Coast. There is a fairly large community of players up around Tampa and other places. There is the Mount Dora Festival up in the middle of the State. And the Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat which Guy & Sherri George and Bing Futch host in Homosassa Springs. But both those festivals are over. Most dulcimer things here take place earlier in the year before the temperatures heat up. Mount Dora is in early/mid February, and Homosassa is likewise earlier in the year -- late February/early March. That way the events dr
  6. Folkcraft and McSpadden make good dulcimers, granted. But they build commercial dulcimers "for the masses" not for YOU. If you want a "high end" professional dulcimer" why not contact a builder like Dave "Harpmaker" Lynch, Kevin messenger, or any number of other builders out there, and have them build you exactly what you want -- rather than try to find a commercial model dulcimer that sort of fits your needs. You aren't, generally speaking, going to pay much, if any more for a custom dulcimer than you are for a "high end" commercial instrument. FWIW, your definition of "playing
  7. The VSL (Vibrating String Length) of a fretboard (not its Length) -- 25" vs 27" or 30" -- has absolutely nothing to do with the "same deep sound" or any sound that comes from a dulcimer. What does affect the sound quality is the overall number of cubic inches of space inside the body, and the area of the sound holes relative to that volume. More cubic inches general means a deeper, more "mellow" sound. Re -- small hands -- a 2" difference in VSL (Vibrating String Length) means almost nothing in terms of playability. The spacing between the frets is vary little changed with a 2' diff
  8. ...and easier to build that cigar-box guitars! Welcome. You got questions? We make up pretty good answers.
  9. Since there is so much YouTube and teacher specific video these days, I suspect that learning without a teacher beside you will be reasonably easy. You'll learn techniques and then have to perfect them on you own anyway. Sheet music and tabulature is readily available. Steve Eulberg of Dulcimer Crossing has some good intros to tabulature and how to play videos on YouTube. Buying one on-line is feasible, but the chances of it arriving in-tune and are probably not good. There are a LOT of strings! Your first lesson will be "how to tune my new Hammered Dulcimer".
  10. "Concerned about...lack of music and songs I recognize..." What kind(s) of music do you know and love? There are TONS of Celtic music for the HD -- virtually all of O'Carolan's compositions and the Chieftain's just to mention a few hundred pieces. There are thousands of other tunes and songs arranged for HD, plus many more original compositions. There are both diatonic and chromatic Hammered Dulcimers. The chromatic HD's range is limited only by your ability to play. The music may not be quite as 'rich' as that of a piano because of the 2 hammers vs 10 fingers thing, but I don't
  11. Nice recording. I've heard Rosin played at that speed a lot, and play it nearly that fast myself. An Irish "wake song" isn't a dirge. But it's not a fast fiddle tune, either! The Parting Glass, on the other hand is nearly a dirge, and best sung a capella rather than being accompanied by anything.
  12. I play Irish and other Celtic music all year around. Have more than a dozen Celtic tunes in my repertoire, including on the Irish side: Foggy Dew, Black Velvet Band, Wind That Shakes The Barley, Roddy McCorley, Banks of the Ban, and Risin' of the Moon. I'll be playing at a local Irish pub on the 17th.
  13. Ken Hulme wrote an article several years ago called The Uncontrite Modal Folker that was a good overview of Modes, Modal Tunings, and how they apply to the dulcimer. It was on the original Everything Dulcimer. You can find him on Facebook. If you ask, he'll probably give you a copy.
  14. Those are the really inexpensive tuners, not the ones KenL was talking about with the adjustment screw... First step is to find new tuners. Second step is to slack all the strings and remove them being sure to mark exactly where the bridge goes so it can be replaced correctly. If you have to, cut the string on the tuner which isn't working properly. Then check again to see if there's any way to get the tuner moving. Third step would be order a new set of four tuners; best to replace all of them at the same time.
  15. Virtually all tuner shaft are the same size. The shaft of the tuner is the part that goes through the wood, and around which the string is wound. Guitar tuners often have a plastic sleeve over the tuner shaft, but thiose can be removed. I don't think I've ever seen the wood contract around a shaft hole, let alone so tightly that the tuner won't work. Wood just doesn't do that; the holes are drilled sufficiently oversize. However the shaft might be bent and not turning. The screws which hold the tuner in place -- a photo posted here would be worth a thousand words, easily, BTW... Even
  16. I fully agree that both beginners and experienced players alike are holding themselves back by not understanding where the notes are on their fretboard. I do hope that somewhere in your article series you will address the fact that there are many, equally valid, tunings for the mountain dulcimer besides DAd, and that there are several other ways to play the instrument besides Chord-Melody. We don't want beginners to think that DAd and Chord-Melody are the only ways a dulcimer can be used! If you write the tuning as DAd, instead of DAD, I've found -- over 40 years of dulcimer playing --
  17. What KIND of lap harps are you for? True harps, or Psalteries? Pentatonic? Diatonic? Hollow body? Plank Body? I build a variety of those instruments for pretty reasonable costs. The photo labeled SingingTree1 is a plank or solid body pentatonic Psaltery. Winged1 shows a hollow body pentatonic Psaltery. The large display shows some plank psalteries and in the center two replica Lithuanian Kankles -- relatives of the Finnish Kantele. I can also build these as 8 stringed diatonic instruments. Send me a PM
  18. hat looks great Ken! That Paduak is really nice, and that peghead is outstanding. Nice work!. Padauk can be hard to bend when thin because it is often brittle. What is the top? Cherry?
  19. Common jam tunes vary greatly depending on what part of the country you're in. I've lived places where half of your list are complete unknowns and Old Joe and Liza Jane are looked down upon as too simplistic...
  20. Welcome Pete!! You will want to keep Robin Clark of Birdrock Dulcimers in mind. He's up in Snowdonia, Wales -- which luckily for you, closer than Appalachia! www.dulcimers.co.uk. He imports several models of instruments from the States, accessories, and more. Fabulous Noter & Drone style player as well! Button accordion! Now that's different by American standards...
  21. Ironing board is a great idea too! If it were me, I'd replace that soft cloth cover a thin layer of plywood -- we call it 1/8" door-skin. The harder surface will vibrate and reflect sound where the cloth cover absorbs it -- even with Adrian's Galax style instrument.
  22. I forgot to say that the waiters tables come in various heights. I chose the tallest -- I think it was 30" -- because by the time I put even a 2" thick dulcimer on top, the strings were just about the right height for someone my height to play comfortably while standing. Someone shorter than say 5'10" might want to buy a shorter stand.
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