Forum Activity for @ocean-daughter

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/28/22 12:48:09PM
33 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wally, that's a good idea. 

What I've sometimes done is use one of those clear plastic zipper pouches to hold all the little accessories.  Although some pliers kind of need a pouch of their own, because they are clunkier.  And now I have a little pick holder I love, that holds my 6 or 8 favorite picks (gleaned from an extensive pick-testing project). 

Right now I'm thinking of a pouch to hold a bunch of extra strings and a dollar store nail clipper for emergencies...

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/28/22 01:27:20AM
33 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks everyone!  This gives me more of an idea of what to look for.  I agree that the cheapest won't be necessarily the best in this case. 

I did see diagonal cutting pliers online, and they looked like a good tool.  But perhaps I'll go to Home Depot and look at the pliers and cutters in person. 

As far as nail clippers, I do have a pair that isn't as great for nails, maybe I should try repurposing it! 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/27/22 02:05:14PM
33 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Yesterday I changed the strings on a new-to-me vintage dulcimer, and I borrowed my husband's 8-inch wire cutters because I couldn't find mine.  Today I was looking on Amazon for some small wire cutters, but most of them say "don't use these for steel wire." 

I figure I need some wire cutters small enough to get in there and snip the wires close to the tuner, but strong enough to last.  Or should I just plan on replacing the wire cutters every so often?  (Admittedly it takes me awhile to get around to changing the strings, so cheap ones might last awhile if I can keep track of them.  But I'd like to have some good ones.) 

What do you use for cutting strings? 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/25/22 05:03:06PM
33 posts

Mystery dulcimer, perhaps from the 70's


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

Ken, I found it on shopgoodwill.com, the auction site.  Goodwill organizations from all over the country sell on there.  The seller was actually Missouri Goodwill Industries, but you never know how it got there and from whence it came.  

There are usually a few interesting dulcimers on that site.  I check in every so often. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/25/22 02:42:23PM
33 posts

Mystery dulcimer, perhaps from the 70's


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


I have this beautiful dulcimer, which I found on the Goodwill auction site.  It is diatonic, so I'm guessing it's not very recent, but the style of the bird soundholes looks somewhat modern to me.  So I'm guessing possibly 70's or early 80's, early in the big resurgence.  The dogwood flower on the peghead of course makes me think of Kentucky, but there are several other states where the dogwood is common and beloved. 

It came with ebony pegs, but they drove me crazy trying to tune it, so I had them replaced with geared pegs so I could actually enjoy playing it.  The VSL is a little longer than I'm comfortable with--it's 27.88 inches, and my comfort zone is more like 25-26 for fingerdance; I'm going to try tuning it in DAA/DAG so I can play more in the center of the fretboard, and I'm also going to try using a noter.    

The style of the soundholes makes it tricky to see inside, but I tried today with a flashlight and I don't see any label in there.  Has anyone seen a dulcimer similar to this, and do you know who might have made it?  What with all the pretty details, as well as the arched fretboard, I can't believe it's a one-off. 

I'm partly curious and I partly wanted to share this pretty dulcimer. 


20220625_112137.jpg 20220625_112137.jpg - 579KB
ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
06/02/22 11:15:20PM
33 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have a couple more dulcimers since I last posted! 

I have a Cripple Creek "Aspen Leaf," which is shaped rather like a Galax dulcimer--more of an oval than a teardrop.  Came from eBay and needed some work to get it playable.  But I love the leaves-and-vines soundholes, and it sounds good now. 

And, a no-name dulcimer, also from eBay, all mahogany, built by a shipwright. 

I previously forgot to mention that I have two "travel size" dulcimers, one from the Dulcimer Factory and one by Rugg and Jackel. 

Most of mine are diatonic, and I'm thinking of having the 6+ fret added to a couple of them. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
05/06/22 12:10:41AM
33 posts

International Appalachian Dulcimer Day


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

How wonderful to see the way this all took off!  I'm just sorry I missed it somehow.  I'll put this on my calendar for next year!  Clearly I need to stay on top of things with fotmd.  giggle2

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
08/30/21 08:25:39PM
33 posts

worldwide Play Music on the Porch Day


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I played on the balcony for awhile Saturday morning.  Realized that was roomier than the front stoop!  I played "Wondrous Love," "Nottamun Town," and "Cluck Old Hen," tuned in DAG Dorian. 

I posted a video to Instagram, but they cropped it to a square and you can't see the dulcimer!  (I didn't know till friends commented.)  Ah well!  I may not wait a year to do another one. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
07/26/21 01:17:45AM
33 posts

worldwide Play Music on the Porch Day


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

We have more of a front stoop than a porch, but I'll figure out a way to be out there. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
05/05/21 12:15:18AM
33 posts

Do you feel limited by the diatonic scale?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is a good question...When I was learning to play, I learned the tunings for different modes, and so I would re-tune to play a particular tune.  However, I like having more than one dulcimer, because I don't want to re-tune the same instrument all the time.  I will tune from DAA to DAG, or from DAd to DAC, but I don't like to do more than that very often.  

I do like having a 6 1/2 fret, because it gives me two modes for each tuning.  For example, if I'm tuned to DAG Dorian, a minor tuning, I also can play in the Mixolydian, which is a major tuning. 

As a melody-drone player, I actually feel somewhat limited by the DAD tuning.  The root note of the scale is on the open string, and so melodies that go below that root note are more challenging to play.  You can (usually) play those notes on the middle or bass strings, but I have a bit of a preference for having my melody notes on my melody string.  I like using a tuning that places the root note a few steps toward the middle, as DAA does.  Sometimes I consider inventing a fretboard that does just what I want it to do...

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
05/04/21 09:53:57PM
33 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hmm, I just counted and I have nine dulcimers! 

the Cripple Creek kit I built in 1996

a Folk Roots dulcimer a friend gave me

two Black Mountains, one cherry and one walnut

an unknown dulcimer that looks like a Black Mountain, possibly built from a kit

Another unknown with the names "Bodd & Eye" engraved inside

Yet another unknown with inlay trim around the edges

a Russ Green hourglass

a little "board dulcimer" by a man in Kentucky, which I got for travel

All except the first two came to me from eBay or shopgoodwill dot com.  I've been learning what I like in a dulcimer. I love finding different quirky unknown instruments, and it's a wonder I don't have a dozen or more yet.  I also plan to have extra frets added to a couple. 

I do envy those of you who have made several, but I'm hoping to do that myself when I make space in the garage. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
05/04/21 09:36:40PM
33 posts

Rest in Peace, Larkin Bryant


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm sorry to hear this.  I have Larkin's book.  I didn't know much about her beyond that, but have always had a friendly feeling toward her.  Peace to her and to her family and friends as they mourn.

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/28/21 01:22:15AM
33 posts

Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm popping in to agree to the time zone comments.  I've attended a few workshops at 7:30 am (I'm on the west coast), but when I was registering for  Quarantune 3.0 I basically decided that for the most part I wasn't going to consider the first and second sessions, the earliest of which started at 5:30 am for me.  I did do one super early one that presented Scottish melodies, which my husband approved of (I warned him beforehand) sunLaugh

There were some folk from the U.K. attending in the wee small hours, and I applaud them!

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/07/21 12:31:03AM
33 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hello, Andi, and welcome!  I know how it feels to be the only dulcimer player you know. 

If you're able to attend virtual groups or classes, that might help you with learning.  I've found virtual festivals to be a great help to me recently.  This weekend I've been taking classes at a festival based in Albany, New York, and there are people attending from Germany and Britain. 

But in any case, there are people here who will be happy to encourage you in any way we can. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 06:31:18PM
33 posts

Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I did have another thought about a benefit virtual festivals have given me--they are helping me get to know who's out there, in terms of well-known teachers and players, and giving me the chance to learn from those people. 

I built my first dulcimer from a kit in '96, and attended the Southern California Harvest Festival of Dulcimers in '97 and '98.  I attended some wonderful workshops with Neal Hellman, Mark Nelson, Lois Hornbostel, Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith.  About that time my fourth child was born, and I was really busy for awhile.  I still played, but I was basically the only dulcimer player I knew, except for a dear lady who lived near my parents in Kentucky.

When I went to register for the festivals in November, I had never heard of any of these people--except Lois Hornbostel, who taught at the North Georgia festival, and you can believe I attended a couple of her workshops!  But it was great to realize I could go learn from this one and that one, and get to "know" them. 

(Actually I was dimly aware of Robert Force, who taught at the Florida festival, and it was great to learn from him!)

Neal Hellman was on the faculty of Quarantune 3.0 (I missed the first two), and I enjoyed a wonderful class with him.

But I've been really solitary in terms of playing dulcimer for a long time, and the virtual workshops help me get back with the dulcimer community.  This website is helping with that too.  And I want to start dropping in on virtual jam sessions. 

(and I should probably go check out the informal Zoom meetings at the Albany festival; I missed yesterday's.)

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 06:19:39PM
33 posts

Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@dusty-turtle, thank you for that detailed response.  Wow, thank you for taking the time! 

I play fingerdance with a flatpick, mostly melody-drone; I'm getting back into playing with a noter sometimes, and I want to fingerpick more (I found a video on this site of @flint-hill fingerpicking "Wayfaring Stranger" and I was captivated).  I've been really working on making the notes flow together.  I want to develop my hammer-ons and pull-offs and other techniques.  I agree that not letting go of the strings too quickly does a lot to make them sound connected! 

I need to re-read all you wrote and let it sink in. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 11:13:46AM
33 posts

Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Pondoro, that makes sense to me.  At the smaller festivals, like the Stephen Foster Dulcimer Retreat last November, they had several informal sessions and they had a "jam" every day.  Of course we all couldn't have our microphones all at once, but we could jam along with whoever was leading.  At the bigger ones they don't seem to do that as much. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 01:35:26AM
33 posts

Discussing virtual festival experiences


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Dusty Turtle:
ocean-daughter: I think I'll start that thread in the General forum so we can continue the discussion there.  ;)

Good idea. I think it will be an active discussion.  I was tempted to do start one myself, but it was your idea!

I've done it, come on over!  :)

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 01:33:29AM
33 posts

Virtual Festivals--what's your experience, or your thoughts?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I've been getting back into playing dulcimer after a hiatus of several years, and one thing I've done is to "go" to several virtual festivals.  I've "been" to Florida, Georgia, and wherever Quarantune is based, and tomorrow I'll be "in" Albany. 

I've found it to be a really good boost for me personally.  I was already familiar with Zoom, so that wasn't a problem.  And I've gotten to learn some wonderful music from some amazing teachers.  I couldn't have traveled to all those places. 

It's also helped me think about my own goals in playing.  One thing I've wanted is to develop technique--to make the notes sound connected, and to find the way I like playing.  I keep taking workshops on embellishments.  Maybe I've nearly reached saturation point...

I admit that one problem is that it's harder to connect with fellow students.  There's not as much opportunity for casual conversation.  So being able to go to a live festival will be great, when we're able to do that. 

Have you been to any virtual festivals yet?  What do you think? 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/05/21 01:10:09AM
33 posts

Discussing virtual festival experiences


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

I've been getting back into playing after a hiatus of several years, and I've found the virtual festivals to be helpful to me in getting back into the swing.  Not every workshop is a perfect match, but sometimes you strike gold. 

I think I'll start that thread in the General forum so we can continue the discussion there.  ;)

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 05:40:00PM
33 posts

Discussing virtual festival experiences


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Excellent point, Strumelia, about the specific thread titles!  I do try to do that. 

Dusty, thanks for mentioning the DPN festival directory!  Actually, back in October I found a link to it on there, and before I knew it I was signing up for the Stephen Foster Dulcimer Retreat! 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 05:13:36PM
33 posts

How to get adhesive residue off a fretboard?


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

I wanted to give an update.  I was using this dulcimer during some Quarantune workshops, and while listening to the instructor(s) I was kind of idly scraping at the adhesive with my fingernail  Well, by the end of the second workshop, the adhesive was just about gone!  I rubbed at the remains with my finger to finish the job.  The fretboard looks great now, and I'm happy to say there were no rectangles to show where the fretboard had darkened around the labels. 

On the subject of adhesive, I have another dulcimer, a Black Mountain by Dave Johnston, that had residue where a strip of duct tape had been put across the back for some reason.  (It came to me via eBay, so the prior history is a mystery.)  I tried a bit of cooking oil on that, and also scraped with an old credit card, which was quite effective.  The dulcimer needs refinishing, so I am thinking of contacting Mr. Johnston to ask for his advice. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 04:54:18PM
33 posts

Discussing virtual festival experiences


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Hi again Dusty!  I guess my topic is more like the good/bad of online festivals.  Sometimes the organizers haven't posted their event on the event pages--maybe they need a publicity person to do that nod --so posting there wouldn't be very effective. 

I'll try starting a discussion in the General forum.  Actually I have managed pretty well with the technology.  And I'm so grateful for the chance to keep getting inspired without having to travel.  I hope to get in on the Berkeley Gathering in a couple of months!

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 02:31:22PM
33 posts

Start new thread or revive an old one?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Okay, thanks, Dusty!  I'll have a quick look at the previous pick discussions, and see which would be a good fit. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 02:22:22PM
33 posts

Discussing virtual festival experiences


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?


(Another question!)  This weekend I'm attending my fourth virtual festival (the one hosted by the Dulcimer Association of Albany), and I was wondering about chatting about virtual festivals on here.  I haven't seen any discussions of festivals.  Is that something that would be okay to post about, and where? 

Is there a place on FOTMD that I just haven't found yet, or do people mostly do their chatting on the Facebook page of the particular festival?  Or in the other Facebook dulcimer groups?  I feel like a forum gives a place for more "focused" chat, in that the threads "stay put," whereas Facebook posts are sometimes harder to track down (and sometimes I don't have the mental energy for Facebook!). 

Hope to see some of you "in" Albany! 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
03/02/21 02:16:47PM
33 posts

Start new thread or revive an old one?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?


I have been doing a rather extensive project of trying out picks on my dulcimers to see what sounds I liked, and wanted to chat with forum members about their pick preferences.  I know there are some older discussions about this.  Do you prefer that I tag onto one of the older ones, or should I start a new one? 

I personally feel that if it's been a couple of years since a thread was updated, I'd just as soon start a new one rather than add onto an old discussion.  But I know that different forums have different feelings about this. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
02/04/21 12:09:22AM
33 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you Strumelia!  And I'll go over to the Building group, Ken!  I already started researching wood dealers in my area.  Just being prepared.

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
02/03/21 08:14:58PM
33 posts

How to get adhesive residue off a fretboard?


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

Thank you all! And Strumelia, I appreciate the advice about careful application.  I wouldn't have thought about that danger. 

Dusty, I was concerned about the fretboard having lighter rectangles under the stickers, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  So I was thankful for that!

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
02/03/21 08:11:35PM
33 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The journey has been, and still is, very joyful and satisfying!  Also, Ken, I saw your holly leaf dulcimers in a group on Facebook a few weeks ago--I commented there--and I'm hoping to try making a dulcimer or three from "scratch" one of these days.  I may ask you questions about the holly leaf. 

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
02/01/21 12:15:00AM
33 posts

How to get adhesive residue off a fretboard?


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


I just got a new-to-me dulcimer (it was made by Russ Green in 1995), and someone had put stickers with numbers all along the fretboard.  I've been peeling them off but a lot of the adhesive stays on there.  What would be good to use to get it off? 

The finish on the dulcimer is shiny, but not lacquered.  I don't know what Mr. Green used on his dulcimers.  I've been using my fingernail to scrape the adhesive off, but I'm not sure how to make sure I've gotten every trace.  And the remnants all up and down the fretboard look almost worse than the stickers. 

It's such a pretty dulcimer though.  :)

ocean-daughter
@ocean-daughter
01/31/21 09:09:33PM
33 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

My very first dulcimer was a kit from Cripple Creek Dulcimers in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  We were visiting friends in Colorado Springs, and went to Manitou Springs to stroll around, and came upon--a DULCIMER SHOP, oh, my!!  I had always kind of wanted one.  Theirs were so beautiful, with the leaves-and-vines soundholes, usually enhanced by a heart or something. 

We were relatively young and kind of scared to spend $200 all in one place, so we decided to get a kit.  I asked, "If I build this, will it sound good?" and Bud and Donna Ford's son assured me it would.  It actually took me a couple of years to get down to building it, during which time we had two children and moved houses.  (We had a toddler at the time I bought it.)  It wasn't that hard except for pounding in that fret wire (the grooves for the frets were already cut, thanks be!!).  I had fun designing my own soundholes, forget-me-nots with a butterfly, and I borrowed a friend's woodburning tool to draw the stems.  I was so proud I had actually built my own. 

I still have that dulcimer, and I played her some today (though lately I've added a few more to my flock).  Cripple Creek dulcimers are a bit on the long side for my small hands, and I'm more comfortable chording on a shorter one.  But my Cripple Creek is fine for melody drone, which is what I mostly do lately. 

Also, I never introduced myself when I joined, so I'll count this as my introduction if that's ok!  I built that dulcimer in 1996, and played kind of sporadically, then came back to it in full force last fall!  I'm happy to have found this group.  Hope we'll "meet" at some virtual festival sometime!