FOR SALE: Beautiful Tom Fellenbaum Teardrop Dulcimer
FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...
Brian, has this instrument been sold? If so, I will delete the thread, thanks!
Brian, has this instrument been sold? If so, I will delete the thread, thanks!
July... it's mid blueberry time in our garden! Also now the first year we're getting substantial raspberries. I've been picking string beans and making big bowls of green beans vinaigrette (adding varying other ingredients like black beans, corn, red peppers etc). I gave the first big head of cabbage to my daughter when she visited, but now it's time to cut one for us and make nice coooool cole slaw!
I've been able to keep up with my new modest fitness walking goal- twice a week doing a brisk 2.5 miles in the village fairgrounds, which has lots of nice paths with no car traffic. Sometimes Brian comes with me which is nice.
I'm positively looking forward to enjoying our new BIG BEAUTIFUL back screened porch... it's almost finished now and is going to be soooo wonderful for about 3 seasons of the year. Can't wait to start having dinner and playing music out there... and mosquito free in the evenings...wooHoooo!
I've gotten a lot of mileage and fun lately out of a tune that I learned from an 1800s banjo instruction book- Old Dan Emmett's Waltz. It took me forever to learn to play it on the banjo- has three different parts and the 3rd part is wildly syncopated on banjo... Brian learned to play a fiddle part he made up, and it took us months to get the tune together on fiddle and banjo, but it's sooo fun to play and so pretty.
And now for the past couple of weeks I'm trying to learn to play harmony parts for it on my epinette, with Brian playing the melody on fiddle. It means a whole NEW bunch of learning, like a whole different tune to learn now, on epinette as harmony.
But again, it's such a pretty 3-part waltz, and when we manage to play it without too many mistakes, it's a grand feeling.
Between my playing it on the banjo in melody, and playing it on the epinette in harmony, I'd say this particular tune is giving Brian and me a whole lot of fun !
KenH- that sounds like a song I would really enjoy hearing. Very old fashioned. Modern songs would just have it that the person "locked the door"... but the old songs always made things unusual, with special meaning or emphasis- she "locked the door with a silver pin". To me it implies that the door was a metaphor for her heart or her favors. I really love that they would put such wonderful rich details into little bits of the story.
Don, you might want to bring your dulcimer with the 6.5 fret to any dulcimer club/jam you go to. Many dulcimer clubs play mostly in chord/melody style rather than noter style, and play from DAd tab that uses the 6.5 fret a lot. If you bring your backpacker you won't be stuck trying to adapt on the fly to what they are doing.
Up til now, have you been playing any chords on your dulicmer by fretting all the strings? Or have you only been fretting the melody string so far?
The answer to your question depends on two things- the tune and arrangement (or maybe the TAB) of the piece you want to play or follow along with, ..and also the style of playing you aim to play in. These two things (rather than just the tuning) are more what determine how you'll be strumming/playing with your right hand.
Usually when a dulcimer is 3 or 4 strings, it simply means there is a low Bass string, a medium Middle string, and either 1 or 2 identical Melody strings which are tuned the same and played close together as if they are 1 string. (there are less commonly "4-string dulcimers" with equidistant strings, often used for fingerpicking, but I'm not referring to that)
So you can have a 3 string or a 4 string dulcimer (with 1 or a pair of melody strings)- that you can tune to different common dulcimer tunings such as DAd or DAA or DAC.
I suspect the dulcimer club you'll be attending will most often be tuned to DAd, and it does not matter whether your melody string is single or is a pair.
Here's a little video I put together showing tuning back and forth between DAd, DAC, DAA, and DAG... perhaps you'll see that it's not something to fear too much:
I'm sure you'll get lots of good responses to this question Don!
I can only answer for myself, but here an explanation of why, as a noter/drone style player, I tend to like playing in DAA:
But DAd is a great tuning as well! With the addition of the 6.5 fret DAd becomes quite versatile. And there is certainly more teaching material for beginners available in DAd, much of it in chord style playing methods. Most dulcimer 'clubs' and workshop settings currently lean towards DAd tuning and chord/melody playing style. It's convenient to have everyone starting out the same with the same tuning and books, etc.
But you can really do whatever you like!
I think DAC is my second favorite tuning after DAA- it's in Aeolian mode which has got the 'lonesome' sound.
I'd like to mention that when i got my Keith Young teardrop dulcimer almost 20 years ago, he explained to me that he favored stringing his dulcimers with heavy unwound bass strings. Also, quite a few minstrel style banjo players favor unwound gut or nylon bass strings.
Oh my goodness- think you all so much for your very sweet posts!
It's been a fun and eventful eight years.
I want to thank the wonderful volunteer site Moderators who help advise me, keep things safe here, and put in a great deal of their time and energy behind the scenes.
This is fascinating:
...silent films that were buried and frozen since 1917 or so... films never seen before, lost in time. A composer creates and records haunting new music for them, using creative techniques and an artistic sense.
Great advice from everyone. Trevor mentions he will be fingerpicking, so yes, good to have equidistant strings! Id like to mention though that for Noter players, it can make more sense to remove the inner of the melody pair instead. That creates a bit of extra space to allow the tip of the Noter to avoid hitting the middle string as it slides up and down. In fact, when I have custom instruments made, I always ask for a bit of extra space between the melody string(s) and the middle string. I thought this was worth mentioning even though it does not apply in Trevors instance here.
When i used to play chord/melody style (about 100 years ago it seems, lol) I built up a really hard and durable callus on the side of my thumb right next to the nail. It protected everything, even the edge of my nail. Once in a while the outer layer would shed off naturally, but the layers under it quickly rebuilt to take its place.
It's funny how my left hand calluses evolve and change over time depending on what instrument I'm currently playing a lot, and in what style. Since i now play dulcimer type instruments with a noter, I don't get calluses from dulcimer playing. But I get banjo-playing calluses on the tips of my fingers, especially my left middle finger and my left index.
Thanks for doing that Dusty!
Oooh... had fun today playing music with Brian. Made him sit with me and my new pear wood epinette and Brian on fiddle, tried out a couple of very simple old French tunes together. At first we both just played the melody til it felt semi comfortable. Then I tried playing harmony while he played melody, and that sounded 'almost' charming. Next he'll need to find some variation parts or harmony while I play melody. Good thing these are super simple tunes, because on the epinette I can't just use my old familiar mtn dulcimer strumming- I really need to pick drones only on certain notes, sort of flatpicking. It's a technique I'm not very good at yet, but working on it. Anyway, we really enjoyed our work session today and made a few sweet sounds in between the countless mistakes.
Apparently so. Maybe someone could contact MelBay about it- they likely have copies they'd be willing to give us so we could post them here?
What a great feeling when your new instrument is even nicer than you hoped!
I did hear that bell tone you mention, and wondered about it. It made my cats jump.
Jane, there are quite a few various bowed videos here on fotmd of bowed dulcimers, also of people bowing box dulcimers. Try a search in the videos for "bow" or "bowed".
We also have an entire: Group devoted to bowing dulcimers, which might have some discussions you'll find fascinating and helpful. (you'll have to click to 'join' the group before you can read the discussion responses, btw)
Ken, you lucky fellow! Many are the hours I have listened to Almeda's wonderful recordings. The more one listens, the more rich and skilled her singing sounds. So lucky we have them for others in the future! I wish there had been recordings of her singing when she was say in her 40s- what a marvel!
Yes Dusty is right- just go to the little display stand for balsa wood and dowels in any good hardware store- find a thin flexible 1/8" thick flexible balsa 'plank'- it'll be just the right bounce and length/width for your limberjack.
Hi all, this fun ongoing thread will be better located in our GigTalk! group, so I've transferred it to the following location, where everyone can continue participating in it:
Here's one example of an Alpine region 'zither/dulcimer ancestor type' instrument from sometime around the turn of the century:
BTW, this would be a great ongoing thread to post in our Gig Talk! Group.
It's not that uncommon to see that kind of mixed diatonic/chromatic fret arrangement on folk traditional or older dulcimer ancestor instruments- Swedish hummels, French epinettes... The practice goes far back. There are quite a few early mtn dulcimers with the arrangement, and J.J. Niles experimented with making such dulcimers as well. Lots of musicians like having the option for those odd extra notes, without having a completely chromatic fretboard.
It helps to be fretting with the fingers rather than a noter if you want to be more nimble in getting the 'far' non-diatonic frets. You can play tunes with any kind of accidentals in them, and you can play tunes that switch keys midstream without retuning... quite useful.
Hi George, there are lots of cool photos, videos, etc, about limberjacks here on FOTMD:
Yes i'm a Spoon Lady fan as well! And she used to be a member of FOTMD several years ago, believe it or not. I like everyone who makes joyful music without worrying too much about 'norms'. I also love funky percussion playing, like bones, frame drums, and limberjacks. In fact, bringing my own anklet rattle and bones to a festival this weekend!
Thanks for the tip about Susato low D whistles, Robert! I have a Susato Kildare in C (which of course is waaay smaller than a low D), and boy that thing is loud and clear- great for playing outside or in a large group or festival/event setting.
I have slightly smaller than average woman's hands, and I find the low G is currently a challenge for me. The idea of a 'keyed' low D is very appealing for me! Will look into this. Might be cool to play a low D if Brian is playing in a higher D octave on his fiddle.
Some of you may be familiar with my blog on traditional style dulcimer playing with videos and Noter style tabs.
Though I don't create new posts on my Noter blog very often nowadays, I do occasionally make updates or changes to the blog, which I started in 2009.
Today for the second time in eight years, I reviewed the links I had listed there.. Links to various helpful info on traditional dulcimer playing and traditional music resources. Some sites had merely moved and needed their links updated, but I was surprised at the number of links to sites and pages that no longer even exist. It struck me that much has changed online relative to traditional dulcimer playing since I began my blog in 2009!
Ive updated and reorganized the existing links, added a couple, and removed dead or irrelevant links. Ive also now added links to several builders who currently build traditional/early style instruments, such as Kevin Messenger, Dan Cox, John Knopf, and BirdRock (in UK). Hopefully this will be helpful to folks newly interested in traditional dulcimers.
I'm posting this because I'm open to receiving suggestions for including new links that are helpful and relevant to traditional dulcimer playing. I may or may not decide to include such links, but all suggestions will be considered!
Im closing this thread to replies because I'd like to receive these suggested links in private. So please send me your suggestions by clicking the "Contact site owner" link at the very bottom of any page here on FOTMD.
thank you so much! Strumelia
This was a huge resource with articles on mtn dulcimers and playingstyles, both traditional and modern. (For example the article interviewing Phyllis Gaskins on Galax style playing, and the article interviewing Ralph Lee Smith...just to name two)
Is this completely gone now, or does anyone know where it may have been moved to? Was Lois Hornbostel possibly editing/managing it? (I have no clue)
Ah! thank you so much Robin! Looks like Pete took down his old blog and moved to wordpress then.
I can now fix the dead links to his articles on my own blog, yay! Love Pete's articles.