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KWL last won the day on May 21 2020

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  1. Ralph Lee Smith, died this morning, December 30, at this home in Virginia. He was 93 years old. Ralph was the premier historian of the Appalachian (mountain) dulcimer. I first met Ralph around 1974 in Washington, D.C. when he came in to the Iguana Coffee House to play his dulcimer. He was always friendly and gracious, sharing his knowledge and love the dulcimer freely. I was fortunate to work with Ralph on a couple of projects and help him with some workshops over the years. I don't know if his death will bump his final article from DPN, but it is based on information I provided him about a Pe
  2. I know this is an old topic, but if you would like another arrangement I have a nice one in DAd which is on the middle and melody strings. If you click on my name you can send me a private message with your email. I will scan it and email it to you. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  3. It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of my friend, Dr. George Orthey. During his lifetime he built over 1,500 dulcimers and 1,500 autoharps. An article about George appeared in Dulcimer Players News, Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter, 1987. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. Usually strings break because they are being tuned an octave higher than they should be. You may be tuning to the proper note, but in the wrong octave. In the USA the standard frequency for setting your tuner is A = 440 Hz. Trying hitting the note to which you are trying to tune an octave lower and see if you can tune your string to that note and then tune up from there. You might not be able to do this if the string gets too loose. Then just tune to one of the notes lower than the one you want to tuner to and then move up from there. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  5. On thing of which you should be aware is that you may need to change strings to safely tune to some of the tunings. Going from D to G may require a different size string. Tuning up you may break a string. Tuning down, the string may get too floppy. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. Thank you Claudia. Post some photos of your build as you move along. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  7. Yes, but not easily. You will have to bend the string at the 6th fret to achieve the proper pitch. I would do it by pushing the melody string toward the middle string. If you have a double melody string, forget it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  8. The band, Doofus, offered Shake Sugaree as a workshop song. I went to the Doofus website but did not find it offered for free. I played the song years ago. I might be able to work it out again. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  9. Send in the Clowns was written by Stephen Sondheim and was in one his musicals. That's not the usual dulcimer fare, so you will probably need to tab it out yourself. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song,"
  10. I don't know of anyone who has tabbed this out for mountain dulcimer, but there is plenty of sheet music out there. I've seen it written in E flat and E. You could transpose it in to D fr mountain dulcimer. As long as you don't sell or give away your tab, you're good with the copyright. If you want sell the tab, you need to work out a deal with the publisher. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  11. I'm glad that you are ready to tackle another dulcimer build. I agree with Noterman that 6 - 8 inches is a good width for the bout of a teardrop. Are you planning on an actual scroll like on a violin or just a scroll shape? As Noterman mentioned if you are making an actual scroll you can either carve it or build it up. Another scroll shape variation is to make an open scroll peg head. It makes things a little easier when restringing. I've done both open and closed. Best wishes on your new project. Here is photo of an open scroll peg head. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. The nickel and dime means that the string height should just touch the top of a nickel placed on the top of the seventh fret and the top of a dime next to the first fret.
  13. There could be two problems here. The strings might not be the proper gauge for the notes you are trying to achieve , DAd or DAA, for your vibrating string length (VSL). The other is that you may be tuning an octave lower than you should.
  14. Remember that it is the dime next to first fret and the nickel on top of the seventh fret. Not the last fret. A dime is 0.051 or 51/1000 ths of an inch thick. A nickel is 0.071 or 71/1000 ths of an inch thick. Using your thicknesses above for a dime (1/16th inch) and (1/8th inch) or 0.063 thousandths and 0.125 inch, your action would be a little high. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  15. You made a fine looking dulcimer. You'll have fun playing it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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