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Everything posted by KWL

  1. I can't answer your question on the Bear Meadow. I have never looked that closely. As tow which way is better, I see little difference between them. The dulcimer I play most often is a Folkcraft that has a scalloped fret board like the Bear Meadows. It is the only dulcimer I have like that. All my other dulcimers and the ones I build have non-scalloped fret boards. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  2. You can sign up for free at: https://troublesomecreekguitars.com/shop/hindman-dulcimer-homecoming-virtual-ticket/ Celebrate 150 years of Dulcimer History Uncle Ed Thomas built dulcimers from 1871 thru 1931. He lived around Hindman. (Big Doubles) Uncle Ed is credited with creating the hourglass shape for the dulcimer. He influenced many dulcimer builders. At this festival, we will celebrate Uncle Ed's contributions to the development of the Mountain Dulcimer. We dedicate this event to two Friends who have left this world way too soon. Mike Slone, who was a co-founder of the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming, and a champion of the traditional mountain dulcimer. We also honor our friend Jon Pickow, who was scheduled to be on staff. Jon was the son of Jean Ritchie. He carried on his family's traditions with skill, humor and humility. Join us for three days of online fun, fellowship and music.
  3. Wow, Andy, I am so sorry to hear of Larkin's brain tumor. You sound like all of you are handling this well. Although I built my first dulcimer in 1974, I purchased Larkin's book after it came out. I think I wore out the cassette. Please keep us posted as things progress and know that Larkin holds a special place in our hearts. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. Welcome Woodchuck. Glad to hear that you are beginning your dulcimer journey. I started playing back in 1974 and turned 74 three months ago. Just let us know if you we can answer any questions for you. Best wishes for your learning progress. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  5. Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering 2021When: June 3 – June 6Where: Berea College, Berea, KYCost: $20 Pre-Registration feeapplied to your total lodging bill, otherwise Free Because of the events of the past year we must insist on a few conditions this year:1. PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIREDWe, and Berea College, need to know IN ADVANCE how many people will be attending. Do not just show up and expect to attend. Even if you live in Berea you MUST Pre-Register to attend any of our activities. The Registration goes towards your On-Campus lodging bill. Not staying on Campus? Your Registration goes into our Coffee & Snacks kitty. REGISTRATION DEADLINE MAY 15th. The easiest way to Register is to send $20 via Paypal to me, and include your name and contact info -- email and phone.kenhulme@gmail.com If you must send a check, make it payable to Ken Hulme and include your phone and email and send it toKen Hulme 2448 Ivy Ave Fort Myers, FL 33907 2. MASKS WILL BE WORN CORRECTLY DURING ALL ACTIVITIES In order to insure that people feel safe during this event, masks are required at all activities. No one without a mask will be allowed to participate in the activities of the Gathering.We do not yet know which dormitory we will be using.COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES To Be Announced. When we have it sorted out, we'll tell you.AS ALWAYS – THE EMPHASIS IS ON THE TRADITON. The tuning used by participants is DAA or similar 1 – 5 -5 tuning.. Some tunes may be played in the Aeolian or Dorian modes We are all about traditional dulcimores and dulcimore playing in noter/drone or fingerdancing styles. Contemporary dulcimers are allowed as long as you play them in a traditional manner. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore through presentations, instruction, jam sessions, etc. We hope to see you in Berea.The 10 Jam Tunes to know are posted with words and tab on The Traditional Appalachian Dulcimore website: https:thetraditionalappalachiandulcimore.comQuestions?? Post them on the website, in the Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering thread. One of the Gathering organizers will respond to your question.Please check this website for updates: thetraditionalappalachiandulcimore.com in the 2021 Gathering thread.
  6. I think a 16/15 or larger is a good choice. For fiddle tunes you probably want a dulcimer with less sustain so that you don't muddy the sound. I think this will work well for the melodic pieces as well. A longer sustain is good for ballads and contemplative tunes. I can't suggest a specific instrument, but as you look ask about sustain and listen to the instruments. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  7. It looks very nice. You did a good job. I'm sure this dulcimer will provide you with many more hours of enjoyment as you play it. Have fun with it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  8. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tunings. With the DAA tuning you seldom have to play any melody notes on the middle string as the "D" scale begins on the third fret. With the DAD tuning you can play chord/melody style in a more interesting manor than in DAA. You can play noter/drone style in both tunings but in the DAD you sometimes need to get your noter on to the middle string to get the melody note you want. Chords are not as rich and full as you find on guitar since they are often only two notes; sometimes you will get three notes in the chord. Have fun with you dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  9. That's great. Enjoy! Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  10. It is looking good. I have considered building a Go-bar deck for gluing on the top and back. My luthier friend uses one on his guitar builds and I think it can be transferred to dulcimer building. I always attach the peg head before gluing on the top and bottom. This is because in my dulcimers the top and bottom attach to peg head. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  11. Hello Guitarpeggio. Like I said elsewhere, I late in getting to welcome to ED. The date of your post above is the date I had open heart surgery. I am trying to catch up with all my dulcimer forums. Since you have experience building guitars, some of that will transfer over to building dulcimers. Let me introduce myself. I built my first Appalachian dulcimer in 1974. Since then I've made a few dozen mountain dulcimers, three hammered dulcimers, a banjo, a Fender Strat style guitar from a StewMac kit and several Pennsylvania German zitters. I have been building a 00 size guitar since 2015. The last is a long story. I have a Martin guitar kit sitting in my shop waiting for assembly after I finish the 00 which is from scratch. The Martin kit is 000 short scale 14 fret. In the other threads on here I have seen the work you are doing on your first dulcimer build. It is coming along well. I see that you also responded to my thread, "My Latest Build." Thank you for your response. I am almost finished with another dulcimer and have started the construction of another one (before surgery). I will post some photos of those when I get back in the shop. KenH (NoterMan) is providing you with good advice. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. I think it was after my third dulcimer build that I bit the bullet and bought a fret saw from StewMac. I've used WFret to make a template for a 27 inch VSL. I use a square to put lines on the fret board and place my fret saw against the square when starting my cut. I use a different method for installing staple frets. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  13. When I lived in Maryland and DC, I spent a lot of time and money at Hechingers. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. I'm coming in to this discussion rather late because I keep forgetting to check posts in Everything Dulcimer. Another way to make heart sound holes is to use a drill bit or Forstner bit to make the the tops of the hearts. I then drill a small hole where the tip of heart should be. I use a scroll saw to cut from the bottom of the top hole to the bottom hole completing the side of the heart. You could also use a coping saw or hobby knife. Your build is looking good. When I get back in my shop (recover from my open heart surgery at the end of January) I will post a photo of my latest build. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  15. Allan and Eve, than you sharing your video of the three waltzes. I enjoyed watching the two of you play. I look forward to the day when our group can get back to playing at nursing homes and other senior centers. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  16. Without getting in to the definition of "vintage," many of the mountain dulcimers built in the 1960s through 1990s used Champion ukulele or banjo pegs as describe in the post above. Tension on the pegs is maintained by adjusting the screw in the knob at the tip of the peg. By the late 1990s those pegs began to be replaced with either geared (open or closed) guitar tuning pegs or banjo tuning pegs. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  17. I agree with NoterMan. $440 is a good price. Enjoy your dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  18. I think you will find that most dulcimers have a longer scale length than dulcimers. My three guitars are 24.9 inches, 25.4 inches, 25.5 inches (632.5mm, 645.16, and 648mm). A problem you may run across when you lower the action is fret buzz. You may need to dress a few frets. My dulcimers are 27 inches (685.8mm) to 28.25 inches. (717.55mm). Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  19. 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 Pennsylvania German Zitter I restored. When the pandemic is over we were going to get together so he could see it in person. My sympathy goes out to Ralph's wife, daughter, and sons. R.I.P. Ralph.
  20. 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."
  21. 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."
  22. 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."
  23. 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."
  24. Thank you Claudia. Post some photos of your build as you move along. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  25. 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."
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