Forum Activity for @dusty-turtle

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/24/22 11:49:01PM
1,602 posts

Youth Dulcimer Club


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

That's great work you're doing with kids, Erin!  You're not only helping kids learn the dulcimer, but you're preserving our folk song traditions. flower

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/16/22 04:55:38PM
1,602 posts

Bass Dulcimers


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I'm happy to have Matt's respect and also to be corrected.  Just don't tell my wife I was wrong. winky

Of course one can play chords on a bass dulcimer, just as one can play chords on a bass guitar. But generally, the purpose of a bass is to, well, play the bass part.  The fiddle weaves the melody, the guitar provides the chords, and the bass plays the bass lines.  I certainly don't want anyone to be locked into those small roles, but it does seem that most of the time, that is what we'll be doing.  It is more important to be comfortable playing chords on a standard dulcimer than a on bass dulcimer, but of course you can do it on both.

And by the way, if you really want to prove me wrong, send me a bass dulcimer.  I promise to play lots of melody and lots of chords on it.  I'll gladly admit to having been mistaken. grin

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/15/22 11:26:17PM
1,602 posts

Bass Dulcimers


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Lorilee, I would think a bass dulcimer should have a pretty big box, but that could be achieved with depth, allowing the dulcimer to be on the shorter end of scale length.  I believe the New Harmony baritone/bass model only has a 25" or 25-1/2" scale length.

But remember that with a bass dulcimer you are most likely going to play bass lines, not chords, so even an instrument such as Blue Lion's 27-1/2" bass should be playable even by those of us who are vertically challenged.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/13/22 04:51:59PM
1,602 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Good for you, @Buzz!  The builders here might want to chime in, but I would guess the cigar box material is a softer wood (they were traditionally built of cedar), and you might want a harder material for a bridge.  You might consider using your cigar-box bridge as a template and making another out of a harder wood or bone or a hard plastic resin or something.  You will likely get a crisper sound.

That's a fine looking dulcimer, by the way.  Congrats!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/08/22 04:21:46PM
1,602 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I'm just mentioning @jan-potts so perhaps she'll get the notification and join this conversation directly.  Are your ears ringing, Jan?

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/05/22 01:41:48PM
1,602 posts

Concert Ukulele


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hey @fharlm, I would think a Fluke would be a great beginner ukulele.  They are made with a composite body, which keeps the cost down and also makes them almost indestructible.  The wood top ensures good tonality.  And they are made with excellent intonation.  There are lots of cheap ukuleles out there, but a lot of them are unplayable.  The Fluke is reliable.  And hey, you don't need a stand since it can stand up on its own!

Although they cost a little more, I prefer the models with wood fretboards.  The sound is noticeably warmer than those with the polycarbonate fretboard.

Even if you continue playing and eventually want a fancier, solid wood instrument, the Fluke makes a great travel instrument-- something you can be comfortable taking camping, for example--so it will always have a use.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 09/05/22 11:23:51PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
09/04/22 06:38:47PM
1,602 posts

Picking a Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Crosspicking is a specific type of flatpicking.

Flatpicking is merely the technique of playing runs of single notes using a flatpick.  (Technically we also strum with a flatpick, but usually flatpicking is seen as an alternative to strumming.)

Crosspicking involves the use of flatpicking patterns across several strings.  Check out this demonstration of Molly Tuttle crosspicking "Wildwood Flower."   You can see that by imposing her picking pattern across several strings, she adds rhythmic complexity while not only carrying the melody, but also offering harmony (chords) as well, without strumming at all.

If you are just starting out, you will want to master the basic back-and-forth picking of flatpicking before getting into the more complex rhythmic patterns of crosspicking.  If you search these terms on the internet, you'll find lots of stuff for guitarists, a little for mandolin players, and almost nothing for dulcimer players.  Among dulcimer players, the most prolific at both would be Aaron O'Rourke and Gary Gallier.  Stephen Seifert is clearly capable of the technique as well, as is Erin Mae, but they tend to strum a lot more than is usually included in crosspicking.

Edit: In that Molly Tuttle video, she doesn't play the song until 12:52.  She begins teaching it at 7:48.  The first 7+ minutes is her explaining the crosspicking pattern she uses.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 09/04/22 07:11:41PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/23/22 03:21:41AM
1,602 posts

Fret necessary?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Douglas, as I think you know, the dulcimer was originally a diatonic instrument.  Some time around the early seventies or so, the 6-1/2 fret started to become pretty common.  It is now the most common configuration of frets on a dulcimer.  It allows people tuned in what was a mixolydian tuning to also play the ionian mode or major scale.  The second most common "extra" fret is the 1-1/2 fret, which you are referring to as the minor 3rd.  I like that extra fret because in a 1-5-8 tuning you get the lowered third on the melody string and the lowered seventh on the middle string, so it's conducive to playing the blues. 

A while back I posted a piece called " What are Half Frets and Do I Need Any ?" It will likely answer your questions.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/23/22 02:47:09AM
1,602 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Douglas and welcome to FOTMD.  

The go-to book for chords that includes more tunings than you will ever utilize is Neal Hellman's Dulcimer Chord Book , originally published by Mel Bay in 1981.  You can probably find pretty inexpensive used copies, but even new it only goes for about $10.

We have a group here specifically on Dulcimer Making .  Go ahead and join that group, peruse the existing conversations, and start a new one if you have a question that is not already answered somewhere.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/21/22 12:44:29PM
1,602 posts

General Observation - Two Dulcimers, Two Sounds


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken accurately enumerates the many variables that affect the sound of an instrument, and you have two very different instruments here in terms of size, design, wood, etc.  You even tune them to different keys and different modes!  In short, they should sound different.

In general, most luthiers have a consistent feel and sound, but within that consistency is room for variation depending on the specific model, the woods chosen, the bracing, etc.  

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/20/22 11:01:30AM
1,602 posts

Making a noter


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Black bamboo may be a favorite as a noter, but as a garden plant, it's nothing but headaches krazyhair !  I'll check the garage to see if I still have some stalks that I had cut down as possible noters.  If so, I'll post here again and let you all know.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/20/22 10:27:07AM
1,602 posts

Making a noter


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

We used to have a big grove of black bamboo on our property.  That variety develops a hard black sheen on the outside that is great for use as a noter and can be used as soon as you cut it to size.  It also has a groove on one side that is perfect for resting your finger.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/10/22 12:46:35AM
1,602 posts

funny frets


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

If you Google "true temperament frets" you see lots of guitars with the squiggly frets.  Makes you feel like you poured bourbon on your cereal instead of milk.

truetemperamentfannedfretsstrandberg.jpg

I doubt that's what's going on with the Goodwill dulcimer.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/07/22 01:24:00PM
1,602 posts

Very frustrated!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Melanie, you deserve credit for trying to learn as much as you can about the dulcimer.  Kudos to you.  But you should also know that you don't have to know anything about modes or about hammer-ons or about chords to play music on the dulcimer. 

Don't even worry about tunings.  If you want to eventually play chord/melody and your dulcimer has a 6+ fret, then tune DAd.  Don't even think about other tunings until you are comfortable playing a half dozen songs or more.  If you want to play in a drone style, then tune DAA and don't think about other tunings for a while.

I just have two questions for you.  Can you tune your dulcimer?  Do you know how to read tablature.  If the answer to both of those questions is "yes," then send me a personal message and I'll give you tab that will teach you a few simple tunes in an easy, step-by-step manner.  It starts with one note per beat, only strumming out, and only fretting the melody string.  Then each version adds just one extra step until eventually you are playing a song with varied rhythm and chords.

If you don't know how to read tablature, let me know that, too. I can share something that will explain it.

I strongly recommend that you think less and play more.  I know it's not that simple, but my guess is that if you just start playing some of the information you've tried to learn now will eventually make sense.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/04/22 12:30:20AM
1,602 posts

Mcspadden ginger


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...


Hi Lorraine,

That is a very nice gesture you want to make.  How sweet!

This Forum is on Site Questions, meaning questions about how to use this website.  As such, most members don't peruse these conversations much. It appears your question is about how to locate a worthy recipient of a gift dulcimer.  Is that right?  If so, I would suggest moving your discussion to either the For Sale Forum or perhaps the General Mountain Music Forum.  I or any of the other Moderators can move the discussion to where it will be more noticed.  Let me know if that's OK with you.

To answer your question, one option I would suggest is to reach out to a dulcimer festival.  Is there one you have attended that you have a connection to?  Often festivals have scholarships that they can offer to people interested in the dulcimer but who cannot afford either instruments or the registration fees.  A donated Ginger could be one of those scholarships.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 08/04/22 01:49:46AM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
08/01/22 03:34:09PM
1,602 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

"Do you hear what I hear" is "My dog has fleas" for the dulcimer!  Thanks for sharing that, @john-w-mckinstry.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/30/22 11:04:20PM
1,602 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@RoyB, when I first picked up the dulcimer, I found discussions about modal tunings to be confusing and maddening.  I had a reasonable (though certainly not expert) understanding of music theory but it made no sense to me.  And today, I usually leave discussions about modes to others. I only joined here because your initial question was about an open chord tuning and not really about modes per se.

Why do I find the concept of modal tuning so confusing?  A given tuning is only limited to a single mode if you 1) have no extra frets; and 2) only play the melody on the melody string.  And even then, many folks songs are based on pentatonic (5-note scales) rather than modes, so they still don't correspond to the mode that gives a tuning its name.

Similarly, I found the concept of "reverse" tunings to be wholly unnecessary and confusing.  But the logic is not complicated.  

In the traditional style of drone play, the drones must be the first and fifth notes of the scale. That is why when we tune to the key of D, our bass and middle strings are always D and A respectively, and when we retune, we only change the melody string.  Similarly, in the key of C, the drones must be C and G.

But what if you wanted to play in the key of G?  Your drones would be G and D.  On a standard dulcimer, it would be really hard to tune your bass string to G.  It would either be too floppy to make any noise or you'd break it tuning up.  But what if you switched the order of the drones?  You could easily keep your bass string tuned to D and tune your middle string down from A to G.  Then you tune your melody string to d (an octave above the bass) and instead of a normal GDD tuning, you have a "reversed" DGd tuning.

That's all it is.  A "reverse" tuning just means the drones are reversed.  It's that simple.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/30/22 08:31:42PM
1,602 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I think those tunings listed in the back of the book would be considered "reverse" ionian tunings, correct? CFCC, for example, is an Ionian tuning in the key of F.  What is reversed are the drones, with the 5th on the bass sting and the root on the middle string.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/27/22 12:46:03PM
1,602 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

By the way, I just found that comment in the book and am still not sure what they mean by it.  Perhaps the idea is that the open strum in an ionian tuning does not include a "do" on the melody string. As someone who usually tunes to a 1-5-8 or mixolydian tuning, I can attest to how how nice it is to be able finish most songs by lifting up your fretting hand entirely and just resolving to an open strum.  The open strum in an ionian tuning sounds just fine as a chord but doesn't resolve the melody to the root or do the way our modern ears prefer.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/27/22 12:23:03PM
1,602 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I'm not sure what Force and d'Ossché intend with that comment, but both CGG (ionian) or CGc (mixolydian) tunings give us "partial" chords with the open strings.  Both have the root (do) and the fifth (sol) but not the third (mi).

In short, strumming your open CGG strings should sound just fine.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 07/27/22 12:23:42PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/27/22 12:18:17PM
1,602 posts

mountain dulcimer at Newport Folk Festival 2022


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

There was a really nice piece by Lindsay Zoladz in the NY Times on Joni's appearance at Newport, celebrating the bravery of an aging woman who recently suffered an aneurism and had to re-learn how to walk re-interpreting her music with a voice a couple of octaves below the voice that made her famous.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/26/22 05:56:06PM
1,602 posts

mountain dulcimer at Newport Folk Festival 2022


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I don't think so, Robin.  I remember "A Case of You" and "Both Sides Now" and some instrumental Joni played on an electric guitar.  I don't think there was a dulcimer in any of that.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/26/22 05:09:56PM
1,602 posts

mountain dulcimer at Newport Folk Festival 2022


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I saw another video of this set a day or two ago.  Brandi Carlisle does an amazing job singing Joni's songs.  I hope Joni understands the profound love so many of us have for her music.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/24/22 01:08:23PM
1,602 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

At the in-person dulcimer gathering I host each month I begin with a free beginner's lesson.  Before I mention tunings or modes or extra frets or anything, I put a dulcimer on the newbies lap, have them strum across the strings in a slow and steady rhythm, and then ask them to follow my left hand as I play some basic melodies on the melody string.  Within 5 minutes they are playing music. Hot Cross Buns.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Bile Dem Cabbage Down.  Go Tell Aunt Rhody.  Only after they experience the joy of playing a few songs do I teach the parts of the dulcimer, how to hold the instrument, the reasons for different tunings, and so forth.

A lot of us want to understand what we are doing musically, but sometimes we forget to just put the instrument on our lap and play something. If it sounds good, do it again. If it doesn't, try something else until you find something that does sound good.  Getting started can be as simple as that.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/23/22 11:25:26AM
1,602 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Steven, there are several different ways you might approach this. 

You seem to be looking for a single book.  Yes, there are several good beginner instructional books out there, but they tend to teach a particular style of dulcimer, and I would think a true beginner should be exposed to different styles so you can better choose which one is right for you.  Wally has already mentioned Jean Ritchie's The Dulcimer Book.  For an introduction to a different style of dulcimer, I would recommend Joyce Ochs's First Lessons Dulcimer (Mel Bay, 2002).  Even brand new it only costs $10.  I have a copy I would send to you for the costs of postage, but you can probably get it faster and almost as inexpensively through Amazon.

Ken has suggested you seek out personal instruction, either through a dulcimer group or online lessons.  If you are a true beginner and need help just tuning your instrument, you probably want someone in person. But if you can tune your instrument and know basically to keep the string side up, then you might look into Zoom lessons.  A lot of instructors teach online very successfully.  Just ask someone whose style of play inspires you.

Another possibility is through an online subscription service.  There are two options I know of: Stephen Seifert's Mountain Dulcimer A to Z and Steve Eulberg's Dulcimer Crossing.  In both cases you pay a monthly fee and have access to a wide array of instructional materials.  It will take some effort on your part to poke around the sites to find the right material for your interests and your playing ability, but both of those online resources will have a lot for you both now and as you progress in your playing.

And finally: dulcimer festivals!  Some are in person and some are virtual through Zoom.  All of them have beginner classes, and usually those beginner classes are smaller than the intermediate classes so that you get the personalized attention you need.  In the tradition of shameless promotion, let me mention the Redwood Dulcimer Day which is online in just a few weeks and has a beginner string that includes lessons by Don Pedi and Aubrey Atwater.  But there are other festivals out there where you can get the instruction you need and also meet other dulcimer players.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/21/22 11:05:21PM
1,602 posts

Bill Taylor, McSpadden dulcimer values?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Janis, there are a few variables to think about. One is the wood.  Is there anything special about it?  Anything figured or curly or spalted is probably worth a bit more.  Is there an internal pickup?  That's probably worth $75 or $100 alone.  Is a case included?  Both dulcimer bags and cases have gone up in price a lot recently, and even a used hardshell case is probably worth $100.

I have to admit that I have a Bill Taylor dulcimer and I've considered selling it a few times. I even posted an ad here for it, but I have always changed my mind, thinking the dulcimer is worth more to me than the price I would get.  On the other hand, if you're interested in a 12-string guitar, I might have something for you . . . grin


updated by @dusty-turtle: 07/21/22 11:06:33PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/14/22 06:57:00PM
1,602 posts

Switching to Mountain Dulcimer due to guitar playing pain


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@RoyB, I would encourage you to think of noter/drone play not as a beginner "stage" in your dulcimer playing but as a unique style that may be relatively easy to learn at first but still requires years of practice to master.  You might consider embracing that style and planning on developing your noter technique over time.

On the other hand, if you want to play more modern styles of music on your dulcimer, you might be able to despite your arthritis.  With five fingers and only three strings, there are multiple ways of fingering chords and playing melodies across those strings.  I have a private student who has pretty bad arthritis in 1-2 fingers of her fretting hand, and we find ways to work around that limitation, either by finding alternative fingerings or sometimes revising arrangements.

And I should add that there are some great dulcimer players who don't use their pinky at all.

My advice is to concentrate on learning the instrument and playing the music you like.  Unless your arthritis gets much, much worse, there will be work-arounds for any obstacles you encounter.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/12/22 09:31:04PM
1,602 posts

What is the best way to dipose of my collection?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Curtis, I see you are in the San Diego area.  If you haven't already done so, you might consider contacting the Southern California Dulcimer Heritage Society .  They hold a big annual event in the fall, and you might be able to showcase some of your instruments there.  @Leo-Kretzner is a member here and is intimately involved in that group.  He might have some advice for you as well.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
07/05/22 02:06:49PM
1,602 posts

Indoor House Plants


OFF TOPIC discussions

"Yummy" droool  says your nepenthes gaya. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/28/22 01:27:58PM
1,602 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I use a combination string turner/wire cutter made by D'Addario.  I actually have a few of them and keep them in instrument cases.  They make changing strings super easy.

D'Addario PLanet Waves Pro Winder

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/24/22 12:30:04PM
1,602 posts

Left handed playing


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@kristinrichmond, you've received good advice so far.  The first thing to figure out is if your daughter wants to play lefty.  Have her play a little right-handed for a spell and then flip the dulcimer around and have her play left-handed.  See which way she feels most comfortable.  Some lefties play right-handed with no problem. Both hands are involved, after all.  But others find that the strumming or picking hand should be the strong hand.

If it turns out your daughter does want to play lefty, then you can just reverse the bass and melody strings, although as Noah and Ken explain, the melody string might buzz a little bit. There are some ways to "MacGyver" that issue short of getting a new nut and bridge, so if that's an issue chime in here again.

I wouldn't bother putting on a new nut and bridge until you determine that your daughter really wants to play lefty, that the strings are buzzing or the intonation is off, and that she is going to stick with it for a while. And if that's the case, perhaps her grandfather oldman will buy her an instrument build for lefties and you won't have to lift a finger!

By the way, that old man smiley is an exact portrait of @sam, isn't it?


updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/24/22 12:30:17PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/20/22 10:02:44PM
1,602 posts

Removable Magnetic Pickup for Dulcimers


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

gwvwadc: Has anyone tried this one? https://www.clingon.co/clingon-pickup

I've been eyeing that Clingon pickup for a while, but I am skeptical about one thing.  Watch the installation videos.  You have to get a magnet on the inside of the soundboard in the exact spot where you will put the pickup.  That might be really hard on dulcimers (or any instrument) with small soundholes.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/13/22 09:44:16PM
1,602 posts

Warren May Hourdrop Question


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions


A .024 wound bass string for a dulcimer of that scale length will not be a problem. You could probably even go to .026, but most people (other than myself) wouldn't do that.

As a general rule, I think hollow fretboards are preferred.  Since there is less wood against the soundboard, the sounboard is able to vibrate more freely, creating more volume.  And although it may not be of interest to noter players, hollow fretboards are also more responsive to your fingers, so left-hand techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides are easier to perform, or rather are easier to perform without a significant loss of volume.

That looks like a beautiful instrument.  Congratulations!


updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/13/22 11:56:46PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/13/22 08:21:57PM
1,602 posts

Somewhere Over the Rainbow


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Tull Glazener sells tab for his arrangement of that tune as an instructional CD with tab .  It's a really nice arrangement, too.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/13/22 08:35:24PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/10/22 01:25:50AM
1,602 posts

My latest and greatest mountain dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Congrats on your new baby! The two Ron Gibson dulcimers that I've played were both really fine instruments.

And Mike Casey's book is probably the most comprehensive dulcimer technique manual around.

Enjoy!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/08/22 01:30:22AM
1,602 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Melvoid: I just thought "How do I get this dulcimer to stay level?" seemed like a good question :-)

It's a great question, @melvoid, as you can see from the thoughtful responses.  I only moved it because the "Site Questions" Forum is for questions about how to use this site, and this discussion will be more easily found in the future if we group it with questions about dulcimers.

When I first started playing the dulcimer I only played on my office chair since I could vary the height considerably, lowering it enough to get a nice flat lap. I also used to lower the arms to kind of lock the dulcimer in place.  But I realized that I needed a solution that would enable me to play elsewhere, so I put strap buttons on and immediately found I had more control over the dulcimer and did not rely on a flat lap as much.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
06/07/22 02:48:29PM
1,602 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


A cheap suggestion would be an ironing board.  They can be adjusted to any height.

By the way, I moved this discussion to the "General Mountain Dulcimer" category since the "How Do I" Forum is specific to questions about how this site functions.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/07/22 02:50:53PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
05/28/22 01:31:24AM
1,602 posts

Four string spacing pros and cons?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Most dulcimers made nowadays have notches in the bridge and nut so that you can string them with four equidistant strings or with three courses and a double melody.  You can switch back and forth and don't have to choose!

There is a group here devoted to playing with four equidistant strings .  You might consider joining that group and perusing the discussions to see the variety of ways people tune with four strings.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 05/28/22 01:32:45AM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
05/25/22 11:50:43AM
1,602 posts

Kevin Roth interviews Howard Rugg


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Having met both Kevin and Howard at the Redwood Dulcimer Day, I can say they are both kind, friendly folk.  Howard is always tickled to meet someone who plays one of the old Capritaurus dulcimers.  (Of course, he likes new orders, too!)

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
04/28/22 10:41:26AM
1,602 posts

baritone guitar


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

jost: Thanks for the explanation Dusty, so any guitar could be retuned like this? The Sound is lovely

Jost, in theory you could tune any guitar like this, but I am using a guitar specifically made to be a baritone.  It has extra heavy strings and extra bracing and a strong truss rod to be able to handle the extra tension.  I would be wary of just stringing any old guitar like this.  Without that extra bracing, you might do some damage.  I am certainly no expert on instrument design, however.  The strings mine came with range from .016 to .070.  They are pretty big and give my fingers a workout.  

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