Dusty Turtle


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Éamonn A’ Chnoic/Mo Ghile Mear on baritone dulcimer

musician/member name: Dusty T
Duration: 00:02:25
A medley of two traditional Jacobite tunes, translated as "Ned of the Hill" and "My Gallant Darling," played on a baritone mountain dulcimer. The dulcimer is made of cherry and spruce by Rick Probst and is tuned in a 1-5-8 pattern about a 5th below a standard dulcimer to the key of Ab.
Dusty Turtle
07/01/20 01:38:41PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for your kind comments, @Ariane.  Much appreciated.

07/01/20 07:08:31AM @ariane:

Your playing and the baritone dulcimer sounds great!

Dusty Turtle
06/22/20 12:08:48AM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, @Floralin. It is indeed a special instrument.

I find I need different keys for my voice depending on the song. The tonal range of a tune is not necessarily determined by the key. Some tunes I can sing in D both others require other keys.  Certainly, though, as you suggest, our voices get lower as we age.

06/21/20 03:18:15PM @floralin:

Really nice.  And the instrument is so beautiful.  I have a vintage Folk Roots dulcimer that I have tuned down to C so I can sing with it.  (Gone are the days when I could sing comfortably in D.)  

06/08/20 11:46:11PM @irene:

Well, Dusty, I've strung her up....lovely low voice.....I'm not used to dulcimer in a low voice.  Gonna learn some songs that might fit on her....sure don't have to push hard on the stick....AND I don't think this lower type of sound was "traditional".....yet has some to offer.  I've got a lot of dulcimers and can keep lady Baroness set up till I might get used to her.   Thanks so much for the encouragment....as I really wanted to try a baritone.   Now I have.  aloha, irene

Dusty Turtle
06/08/20 08:10:50PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks so much, @Macaodha. Your comments mean a lot.

06/08/20 05:17:31PM @macaodha:

Beautiful playing Dusty.

Dusty Turtle
06/07/20 12:29:25PM @dusty-turtle:

Good going, @Irene!  I can't wait to hear Baroness sing in the low register.  I tune my baritone to G or A (GDD or GDg, AEE or AEa) or sometimes in between to Ab when I can't decide. You might start with G since the strings will be looser and will put less stress on the dulcimer.

06/07/20 12:30:07AM @irene:

Soooooooooooo I headed to the music store in Burlington, Iowa today and got the string gages you suggested.  "about a 5th below" would be GDD? or GDG?  I know what dulcimer I'm going to change over and this is the one I made while in Hawaii this winter.....I'm going to call her "Baroness"....how's that.  I'm going to string her up tomorrow.   Thanks Dusty for your encouragment....in many areas.   aloha, irene

06/04/20 08:13:20PM @irene:

Yep yep. heading for the music store as soon as I can.  Maybe tomorrow.  and I soooooooo love that song you directed me to "Samantha".   aloha, irene

Dusty Turtle
06/04/20 04:49:42PM @dusty-turtle:

@Irene, I think the string gauges I use are .36 for the bass, .24 of .26 for the middle, and .16 for the melody.  The bass and middle strings are wound.  

There is no reason you couldn't play in a noter style on a baritone.  In fact, here is @John-Henry playing a baritone with a noter and a quill .

06/04/20 03:52:52PM @irene:

Thanks Dusty....since I'm the luthier, I'll consult her.  ha ha ha....yep, I put more bracings on my dulcimer's then I used to.   Now how about the string gages?   I'd use just 3 strings as well.   I see you don't use a noter, and play so beautifully too,.....My understanding that a noter is not used for the baritone, is that correct?   aloha, irene

Dusty Turtle
06/03/20 11:35:02PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks so much for your kind words, @Irene.  In general it is probably safe to string a standard dulcimer as a baritone, but it's always a good idea to check with the luthier. In this case, Rick Probst does indeed use a lot of guitar-style bracing inside, and the box is big enough to produce the sustain you want with a baritone.  The dulcimer has the tuner and slots for a fourth string, but I prefer to play with just three.

06/03/20 11:01:08PM @irene:

Just beautiful ....yep, worth repeating...JUST BEAUTIFUL.   I'm encouraged to know that a regular dulcimer COULD be strung as a baritone.  hummmmmmmmm. I'm going to read up more on that.   Just wondering if it needs more inside bracing?  and only 3 strings looks like.  I just love the lower tones and yep, my favorite ukulele is a baritone too.  aloha, irene

Dusty Turtle
06/03/20 12:47:49PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, @Ballad-Gal.  I like using the baritone for slow tunes since it has more sustain than a standard dulcimer, so you can let the strings just ring out.

You are a kind man, @Terry-Wilson.

Ballad Gal
06/03/20 11:35:30AM @ballad-gal:

Very pretty, Dusty. I like the lower tones!

Terry Wilson
06/03/20 08:02:56AM @terry-wilson:

Re-stringing it as a baritone has proven to be a great decision.  You are a mighty fine musician, which is the major reason it sounds so beautiful.

Dusty Turtle
06/02/20 03:48:12PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks, @Terry-Wilson. The dulcimer was originally strung as a standard dulcimer, but after not being fully satisfied with other baritone dulcimers I had bought I contacted the luthier, Rick Probst, who assured me the dulcimer could be strung as a baritone, which is how I've left it for the last year or so.

Terry Wilson
06/02/20 12:22:27PM @terry-wilson:

Dusty, that was absolutely beautiful.  So very warm.  
my favorite ukulele is a baritone.

Dusty Turtle
05/31/20 07:31:27PM @dusty-turtle:

Thanks for listening, @Steven-Berger and @Gordon-Hardy.  I appreciate your taking the time to comment.  These are pretty songs and it's a special dulcimer.  My job is just to stay out of the way! It also helps that I finally got a small audio interface so I can record the audio directly without a microphone picking up ambient noise.