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Oh my. What a 'squishable' nose Gary has!
This is beautiful! Someone is going to be very lucky to own it.
From the pictures I've seen they both seem to be extremely similar indeed. Do you know who invented the word dulcimore, and who invented the word dulcimer?
The Latin root 'dulci' means sweet. Nobody knows who exactly invented the words dulcimer or dulcimore. It goes far back in time, to medieval references to hammered dulcimers. 'Dulcimore' is simply one of various old fashioned variations of names for the same or similar instruments.
Right, Dan! So many quaint old names for mountain dulcimers were in use years ago in the US. Indian walking stick, dulcerine, duck slammer, even sometimes just called a Music Box.
I first noticed the particular name 'dulcimore' being used much more frequently by Dan Cox just a few years ago. Before that (for the 30 years i have studied and discussed dulcimers), we all simply talked about 'traditional mountain dulcimers' and 'modern dulcimers'. 'Dulcimore' rarely came up except in online conversations where we were listing quaint old fashioned historic or regional names for our instrument.
Whether Dan intended it or not, I consider him to have spearheaded a movement where now it seems to be pretty much standard procedure to refer to traditional mountain dulcimers as 'dulcimores'. Since it's handy to use as a shorter name than constantly saying or writing 'traditional dulcimer', and has a lilting quality, I'm all for making things simpler when discussing our favorite instrument. But I do think that Dan deserves the credit for 'reviving' the name 'dulcimore' into now common usage and understanding.
Looking at your Noter & Drone Blog - Lots of info - could reversing tuning of DAA be the same as AAd
(Tonic/home note which is on fret #4.) means d is 4 up from A - I still don't understand whats standard tab i have that I could just count up a few frets to make that tab work
1) No- the standard 'reverse tuning' of DAA would be ADA... reversing the middle and bass strings, NOT doing anything to the melody string. In both DAA and ADA, your tonic note would still be the note of D. (found on one of the drone strings and on the melody string at 3rd fret.)
2) I don't know what you consider to 'standard tab'... for what tuning?
Easiest way to test all this: Play it while doing your counting up thing and see if it sounds right, and if you have all the notes you need for the tune. My bet is that it won't translate well if you are fretting on all strings and chording. If that's the case, then retuning to an optimal tuning for the tune and the tab will be the easiest solution.
(Tonic/home note which is on fret #4.) If I can take my DAd tab & count up 3 & turn it into a DAA tab - does this mean I would count up to 4 for this tuning and would I need to play on the A string, or could I play on the d string?
(dorian tunes) Is that what this tuning is - Dorian?
The +3 tab conversion really works best if you only or mostly play/fret on the melody string (drone style playing). It's more complicated when you fret notes on all strings and/or play chords. You can try it, but I have no idea how it'll sound.
A tuning can often play tunes in more than 1 mode. That's why we are not technically correct in saying "dorian tuning" for instance. What I try to say these days, which is more correct, is that "this tuning is great for playing dorian tunes". The purpose of 'tunings' is to make it easier to play various kinds of tunes. A particular tune might be easier to play in DAG than DAC, for example. You'd have all the notes you need in places that are easily available depending on your style of playing. This is particularly important on non-chromatic instruments like the dulcimer, which is typically 'missing' certain frets.
Hope this helps!
Marg that appears to me to be a tuning one would use to play in the lonesome-sounding Dorian mode.
Are you playing the melody on the melody (d) string when in that tuning? And... are you playing in chording style, or in drone style? (drone style meaning you are not fretting the middle or bass string).
I do have a couple of tabs on my noter drone blog for dorian tunes. Basically, it's like playing in aeolian except further up the fretboard, and thus you have several extra available notes below the Tonic/home note which is on fret #4.
You can always simply remove one of the doubled pair of melody strings if you want just single strings, people do it all the time. Remove the one that will result in string spacing you like.
$200 is extremely low for a new dulcimer that is not a cardboard model. If you can set your budget to $300 or $350 you will have additional options. Or, used dulcimers will be a bit cheaper.
That said, most of the cardboard dulcimers sold these days are actually pretty good dulcimers, they play smoothly and they sound nice. They make great super-low-priced starter instruments that remain useful later on for travel and camping, etc.
There's nothing like a fretless gourd or wood-shell banjo, strung with gut or nylon strings, with a natural skin head, to make the world go 'round!
Steven, I pretty much agree with this. Though I do love some of my oldtime steel string banjers too, they have their own pretty bell-like tone appeal.
Ken, many factors contribute to a unique sound from every banjo. Pot material does actually make quite a difference, as do different types of wood. I have a friend who made an entire banjo out of ebony. It was a thing of beauty and extremely heavy. But sadly, it sounded way too quiet and not resonant at all, because of the denseness of the ebony, which would not transmit sound vibrations at all.
, i too think banjos can be made successfully out of most hard woods. If you have a chance look up stuff about banjo maker Jeff Menzies - he moved to Jamaica years ago and while living there he used all kinds exotic woods to make gourd banjos... whatever wood was available from trees that fell or discarded local wood. His banjos sound wonderful. I loooove gourd banjos, but I only have one, made by Jeff.
Wishing you and your wife all the best...
Don- unfortunately, a typical hole reamer and a peg shaver are both intended for tapered holes and tapered pegs. We are talking about straight holes for the (straight) metal tuner shaft. A reamer would create a tapered hole in which the metal tuner shaft would then wobble.
BTW you can 'like' a discussion or a photo or a video etc, but you cannot 'like' an individual post in a discussion.
Thus, you will see the green Thumbs Up button at the lower left corner of this discussion (to like the discussion), but you won't see a Like button on Skip's individual post, for example.
Some banjo players have successfully enlarged a pegbox hole that was 'a hair' too small by wrapping some fine sandpaper around a pencil and carefully working it back and forth in the hole a little at a time. That would certainly be an option with a dulcimer that is not terribly valuable, and for holes that 'almost' fit your new tuner shafts.
I'm confused about what you mean:
Did you buy a complete new set of geared tuners, or just the plastic buttons?
Are you trying to replace the whole tuner, or just the plastic buttons?
Is it the buttons that don't fit on the existing tuners?... or the whole new tuner shaft that doesn't fit in the wooden hole?
My mistake, i did not examin the photo well- those older tuners are not 'planet' or plantetary tuners, they are regular geared tuners.
If you can't see a brand ID on the old tuners, the way i see it is you have two choices: 1) carefully ream the existing holes so that the tuners you just bought will fit, 2) try to find a website that describes various uke tuner shaft sizes, and 3) get an exact measurement of the existing holes diameter so you can look for tuners with the right size shafts to fit the existing holes.
For a dulcimer that is not greatly valuable, i would suggest option #1. Just my own thoughts. :)
Those amber buttons are very good quality banjo planetary tuners, that's all I know.
Fig preserves? sounds wonderful!! No fig trees here... too cold!
Yay, I picked the first pint of the year of our own blueberries yesterday. They didn't give much last year (I had pruned them severely the year before that) but this year looks like a good crop again. They give berries for about three to four weeks. It's a wonderful thing to look forward to. I just had a bowl of yogurt with our blueberries and a cut up nectarine and a tablespoon of chia seed for good measure. :)
I've been following a new diet over the past 7 weeks so far, to try and lose weight. (I need to lose 30 pounds total)
Portion control and 'will power' are not things that work for me. I've been doing something I've never tried before- actually counting calories. An app on my iphone makes it pretty easy to do... far easier than laboriously logging in old notebooks and looking everything up in books or charts.
so... in seven weeks I've now lost seven pounds. I'm sort of surprised it's working as well as it has been, and the best part is I don't feel terribly hungry, because I now know things I can eat that have fewer calories but i really like- to snack on when i'm antsy for something. I do have days when I don't bother counting at all, like when we have guests over or some fancy meal that's hard to figure out. It's educating me a whole lot about what foods and choices have high or low calories. That means that eventually i should have a much better sense of how to eat so I don't gain back weight in the future, even without using the app.
It does take some effort and dedication, but it's showing me I don't have to actually 'suffer' to lose weight. That's encouraging!
I'm so very, very sad to hear of John's passing. What a wonderful musician and dulcimer player he was, and he helped so many people to find joy in making music.
There are 18 truly beautiful music clips that John posted here on FOTMD over the years. I do hope that folks will have a listen to them on John's fotmd page, here:
And if you care to, leave a message on John's fotmd profile page Comment Wall while you are on his page.
Farewell to a fine and kind person, and amazing musician.
It's pretty hot out. I love hard boiled eggs, and also sauerkraut and pickles. Thus, I love pickled eggs !
I used to make them years ago using beet juice and vinegar- very pretty!
Today I found a couple recipes and tried them out, but will need to wait a few days or a week to see how they taste. Both were for easy refrigerator jar method- no canning required.
One was 'regular' pickled eggs, using white vinegar, pickling spices, a bit of sugar and black pepper... I had some fresh dill from the garden, and added some sliced onion and a bit of smashed garlic clove too.
The other was for a soy sauce flavored pickled eggs, made with rice vinegar. I made that one with low sodium soy sauce, some powdered ginger, garlic, and I had green scallions from the garden to add to that one.
I had several fresh Jalapeno peppers that I did an experiment with- just adding the rings of pepper into a jar with some pickling liquid, and lots of sliced onion and garlic. That would be way to hot for me to eat, but if they pickle well Brian might like a ring of jalapeno now and then in the tortillas he lies to make for his lunch.
Will have to let all these 'incubate' in the fridge for at least 5 days before i try them out. If they come out great I'll post links to the online recipes here.
Here's a wonderful NPR article about Joni's Blue and her music- it includes some interesting references to dulcimer and guitars in Joni's music. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/20/1008271419/joni-mitchell-masterpiece-at-50-her-kind-of-blue
Keep in mind that once you get residue of rosin on your strings, they can be a bit sticky, especially if you play with a flatpick. Clean rosin residue off your strings with a soft cloth that's damp with a little rubbing alcohol. Avoid getting alcohol on your instrument's wood or on the fretboard.
Hey B.Ross, there are two bearded guys with plaid shirts in that video.
This morning i was sitting my MY daughter in the outdoor patio of our neighborhood cafe too Dusty!. :)
Yes it does feel strange to be out and about without a mask on next to people outdoors. (like a lot of folks I know, we still feel better wearing masks when indoors with strangers, and when in stores) I'm especially grateful the weather in our part of the world allows us to eat in outside restaurants.
I'm beginning to feel much safer near others. This mental adjustment does take a little time. When outdoors, i no longer wear mask at all, indoors I still do unless i know everyone has been vaxilated. ;D Us 'human magnets' gotta stick together, after all... ahahahah!!! I find it so handy to just stick my car keys on my forehead now... i never lose track of them anymore.
I reduced the size of all the photos to a width of about 500 px.
Beautiful dulcimer! I would call its shape elliptical rather than teardrop. Is it made of oak, perhaps?
I cannot venture who the HRC may be...anyone? I would think that without a known maker and with no cracks or other problems, it might sell somewhere between $250-$500. Sorry that's a wide price range, but you never know who might want to buy it and what their idea of 'too much' is these days. If you decide to try to sell it here on FOTMD, you'd have to create a new thread in our For Sale forum and follow the posting rules there.
Do you have no interest in learning to play?
Ken please stop 'yelling' or I might have to send someone to remove your CAPS lock and exclamation point keys in the middle of the night. Seriously, bro.
Nate, I'm not sure why you'd be trying to reduce humidity during shipping... the dulcimer is going to be all wrapped up in multiple layers during transit and also... what good will it do once the package is opened anyway? It's true that the instrument is going to have to adapt to its environment one way or another. Just my opinion, but right by the sea I don't see how silica or gel bags will provide longterm relief unless the dulcimer spends almost all its time in its case.
They say that it's rapid drastic changes in temps and humidity that harm instruments more than simply a constant environment that's hot, or humid, etc.
I have a good friend who learned the hard way. They forgot their beautiful Martin guitar in the car for an hour on a very hot summer day. Inside the car was over 100F. They rushed it into an air conditioned house and immediately opened the case to check on it. It looked ok. Within one minute that guitar in its open case literally exploded with a huge bang, into a million pieces. If only my friend had brought the case into the cool house and just left it there for several hours to adjust slowly prior to opening the case , the guitar would probably have been ok. But I digress...
I honestly don't know much about wood, but maybe using hardwoods rather than softwoods in construction will help keep a humid dulcimer more stable? Or perhaps making the back piece a tiny bit thicker to increase structural stability? Just random thoughts.
Banjo players, who struggle mightily with humidity if they have real calf or goatskin heads... sometimes use the old trick of spraying two very light coats of Aquanet hairspray (or one of those art pastel fixative sprays) on both sides of the skin head. This actually does help prevent the skin from absorbing so much humidity from the air that it softens and sags and makes the banjo unplayable. This has worked remarkably well for me on my real skin banjo heads during some very humid summer camping weekends. It doesn't seem to effect the sound either. Makes the skin a little more stiff and waterproof. It does darken the skin a little and makes it more translucent. (which i find attractive)
I see no harm at all in spraying 2 light coats of Aquanet on the inner sides of your dulcimer body wood. We're not talking about a Stradivarius here. It may actually help seal and prevent the wood from expanding/contracting quite as much due to fluctuations in air moisture. I suppose you could spray the outer surface too, but it may create an unwanted finish so best to test first.
I planted my tomato plants and tomatillo plants today. My green sauce seems to be a big hit with my husband, so I will try to make a lot this year and can it again. My final batch from late last summer lasted us all the way until the following April! Green tomatillo sauce really gives a wonderful taste of summer in the middle of the dark bleak winter.
Last year due to the pandemic i tried to grow as much veggies in the garden as possible. It was frustrating because my soil was depleted. This Spring i worked hard to apply compost and straw, and I decided to give myself a break by not trying to plant and tend so many kinds of veggies this year. So, I'm sticking with my tomatoes, tomatillos, some peppers, and of course the blueberries. Much of the vegetable garden will simply lie resting under compost and straw this Summer. Hoping the earthworms come and aerate it.
Instead of my usual other veggies, I'm planting more simple annual flowers just to lift my spirit with cheerful colors and bouquets. I bought some flats with good old fashioned zinnias. Also some tall violet ageratum, blue morning glories, a big blue hyssop plant and 3 purple salvia for the various bees, and several spectacular red tithonia.
I can't wait to see all the new crazy colors in my garden this year for a change!