Forum Activity for @skip

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@skip
05/09/24 11:18:56AM
360 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've added recorders, ukuleles and micro base so I think it's more curiosity about something new [like a kid with a new toy], or exploring, or maybe just a short attention span. winker


updated by @skip: 05/09/24 11:21:01AM
Skip
@skip
09/01/23 03:56:34PM
360 posts

Confused about Sharps and Flats


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It boils down to the fact that the frequencies of the notes are not exact/even and do not double [times 2] as is commonly accepted. This is the basic reason the frets are not evenly spaced and results in the 'Rule of 18' and '12th root of 2' for fret placement. I think 'wolf notes' are also part of this.

When the "G#" frequency approximately doubles, the frequency is not the same as the doubled frequency of the Ab. This difference is/can be audible.

When 'equal temperment' was developed, this difference was, essentially, eleminated.

Most of the other 'temperments' are attempts to modify this difference.


updated by @skip: 09/01/23 04:02:23PM
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@skip
04/13/23 10:28:27AM
360 posts

fret scale chart of a mountain Dulcimer


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

Since he's a guitar builder and probably player, I think he is referring to blues notes.That's the reason for my recommendation.

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@skip
04/12/23 10:49:11PM
360 posts

fret scale chart of a mountain Dulcimer


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

Woodworm cigarbox guitars:

can someone help me with a fret scale chart of a mountain Dulcimer.
Preferably with the blue notes



Your best option may be to make it chromatic. The frets are basically located using the same procedures as you use making a guitar. If you decide to use the dulcimers diatonic fret placement, you will need to 'bend' notes to get the blue notes. You may want to study the MD fret board before making a final decision although the extra frets can be installed later. Or build two, one diatonic, one chromatic.sun

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@skip
01/03/23 11:56:52AM
360 posts

Recommendations for best software for splitting PDFs?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I use PDFSam Basic it's open source [free]. Be aware that you will need to go back and merge any multiple page tunes.

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@skip
12/15/22 09:46:51PM
360 posts

Misplaced fret


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

Since you have 2 MD, If they have the same VSL they should be the same spacing. Otherwise just use a fret calculator to give reference numbers. 

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@skip
11/03/22 04:01:10PM
360 posts

what to clean a dulcimer with


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

Will they scrape off? The fretboard probably has no finish to damage [oiled?], so you could try using a new single sided razor blade [or fine {400} grit sandpaper on a popsicle stick edge?] and carefully scrape between the frets without marker dots.


updated by @skip: 11/03/22 04:03:55PM
Skip
@skip
10/15/22 05:06:11PM
360 posts



Other than the tuneing machines, your MD really doesn't look too bad from the photos. You can do the obvious things needing fixing yourself, new strings [normal maintenance], replacing tuneing machines is pretty easy although selecting new ones is a bit harder. Just pull and replace the end pins, they're probably escutcheon nails or brads. Don't worry about the scratches/chips, it's part of having a used, probably older, instrument. I heard a pro country singer used an older guitar that actually had holes worn through the top. Don't use anything with silicone in it to clean the outside since it cannot be removed, it will prevent any refinishing or other repair work to the wood.

Bottom line, don't pay for anything more than tuneing machine installation at most.

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@skip
09/16/22 11:22:25AM
360 posts

Bass Dulcimers


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

Blue Lion also has the 5 string Acoustic Jam bass with a 26 1/4 " VSL and 1 5/8" fretboard and Folkcraft has one with a 26" VSL with a 2" wide fretboard. I have the AJ5 Blue Lion and removed 2 strings. 

As far as construction goes, I believe they about the same as a standard, just deeper for the volume needed for the lower notes. The string tension is about the same so I don't see a need for heavier construction. I've converted ones I made to bass and baritone with no problems. I even converted a regular Tennessee Music Box to sound like a standup bass for kicks. Hard on the fingers to play though and not very loud because the box is too small.

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@skip
09/07/22 04:41:59PM
360 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

If you go to Jan Potts public page, there is a post by 'Paula' just below the photo [her thumb nail id icon] that looks like it is probably a photo of the bridge in question. 

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@skip
08/28/22 06:23:53PM
360 posts

End of Finger Stabs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I bend them back like Strumelia and make sure the cut end is inside the tuner hole.

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@skip
08/25/22 04:22:17PM
360 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If the tuning is A2E3A3 [lower than DAd] or similar it's a baritone. The physical dimensions won't be an indicator.  

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@skip
08/20/22 12:37:34PM
360 posts

Making a noter


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

I heard bamboo tomato stakes from a garden center are Tonkin cane. It's used for top quality split cane flyrods and those giant scaffolds you see in China. 

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@skip
08/16/22 08:50:34PM
360 posts

Making a noter


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


If you take a heavy [metal] noter [I used a 5/16  x 3 1/2 " bolt] and with a light touch, you can slide the bolt/noter on the string, without the string touching the frets, and change the pitch. You need the mass of the bolt/noter to kill the strings vibration at the point of contact. I also tried a piece of 1/2" steel rod which worked the same as the bolt. I had to use a real light touch because the MD is set up for chord/melody with low set strings.

The frets then act as lines locating the the notes. For the big spaces the note is just past [bridge side] the 1/2 way point between the 2 frets.

But, since you say you had problems with dobro slides, this may not work for you.


updated by @skip: 08/16/22 09:04:51PM
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@skip
08/16/22 05:24:52PM
360 posts

Making a noter


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

The noter acts as a movable fret like a slide on a steel guitar or dobro. So you can actually get the notes in the large spaces as long as you stay away from the frets. One of the advantages of having a high nut/bridge. The frets act like a 'note marker' then. The string isn't stretched as much either.


updated by @skip: 08/16/22 05:27:53PM
Skip
@skip
08/16/22 01:26:09PM
360 posts

Making a noter


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

I don't think the string needs to touch a fret when using a noter. If that's true, it's the answer to the tuning problem [with a bit of practice].

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@skip
08/16/22 11:17:52AM
360 posts

Making a noter


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

Last nite I happened to think that anything you can cut to size and hold onto would work, screwdriver, chunk of a broom/mop/garden tool, tablespoon, big nail in a piece of wood or file handle, etc. I suppose some would work better than others.

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@skip
08/15/22 03:37:37PM
360 posts

Making a noter


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


 I used a heat gun in a home built, stove pipe oven to harden mine when I was making split cane fly rods.

Try a dobro [bottle neck] slide. Pretty much the same thing, just bigger and it could fit over your thumb/finger.


updated by @skip: 08/15/22 03:41:12PM
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@skip
07/31/22 11:42:33AM
360 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I agree with with Ken H.

I do have one last thing to point out, He bases all his tunings as starting on the melody string [being D for example]. The current concept is to base tunings on the bass string. This difference seems to affect the results in various ways.


updated by @skip: 07/31/22 11:51:01AM
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@skip
07/30/22 10:42:18PM
360 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I think there's a proofing error there. In his description on page 66-67 he writes"~~where the mode's most major-sounding tonality is found. The Ionian mode originally began at the note C on the third fret." Then in the chart on page 109, in the Ionian row, he has C  under 'original tonality' but in the last column does not have a tuning showing the GCgg  [X  X+3 XX] tuning. Instead he has the CFCC tuning. Further down on page 67, he shows X+3 X XX as a newer tuning [what we expect for this mode].

So if he actually strums CFCC expecting a C Chord???

The VSL doesn't affect the note order, the notes remain the same, they just cover more length.  

 C D E F G A B C

  1  2  3 4 5 6  7 8

  C  G  G

   1  5   5


updated by @skip: 07/30/22 10:56:06PM
Skip
@skip
07/30/22 11:46:19AM
360 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Two buttons, bim Bim Bom and bim bim Bom.

Skip
@skip
07/28/22 03:50:51PM
360 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I've read his chapters on tuning, Mixolydian mode, and other modes and I'm uncomfortable with his approach to "music theory", which is what this thread is about, what's in his book. It seems to be a mixed bag of concepts and, maybe, opinions. 

This feeling is based on everything y'all have taught me along with a lot of time researching and thinking.

Now I'm gonna go hide. duck  


updated by @skip: 07/28/22 03:53:18PM
Skip
@skip
07/27/22 05:00:21PM
360 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I can't explain why, but I think the first 4 pages of chapter 4 have a big impact on this subject. It's a whole new way of looking at modes [for me, at least]. It's going to take awhile to digest.

I haven't figured out how the Ionian comment fits yet, probably never will. I don't think the current mode applications [theory?] apply though. He's coming at it from a different angle.

X X+3 XX is his take on DAd tuning. He starts on the melody string[s] [XX] then middle [X+3], then X an octave lower.

I downloaded the book from his site.


updated by @skip: 07/27/22 05:02:41PM
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@skip
07/26/22 07:30:24PM
360 posts

String action is too high?


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

Changing strings or tuning isn't going to do much. The problem is the extra height causes the tension for the length to be too much. What may help is to lower the nut [or deepen the notch a bit], make sure the string is touching the bridge as far back as possible and kind of split the difference between sharp/flat [open/affected fret]. It should be ok to be on the slightly sharp side rather than the flat side as flat is annoying and more obvious. If it's less than about 10 cents [usually in the green on the tuner] it is probably acceptable to most folks.

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@skip
07/24/22 07:24:26PM
360 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Steven:

LOL I started the same way, with only a sparse, barely remembered, 3rd grade understanding of music,,,,,,,, at 60 or so! It's been an interesting, and fun, trip so far. I've met, or talked, to a lot of really helpful, knowledgeable, folks along the way.

Skip
@skip
07/24/22 05:41:21PM
360 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

@ Steven

Just look at modes as being the names of a re-ordered scale. CDEFGABC to DEFGABCD is a diatonic [8 note] scale changing modes, all the same notes, different order.

Skip
@skip
07/24/22 01:15:43PM
360 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

It really will be pretty easy to for you to learn the basics, you have 11 years of music background to help. Many folks start with with with none.

Remember back when you started with the banjo. You probably started with a childs song and picked it out one note at a time on one string. With the dulcimer that's the standard, normal way for n/d and finger dancing. You pick out a melody on the melody string, one note at a time, with no concern for any of the other strings [the're just drones to fill out the sound]. Then you do the same thing but strum across all of the things at the same time as you fret the note. When you've gotten to this point you've caught up with 50% or more of MD players. 

Skip
@skip
07/21/22 11:01:24AM
360 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

That's it. The larger one fit's over the peg.


updated by @skip: 07/21/22 11:03:06AM
Skip
@skip
07/21/22 10:52:12AM
360 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Yes, technically, but the only one you fit over the peg is the one you make. You could cut the string but I'v never been able to make a new loop that doesn't come apart. The homemade ones I've seen have about a 1/2" tail perpendicular to the string  to help prevent that and the wraps are tight together.


updated by @skip: 07/21/22 11:00:29AM
Skip
@skip
07/20/22 07:45:52PM
360 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Put some tape on the end block to protect it an use a file.

Skip
@skip
07/20/22 06:25:19PM
360 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Un-winding the loops work-hardens the wire, Try feeding the loose end though the loop [kids lasso] to fit over the peg. If they still break, wrap the wire twice around the peg then through the loop, kind of a reverse tuning pin technique.

Skip
@skip
07/16/22 09:42:05PM
360 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Ok. I had the same slipping problem the first time I messed with wood pegs. What I found to work best for me is to push the peg further into the hole as I finished, maybe going a little bit past where I wanted to be.

Skip
@skip
06/25/22 06:48:51PM
360 posts

String spacing help, please


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


It's probably going to be 1/8" from the sides to the outside strings, another 1/8" between doubled melody and bass strings and  single middle string. The bass set is probably a bass and its octave with doubled melody strings. My 5 string Blue Lion is 5 equidistant strings, 1/8"  sides to outside strings. 

Look really close at where the strings connect to the pins also


updated by @skip: 06/25/22 06:51:28PM
Skip
@skip
06/07/22 01:47:06PM
360 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I just thought if the tv tray worked it could also be turned into a table/music stand by adding the top [if needed] and a slanted vertical music /tablet holder.

Skip
@skip
06/07/22 01:02:38PM
360 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

A tv tray may work. There are some with  L shaped legs that are height adjustable. A short board would add extra length if needed.

Skip
@skip
06/04/22 03:47:17PM
360 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's what I use, cell app. I made the recommendation as a starting point. At this time in his journey, if it's screwed up, send it back. I also suspect the op doesn't have a good ear' right now. happys poke

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