Forum Activity for @randy-adams

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/06/15 08:49:22AM
95 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
95 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
95 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
08/11/14 08:36:42PM
95 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
03/31/14 07:27:56AM
95 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
95 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
02/06/14 12:14:19PM
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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
95 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.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
06/10/12 12:56:39PM
95 posts

Dulcimerville Euphoria


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

What? Did a week really go by that quickly? What just happened?
Got home from Dulcimerville last night and am still euphoric. Replaying in my mind all the wonderful moments from the week, trying to lock them into my memory so I'll never forget them.
It's a dulcimer festival alright, but it's so about the good people, the camaraderie, the old and new friends, giggling with Linda Brockington and Sarah Morgan and their friends at 1 in the morning! I met 2 new friends, Jay and Jane, who will be my friends for as long as I'm on this earth. John and Karen Keane are the real deal. Genuine goodhearted and fun people who are serious about the dulcimer, good players and entertainers.
I've got to get one of those Galax dulcimers! I was fortunate to spend enough time with Phyllis Gaskins to get a handle on some of the basics of her style. She is such a great player and so much fun to play the tunes with. I bought her new book and it is chock filled with information: Galax dulcimer history, playing tips, her observations on almost 40 years of playing the style, pictures of old dulcimers.
I cherish being privileged to play the tunes with Don Pedi and Joe Shelton and am humbled to be in their musical presence and am honored to be their friend. They know so many rare, complex and historically significant tunes. Don is a one of a kind entertainer and is so generous sharing the tunes.
Thanks to Lois, and Marie, for a truly memorable week. Looking forward to next year!

updated by @randy-adams: 02/28/19 07:13:46PM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
04/08/12 09:48:36PM
95 posts

John Hartford


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I was perusing BHO this morn and came across a thread about this tune.. Squirrel Hunters. It is comical when the banjo dudes try to determine the mode...they don't understand it like dulcimer players...uh huh...we're the experts about modes!

I am always inspired when I hear John Hartford. Somehow what passes thru to me is a determination and confidence and I want to practice, and practice, and maybe the music could flow out from inside me like it did for him.

So what mode is it?


updated by @randy-adams: 06/09/16 08:21:50PM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
03/24/12 03:50:35PM
95 posts



I get them from here Bill.

http://www.internationalviolin.com/SearchByCategory.aspx?CategoryCode=83

I use viola pegs and buy the cheapest ones. I don't know if they're the best or the cheapest but they are the most convenient for me.


updated by @randy-adams: 02/16/16 03:23:54PM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/03/12 06:37:12PM
95 posts



The tune is Johnson Boys Robin. I don't know if that old dood ever really gets with the rhythm... but at about 1 minute he gets closer! It's a precious vid huh?

Got a bunch of favs but here's a couple. No dulcimer but they gots drones!...f'sure...

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/11/12 01:39:57PM
95 posts



Here is my quick synopsis on the process of learning an instrument.

- learn how to physically make noise on the instrument. (hold the instrument, hold the pick, position the left hand, strum the strings)

- learn how to play a musical sequence of notes

- play a song

- learn songs in the preferred genre

- hear a sequence of notes and be able to play them

- listen to a sequence of notes and play a facsimile thereof

- hear a song and play what you heard

- hear a song and play variations of what you heard

- play along in real time, anticipating intuitively where the melody will go

- write your own songs

- become rich and famous... : )...

These are not necessarily in order. Some people write their own songs right away and some can easily play a melody by ear. Some folks are already rich & famous. I am terrible at writing songs and/or creating new melodies and am well short of being rich and famous.

Tab is a wonderful aid to get started. I used tab to start learning. I was never very good at understanding the timing of it and seldom could learn a tune if I didn't already know how it went. But it got me going andtaught me a musical 'vocabulary'.Listening to lots of the kind of music you want to play is very important.

At some point in a timeline the tab needs to be set aside if you want to become a good player. There is a creative process going on somewhere in all of this and I suspect playing strictly from tab falls a bit short.It all depends on what your personal goals and capabilities are and how hard you want to work at it. For me the whole process has been and continues to be a lot of fun.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
12/25/11 09:26:23PM
95 posts

A very wonderful Christmas gift...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

One of the things I love about our little community here is how John Henry has endeared himself...to all of us.....

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
10/20/11 10:35:03PM
95 posts



Whit

I tune 4 strings A'EAe w/string gauges .032, .025, .016, .012. Or EAc#e w/.024, .016, .013, .011.

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
09/12/11 08:43:17PM
95 posts

I've Just Bought a BANJO !!!!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Robin I admire your courage learning a new instrument....esp banjo as it's quirky. I've never given music lessons so forget how it was but recently my son Bill and my nephew Dawson started playing the banjo & all the sudden I'm giving...as in free... : )...banjo lessons. Bill has the advantage b/c he knows the fiddle tunes & the genre but even he has trouble making it go. I think the things I show them are a little too hard....but better than too easy huh?

Sounding great....your updates are interesting...thx!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/31/11 10:26:37PM
95 posts

Muscle Memory?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Muscle memory is a popular term amongst string instrument players, especially beginners. But it's a misnomer.

If you are waiting for your muscles to remember where to put themselves on the fingerboard you may be waiting for a while! : ) It's brain memory right? Your brain tells your fingers, and the muscles in your fingers, where to go when to go how long to stay there and when to move to a new place.

I don't want my muscles to act independently. I want my brain to send signals to my fingers at the speed of light. "Reverse course we have a new and different idea!"

Get those synapses and neurotransmitters and

proprioceptors

firing in the right order and play music!

http://www.lovinglife.org/brain.htm


updated by @randy-adams: 06/11/15 07:28:03AM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
08/21/11 03:45:22PM
95 posts

How to welcome a new jammer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Well Thanna keep on a playing and things always work out for the best. The dulcimer club you visited...more than likely they're not just a bunch of crack smokers...: )....they've got a little club and they know what sound they like and if someone wants to play with them they have their parameters & make them known....& nothing wrong with that right?
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
06/16/11 08:41:46AM
95 posts

I've Just Bought a BANJO !!!!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I like your attitude Robin. You have high expectations, immerse yourself in the task at hand and work hard at it. You're gonna be a good banjo player.
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
02/08/11 07:53:04AM
95 posts

Jouhikko/Tagelharpa


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thx for sharing Lisa...& allowing us tovicariously experience your new instrument....you're getting it f'sure.....even if you are beginning to sound like the king of self depreciation himself..... : )....what's Brian think of it? Does he offer a few pointers?....or disappear with the cats?... : ).....
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/24/11 08:59:15PM
95 posts

Jouhikko/Tagelharpa


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I love the sound of it in the video. It has to be such a relaxing instrument to play....ya know....you don't have to be Perlman or Paginini right?....just play some nice little melodies.....fun!

And it looks to be a very well made instrument...horsehair strings!....curly maple!....2 piece back!

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/12/11 05:49:45PM
95 posts

Any banjo players out there?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thought I'd bump this'n up....hoping to get a progress report from Ken & Foggers?....you got that banjo put together huh Ken?

I been playing Green Willis here a little lately. I had to put the noter aside a month or so ago and play dulcimer & banjo with my fingers....they were getting soft!... : )....

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/09/11 03:54:20PM
95 posts

Jouhikko/Tagelharpa


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I admire you for taking on the challenge Lisa. I was 41 (1992) when I started playing the dulcimer...had been playing guitar & banjo for 20+ years.... and I remember thinking I never wanted to learn another instrument....it's a huge undertaking. But I have enjoyed the journey.

The only instrument I would have liked to learn in my life is the fiddle. I have tried 3 or 4 or 5 times and never made it more than 2 weeks!... : (....I just can't do it. Hurts my left wrist to be in the position....my face, and ears, are right next to where the bow is squeaking and scratching... : ).....

Anyways...have fun! This is inspiring! Hope you check in ever so often with a progress report and trials & tribulations!... : ).....

Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/09/11 12:14:36PM
95 posts



I'm a fiddle tune player! What a wonderful thing to have a huge body of music...thousands of tunes!.... to play and explore.

There are simple ones, intricate ones.Rhythmic ones, highly melodic ones. Irish, Old Time, Scottish, etc....something for everyone!



Randy Adams
@randy-adams
01/09/11 12:06:51PM
95 posts

Jouhikko/Tagelharpa


Adventures with 'other' instruments...



I thought this subject deserved it's own thread?...hope you don't mind?

So how's it going. You luvin' it? Is it what you thought it was gonna be? Are you taking to it like a duck to water?.. : ).....Are you having fun? Is it hard to play? Do you like the sound? How do you pronounce it? Is it a well made instrument? What type of songs are you going to play?

Any one else have/play one of these?

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

Lisa Said:

"Like Dennis, my positive thing for today was getting a new instrument too!

Last official 'real' new instrument was my Galax dulcimer about 6(?) years ago, so this is quite an event.

I got my first of two jouhikkos-- Finnish/Swedish archaic rectangular 3-stringed drone folk fiddles. I sold a nice banjo which paid for them (love when that can happen). I will keep them in two very diff stringing arrangements and tunings.

So tonight I started making some really awful bowing sounds, trying to pick out some notes...fun!

Thank goodness Brian doesn't mind the screaky scratches...and neither does the new kitty- she just snoozes nearby like it was nothing!"


updated by @randy-adams: 06/11/15 07:26:50AM
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
11/19/10 07:38:33AM
95 posts

Any banjo players out there?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

That's about the ugliest banjo I ever saw Ken!... : ).....I think it'll make a heckuva good player for you....it's a good banjo.I have a Stewart banjo with a spun over rim/tone ring like that....used it for my main banjo for about 10 years and enjoyed every hour of it.....gave it to my son Bill a few years aback and it's still goin strong......
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
05/09/10 11:26:04PM
95 posts



I use these 1-3-5 tunings...or variations of it....either with a noter or my fingers. I don't play any chords with these tunings just melody. Here is a tune...Trouble On My Mind....I am tuned G'GBd...key of G. I use a noter & drone that low G note f'sure. Played on a fretless cigar box dulcimer.
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
05/09/10 08:09:54AM
95 posts



Sorry I just can''t let this go by without offering my 2 cents worth....thinking if some of these notions aren't challenged every so often they might be taken as fact...or that there is some kind of majority agreement here.There are legit reasons to have just one melody string....ignorance or a lack of motivation notwithstanding.....it simply sounds better with some playing styles....& not having much to do with ease of play...it ain't very hard to play with the double melody string....in fact it's easier to slide a noter over 2 strings.And while we're on the subject....DAd is by far the most versatile tuning...& that's the reason most people use it....2 or 3 modes can be played out of it....& 3 or 4 keys....it's a good tuning to start out playing in.Also while we're on the subject....For my playing in 2010 I don't really care about how the very 1st dulcimer was configured or the method of play of the very 1st dulcimer player or when the 1st dulcimer was invented...like anyone knows anyways....or the ability to play all the modes by tuning DAA, DAB, DAc, DAd, DAe etc.....that's all well & good f'sure.... I appreciate those who study the origins of the dulcimer and I enjoy looking at the pictures and reading the scholarly stories & speculations & I respect the history & traditions of the music....But for me the dulcimer is a tool to play the music I want to play...however I need to strike the strings or make the notes or tune the strings or configure the instrument to be able to play the tunes I like....& I'm sure that's what the very 1st dulcimer player was after too....
 
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