Forum Activity for @strumelia

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/13/24 11:57:51AM
2,231 posts

Ergonomics and Wrist Strain


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

I must agree with KenL. From watching your video here , your wrists are lower than your fretting fingers. It's actually the very same advice for computer ergonomics- elbows and wrists should not be lower than the hands/fingers when typing or mousing. This is to avoid wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome over time.
In that video, I see you are sitting on a couch that seems to put your seated hips lower than your knees. That positions the dulcimer on your knees higher up... which in turn causes you to have your wrists & forearms lower than the fretboard. I do recommend that wrists be higher than the fretting fingers, and elbows either at or higher than fretting fingers.
Perhaps this does not apply to your situation Nate, but I did a blog post that might have some useful thought in it about this. I wrote more about fingertip angles than arm or wrist angles, but they are related to each other.
If you are having wrist pain, you may want to examine your computer/device/phone ergonomics as well- they might be a contributing factor.

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/11/24 04:25:38PM
2,231 posts

general instrument question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@Randy I like Dwight Diller's story and tune version. He called it Dead Man's Piece i think. At least i think it was the same piece, a very old banjo tune, almost just a repeated phrase. Best teacher I ever had. Never in a rush, knew the power of silences between the notes.

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/11/24 02:42:17PM
2,231 posts

general instrument question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I deleted my prior post about how this tune used to have a nasty racist title that was (thankfully) changed in the 1970s. I'm sorry if I upset anyone by mentioning it. Personally, I like the tune's other title much better, which is "Protect the Innocent".
The tune itself is a pretty basic banjo tune... so basic in fact that it seems more like a 'ditty' than an actual tune to me. It reminds me a great deal of Cripple Creek.


updated by @strumelia: 02/11/24 04:21:38PM
Strumelia
@strumelia
02/09/24 02:53:59PM
2,231 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Wow, the weird weather- mid february and it was a gorgeous 55F and sunny in NY here today. I went down into town and sat out at a sidewalk table at my favorite Mexican cafe. I sat basking in the sun and enjoyed super yummy fresh grilled tilapia tacos with a Mexican mocha coffee.  happydance

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/09/24 02:49:51PM
2,231 posts

general instrument question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Often when I'm watching a YT tutorial video on some subject, it drives me nuts when the person is talking slooooowly and I wish they'd just get to the point. talk  🐌 time tumbleweed  That's when I click the gear and speed it up to 1.25 speed... what a Godsend! 

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/08/24 01:33:23PM
2,231 posts

Richard Krueger Psaltery


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

@motormike - are you bowing your bowed psaltery, or plucking the notes like a plucked psaltery? (do you have a bow for it?) Yours is intended to be bowed (it produces an incredible haunting sound when bowed, bow it on the outer sides of the instrument, right next to the pin to sound each string), but there's no law saying you can't pluck it if you like!

Bowed psalteries are made for various keys and scales, they are not all tuned or strung alike.

There are some wonderful bowed psaltery videos here on FOTMD, btw:
https://fotmd.com/search/results/jrVimeo,jrYouTube,jrVideo/1/25/search_string=bowed%20psaltery

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/08/24 01:22:20PM
2,231 posts

How precisely do you tune up?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So true, Robin!  -and if the noter tends to sharpen your notes too much for your liking, I find that changing the gauge of the string can help lessen the effect. 

Robin Thompson:

Tuning from the tuner is one thing.  Sharpening a note when I use a noter is another-- noter pressure can do that. oma (me with my noter)   


 
Strumelia
@strumelia
02/07/24 10:21:53PM
2,231 posts

general instrument question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I just stumbled on a 14yr old video of our own @randy-adams playing that old banjer tune on one of his cigar box instruments  banjo :

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/07/24 09:13:24PM
2,231 posts

general instrument question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lilley, Dusty is correct as far as I know. 
I think you'd have to work it out on the dulcimer for yourself (either making a simple tab or learning it by ear), but most of those old fiddle/banjo tunes are pretty simple in structure, so it might be fun for you to do. It's definitely a traditional tune and not copyrighted. I do like that tune name "Protect the Innocent".

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/07/24 09:31:43AM
2,231 posts

How precisely do you tune up?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So many interesting aspects to this subject. Culture is definitely a big one. But so is age, for me at least. 
I have a very precise ear for tuning. Not exactly what they call 'perfect pitch', but near to that. In my 40s, it used to drive me insane when my string or note (or someone else's string) was slightly off pitch. Now I'm almost 70 and I find I'm a little bit more laid back about little things like that. I know they say people get more picky or whatever as they get older, but honestly I've gotten a bit more lax in what I find tolerable. That said, I do actually think that taking up the fretless banjo helped me to lower my musical standards.  coool

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/02/24 05:37:33PM
2,231 posts

How do I create a new forum discussion?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Hi Sandra. You can read this here discussion to leanr how to create a new discussion thread. Then, go to our For Sale/Wanted forum:
https://fotmd.com/forums/forum/for-saleinstruments-music-items-cds-wanted-to-buy

...and start your new thread about the dulcimer you are Wanting. Choose a title for your thread that lets folks know what it's about.  Thanks!

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 07:47:04PM
2,231 posts

Is there an option to order replies from oldest to newest ?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Nicolas, on almost any device- a phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet... there are quick keyboard or 'tap' commands that allow one to zip right to the top or bottom of a page. You might find such shortcuts come in handy to get places more quickly.
Thanks!

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 04:27:59PM
2,231 posts

Intonation Problems


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Can you specify when placing the dimes or nickels- the coins should be placed on top of the fret, right? (not on the wood of the fretboard surface between or next to the frets).

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 01:49:57PM
2,231 posts

John Molineux box dulcimer


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

ok so it's the fret pattern, not technically the 'pegbox' or tuning mechanisms that are opposite mirrored for duet playing. I was just assuming the peghead was usually at the 'fret 1' end of the fretboard, but there's nothing saying you can't put the tuning pins at what we consider to be the tail end of the box.

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 11:58:23AM
2,231 posts

John Molineux box dulcimer


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

KenL- but... are those also having the frets going in the same direction? I suspect the fret pattern will be 'mirrored' if intended for couple playing on facing knees... even if the tuning mechanisms (pins, pegs) are both on the same end. Hmm, I probably should have clarified that.

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 10:28:40AM
2,231 posts

John Molineux box dulcimer


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

NateBuildsToys:
It's hard to imagine what aspect of that dulcimer would be patented.
 

As a professional patent illustrator for a living over the past 25 years and counting, i can maybe shed some light on that.  nerd2
There are utility patents and design patents. Utility patents cover the creation of a new or improved product, process, or machine- patenting its function -how it's used and how it works. (example: a new type of braking system for a bicycle or train)  Design patents protect how an article looks - its shape, configuration or surface ornamentation. (example, a new designer backpack or lamp)


If a new invention contains both unique function/use AND unique shape, appearance, or decoration, one can apply for both utility and design patents for that article.


We'd have to see the 'prospectus' or description accompanying that 1880s patent in order to see what aspects were being applied for. Perhaps it was the first US patent for a double fretboard box zither to be played by two people (utility patent). OR, perhaps it was for having those shape-note like indicators for each note right on the fretboard, as a music reading aid system (design patent). Could be any combination of a number of things both functional and design-wise being applied for. The official Patent Office description accompanying the drawings would explain what exactly was being patented.


updated by @strumelia: 02/01/24 10:42:54AM
Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 10:06:38AM
2,231 posts

John Molineux box dulcimer


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I think that in general, older dulcimers with double fretboards were meant to be played by a couple sitting facing each other knee to knee, playing it on their laps in duet. That means the two fretboards are mirrored (one peghead being on one end of the box and the other peghead at the other end of the box). These were called 'courting dulcimers'.

Double fretboard dulcimers that are meant to be tuned and played in different keys, tunings, or octaves by one musician tend to be more modern and can be played by switching quickly between the fretboards. Those instruments will have the two fretboards facing in the same direction so the instrument does not have to be physically turned around to switch fretboards on the fly. Bing Futch's custom double dulcimer is this way.

Strumelia
@strumelia
02/01/24 09:45:24AM
2,231 posts

Is there an option to order replies from oldest to newest ?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Hi, thanks for this question.
The software used for running FOTMD does not allow individual members to re-order forum or group discussions. My choice for which order to use was based on the fact that about 50% of users now browse FOTMD from their phones or tablets, and having to scroll down through multiple pages (to check the latest post in a long discussion they are participating in) on a phone would be such an immense turnoff to many users that they might not want to remain here at all. So I'm afraid the 'newest posts on top' is the way to go these days... the same order as one finds on mobile device 'feeds' such as facebook, twitter, etc.
Sorry to disappoint you!  shrugger


updated by @strumelia: 02/01/24 09:48:25AM
Strumelia
@strumelia
01/31/24 08:55:19AM
2,231 posts

1970 M12R Signed by L. Mcspadden


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

There looks to be some bands of darker discoloration on the back, perhaps from lying on some particular fabric or padding that may have been folded in the case bottom for years... or is that just a play of light in the photos?  Otherwise, if it has no cracks or separation at all, it looks to be an exceptionally lovely McSpadden, with a very nice case. Someone might want to buy it at your current price, however the price you set depends also on how quickly you want to sell it.  winky

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/30/24 07:34:55PM
2,231 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

It should be easy enough to test on just one string to find out which of the two 'bridges' is the true bridge that allows the current frets to play in tune for scale (the distance between nut and bridge. I suspect the black one is the true bridge since it matches the nut, and the crude stick with the notches was simply put there to keep the strings at certain distances from each other (since the bridge has no notches and string spacing was likely originally just provided by the string holes at the tail).  But I see that the nut provided an extra slot for making a double-course melody string pair spacing instead of 4 equidistant.

Looks like a nice dulcimer, with that fiddle edge overhang, and such nice wood!

@motormike, it looks like the black bridge is actually cut into the body.


updated by @strumelia: 01/30/24 07:41:02PM
Strumelia
@strumelia
01/30/24 12:43:01PM
2,231 posts

Reasons NOT To Get a Chromatic


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I guess I don't have any mountain dulcimers.  waaaaaahhh!   😭

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/25/24 12:13:36PM
2,231 posts

beginner strumming


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I started as an 'in' strummer mostly because i saw that Jean Ritchie was mainly an in strummer when playing in noter style. (though of course Jean was talented in other styles as well, and also a good guitar player)

My 'in' strum is much more strong and assertive sounding than my out strum. Part of this is because I angle my force downwards as i strum in, and upwards as i strum out. This enables me to choose whether or not to hit the middle and bass strings as I'm playing melody notes on the melody string. I often would play a run of melody notes in an 'in/out/in/out' motion, but while playing only the melody string. Of course one can do this same technique of angling to avoid bass string whether one is an 'inny' or an 'outy'.
Dusty makes a good point that the sound of broadly strumming back and forth on all strings all the time creates a rather overwhelming sound that can not only quickly become tedious but can drown out the melody. Only time and practice can get one better at making your pick 'dance'.

On my noter drone blog, I have quite a few instructional posts with videos geared towards helping beginners improve their strumming skills; https://dulcimer-noter-drone.blogspot.com/search/label/strumming


updated by @strumelia: 01/25/24 12:15:27PM
Strumelia
@strumelia
01/23/24 10:12:27PM
2,231 posts

I bought a Sunhearth!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sounds like you did a wonderful job on those pegs!  🙌🏼

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/23/24 08:57:44PM
2,231 posts

Betty Smith passed from this life


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you for letting us know of this sad news Robin. Betty Smith gave so much of herself to others, through her long life in music.

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/23/24 01:42:28PM
2,231 posts

Looking for tabs/books devoted to old style drone & noter playing


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I just updated this useful thread by removing some older links to defunct web pages.

BTW it's very easy to buy Jean's original Dulcimer Book (as Wildcat pictured below) on Amaz*on. Don't overlook buying USED copies of it for sale there as well, to save yourself a few bucks.

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/22/24 06:00:57PM
2,231 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Welcome to FOTMD  @wildcat.  That's a really pretty dulcimer you bought!  Warren May is a respected maker, I'm sure you will be pleased.  sun

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/19/24 08:52:56PM
2,231 posts

Traditional role of the mountain dulcimer.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

David Schnaufer " brought the Tennessee music box into the classical arena with Blackberry Winter, a concerto for the Tennessee music box, mountain dulcimer and orchestra which he wrote with Conni Elisor, Nashville composer and arranger. Delcimore, Schnaufer's 1998 CD, features this beautiful piece of music played by the Columbus, Georgia symphony."

https://dulcimerarchive.omeka.net/schnaufer

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/19/24 09:11:10AM
2,231 posts

Central Fl dulcimer festival, February, 2024


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Jim Dickens:How can we get this event added to the “Events” tab?
 

I believe one of the event organizers is @Dennis-Waldrop , who is a member here.


He would have to add the event to FOTMD's Festivals section. It's not difficult to do, but I do ask that it be done by someone who is involved in running the event.


Meanwhile, here is the facebook page for this event, if that helps: https://www.facebook.com/groups/448674886231259

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/10/24 09:50:41AM
2,231 posts

I bought a Sunhearth!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dwain Wilder:

The original pegs were rosewood viola pegs, by the way. If you prefer them, the pegs need to be hand-fitted to the peghead. A violin string shop could supply the pegs and fit them properly. If you do not have the fine tuners I can supply them.

 

That's great to know that the original pegs were rosewood viola pegs, Dwain. And you would have that first-hand knowledge, for sure!  

My own experience with Grover Stay-tite tuners is that they cannot hold a high tension very well, especially on a longer scale length dulcimer. My vote is for either wooden viola pegs (well fit by a violin repairperson), or the Wittner or Perfection pegs which are terrific though a bit expensive. Those two also have the benefit of 'looking' just like trad wood pegs, yet you can turn them smooth as butter and they fine-tune too.. 

Then again, you got that Sunhearth for a bargain price, so maybe you can justify investing in worthy pegs for it!


updated by @strumelia: 01/10/24 09:51:10AM
Strumelia
@strumelia
01/10/24 09:14:26AM
2,231 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

My cats don't care about torrential rain. They just sit all cozy by the window and watch the drops running down the panes. What a life.  catdance

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/09/24 11:24:44AM
2,231 posts

Richard Krueger Psaltery


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

We'd enjoy seeing a couple of pix!

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/03/24 08:46:56PM
2,231 posts

Robert N. Lackey, rest in peace


OFF TOPIC discussions

This is such sad news. Rob was a great friend to all members of FOTMD, and he liked to greet new members personally when they joined, with a welcoming comment on their page. He did this as a labor of love for many years.

Rob was a great teacher and encourager in music and song. He loved history and tradition and was a treasure trove of knowledge. We are indeed blessed that Rob posted 57 videos here in our videos section. I encourage everyone to listen to some of his songs and tunes .

I know he will be deeply missed by so many of us. Rest in peace Rob.

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/03/24 10:27:10AM
2,231 posts

FOTMD needs your support


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

My deepest thanks to the folks who have again stepped up to help support this site. You know who you are. inlove
It's often the same ten or so members each year who show their generosity. If you regularly enjoy the resources here and have never donated before, if you are comfortably able to make a donation I would greatly appreciate it.
It costs about $75/month in server and software fees to keep FOTMD running. Making a donation is easy- just use the site's Home page Paypal Donation button and use a credit card to complete it (you don't need a paypal account to do this). Members who donate $35 or more will see a "Patron" label on their profile page.
Many Thanks to those who help out!

Strumelia
@strumelia
01/02/24 08:32:56AM
2,231 posts

Dulcimer maker unknown


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

Hi Mike, I moved this discussion to the forum about specific instrument makers and questions, so people could find it better. 

Sorry though i have not heard of Danmont Dulcimers. Perhaps someone else here will have and can respond.

Strumelia
@strumelia
12/31/23 11:50:13AM
2,231 posts

FOTMD needs your support


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I want to thank the several members of FOTMD who have made donations this holiday season.  It is so kind and generous of you to support our site during these trying times.  Your thoughtfulness is so much appreciated and keeps this dulcimer network running (for 14 years now!).  Hugs to you and may you have a warm and safe holiday season in the company of good friends and loved ones.  🥰 grphug

Strumelia
@strumelia
12/29/23 06:01:50PM
2,231 posts

Don Pedi & Bruce Greene (Loy McWhirter sings, also)


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

What a wonderful new video to watch and enjoy, Robin!  🥰

Strumelia
@strumelia
12/29/23 09:01:40AM
2,231 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 @montycraig , I bet you are getting excited about your McSpadden coming soon. I got an hourglass all-walnut McSpadden as my first dulcimer, and it had a voice like an angel!  My daughter has it now. You will be pleased.

Strumelia
@strumelia
12/29/23 08:56:51AM
2,231 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 @matthewlyon , that dulcimer in your profile photo looks like a lovely instrument- is that the one your wife gave you as a surprise present?
With tall action and a traditional diatonic fret layout, it was smart of you to decide to play it in noter style! I hope you are enjoying it, both when playing with others and playing alone.

1