Recommendations for a bow to play a Violin Uke
Adventures with 'other' instruments...
Just wanted to let you all know I finally finished making a bow (psaltery bow) for my neighbor's violin uke. Here is a picture:
Well, it's about time! The copyright was no longer benefiting the family, just some corporation.
Dana, Great News!!!
Jan, it wasn't me. Something about scroll heads staring at me while I play bothers me, LOL
I recently met Ken Backer who is a very nice gentleman. I'm honored to have met him and to hear him sing to us. That was a treat. Ken, if you are reading this, you come back. We'll be waiting for you.
Debbie, have fun at the festival!!! Let us know how it goes
Don't be afraid to retune. After you do it a few times you may be able to do it by ear. I had that fear too when I first started but when you go to workshops and jams you learn to lose that fear quickly. I did.
Debbie, if your strings broke going to DAA from DAd you're going the wrong way. You tune down (losen the strings) from DAd to DAA. To go to DAd from DAA you would tighten the melody string to get that d. BTW, that d is above what is termed the middle C. That's why you typcially see DAA because the A is below that C and you will see a lower case d in DAd to indicate that d is above the middle C.
Debbie, most workshops I've attended (also jams) tune to DAd. I would suggest you invest in a tuner. A clip on is nice especially when attending workshops or jams. With a tuner you'll be able to tune back and forth from DAA to DAd without any problems. Most tuners are inexpensive. There are a couple of threads on this site about tuners. Everyone has their favorite. You can also tune by ear but for me when I'm among a large group of players who are also retuning their instruments it gets a bit difficult to hear my own and that's why I have a clip on tuner. Just my 2 cents
I had the Sta Tite metal friction tuners on my McSpadden replaced with the planetary geared tuners. Those are the ones on the currednt McSpadden scroll head type dulcimers. Ken Longfield and Kevin Messinger did an excellent job of installing them. They had to ream the holes a bit at a time. If you are interested in changing tuners and the holes need to be bigger I suggest you contact a luthier to install them unless you have wood working experience. Jim Woods responded to an email I sent him in reference to changing out the tuners. He said it's real easy to split the wood and recommended NOT using a drill. I contacted Kevin and Ken. I'm glad I made that decision.
I saw some of those. Only thing is there are lots of negative responses on that seller and another one. Recent too. I don't feel too comfortable about that.
Sean, I haven't given up on looking for a used bow but 3/4 would be a bit too big. I saw a 3/4 at the music store. It was fairly long. I was thinking 1/4 size.
Thanks for the comment (avatar). Lisa helped me with that. When I change strings on Big Red I plan on replacing them one at a time to keep the bridge in place. I like the gauge strings it has so I'm not planning on doing any big changes. Also, I believe that one can only go so far with string guage sizes because of vsl. I understand Big Red was a baritone but I plan to keep it the way it is because I like the sound. I know some who inquired about changing to a baritone with their current duclimers but I would ask a builder first as to possible modifications needed.
Lexie, Big Red, which I purchased from Dan Cox, has a floating bridge. It is notched (picture embedded) but it's a floater. I'm guessing the floating bridge helps in getting the notes just right on each fret up the scale. I could be wrong but that's my guess. I'm sure Dan and all those wonderful dulcimer builders/makers can give you a better answer that I can. I'm sure those experienced dulcimer players can too.
Strumelia, Thank you!!! That's a great idea. I'll be looking for green branches. They are plentiful around here especially with all the rain we've had. I will check out ebay for horse hair. Thanks again!!!
Robert, I didn't know you make psalteries. I may be contacting you soon.
Thanks Ken! I'm going to head to the music store to see if they have short violin bows. They may have tuning wrenches too but I may opt to order a psaltery bow and tuning wrench online from a psaltery builder.
I have a neighbor who has a Violin Uke. Yes, that is what it's called. The original bow is damaged. I would like to get him a bow so he can play the instrument. Would a Psaltery bow be acceptable? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Also, it has zither pins. I'm guessing it may be out of tune. Would a modern zither tuning key work on it?
Here is a video of someone playing a Violin Uke:
I swore I'd only have two dulcimers. Now I have five! If had the money and the space I'd buy a dulcimer from each maker who is a member of FOTMD. I've seen pictures posted of some lovely instruments by these builders. I do have one made by Kevin Messinger and one made by Dan Cox. I think my friend Carrie said it best, we all eventually get DAD: Dulcimer Acquistion Disease, LOL
Dan, could you send me that too? I've used a web site that prints out blank pages for tab but I would like to see what you have. I would prefer to type in the tab on the computer. Notes are another subject
A facelift or should I say fretboard lift for an old friend? It's gorgeous. I agree with Cynthia. That rope treatment on the edges is pretty.
I purchased a used McSpadden on ebay. It was and is still in very good shape. My McSpadden has the scroll head. It came with the Grover Sta-Tite metal friction tuners. They are okay but I had the geared tuners McSpadden now uses retro-fitted on it...a big thank you to Ken Longfield and Kevin Messinger. I sent an email to Jim Woods. I gave him the serial number and he told me when it was made and the material used. He also told me that they went to the geared tuners in the 1990s. If you purchase a used McSpadden before that you will have the Sta-Tite metal friction tuners if you get a scroll head.
I learned something new too! Thanks Lisa!!!
I love that! Thanks for sharing!!!
Lexie, She did let me play one. I didn't have a pick and I had just cut my fingernails but I was able to manage Old Joe Clark. I wasn't able to sell it, lol. I did receive a 10% discount coupon to Tamarack. First time I ever received anything for playing (struggling for sure) an instrument.
Kevin, we did stop at Tamarack. Yes, he had a few there too. The sales lady at the Travel Plaza says a man comes by at least once a week to play the dulcimers. She says when he comes to play them they sell.
Another picture of the Jim Good dulcimers along with Psaltries. There were lots of thumb pianos too.
On our trip to West Virginia we stopped at the Travel Plaza off the I64 West Turnpike. What did I see when I went into the gift shop? I saw a couple of Jim Good dulcimers for sale. Is it only in West Virginia that someone can see dulcimers for sale in a travel plaza gift shop? Has anyone seen dulcimers for sale in places other than a music store?
Dale, this may not be the same as Kevin's but maybe this web page will give you some ideas: www.sternercapo.se/capomuseum/Special/Dulcimer/dulcimer.htm. Sorry I typed that out. I am not able to copy and paste website links in comments. Ugh!!!
Dale, I'm guessing the picture didn't migrate over from the old site. Just a guess.
Dale, I can't see it either.
Nancy, that does seem a bit high but it all depends. I say that because I do believe you should talk to your luthier and ask him/her about it. I know that dulcimers that are set up for noter drone playing will be higher than those set up for chord melody style. Give your luthier a call and talk with him/her about it. I know if I made a product and the customer wasn't happy I would prefer they would call me to talk about it. Buzzing could be from not depressing the strings correctly. Buzzing can also be from strings hitting a fret that it shouldn't.
Eli, Ken Longfield is knowledgeable of the Folkcraft instrument and can probably give you more detail about the woods on it by looking at the model/serial number. He is a member here. You can also contact Folkcraft.
I think you got a great deal. It surely appears you did. I agree with Jan. You should probably take your friend out to lunch
James, I think you will love your Snark. I have one too.
I like that! I need to get one too
Dana, That is great news!
Good news Dana. You're in my prayers.