Researching a dulcimer I think it is a Bob Lazenby
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
Here's a link to one of my blog posts that might be helpful in figuring out how to tune your dulcimer:
In the blog post there's a link to a real online keyboard where you can HEAR the notes D3 and D4 for example. You'll want to e sure to tune to the notes in the correct octave so you don't break your string.
Good advice Robin. Venni, do join the group (you have to click the button there to "join" ...and then you'll be able to read all the complete discussions and post yourself.
Lots of helpful FOTMD members can guide you in the Beginner's Group, and you can ask all the questions you want there!
Leny-sue, that's what is called "decay" of the note, and is normal. It tends to be more noticeable on strings at looser tension and also wound strings, and more so when the strings are plucked hard. Most of us pick the first part or middle part of the sounding note to tune by, not the ending 'decaying' tone.
A couple times every winter, I make a big pot of (mostly root) vegetable soup and freeze half of it for later.
In the winter i like to use a few root vegetables. The other day at our local farmers market store, I bought one big beautiful golden beet about the size of a baseball, one big purple turnip, some fresh carrots, and a sweet potato. To the soup I also added the meat pickings from a roast chicken I made a few days ago, a whole onion, several baby green zuccini, a stalk of celery, a few diced sundried tomato slices, and some garlic and black pepper. Oh, and some green Italian parsley that i froze this Fall from the garden. It was hearty!
Always nice to tuck away the additional batch that i can pull out of the freezer, on a cold dreary day a month or two from now.
Great post from . I particularly agree with her thoughts of: "I suspect that newbies are overwhelmed by the usual festival offerings. It's one thing to navigate a busy festival in person; online everything looks harder. The website, the downloads, the class schedule grid, how will this work, do I need a webcam, will my internet connection be up to snuff, am I a "beginner" or a "novice" and can I trust this site with my credit card number? Really it's a lot to handle.
I believe LisaG is so right in that. Dulcimer festivals are intimidating to begin with in person/pre-pandemic, ...and full pandemic/zoom festival online scheduling and commitment is enough to scare away many potential beginners would are not absolutely determined. Note my use of the word potential. Beginners who have not yet bought a dulcimer can join FOTMD and learn a gazillion things and get encouragement from dozens of people before they even touch or order an instrument. So much to explore, learn, listen to, watch, and ask!
But in an online dulcimer zoomfestival, potential beginner players (some of whom may not even have dulcimers yet) would have pretty much nothing to actually do. I would think the experience would be confusing and discouraging.
I've always noticed that the majority of new members here on FOTMD tend to be brand new beginner players. As a lark, I just now explored the 12 most recent new members' profile descriptions as of today Feb 21 2021.
Of the 12, only 3 had been playing mtn dulcimer for a while already... and of course they all owned dulcimers.
That left 9 others. All of those described themselves as either a new beginner or had not even gotten a dulcimer yet. Of those 9 beginners, 7 already had a dulcimer or had ordered one and were looking for help in learning to play. Two did not make clear whether they had a dulcimer yet but they still said they wanted to learn to play and were beginners.
So, of the random sampling of 12 new members, 3 were already dulcimer players with some experience, and 9 were beginners new to the dulcimer and looking to learn to play.
I seem to recall that for a couple of years before the pandemic hit, there were various in-person dulcimer festivals that folded due to not enough attendees. Knowing the reason for that might give a clue as to how to turn that trend around. What was causing this slow decline of dulcimer festivals before the pandemic?
The tropical plant in my office is unfurling a new leaf. It looks so fresh and full of promise, especially now in front of the window pane with freezing snow and sleet falling on the other side only inches away... I love in the morning when the sun comes through the green leaves. The unfurling leaf reminds me of when a butterfly emerges from its cocoon and opens its wings.
Wonderful news about how you are healing well, Ken L!
I'm glad to have it clarified about the two different giant dulcimers- the Mawhee-ish by Dan Cox, and the Thomas-ish by John Knopf. Yes a boxing match between the giants... how fun!
Around our area the snowstorm turned out to be almost all rain (there was ice last night) and was in the mid 30s today. Our 45 min drive was no problem at all, just wet. We were just plain lucky here, when so many are suffering from the current huge winter storm(s).
I got my first covid Moderna shot today - was so excited! It was ultra quick and easy. I had filled out the vaccine forms ahead of time at home, no crowds or lines at all -only took 7 minutes total from when i walked into Walgreen's til when i walked out... and i got to wait the 15 minutes observation time afterwards out in our car with my husband instead of sitting inside the drugstore.
My only reaction was my cheeks got noticeably pink and flushed for several hours afterwards but i felt just fine and had no fever. Arm site is getting a little sore now hours later but that's really common with vaccines.
Unfortunately my husband does not turn 65 until July, so he still does not qualify in NY state yet. I wish we could get the shots at the same time! But he's always home while I do all the shopping trips, so it's good I get the shots started now. My second shot is in 1 month, same place.
Great answers to a great question!
The calculator will help you avoid putting on strings that would be either too slack or so tight that they might break. It's so useful when you want to try out a new tuning or key for a particular sized dulcimer. (btw, it works well for other stringed instruments as well, not just dulcimers!)
I still cannot find a way to get to the tabs you are referring to here in this thread. Can you please give us a link to where/how to find them? I suspect the pdf attachments were lost when this site transitioned to a new platform.
It is not uncommon for the Norwegian langeleik to have wooden frets. Langeleiks are considered to be one of several traditional instruments that may be antecedents of the American mountain dulcimer.
Great idea about mailing and then sharing the cup of tea together, Cynthia! Like a little tea club.
There will be some roof raking going on here today as well.
We too 'embrace the hyggelig'. I draped strings of various little lights like a canopy over our little kitchen table where we eat... feels like eating under the stars, but of many colors... sooo cozy we decided we'll be leaving them up for the coming months. We always line up several candles on the table as well when we eat meals.
Jan you're right I forgot about the organizing/purging pandemic fad. I did some of that too and successfully sold off a substantial bunch of stuff on ebay. Didn't purge as many things as I was hoping to, but I did make a nice chunk of change while I was enthused. :)
In terms of cleaning/organizing projects- Last month I went through every bed pillow in the house (16 of them!) and threw out 6 of the oldest ones and bought 2 new ones. Some of those 'heirloom' feather pillows were decades old. (yuk) I also tossed the old inner zipper pillow protectors and bought new ones for every pillow. (got a couple 8-packs of cotton zipper pillow protectors on am*z*n.) Nice to have that fresh pillow feeling!
We also decided to get rid of the 30 yr old high quality LLBean real down comforter on our bed- it just didn't seem to fluff up much anymore and I suspected the feathers inside were slowly breaking down over time. It was time. I took a chance on ordering a down-substitute duvet insert this time instead of real down (which is SO expensive now anyway). Also got new duvet zipper covers for it. It was so lightweight that we had doubts, but the first few nights I was so overheated i kept asking Brian to turn the night thermostat lower. This duvet is way warmer than our ancient real down one, and we wound up reducing the heat at night by 4 degrees... which will save money.
We spend so much time at home waiting out the covid blues. Doing things that give us a sense of positivity, connection, and renewal is helpful. :)
I also find it interesting that in the old video he has a 6.5, an 8.5, and a 13.5 fret... but not the 1.5 fret which is the lower mate to the 8.5. Then in the 2012 photo you can see he's included the 1.5. I too have both the 1.5 and the 6.5 (and their matching octave higher mates) on my dulcimers that i used a lot for oldtime jamming. There are many accidental notes in oldtime tunes, notes that pop up but don't necessarily change the mode or the key, so those extra frets come in handy for that kind of fast oldtime jamming. If playing simple tunes at home I might opt for a purely diatonic dulcimer and retuning more to match modes as I like. In festival jams you have little control of what everyone's doing and you have to be able to get into a key and mode fast or else drop out... so I find the extra frets solve that problem neatly.
Ok, so it looks and sounds as though he's tuned (from bass to melody) Aee. His tonic note A in on the third fret, which means in this case he is definitely playing in ionian mode. His bass string is not very heavy, but still looks heavier than the melody string, which is in keeping with his tuning it to the same A note as most DAd players use for their middle string. So, he likely had a string gauge for his bass string which was similar to the middle string of DAA or DAd players. Then, I'm thinking he had thin gauge (.010) for both his middle and melody strings, the enable him to tune them both up to high e. I imagine he had a dulcimer for playing in the keys of A and G (Aee and Gdd), and another dulcimer for playing in the keys of D and C. That's what i typically do in oldtime jams myself.
I notice he has wooden tuning pegs on this dulcimer but had installed some of those cheap freestanding in-line fine tuners to get perfectly in tune. I tried those out once but found they tend to wobble all over and also ate into the strings, making them break more often. I am guessing he's moved more to geared tuners since this 1994 video, especially for festival jamming. Here's a photo of a dulcimer he used in 2012 for a house concert jam, showing geared tuners.
So the pandemic is now going on 1 year, and folks will be hanging close to home/social distancing for a while to come yet.
Let's see... what pandemic fads have we all gone through, while trying to do something that feels comforting or productive?
First there was the baking craze... lots of sourdough and other breads! Me, i was baking apple crumb muffins and choc chip cookies a whole lot. Then i also started making yogurt since we love yogurt at home. Both those things I'm still enjoying doing.
Some people started knitting, or sewing masks. I used to knit a lot but did not take it back up during quarantine. I did however sew a couple dozen masks for us and our grown children. I sewed a new batch of masks a month ago to freshen our home supply.
Some people adopted dogs or other pets bring them cheer.
There was a lot of fitness walking during the warm months, and also people roller skating, and buying regular or indoor Peloton bikes, elipticals, mini trampolines, doing yoga online. I got a little trampoline, my husband got a trainer to put his bike on- to ride in the livingroom. I sold my two old pairs of roller skates and roller gear on ebay for a good price! :)
People got into gardening with a passion this year. I did my usual vegetable garden, but that's not new for me.
Now people have been diving into collecting houseplants in a big way. I think it's a way of bringing the promise of Spring and new change and growth to alleviate this dark pandemic winter. Plants in the house are a tonic and a comfort! I've always had about a dozen nice cactus and succulents in various windows of our house. Years ago i opted for cactus because I knew our cats would leave them alone. heheh. One of my older cacti died last month after many years.
In the Fall I got a new snake plant for my office, which has been doing well and brings me joy. But today while buying some groceries at our local farm store, I really succumbed to temptation and bought two large new houseplants- a dark burgundy leaved rubber tree plant, and one of those trendy Monstera Deliciosa- those big green jungle-y plants with the splits and holes in their leaves. Luckily I had a couple of locations for them next to windows where they might do well. So nice to have green living things in the house during the dead of winter!
What pandemic fads have you guys tried out this past weird year? Have i forgotten some of the hobbies and trends that have been popular during this endless pandemic?
Betty, your vaccine reaction sounds just like what I went through with my second shingles vaccine last year. I woke up with a high fever and my teeth were chattering for several hours even though I was covered with heavy blankets. It was no fun, but like you I felt better the next day pretty quickly. It's good that we all know what to expect when we do get the covid vaccine- particularly the second shot which is the one that really kicks your immune cells into high gear so that they will be prepared for combat if you're later exposed to the real virus. BTW there is no covid virus in any of these vaccines, so folks needn't worry at all about 'getting covid' from a vaccine. :)
What are you all doing to stay healthy at home, or to keep from going stir crazy?
We have a set of stairs in our house that I normally make about 9 or 10 trips a day on, since my office is upstairs. I'm trying to double up lots of those trips now so that Im doing 15 or 20 sets of stairs in a day.
I'm also doing various yoga-like stretches whenever I can, to help counteract all the desk sitting I do.
My husband and i occasionally pull out a board game (bored game? lol) to break up the routine. Our favorites are Qwirkle, Bananagrams, and Pente.
I read that most states have only managed to vaccinate between 1-2% of their population so far, so obviously we have a looong ways to go. Vaccine supplies and outreach are improving every week though.
I managed to get an appt for my first vaccine for April 15, but still, I'll have to drive to Albany almost an hour away- that's my nearest state run vaccine site. It's possible I may be able to get vaccinated earlier in some more local pharmacy or health center... if I get lucky. (I do currently qualify in NY since I'm over 65.)
But so many folks can't drive, or don't have any computer savvy to make appointments online. Here's to vaccines becoming as easily accessible as getting a flu shot by summer!
A word of caution- if you are using ANY kind of liquid (alcohol, oil, GooGone, etc) for this job, be very careful to not get it near the frets. If such products seep into the fret slots it can compromise the wood-to-fret grip by swelling the raw wood in the slot, and the fret may rise a bit or become loose with playing.
For any product you use to remove stickers, use a Qtip or just the tip of a rag and do not pour/drip any substance on the fretboard. Keep the substance away from the frets and don't use so much that it seeps over to the frets.