Forum Activity for @randy-adams

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
06/14/17 05:19:06PM
113 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've been playing Henry Reed's British Field March for a week or so. Every time I think I'm about done with it I find another challenging thing or two to put in there.
I played it with my fingers a few years back but this noter thing is a different deal.
updated by @randy-adams: 06/14/17 05:19:42PM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
05/19/17 05:20:26PM
113 posts

It's like finding a 1965 brand new Mustang


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

D. Chitwood:

So this koa folkroots. I have given it a name. Jimmy Earl, ala James Earl Jones, "Luke I am your Father". The deep, rich voice this dulcimer has blows me away BUT...that longer vsl, I just can't do it. It will go the way of my last two mcspaddens and I will be sticking to the shorter 25-26" vsl. But seriously folks...how did Howard get such a boomy voice outta these things. Nothing comes close. 

That's a funny name! I prefer the 25" - 26" scale for whatever style I play.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
04/29/17 06:22:22PM
113 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Quote: Well, fast forward to Spring and yes , we've got the new 14 foot square back kitchen screened porch lined up, in the works!  The workmen are set to start tearing down the old porch in a couple of weeks, and once they start it shouldn't take more than 3 weeks to finish up.  I can't WAIT!!!  joyjoy  

 This is going to be a major upgrade to our at home lifestyle.  I am envisioning sitting out there enjoying Summer salads, playing music, sipping ice tea in the shade while overlooking the beehives and the veggie garden, lanterns and crickets in the evenings (and screened, so no mosquitoes!)... inlove



That's nice Lisa. 14' x 14' is a good size. You'll enjoy it!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/09/17 06:14:30PM
113 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

My dulcimers are EQ and pass my ear test, sounds sweet to me!

When this subject comes up and several N/D players start singing the praises of the JI I think it's important for someone, in this case me, to pipe up and say that the JI is far too limited a scale to hold value for me. ....for reasons I've posted before.

 

 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/15/17 08:05:57PM
113 posts




Ken

If I was gonna play this tune I'd play it something like this. No tab but you can see the frets?

Tuned EBe. Key of E right? I use octave high bass string.

Sorry I'm not centered in the picture...I'm a pretty piss poor videographer

 

 


updated by @randy-adams: 02/15/17 08:11:43PM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
11/23/16 08:58:42PM
113 posts

Mountain Dulcimer and Scottish Border Pipes


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I  sure like the sound you get here Bob. That's a heckava good tune 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
04/08/16 09:24:03PM
113 posts

Recent article in a local paper.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I understand your reticence. When you do an interview you have no control over the final content and the author may not understand the subject well enough to present a good look. 

This reporter knows what she's talking about and does a nice job.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
04/08/16 09:10:37PM
113 posts

Recent article in a local paper.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Did the price of Prichard repros just go up?... : )....Ha! ....glad I got mine before you got famous!

Nice article Kevin...f'sure...

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/13/16 03:44:59PM
113 posts

Sad news- Rest in peace our good friend John Phillips


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lisa....that's John playing the dulcimer there...I'd recognize that index finger anywhere!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/13/16 09:08:34AM
113 posts

Sad news- Rest in peace our good friend John Phillips


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

John came up with his own way of explaining and simplifying the sometimes wild and deep talk about modes.. made superb sense talking about "home fret" and "gapped scales"....playing 2 or 3 or 4 modes in one tuning.....clarified my thinking f'sure...

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/03/16 08:32:40AM
113 posts

pocket tunes and maintaining the backpack


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Robin Thompson:
I neglected to mention I always mess-up on WBB at some point.  :)

I mess up on every tune at some point Robin!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/20/16 11:22:47AM
113 posts

Banjo tuning aAEAE to match cross-tuned fiddle


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Other tunings of the same ilk are:

AEAB - which is the equivilant to double C tuning tuned down to A

AEAc# - open C tuned down

AEAC - A minor

You are probably familiar with these tunings?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/20/16 11:15:20AM
113 posts

Banjo tuning aAEAE to match cross-tuned fiddle


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Robin

I assume you're tuning down to AA'EAe right? Tuning down to A gives enough room on the top end to get that e note....w/o changing strings.

I use the tuning. I can't remember if I started using it on the dulcimer first or the banjo but it works with both. Good drones!

Here's a tune I posted a few years ago tuned AEAe

 

 

 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/16/16 10:07:54AM
113 posts



There are a minority of people who can tell the difference of sound between different woods used in musical instrument construction and the different shapes used....what percentage I don't know...10%?...20%?...5%?...

Whenever this subject comes up the majority, who can't hear the difference, claim there is 0%...... : )....

Me?....I used to be in the minority when I was younger and willing to put forth the effort to listen and concentrate intensely....now I'm in the majority... : ).....

-----------------

Almost everyone can agreed that different woods have definite tonal characteristics. For one example  https://www.taylorguitars.com/blog/guitars-more/tone-talk-rosewood-mahogany-and-maple

Yet when someone in these dulcimer forums asks what kind of wood they could use to get such and such a sound the standard response seems to be "just pick out the wood you find pleasing and the builder can make it sound any way you want." 

Shouldn't a dulcimer be made to focus on the tonal characteristics of the wood with which it is built?

 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/08/16 09:16:07AM
113 posts

How to tune wooden pegs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

my 2 cents....I never use peg dope/chalk/soap etc on my wooden pegs. They work good with nuthin. If they started acting up I'd try a remedy....if they were slipping I'd rough 'em up a little with sandpaper....if they were sticking I'd polish the pegs and the hole. Tried a substance 20 years or so ago and didn't like it....felt spongy.....once you use something you gotta keep using it....you never know....I'd use a substance if I had to....

There's only 2 strings to tune right? One of the three is already in tune! 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/22/15 07:13:55AM
113 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/21/15 04:21:43PM
113 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

 

I've enjoyed reading the posts in this thread. 

My brother Rex had a harmonica and he could play it!  I couldn't believe it. 

I got myself one. In 1971 & 72 I was driving a concrete truck. Lots of waiting around to load and unload so I brought my harmonica and learned how to play it. 

I've always been a fiddle tune and old time song player 

Will post vid later can't do it from phone 

 

 

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/14/15 09:16:10AM
113 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Jim

Your friend Willie Bennett is a heckuva good harmonica player and singer.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
10/13/15 07:14:00PM
113 posts

Oddities hanging on your walls


OFF TOPIC discussions

Kristi Keller:
Re Milagro Beanfields War - it is part of a trilogy about the area. Favorite section for me is the informal rodeo description.It is actually a common activity in rural areas of New Mexico and Arizona.

Kristi...speaking of rodeo as a common activity. I'm in the construction biz and about 25 years ago Mexicans became the predominate workforce here in NE. Most of our guys come from a little town 'Agua del Medio, about 60 miles southeast of San Luis Potosi.....they're country boys f'sure.

So we got hired to pour concrete in the stalls and hallways of an existing horse barn....maybe 50 stalls or so. The guys picked up a rope hanging on the wall and could rope everything! The owner saw them and got them on horseback and they could do all the rodeo skills. I had a hard time getting the owner to let them get back to work!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/04/15 07:15:51AM
113 posts

Please Don't Pick on Me. *tee hee!*


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
04/13/15 08:52:38PM
113 posts

Florida Old Time Music Championship


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Some of the prettiest old time music I've heard is played in the chord melody style. It's legit. Congratulations to all three winners!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/06/15 08:49:22AM
113 posts

Which bridge compensation for A ginger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

McSpadden would send along the alternate bridge for a couple of bucks?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/12/14 07:42:08PM
113 posts

If You Don't Somebody Else Will


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If you please I'd be more specific? There are 2 noter movements in particular I avoided for a while. They are eighth notes played with a quick flick of the wrist....& there ain't no such thing as a slow flick right?....you either flick it or you don't! That 7-8-7 and its reverse cousin and more difficult 4-3-4 are tough to get to sound clear. Of course the higher up the fretboard these movements are used the easier it gets b/c the frets are closer together. Use the force !

BTW I hear Robin using these noter movements in her playing.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/12/14 07:44:10AM
113 posts

If You Don't Somebody Else Will


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

"It's a timing thing that I can't think about too much...."

Robin...this is so true with my noter playing too. Like...if I'm flatpicking a tune and have trouble with a passage I can repeat, repeat the troublesome measure or two at a slower tempo and eventually my fingers can figure it out. But with noter playing I find there are certain techniques that I can only get going by playing them up to speed....slowing them down doesn't help so much....hard to explain.

"Use the force Luke!"

Once I started thinking about going with the force I could play passages I once avoided with the noter. Sometimes I get 'em and sometimes I don't but the more I play the better I can navigate the tricky techniques by just going for it and trusting the force......: )....f'real....

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/31/14 07:27:56AM
113 posts

My New Dulcimer


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

The top and bottom plates extend past the sides 1/8 of an inch or so.....it's old school.....I like it....


Jennifer Wren said:

Randy, what are fiddle edges?

Randy Adams said:

No matter how it got to where it is now it's a nice dulcimer Jennifer. I like the scroll, the bridge placement, the fiddle edges. All the other stuff gives it character! I bet it does sound good. Back looks like walnut.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/30/14 10:20:41AM
113 posts

My New Dulcimer


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

No matter how it got to where it is now it's a nice dulcimer Jennifer. I like the scroll, the bridge placement, the fiddle edges. All the other stuff gives it character! I bet it does sound good. Back looks like walnut.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/11/14 08:36:42PM
113 posts



Here's what I'm thinking...out loud....so every wood has sound characteristics....like....maple is hard so it probably has a bright sound. Mahogany is a soft hardwood right? So it supposedly has a darker sound huh? So if a bright sound is desired why not go with a harder type of wood? And if a darker sound is wanted why not go with a softer wood?

Yeah sure a builder can tweak the sound by moving the bridge closer starboard or aft....did I say that right?....or use a thicker bridge.....or stiffer bracing or other secret methods....

When you take a bright sounding wood and attempt to make it sound darker isn't a little something lost?...why go against the tone/sound a particular wood is best suited for?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/06/14 12:14:19PM
113 posts

Dulcimer Challenge


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This topic comes up every couple of months and always ends up as a stalemate. Some swear you can and some swear you can't.....and some just swear. And now we can't agree on what constitutes a fair and equitable test! Funny!

I've never weighed in on the subject but have some winter downtime somewhat random thoughts on it.

First off, I don't have a good ear for this type of thing and can't tell the difference between a teardrop and an hourglass.

But of course there are people who can.

A couple of extreme examples who come to mind are Antonio Stradivarius, in the 1700's, and Lloyd Loar, in the 1920's. They built violins and mandolins, respectively, and refined the shape and sound of their instruments and no one has been able to better their designs. I think they'd have the god given ability to detect acoustical differences in the shape of dulcimers.

But I don't believe you have to be a world renowned acoustician to tell the difference. Mark Gilston, John Keane and Ken Bloom are three who I think can. And there are others. I'd put a little bit of money on Dwain Wilder and Richard Latker.

Can a dulcimer builder adjust an hourglass shape to have some of the acoustical properties of a teardrop? Sure. And vice versa.

I remember when I got my first dulcimer after playing guitar for a few years and I thought "how can that thing work"? It has a big fingerboard running over the top of the soundboard. What a poor way of transmitting sound. But we all know it works. But we don't know how it works yet.

Someone will come along one of these days and figure it out, and hopefully will have the personality and communication skills to let us in on it.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/04/14 09:05:34AM
113 posts

Dulcimer Challenge


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So....how's this going? Were the teardrop and hourglass dulcimers the same brand and same woods?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/07/14 10:50:35AM
113 posts



Good luck Teri! I'm always willing to talk further about the subject.

Another thing I'd like to mention is I believe the fretless dulcimer is capable of much more than what little I've done with it.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/07/14 09:55:08AM
113 posts



Teri

A couple of thoughts in no particular order:

-I sort of eased into the fretless by learning how to play across the strings with a noter, and that may be the easiest way to get started.

- It's easier to play across the strings with a noter w/o frets

- you don't have to smash the strings down, just barely push them to the frets

- with a fretless I don't push the strings clear to the fretboard, simply make a connection between the noter, string and fretboard

- I can't make the fretless dulcimer work with my fingers....hard to explain... the ergonomics don't work out. I have to use a noter.

- I have to play across the strings with the fretless b/c too many notes in a row on the melody string starts to sound like one of those cheap tin whistles.

- I play fiddle tunes and only a small % of the tunes really fit the fretless playing style, but when I find one that works it's fun!

I'm glad you like the tunes on a fretless dulcimer!... : )...

One of the first tunes I played across the strings with a noter is Drunken Hiccups....3 strings with frets.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/12/13 08:16:30PM
113 posts



It's a mystery isn't it Patty? You probably oughta take it to someone who can solve it.

As an aside, but along the same lines. Early in my music playing days I got into trying to make sure every fret noted true..lasted for a few years though.....course there wasn't any little clip on tuners in those days. I'm a piano tuner and I'm thinkin' well I can hear the low side of a 5th and the high side of a 5th and everything in between and none of these stringed instruments are right. So I'd mess with the bridge and with the nut and change the strings and then I'd try a different material for the bridge and I'm thinkin' I can tell the difference....and I probably could... : )....

But the best thing I did was just start playing the instruments as they laid.....& if I thought one note was always a little flat well when I came to that note I'd push on it a little bit before it sounded and sharpen it some. And if there was a note I thought was always sharp...well I'd live with it. And you know what? Pretty soon I couldn't tell the difference. Or I didn't care....one or the other. All I know is my obsession with 'perfectly in tune' was thankfully lifted from me. Sometimes I think I should pay a little more attention to my tuning however... : )...

Nowadays with these clip on tuners I've read threads to where people just don't know where to turn.....this note ain't right or that one.

That's kind of where you're at Patty. Your chart shows things are messed up for no logical reason.....except maybe for different fretting finger pressure behind the fret. But I looked at your page and saw you're a guitar player so I'd give you the benefit of the doubt there.....and you probably know what things oughta sound like.

So....take it in...get it looked at? Good luck...f'real.....& I hope you get it to playing to your satisfaction.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/01/13 08:00:51PM
113 posts

Strung out and needing advice


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ellen...slacken one melody string and lay it over to the side.....then play without it and see if the 'echo' is gone.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
11/29/13 06:52:57AM
113 posts

Strung out and needing advice


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You're on the right track with the strings, gauges and tuning Ellen. Hope the new bass string makes everything sound good. Whoever made this pic did a helpful thing.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
10/23/13 07:36:13PM
113 posts



I knew it! Forgot that Dave has already posted Lost Girl. Says he tunes Fcc....yeah....it's just real nice huh?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
10/23/13 07:20:48PM
113 posts



I love this song!....& tried to play it several times without coming up with a version I'm happy with. It's a simple tune but has complex phrases....if that makes any sense....easy for the fiddle but hard for me on the dulcimer. I'd wager Dave Rogers could play a nice version of it on the dulcimer though.... : )....

It's a G tune and I have the best luck with the phrases with my melody string tuned to G and the first note is open.

So....I'd start by tuning DGG?...to play it in G. With a 3 string dulcimer I can't get enough 'bitterness' happening to suit me....the tune has a winsomeness I can't capture.

And by the way you can play the bejesus outa them spoons!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/03/13 06:10:49PM
113 posts

2 chord songs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Nice word Paul - effectually _ I like it!

I ain't so sure about drones make a song a one chord though. When I listen to Robin Clark play Morris Waltz

http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/group/oldstyledronenoterplayers/forum/attachment/download?id=3745489%3AUploadedFile%3A485323

I hear some complicated stuff going on and it's not what I'd consider one chord?

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/24/13 10:47:41AM
113 posts



Well of course that"s where I heard the story Ken...at Dulcimerville. Frankly there are so many old dulcimers there that I get overwhelmed....like sensory overload or something.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/22/13 06:28:56PM
113 posts



Not so long Ken...but interesting! I had mentioned International Violin in the past and you replied at that time with the 'short' version. Good to hear the longer story.

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