Grant Olson Website
Very nice website, Grant! You are such a musically talented young man.
Sam, we spend a lot of time on our devices especially now during the virus times. I'm all for getting reasonable things now and then to make our stay-at-home lifestye more comfortable, productive, or fun. I say get yourself a nice new keyboard! Besides, it's good to have a spare working backup keyboard in the closet in case your usual one fails. (don't ask how I learned this lesson...shudder) Keyboards take a lot of wear and tear and they don't last as long as computers. They're like shoes- it gets to a point where a shoe may still be wearable but it's all beat up and gross. Like with shoes, often one doesn't notice how beat up their keyboard actually is until they get a new replacement.
The last keyboard I actually purchased was a fancy expensive Surface fingerprint bluetooth keyboard back in Sept when I got my new little Dell 13" laptop. I only use the fancy Surface one when I'm working, because I need the larger size, numbers pad, and other features while working. The one thing it lacks though is a lighted keys option (as my laptop has)... seems silly and annoying to not have lighting at that price, but I usually have a strong desk light while working so it is not as essential for my particular situation. But YOU obviously need a lighted option!
Thanks Ken, that's a good comparison! It's actually really nice to not have that gross old keyboard over there to the side of my desk anymore. I had stopped noticing it ...until i had to use it again today. ;)
Dusty- I'm fairly well organized, though I certainly don't remember everything.
Last September I got a new windows 10 laptop which is what I do my work/job on and everything else now. But I still have my sturdy old windows 7 tower desktop all set up next to it, to use only as an emergency backup for working in case my laptop conks out. (I don't use the win7 for going online anymore).
Today i fired it up as i do once in a while to get a few updates and make a fresh backup of it- good to check that it's still working fine. It gives me a sense of security having it there in working order, just in case.
But the 8 year old wireless keyboard was becoming unusable- not just all the gross dirt and grunge (doubtless an entire loaf of toast crumbs inside there somewhere), but the actual white letters had been wearing off the black keys for years now- I had taped little square paper bits with hand written letters over several keys one by one, but now there were more and more letters worn off. I always have to look while typing, so this was getting silly.
I remembered that I had liked that keyboard so much when i first bought it 8 yrs ago that I had bought a spare one on sale and squirreled it away, unopened. ! So, I dug it out and it was all pristine and new... sweeeeet! But I hadnt realized that it came with two AAA batteries pre-installed, and when i took them out the battery ends were all corroded. I put in new batteries but the keyboard wasn't working. Oh no! So then I tried cleaning out the chalky gunked up contact points inside there with a qtip and alcohol. And then... it sprang to life!!
I always forget how nice a new keyboard feels (even an old style one), and how it can psychologically rejuvenate an entire computer setup. Such a pleasure now to do a little typing there and check on things, open programs and play a game of solitaire for old times' sake on the clackety but satisfying keys while I'm backing up. Heck, it even inspired me to clean all the dust and cat fur off the old but still perfectly great monitor. Now it all looks like a new workstation, and it felt like I did something kind for my old workhorse that's now 'out to pasture'. And best of all it didn't cost anything- the exact keyboard replacement was already sitting there in the closet for years untouched, waiting for its moment to shine!
"like a kidney stone...." ...that's a gem! I'll definitely be using that one.
Ken, I guess it'll be a good growth exercise in controlling your playing then. I know it's true for me that sometimes simpler things can be hard when I'm used to doing stuff my own way (the way I'd prefer).
It's like someone who has lived alone for decades has difficulties adjusting to living with someone else. I had an older girlfriend who was engaged for two years to the nicest guy, they felt so lucky to have found each other, ...but they finally broke up because they both couldn't deal with moving in together and just visiting wasn't what they really wanted... they were each 'married to their own houses' full of their treasured stuff and could not deal with making the changes.
I too can vouch that you've been saying 40 years for about ten years now. No offense intended Ken, but since you mention it on average once every day in one post or another, that means we've all been reminded of your 40 years of playing approximately 3,650 times now. We've definitely gotten the memo!
Where is the general discussion area, I thought I was there! Sorry, I do have difficulty navigating this site....
You ARE in the General Dulcimer discussions Forum, Mary... but you are posting in a particular discussion about the site's Chat function. Instead, it would be better to create your own NEW discussion for your particular Masters question. When in the: General Forums section , click on the big PLUS + button at upper right of the page to add a new discussion , and give your new discussion a title that helps others know what it's about, like "Masters course for dulcimer?" for example.
, it's very common for beginner chord players to strum out the entire chord across all strings with each beat. I happen to think there's nothing wrong with that when you are starting out, as it can help you improve your rhythm and help you to hear where chord changes happen.
I think that as players gain experience and skill over time, they naturally tend to vary the slant and pressure of their pick in order to emphasize the melody better or even avoid playing certain strings that can sound overbearing if played all the time.
-I'm hoping I'm correctly interpreting what your question is about?
The fact that you are asking about it indicates that you are watching and hearing what other players do to sound pleasing. If you keep listening and absorbing, your playing will improve.
Sometimes, new players get stuck in only playing one familiar rhythm... the bump-ditty bump-ditty which can be so satisfying. However such constant full chord or all-string strumming can get heavy handed. Your playing can sound more varied if you alternate single notes with full strums now and then. At other times you can simply let the previous note or chord 'hover' in the air without another strum. That can add a nice breath and lift.
And just because a written piece of music indicates where a chord changes, it doesn't mean you must play that chord right at that moment- this is often true of guitar chords indicated in songbooks.
No matter whether you're a chord player or noter player, forcing yourself to play around with varying your strumming rhythm can actually help you break free of always strumming across all strings (or playing a full chord) for every note.
You'll get lots of opinions on this, probably best answered by someone who teaches in chord/melody style. :)
Of course a lot depends on 'who' told you this (another beginner student? the teacher?..), and what the reason was for their advice. There might be a good reasons to follow or not follow their advice based on the situation. But a good teacher will usually have a good reason for their advise. Maybe using the thumb there create an awkward hand/wrist angle.
I'm assuming you're in DAd tuning? There is more than one way to finger a G chord. Which G chord are you referring to?
A lot also depends on the sequence of chords or notes going on in a particular tune as well. Sometimes finger positions will be changed from the norm in order to make a specific musical phrase or sequence flow better and not sound choppy.
Various factors at play on this. Hopefully an actual chord style teacher will jump in to help here.
We have three cats. Our big handsome grey boy cat Teddy is usually sweet, but he's very big and strong and turns into a powerful deadly tiger when any vets try to examine him. Imagine our dread when we found out he has to get a medicine drop in his one troublesome eye twice a day ...as in forever. Yikes!
At first he fought it a bit, but we kept turning the event into a petting/brushing mini session after his drop...he loooves being petted or brushed. So now two months later he absolutely demands we give him his eye drop twice a day, coming to get us, meowing loudly and leading us to the bedroom where we sit on the bed to give him his eye drop and then the reward of 30 seconds of petting or brushing. It's too funny! he gets so excited and in the middle of giving the drop he starts purring so hard he rumbles. That's when we call him Rumble Purr Teddy.
Here in NY i believe masks are required inside any food markets. The big supermarket told me they had to hire a guard at the front door to make sure all customers were wearing masks when entering. (I'm glad about that!) Keep in mind that NY was very hard hit by the virus except in the outlying rural areas.
Still rare to find toilet paper, paper towels and tissues here in my area... and thankfully they have limits per customer.
I found a great market for fresh meat and produce that I like to go to now. But since I'm pretty stocked up, I only need to get random supplies once every 10 days or so, and i freeze some bread and meat when i have a little space.
There is absolutely NO rubbing alcohol, Chlorox wipes, or hand sanitizer to be found here in the stores yet. Not even hydrogen perozide! Even jugs of laundry bleach are sparse on the shelf.
Luckily I still have enough disinfecting supplies that I bought several months ago. Since i don't venture out very often, thankfully I'm not going through it as rapidly as I feared. By the time I run out of disinfecting/safety items hopefully it will all be available again. :)
I have tons of lettuce in my garden right now at its peak. There are several friends of ours who come by and pick up a big bag that I set out for them. Sometimes they stop to chat for a while- we put our lawn chairs out on the lawn 12 feet far apart so we can sit and visit when they come by. Fun! In a couple more weeks my mature lettuce will bolt need to be pulled out and reseeded. Lettuce struggles a bit with the Summer heat though, so it's at its best for me in the Spring and Fall.
Now with the temps rising, the string beans are loving it. I have two types growing- both are very slim and French, so they don't get fat and tough like the Blue Lake types i used to grow. I have Tenderette green which are truly tender and I've grown for several years, and also Velour- which is similar slender but dark velvet purple. It looks gorgeous raw, but does turn dark green when cooked.
I'm finding the passage of time has become deceptive during the covid times. We've been staying isolated at home for 3 1/2 months now. In some ways it feels like an eternity ...but in other ways it seems to have passed in a flash. Weird. Other people must be experiencing similar things?
Putting aside for a moment the deadly seriousness of how covid-19 has terribly effected us all in one way or another, some folks more directly and severely than others...losing jobs, loved ones, lives.
I think this horrible crisis has also caused us to deeply appreciate some of the little things we used to take for granted. Like even just being able to go to the store to pick up eggs or toilet paper. Not to waste things.
If I look at one small positive thing my home isolation period has done for me, I'd have to say it has made me both a better gardener and a better cook. In both those areas of my life i've become more resourceful in finding ways to use and get the most out of what i have, in order to get results.
I wound up growing seedlings in paper milk cartons cut in half, and in empty egg cartons, with a plain 60W garage shop light hanging overhead and Saran wrap spread over to germinate, using dirt simply dug from the yard. Didn't buy any 'starter trays', peat pots, fertilizer, or bags of potting soil. I only ordered seed, which came in the mail. I was surprised to find that much of my remaining old 2019 seeds which sat in the shed for a year still germinated by about 60%. Two months later, we're now getting lots of salads from the garden, and I've been able to give fresh bags of lettuce to some older friends as well.
I learned about food substitutions to use in a pinch when i didn't have a certain ingredient. I've gotten better at throwing together meals from odds and ends pantry items. Some items are scarce to get, so I adjust meal plans around when/if I get them.
I've developed more patience and willingness to tackle more 'from scratch' baking recipes that I previously would have dismissed as being too much work. I've also settled into the routine of making home made yogurt that we now eat all the time.
Vanilla. In our house, our bottle of pure vanilla extract has taken on Goddess status. When the quarantine started, early on I got flour, sugar, baking powder, etc, and figured I was ok for baking treats for a while. I knew I had recently bought a bottle of vanilla which was in the back of the spice cupboard. Well, two weeks later when I went to bake cookies, I found that vanilla bottle had been knocked over months before and had slowly leaked until it was... empty. So sad!
To my dismay I found all my local stores were by that time all OUT of most baking supplies like flour, yeast, brown sugar, and... vanilla ! So I ordered a very overpriced but pure Madagasgar 8oz bottle online. The shipping date was three weeks away. Finally a month after ordering, the vanilla arrived in the mail (i had enjoyed envisioning our treasure bottle slowly sailing on a pirate ship, bobbing over the ocean waves from distant islands to us). The aroma when i opened that bottle was otherworldly divine. I never appreciated vanilla so much as now, and I treat that bottle like the crown jewels when I reach for it.
BTW here where I am I went to the regular supermarket a few days ago, and in the huge entire toilet paper/paper towels aisle, there was just ONE lonely little 4pack of toilet paper. And big signs saying TP/papertowels/tissue "LIMIT ONE package per customer". I left that package for someone else who was maybe more in need than I. Is anyone else still finding TP and paper towels completely out of stock in stores still, after like three months now? I find it a little bizarre that tp supply still has not caught up with demand, after all this time.
Hi there. I guess you mean the activity feed on the main page loads slowly? When you say the posts are not refreshing, but then you say they slowly come up- I have to assume you mean they are loading or refreshing slowly.
This 'loading slowly' issue sounds like a problem with your browser. But let's start here: If your ipad is brand new, it likely has not been updated in a couple of months since leaving the factory- first make sure your iOS software is updated. Then check to see if your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox?) has any updates to apply. Once your browser is up to date, completely shut down the ipad and restart. This will force-clear the browser's cache.
I have a very old ipad and this is not happening to me. I'm thinking this issue is due to something or some setting with your device. Content loading slowly does not have to do with fotmd's software...it's almost always a browser issue. Check your browser settings to make sure they are settings permissions the way you want and that the browser has all updates. And do go to the App store and make sure to 'update' all apps you have installed.
Let me know here if it's still happening after you do all that.
It's a "PushMi-PullYu" dulcimer.
Aw Terry, I feel for you and for the residents who were so looking forward to your music and high-jinx. So sad indeed!
Keeping my fingers crossed that things will turn around very soon, especially for the old folks in nursing homes and assisted living residences.
Stay well Terry!
I'd love to hear that too! Can you post a quick video demo here in the discussion maybe?
With a 26" scale, you could 'try' out a .028 wound bass string tuning it to low D. But I definitely wouldn't try thicker than that or it might snap. Your 26 gauge current bass string is already within the high range for thickness. Give it a try- the worst that can happen is it would break the string. Make sure you have spare .026 and/or .024 wound bass strings to put on if the .026 breaks. ;)
Because the .026 is already on the heavy side, you could actually test out a thinner bass string- like a .024 or even a .022 wound. It sounds counter intuitive but remember the buzz started after changing strings. If you have spare strings it doesn't hurt to try this stuff out... strings are cheap.
p.s. did you buff the nut slot with the waxed floss as well?
The bridge is unmovable so I can’t move it. I did however try to see if buzz sound happened when I put on bridge without being in the slot and it still buzzed.
If the buzz still occurred with the string sitting on top of the bridge without being in the slot, that suggests the string action being too low is not the culprit.
I have a 26” VSL. Melody String .012 , Middle String .016 and Bass .026
and what notes are you tuning to?
Yes that might help. Try the next larger gauge just for that string. A heavier string and a lighter string, both tuned to the same note: the heavier one will feel tighter and be at higher tension. Dont go too very thick or the string might be at too high a tension and break. Just like for example from a .022 to a .024 wound.
There's also a very remote possibility that it's actually a different string causing the issue, but that the sound manifests itself through the bass string vibrations. In that case, changing all strings might help.
What's your VSL/scale length from nut to bridge, and what gauge strings do you have on now, and what notes are you tuning to?
That's great that you're maybe improving things a little. Be careful to keep the flossing gentle- you don't want to deepen or damage the slots by 'sawing'. Do both the nut and the bridge slot, since the vibration can originate from either end yet still wind up buzzing at the first couple of frets near the peghead end.
More thoughts... you say the buzz was more pronounced when you had 'flatwound' guitar strings on, and the buzz was less so when you switched to regular wound strings. To me this may suggest that the buzz occurs when the string is not well seated in either the nut slot or the bridge slot. If you have a slot that is shaped with a "v" shape nut file, and the string is heavy and is round, then it leaves a very tiny space gap at the bottom trench of the V. This often causes buzzes. It's a little like putting a round peg into a square hole... you get gaps.
Talk to your husband about this. I have sometimes solved this 'slot gap' string seating buzz problem by doubling or tripling some waxed dental floss and gently but firmly running an 8 inch length of that that back and forth in both the nut slot and the bridge slot. (don't saw it too hard, you don't want to file down the slot) That can buff and smooth any microscopic burred edges in the slot and helps the wound string seat more snugly without actually filing the slot. Obviously you loosen the string first and pull it over to the side while doing this. It's an easy quick trick to try that won't cause harm to anything, and may make a difference. The fact that a flatwound string buzzes more than the round wound string makes me suggest this.
Have you looked at this blog post I wrote about finger position when fretting? Hand/finger position can often cause buzzes and other weird sounds. I've seen this issue many times in players...
Have you had your husband play on the string while you listen for the buzz? If it only happens when you are playing, that points towards something you are doing. Maybe there's nothing actually 'wrong' with this dulcimer but it is just a bit more sensitive to your personal playing methods/habits in some way.
ALSO: does the buzz happen on the OPEN bass string? Does it happen only on certain notes fretted, and not when you play the string open?
As a test, try tuning just that bass string up by one step- if it is in D tune it to E.... and see if the buzzing stops. If it stops, then you'll know that the bass string is too light a gauge- switch it to the next thicker gauge and that will make sure it won't be tickling the frets when vibrating.
If the test does NOT eliminate the buzz, then the problem is not likely with the string, but could be with the nut/bridge slots, or the frets, or your fingering techniques. Since Jim Woods has checked out the instrument thoroughly, and also since he cannot hear the buzz happen for him, then perhaps your physical playing technique as the most likely suspect.
Can you hear the buzz if you get your husband to play the dulcimer or strum it?
I'm sure the two Kens can tell us the exact year that Bruce created ED. I joined there after it had been online for maybe two years.
Jason's SweetMusicDigest listserve was (to the best of my knowledge) the first dedicated online 'discussion group' for dulcimers. That was before people could easily put up online forum software websites like ED. But remember that SweetMusic was a listserve- an email mailing list...it did not have a website where the discussions were threaded and browse-able, like what we are all used to today.
Ed was started more than ten years before FOTMD. Fotmd was started in July 2009, making it almost 11 years old now.
Yes, there is still an 'official' ED facebook page which was created by the folks involved with running the old ED site, when ED was still running. That FB page is still quite active:
I 'think' Ron Zuckerman started that ED FB page- Ron had volunteered and helped Bruce a lot with the tech/admin duties of maintaining the ED main website during its last couple of years. I think Ron then relinquished the ownership of the ED facebook page to others as of last year. They run it now, but I don't know their names.
Feel free to correct me if I have any of this wrong.
There are many other dulcimer 'groups'/pages on Facebook as well these days.
Read my post below about who Jason was.
Jason was the guy who started the SweetMusic Index, which was the early and long running email NEWSGROUP/LISTSERVE for dulcimers. Not to be confused with Bruce Ford's EverythingDulcimer. Jason was not around on his SweetMusic newsgroup very often, and it sort of hummed along by itself until listserves mostly faded from use.
Bruce was quite busy with his military service career, and after many years of running ED he wanted a break. It was Stephen Seifert and Dan Landrum who took over from Bruce on ED for a year or two. But then Dan and Stephen wanted to move on to start Dulcimer School, and Bruce resumed managing the ED forum again for another few years. Bruce finally got too busy in other life activity, and decided to close it down.
Definitely it's no competition. But because they assumed Bruce Ford's original site name, comparisons to his site are just unavoidable. ED was special, and beloved by many.
It takes dedicated effort to keep spammers and unpleasant offenders off a public site. Bruce did a great job running ED for so many years. When he closed down ED, he did in fact explain publicly why he chose not to turn the site over to someone else. I can respect that.
Just to be clear... the old ED has not 'returned'. It's a completely new site run by someone who doesn't identify themselves. They bought the domain name when it went up for grabs online, and they decided to use the same name of Bruce Ford's original site. They mimicked the structure of the old site's forum topics, and copied over the original site's tab collection as well.
It's a whole new and different site, using the same name Bruce Ford created. It is not the original EverythingDulcimer come back again.
Yeah it's funny how so many folks have gotten into baking lately. It's a reassuring comfort thing to do for sure. Baking staples like flour, yeast, brown sugar, chocolate chips... are just a bit harder to find in stock where I am... the result being that it's now a thrill when I'm able to nab some, and baked treats have become especially appreciated in our house. :)
Ken those dishes sound pretty good!
I think I'm going to make classic chicken noodle soup today, since I actually got some fresh celery the other day, and I have the carrots. I've made chicken soup without celery in the past, but we don't like it as much. Maybe I'll have enough soup to freeze some (before adding the egg noodles at the end), to enjoy another day.