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Everything posted by KWL

  1. No 6 1/2 fret that I can see. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  2. 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."
  3. I agree with Admin on this. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. 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."
  5. 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."
  6. 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."
  7. 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."
  8. 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."
  9. 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."
  10. 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."
  11. 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."
  12. Somehow I missed this post two years ago, but like Noterman, I don't see a need for removable feet, as that like something that is easy to lose. On the other hand, if that's what someone wants and think he/she will use it, why not. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  13. While Amburgey dulcimers are in the line of the Kentucky tradition, his are new enough that they won't command a great price should you sell one. They are mostly of interested to dulcimore collectors. I won't venture a value as it really depends upon the market and interest of potential buyers. Old instruments are not of particular interest to people new the dulcimer who dislike wood pegs and diatonic fret boards. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. Thanks for the additional photos. The holes look very much like what one finds in what is called wormy wood. It is from insect larvae. With the close up of the sides I think the wood may be walnut of a slightly lighter color than the back. Again, just my best guesses. Ken "the dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  15. I am not familiar with W. S. Hall. It appears to be a well built dulcimer in the Kentucky tradition. It is a mountain(Appalachian) dulcimer. It does not have a 6 1//2 fret nor can it be set up as four equidistant strings. It has double melody strings. The wood of the back, fret board, and peg head is walnut. I'm not sure about the top. I can't tell if those are nail holes or from insects. It appears to be pine, but it could be something else like spruce. The sides are nicely decorated, but I can' tell what type of wood it is. It appears lighter than the back Traditionally it would be the same type of wood as the back. Now as to value, since this is an unknown maker and no 6 1/2 fret, but is well construction and nicely decorated, I would value it from $150 to $300. Keep in mind, this is just my opinion and I an open to what others think. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  16. Here is a photo my wife snapped of me playing on the porch this morning. I'm playing my Blue Lion dulcimer here. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  17. In other dulcimer sites people are talking about the flash flood that destroyed the Mountain Dulcimer Museum and the Appalachian Luthiery in Hindman, Kentucky on July 28, 2022. Many historic mountain dulcimers were lost in the flood.. Clean up is beginning, but the future is uncertain. You can check FOTMD and TTAD for information about the flood and recovery efforts. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  18. I am not familiar with this builder either. What about it are you looking to restore? I've built a few hammered dulcimers and may be able to offer some help. Posting some photos of the instrument would be good. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  19. I have a Blue Lion and a Folkcraft with built in pickups and they both work well and sound good when plugged in. I ordered the Blue Lion with pickup installed. The Folkcraft did not come with a pickup installed, but I ordered an under saddle pickup from Folkcraft and installed it myself. Actually it is a replacement saddle with the pickup already attached. It was easy to install. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  20. I purchased a copy from him just after the book came out. Lots of good songs. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  21. Elwood Donnely has one also. https://www.folkcraft.com/products/carter-family-dulcimer-music-book-1310170 Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  22. I agree with what has been posted. It does look like the nut is missing. I would replace all the tuners if it were my dulcimer. Another option for tuners is to go with geared violin pegs, but you might need to ream out the holes to match the taper of pegs. The easiest is just get a new set similar to what you already have. There are many Asian companies that make covered geared tuners like you have on your dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  23. Ann Finley made this video of the Gathering which captures the spirit of the event. Enjoy. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  24. Hi Alphie. We welcome all levels of players. All of us are experienced players at different places on our dulcimer journey. Since we play noter/drone style (or finger dancing) exclusively, it isn't difficult for a beginner. All the notes will be on the melody string. Since we can't hear each other you don't need to embarrassd about making mistakes. I sometimes find myself getting lost by missing a repeat, or hitting th wrong fret while reading the tab. The more you practice (play the tunes) the easier it becomes and plying with others, even on Zoom, is a great way to improve your playing. Most of the tunes we play are in DAA, but we do sometimes play in other tunings by retuning the melody string. Join us at The Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore and give it try. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  25. I'm just bumping this up hoping some folks who enjoy traditional style playing might drop by. All are welcome. One of the nice things about meeting on Zoom is that no one hears your mistakes. Everyone except the tune leader is muted. We can only hear the leader and ourself playing. We are pretty easygoing. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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