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Everything posted by KWL

  1. The House of Musical Traditions is in Takoma Park, Maryland not far the D.C. border north of the city. I think there is a Metro stop nearby which makes it easily accessible from anywhere in the Metro D.C. area. You can check their website or call before going to find out what dulcimers they have in stock. Looks like currently they have five for sale (four used, one new). At least you could try a few to understand differences in sound and playability. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  2. And Bobby is in the southwestern corner of Virginia. I don't know of any current builders with a store in Virginia or any music stores that sell them. There are few shops you walk in to but they are in Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Some places like Elderly Instruments in Michigan, the House of Musical Traditions in Maryland, and McCabe's Guitar Shop in California usually have a few dulcimers for sale. There are probably others, but I'm just sharing the ones I've visited. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  3. Off hand I don't have any knowledge of this builder. Do have any idea where where the builder lived? It might help us so some research. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. The two largest makers of mountain dulcimers in the US are Folkcraft and McSpadden. That said, Folkcraft has two or three people actually involved in the construction of an instrument and McSpadden has a little more (maybe four or five). Blue Lion dulcimers in California and Bear Meadows in New York are a couple of the higher end dulcimer builders currently. Some single person shops are Ron Gibson, Ben Seymour (Kudzu Patch), Bill Berg (Mountain Made), New Traditions dulcimers, June Apple, and others. I am not sure if there are any builders currently working in Texas. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  5. Here is a link to the album Dulcimer Heritage. https://folkways-media.si.edu/docs/folkways/artwork/FLG00087-LP.pdf If you click on the Download Liner Noters LP and scroll through It includes all the music on the album. Baker's March is on side B track 8 and the music for it is on page 36. You can buy the whole album on CD for $16.99 or $9.99 for a download of the album. You can also purchase individual tracks by download. I think it is wonderful that the Smithsonian Institution continues to offer the entire catalog of the Folkways Records. Did I mention that the download is free? Well, it is, but you might consider at least purchasing the track to keep this vital resource alive. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. The 2023 International Appalachian Dulcimer Day is March 25th. I thought I'd let you know now so you can begin your planning. Have fun with your music and the day. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  7. And here an the instructions for the Music Makers kit for a scissor stand: https://www.harpkit.com/mm5/pdf/Instructions/scisstandkit.pdf Hope these help. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  8. This isn't plan per se, but it does give dimensions and I think you can figure out how to make a stand from it. http://www.oocities.org/whamdiddle/cat12.html Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  9. Hi, Sandy. You've placed this in the Classified For Sale section of the forums, so you may not get many replies here. You might send a message to the administrator and ask to have this move to Playing Mountain Dulcimers. Click on "Staff" at the top of the page, You will see Admin with a small box (message) to click on to send a message to the administrator. Having suggested this I'll follow with I've never used a wireless microphone setup on my dulcimer. The two that I have that have built in pickups I plug directly in to an amp. Playing dulcimer in a jam is a real challenge. Good luck to you.
  10. Dave, somehow I missed this post from almost three years ago. Thanks for sharing it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  11. Noterman is correct. Avoid the Western Maple. It is too soft. A simple test of the wood is to push a small brad into the wood surface. The more resistance offered as you push the brad agains the wood, the harder the wood is. If you can't get Sugar Maple, use the Eastern Maple. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. Very nice job, Lee. You did well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  13. 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."
  14. 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."
  15. Thank you. Please do so, Lee. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  16. 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."
  17. 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.'
  18. 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."
  19. 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."
  20. 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."
  21. I agree with NoterMan. You built a very nice dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  22. 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."
  23. You're welcome. Glad I could help you. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  24. 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."
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