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Everything posted by KWL

  1. Very nice job, Lee. You did well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  2. Lee, thanks for providing more information about this dulcimer. Mixolydian Musical Wood Works is a company with which I am unfamiliar. Do you know if they did many sales beyond the Renaissance Fair? Now that you have pointed out that the top is western red cedar, I can see that. Back in the 1970s there were thousands or tens of thousand dulcimers built from these materials and they are good sounding instruments. These woods were readily available and inexpensive which helped builders keep their prices down. Because this dulcimer lacks features that appeal to contemporary players I don't think it would bring a huge price on the open market, but I think it would be a great dulcimer for a noter style player. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  3. With tab for any instrument and wanting to covert it chord melody dulcimer tab, you will first need to determine the melody from the original tab. That melody line is easy to input into Tabledit for dulcimer (DAA or DAd). It is much easier to do this if you have standard musical notation and can input the notes. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. Thank you. Please do so, Lee. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  5. I concur with Noterman. There is nothing special about this dulcimer. It appears to be made of inexpensive luan plywood, although I can't be certain from the photos. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. Here is an article which includes a plan the can download for free: https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/WJC001-Mountain-Dulcimer.pdf Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song.'
  7. The plans that Admin mentions are good. I've used the Scott Antes plan (Folkcraft) to make many dulcimers. While I haven't used the genone plan for dulcimer, I have used their plan for a guitar and found it complete and detailed. There are other plans out there, just do an internet search for them. Dean Kimball's book did not come with full size plans. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  8. I don't necessarily make a flat fret board. I will usually hand sand from the third fret to about 14th fret taking it down one or two thousands of an inch. I know it sounds ridiculous to do this, but it avoids recrossing some high frets later on. Another way to avoid the rise in the center is to make wider slots for the fret and glue them in place. The pressure of the fret tang against the wood tends to push the wood up in center. A slight concave fret board can avoid this. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  9. The HD plans from Folkcraft for a 12/11, while showing places for three strings, can easily be modified for two strings per course. I still need to look through my files. That probably won't happen until next Monday or Tuesday. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  10. I agree with NoterMan. You built a very nice dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  11. Pro - Less time tuning and less space per course. Con - Perhaps less volume. I've built three hammered dulcimers (two 16/15 and one 15/14) and all of them have two strings per course. I feel I get plenty of volume from the two strings for each note. I'll look later to see if I have any 12/11 plans with 2 strings per course. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. You're welcome. Glad I could help you. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  13. I would not recommend the first instrument for you. It is too limited as far as notes go. Songbird dulcimers are excellent instruments and should play the music you want to play without any problems. Tuning on any hammered dulcimer can be changed according to the music you want to perform. Most pairs of strings can be raised or lowered a step or two without any problems. I think you are worry too much about the instrument. You can play all types of music on the typical hammered dulcimer. Tuning in 5ths refers to the "boxes" where you start on the bass bridge, play 5 notes and then cross over to the treble bridge to get the next 2 notes of the scale (diatonic tuning). It generally provides two or three octaves with a least one being fully chromatic. Now having said all of this, I'm not a hammered dulcimer player. I've made three of them and play around with one. I have read extensively about their construction, tuned many instruments for people, attended a few workshops on playing, and listened to many performers. My answers to your questions come from this experience. One day someone with much more experience with the HD may come along and provide better answers for you. Best wishes as you search for the right dulcimer for you. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. No 6 1/2 fret that I can see. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  15. I don't have a Songbird tuning chart, but most HDs have a 0.020 or 0.022 as the bottom string. If the string is silver, you want a nickel wound string. If it is gold, you want a bronze wound string. Of course you want loop end strings. You could take the broken string to a music store and have it measured if the store has a micrometer. Or you could ask around and find someone with a micrometer and measure it yourself. But as 0.020 or 0.022 should do just fine. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  16. I agree with Admin on this. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  17. I use both tunings on most of my dulcimers with no problems. Some folks seem to think that particular dulcimer sounds better when tuned to DAA rather than DAd or vice versa. Frankly, I have never detected even a slight difference in any of my dulcimers when switching between tunings. That being said, I have a couple of dulcimers in keep in DAA, a few in DAd, and one currently in A, A, A, A. There is another in DGD. I often retune to other tunings such as DAC and DAG. There is no reason your Warren May dulcimer will not sound lovely in DAd. If I recall yours does have the 6 1/2 fret and perhaps the 13 1/2. The 6 1/2 is essential for playing in DAd. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  18. That's what I have on my May dulcimer strung for DAAA. The reason for the use of the 0.014 is to slightly increase the volume of the string to blend with the doubled melody strings. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  19. I have a Warren May dulcimer and will check what strings I have on it. Since I bought the instrument used, the original strings are not on it. Warren is very helpful and will answer your questions. http://www.warrenamay.com/dulcimers/ Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  20. I'm not aware of any manufacturer of strings that codes the various sized. That would be a difficult task given the large number of string sizes. The best way to measure a string is with a micrometer. Perhaps you can find a local music store or luthier who could do this for you. You can also calculate the size strings for use on your dulcimer with this calculator: http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.html. It tends to be a little light so you can usually go up a hundredth or two in size. You need to know the vibrating string length (VSL) of you dulcimer which is the distance from the fret board side of the nut to the fret board side of the saddle/bridge (or where the strings make contact). I change strings when they sound dull which happens when they get dirty from playing. Changing strings depends on how much you play. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  21. I am not familiar with a Dennis Murphy who makes/made hammered dulcimers, but there are many HD builders I've never heard of or seen their instrument. This one appears to be well made. I like the handle which makes it easier to carry . It looks like it is a 12/11 which is good size for a beginner. As you become familiar with the dulcimer and more skilled at playing, you may want to move up to a larger instrument. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  22. 17/16/8 refers to the number of sets of strings crossing each bridge. The first number tell us that 17 sets of string (usually two or three per set) cross the treble bridge. The treble is on the left hand side of the instrument and is played on both sides. There are 16 sets of strings going over the bass bridge to the right side of the instrument and is only played on the left side of the bridge. The 8 refers to an extra bridge that extends the bass range of the dulcimer by 8 notes. The cimbalom was invented in Hungary and adopted many Eastern European cultures. While I am sure there are variations in shape and construction, I think they are all basically the same varying only in the number of courses and strings over both bridges. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  23. The hammered dulcimer David uses in this video is a Cloud Nine 17/16/8 chromatic made by Michael Allen. The current price is $1,895. https://cloudninemusical.com/Pages/17168.html It also has dampers on it which may be an additional charge. I think gypsy music can be played on any hammered dulcimer. Of course, the more strings on the dulcimer, the more versatile it will be. With a hammered dulcimer you will.also need a stand, hammers, and a a tuning wrench. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  24. I have never heard of them. Probably localized builders that didn't advertise much out of their home area. Looks like they built at least 362 dollars. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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