Forum Activity for @ruth-lawrence

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
03/25/20 02:39:27PM
41 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Still at work. Glad to be working.

Still go out to stores as needed. I take extra precautions and when I get home I "decontaminate" myself and wipe down my purchases.

Glad I can help out other friends who need groceries, etc who can't get to the store/ who are struggling financially.

A friend has chickens and just today dropped off at lunchtime 22 dozen beautiful eggs (organic feed, free ranging). They taste delicious and are for myself, friends and coworkers.  So you have every right to be jealous! These eggs are very pretty too, being all different coloured shells.

Life is interesting at the moment but good. We can do much good to reach out to others. :)

My usual activities were shut down (church & church activities, volunteering, playing music with friends, going to a festival at the end of March) but I can still garden and play music at home. If I get the time! Work is busy, getting stuff done under the threat of a shutdown, who can foresee what will happen, but it's all good.  I have my worries for others, but I do not worry for myself unduly.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
02/05/17 09:18:40PM
41 posts

What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Singing was important in my primary school. In kindergarten I learned a song about "going to a hooki Lau" and I'm probably mangling the Hawaiian word. But we had to do movements as we sang and our mothers made us hula skirts out of crepe paper. Mine was orange and purple. It was for an end of year concert. I can still remember the words and movements.

Oh we're going to a hooki Lau. Hooki hooki hooki hooki hooki Lau. 

Everybody loves a hooki lau, where the bow-wow meets the cau-cau at the big luau. 

We'll throw our nets right into the sea, and all the tumerumas come a swimmin to me.

Oh we're going to a hooki Lau. Hooki hooki hooki hooki hooki Lau. 

 

Something like that!

Also I remember singing Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, Its a Small World After All, Getting to Know You, The Water Is Wide, Jamaican Farewell, Oh Island In the Sun. There was a teacher who played guitar and taught us these.  Being a Catholic school we sang hymns at Mass. We also sang in an annual eisteddford and the music teacher nun would drill us rigorously in the songs. It was a big deal to have to travel to the regional city where the competition was held. We never won but would get third place. I can't remember any of those songs though. Sorry Sr. Jan!  

 

 


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 02/05/17 09:19:57PM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
11/02/16 12:38:15PM
41 posts

why holes in fretboard?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hi everyone, a friend expressed interest in learning dulcimer and I was looking on Craigslist and saw this. It's advertised as Galax style. I noticed it has holes in the fretboard. Why would that be? Thx
00u0u_4kPuBt5gFXt_1200x900.jpg 00u0u_4kPuBt5gFXt_1200x900.jpg - 106KB
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
12/12/14 02:12:38AM
41 posts

folkcraft cardboard dulcimer kit. who has put one together recently?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Update: ended up filing off 1/8th of the height of the bridge and the action is good now. Then when I was putting on the last string, it broke! Wagh! Tomorrow I'll be able to get a replacement, but it has a nice sound even with only 2 strings.
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
12/11/14 02:15:16PM
41 posts

folkcraft cardboard dulcimer kit. who has put one together recently?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for all the help. So now that I know which is nut and bridge, I'm in a better mood to finish making the dulcimer. Yes, I do intend to let Folkcraft know about the instructions.Re the string winding. I see now I didn't allow enough slack in the first place to wind onto the peg. Yes, it's been that long since I've changed a string!
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
12/11/14 03:36:10AM
41 posts

folkcraft cardboard dulcimer kit. who has put one together recently?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

And this question: instructions say this:

"Pull all of the string snug through the hole in the winding post, and then pull it back three inches. Now turn the handle on the machine head so that the 3 inches of slack is wound around the winding post."

I am having trouble visualizing what this means. I put a string on and wound it, but it didn't wind properly in such a way that the excess went onto the peg.The action also seemed mighty high. So I maybe put nut/bridge wrong way round.
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
12/11/14 02:58:54AM
41 posts

folkcraft cardboard dulcimer kit. who has put one together recently?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I swore there was a post about one of these. Anyway I am almost done putting a kit together. Except the instructions are wrong for the nut and bridge pieces. They describe a nut / bridge with 6 slots, meaning a 6 string instrument I suppose.What I need to know is which piece is the nut and which is the bridge. One is 7/16ths high, the other is 5/16ths high.
updated by @ruth-lawrence: 06/11/15 07:42:13AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
12/15/14 01:43:45PM
41 posts

Homemade beaters for mountain dulcimers-?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, spoons! Never would have thought of it. Thanks!
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
10/12/14 12:44:44AM
41 posts

Homemade beaters for mountain dulcimers-?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is an unusual request, but I was wondering what sort of everyday items could be turned into those beaters used to hit the strings. I'm involved with some kids getting them to play some music together - as a sort of ensemble. The instruments and music are "folky", cheap and cheerful. A few of the children are the "strings section" - on those lap harps often sold as toys. So far they pluck the lap harps with a pick. But it's occurred to me that you can hit the strings on these lap harps, just like a hammer dulcimer. How would I go about sourcing/ making some kind of inexpensive pair of homemade beaters? Pencils and wooden chopsticks don't seem to work that great. Maybe slim bamboo canes?


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 01/14/16 10:26:30AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
09/26/14 09:19:01AM
41 posts

PBS American Masters : This Land is Your Land project


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Just wanted to add a note to this, that I found the PBS website to work better in Chrome. If you use Microsoft's browser, this pop up to set your local PBS station keeps interrupting you. Of course, if you want to set your local PBS station, it's not an issue, but if you're just looking, it's insistence that you do so an annoyance.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
09/25/14 02:09:40PM
41 posts

PBS American Masters : This Land is Your Land project


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I stumbled upon this while looking for the lyrics/chords to this song.

This is a project to have a collection of many versions of this song. The video submissions have closed, but there appears to be no deadline for submitting covers anyway to youtube as part of this project.

I suppose all the youtube clips are collated? Anyhow, I thought members here might be inspired to submit their own version of this song -

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/this-land/mission-statement/


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 06/11/15 07:41:56AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
09/26/14 09:41:40AM
41 posts

Christmas music - folk style - suitable for a string band set up to play


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for the suggestions, especially for the unfamiliar ones mentioned by John P. I don't know Il Est Nee or The Rebel Jesus either. I'll track those down.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
09/26/14 09:16:57AM
41 posts

Christmas music - folk style - suitable for a string band set up to play


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for the suggestions, especially for the unfamiliar ones mentioned by John P. I don't know Il Est Nee or The Rebel Jesus either. I'll track those down.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
09/25/14 02:02:52PM
41 posts

Christmas music - folk style - suitable for a string band set up to play


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hello, I am hoping for suggestions of suitable Christmas music that is still sort of folk style.

I am having trouble imagining traditional carols like Hark the Herald Angels or even christmas songs like Jingle Bells and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (wahtever it's called) played by an acoustic ensemble made up of dulcimer, guitar, autoharp, fiddle and doublebass. But maybe I am limiting myself?


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 06/11/15 07:41:56AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
08/28/14 10:38:18AM
41 posts

Sweetie mini dulcimer


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

I have a Sweetie with the church body. Frankly it's a2 inch deep body - which doesn't make it that biggeroverall size wise.I believe the church body is the standard make - so why go for the shallower modelif the builder ispreferring to make the church body? Go for it, a little extra resonance never hurt.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
08/28/14 10:35:37AM
41 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

A simple way to add a little harmony here and there when playing the melody is to find on the middle string a harmonising note - it's usually the adjacent fret plus one over and play it at the same time as the melody.

So.. if your 4th finger was on the melody string, then your index finger would hop over to the middle string and be diagonal to the melody string fret with a gap of 1 fret inbetween.It's a clumsy explanation but if you try it you'll know immediately if it's wrong or right. I think this note on the middle string is the 3rd above whatever you're playing on the melody. Or the 5th? I've never gotten technical about it.

What the other posts were getting at was substituting chords which can sound very interesting (as long as you know what you're doing! lol) One easy way to approach it might be to substitute a minor chord for a major chord occasionally - at the end of a section for eg.

Which reminds me, the friends I play with are now doing You Are My Sunshine. It was decided to play the verses in minor keys and keep the chorus in the major keys. Definitely a different slant on the song! But you know the lyrics are a little on the dark side...

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
07/16/14 09:43:44AM
41 posts

Enter FOTMD's 5th Birthday Pickled Dulcimer CONTEST!


OFF TOPIC discussions

374 and Happy Birthday, glad I found this site!

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
07/03/14 10:44:03AM
41 posts

Introducing Ol' Hickory


OFF TOPIC discussions

Beautiful. Phoenix - spot on - and fret board wood is gorgeous
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/17/14 04:04:52PM
41 posts



What is the hymn? Perhaps I can help you the parts. Do you mind adding the link?Something else to think about is that if you only play on the melody string, then that naturally fits into soprano part. To play another part would require playing on the middle and even the bass string. That's a little learning curve in itself. As an experiment, you could try playing the soprano on the bass string. It would be lower (obviously) but give a little extra variety to your playing. Best of all, you 've already done the work translating the sheet music notes to your dulcimer's fretboard.
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/17/14 01:42:17PM
41 posts



Interesting question! Can you play soprano plus another part on thepiano to see how they sound together?

Generally it would be alto or tenor probably that would go well with the soprano. Often,a lot of bass parts don't have amuch movement in them. This may or may not be a good thing.

Even when you decide on which is going to be the 2nd harmony, you may end up tweaking some individual harmonies in the tune. For eg, do you want any sections to be in unison, or 100% in harmony? Where the harmony is created byan interval of a 3rd for eg, you may likeusing a5th better in some places.

I'd also pay attention to long sustained notes - what notes are being played and whether you want an open chord or a triad.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
05/29/14 01:43:14PM
41 posts

Clemmer Tennessee Sweetie


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I bought the Sweetie that was just posted for sale here. It arrives Monday. I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
05/21/14 03:39:05PM
41 posts

Autoharp resources?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

It was one of those synchronicity things, where everything came together so easily. The idea to get two old church harps rejuvenated, the contacts, Winterfest and meeting Chuck Daniels and Charles Whitmer. Happy to pass on info!
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
05/16/14 09:27:10PM
41 posts

Autoharp resources?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hi,

I've been doing a little playing with this instrument over the last couple of months. It would be good to get your harp checked out by a knowledgeable person - the chord felts may need replacing, a dull string may need replacing etc. Also the bars are usually taken off and rearranged in an order that makes for easier fingering. for eg grouping chords together that are common in songs (I, IV, V). An old harp needs to be checked for warping as well which can be fixable - or not depending on where the bowing is. If you've got yourself an Oscar Schmidt from the 70s, made in America, well those ones are reputed to have the best sound. Lucky you!

A couple of accessories you'll have to get is a tuning wrench - either gooseneck or T-style - and some finger picks - a thumbpick and finger picks for your index & middle fingers. Ha! Don't do what I did the first time I put the finger picks on and put them on so they resembled talons, curving over my fingernails. They go the other way, so they curve up and over the fleshy pad of your finger tip. I have a plastic thumbpick and metal fingerpicks.

http://daigleharp.com/helpandinfo.html

http://www.elderly.com/

Strings, the felt pads, tuners and books can be bought from Elder Instruments

The Autoharp Owner's Manual (Orthey) has been recommended to me as a thorough book to have on this instrument.

Repair person: Chuck Daniels (in Arkansas)

autoharpguy @ minpin.com

I met Chuck at Winterfest in Irving Tx, earlier this year. He looked over 2 old autoharps for me and fixed them up to be playable again at a very reasonable price. Ask him about your Meg.

A very good teacher is Charles Whitmer. He has packets of music w/ instrumental CDs for sale. There's a lot to select from.

http://home.comcast.net/~whidbey/Whitmer-AHSheetMusic.pdf

More about Mr Whitmer here: https://sites.google.com/site/capitalharpersclub/songs-and-tunes

I was fortunate to be in 2 of his classes at Winterfest - I learned a lot. By day he's a high school music teacher - his students are lucky to have him!

http://cyberpluckers.org/teacherlist/index.html

http://www.autoharpmusic.com/

check out Marc Gunn - celtic music on the autoharp - cool!

This forum is posted information rather than a forum of active users. I haven't had much luck finding an active forum for this instrument - but I haven't looked that hard either.

http://www.autoharpworks.com/phpbb/index.php?sid=f70b20fc7bb4751ebc5bf5b22cfc8458

Abilene Tx has an autoharp & dulcimer club. this is the contact email -
bcadclub @ gmail.com
The lady that replied to my queries, Carlene Wood was also helpful.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
03/07/14 12:35:14PM
41 posts



Sue Carpenter has a new book out on Duets!
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
02/18/14 02:58:11PM
41 posts



Can't help you with the tabs, but have you thought of looking for guitar tabs and just playing chords? I was looking for "I saw the light" also and did that. It's G, D and C.
updated by @ruth-lawrence: 02/15/16 08:59:36AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
02/07/14 09:19:50AM
41 posts

resurrecting 2 autoharps


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

$35 for the Silvertone - wow!

I'm looking forward to the beginner's autoharp workshops at Winterfest. Best of all, the choir director is also attending a workshop with me, and the autoharp repair guy is loaning us each a harp so we can participate. People are so nice and generous with their knowledge and tips.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
02/04/14 08:07:51AM
41 posts

resurrecting 2 autoharps


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thank you for this information! It's much appreciated. I neglected to update this post, but I found a repair person who will be at Winterfest in Irving, Tx later this month who will look at the harps and check the strings, restring them etc. (Yes, I discovered sets of strings are pricey. But it is what it is.) Very please you've give me the info on how to clean them up, I can do that before taking the harps to him - it will save him time and be good education for me. Thank you again for the help.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
01/26/14 10:07:51PM
41 posts

resurrecting 2 autoharps


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Chronograph? That's auto correcting text for you!

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
01/26/14 10:04:10PM
41 posts

resurrecting 2 autoharps


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hi, tonight I rescued 2 autoharps from the church choir room. They'd been there so long no one could remember the who or how of it.

Anyway, one is an Oscar Schmidt Silvertone 15 bar, 36 string. One high E string is missing, but as it was in it's case, is in very good condition as far as I can tell. A little googling told me Silvertones were made between 1965-1967 and sold through Sears and Roebuck. It came with a 7 inch record with instructions for tuning, but sleeve is there, but no record.

The second autoharp is the Japanese Sekova chromaharp, these entered the US market in late 60s. While the Silvertone is maple (veneer I assume), the chromaharp is that sunburst coloring, you see on guitars. I found a serial number and would like to date that also. It's also 15 bars and 36 strings and has all the strings. However it wasn't in a case so is very dusty and grit etc has fallen into the soundhole which I can't shake out.

All I know about this instrument is the above text, thanks to Google!. Do strings that could 40+ years old have to be changed? The info that came with the chromaharp says strings do need not need to be replaced, except if they break. There is a tuning device, but plastic handle is so brittle, it's broken off. I'm wondering whether I should try tuning or not.

Apart some dusting, I haven't done anything else with them. I've got permission to see if they can be made playable again. So, where should I start? Can I unscrew the bars to clean underneath them? What do you clean the strings with? And best way to get the grit out of the body of the chronograph? Or should I find someone to restring them? I'm in Dallas Fort Worth area. Sorry for all the questions, I'd like to bring these alive again, I hate to see neglected instruments.


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 02/19/19 03:45:19AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
02/09/14 04:56:49PM
41 posts

Ocarinas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Well my alto C seedpod strawfire ocarina showed up on Friday. Fits nicely in the hand and feels lovely to hold.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
01/26/14 11:08:00PM
41 posts

Ocarinas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

The Aria ones do sound lovely, good choice! I like the brown glazed seedpods as well, earthy tones, and no 2 are quite the same.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
01/26/14 09:37:25PM
41 posts

Ocarinas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

What brand of ocarina? And given the cats reaction, was it soprano? I'm toying with getting either a seedpod or scarab style one from Songbird, but an alto. Both these are 6 holes, the 12 hole ones look too daunting.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/28/13 01:45:07PM
41 posts

Multiple key changes in a song?


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

It's interesting Paul, how flexible the dulcimer can be for a non-chromatic instrument. I listened to that particular clip you found and I think it's in the same key all the way through - but I'd have to listen again to be sure. This arrangement I've been given to work from is a duet - soprano & alto parts. The key change is part of this particular arrangment - I've found a lot of hymns sung by the 2 church choirs I sing in have key changes - I used to think it was how the hymn was originally written, but perhaps it's a case of how this particular version of XYZ hymn has been arranged.

In any case, I only have to play chords for this one. The cellist is there to provide a tenor/bass harmony and so some kind of rhythmic accompaniment is needed, which is the chords on the dulcimer. You know I didn't think of looking at the chord fingerings and how they'd sound on a tuning that's EbBbEb. I will give it a try and compare it with the 1-3-5 tunings. That's a good suggestion thank you. I experimented tuning it all Eb or Bb and every chord was a barre chord! LOL. Barre chords are hard on my fingers, whereas other chord fingering positions are not - go figure.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/23/13 09:56:50PM
41 posts

Multiple key changes in a song?


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Hi Dusty, you're not rambling and you explained it clearly so anyone without music theory could b understand. This is a hymn Crown him with many crowns and it starts off in Eb major then jumps to Bb major then back to Eb for last section. The key signatures change.

What I did today is work out the chords and yes I need to get them checked by someone who knows a lot more music theory than me. B u t I found 9 chord changes, major and minor.

Then using the Strothers chord wizard, and 1-3-5 tuning, I looked at how those 9 chords would be made whether I tuned it as Eb maj triad or Bb maj triad. The same 9 chords were used in both key changes.
It seems possible in either tuning - ie my fingers can reach, or else they're barre chords. Don't know how it sounds yet.

I guess the next step is to convert the melody line into tab so I can write in the fingering for those chords underneath. I was thinkibg of buying TablEdit anyway, so now I have a reason to get it. I have no idea how this is going to sound. This is for a fundraising concert for the choir, to be held end of July, so I've 5 weeks to figure something out. There will be 2 vocalists, me and cello playing tenor part. I just have to provide chords, no fiddly bits. Gonna be interesting trying to make it work!
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/23/13 04:24:53PM
41 posts

Multiple key changes in a song?


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Thanks for this info - I hadn't heard of this site before. I've ended up selecting a hymn that only has 2 key changes - Eb maj to Bb maj. I'm hoping that playing around with the tunings will make it doable.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
06/02/13 02:16:35PM
41 posts

Multiple key changes in a song?


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Hi, I was asked recently to look through a selection of hymn duets and find something that I could play dulcimer to (chords probably). But last night when I sat down to look at them I realised all these hymns are either medleys or have multiple key changes. Eg, D major to E flat major to F major. It's impossible on a dulcimer isn't it?


updated by @ruth-lawrence: 06/11/15 07:36:25AM
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
11/03/12 10:15:36PM
41 posts

Anyone else find themselves just noodling around on dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm a complete beginner of a month as well. I enjoy noodling around. You'd be surprised at all the variations of that cabbage song!

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
05/19/13 09:16:05AM
41 posts

Recorder


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hi Gayle, A couple of months ago I bought a cheapie soprano recorder because I was in a musical Godspell performed at church over Easter and one of the songs has a recorder solo in it which I volunteered to do. I had played it as a kid so it was interesting to pick it up after 30? years. Had to google the fingering but I was practising a scale and the muscle memory clicked in and it just felt "right" in how I was holding it. Funny how that never goes away! I have decided to try the alto recorder and the pennywhistle as well. This is just to annoy the neighbors you know...the dulcimer just wasn't loud enough for the job :D

Through Half Price Books I've purchased The Recorder Book byKenneth Wollitz which has very positive online reviews.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
04/19/13 09:36:04AM
41 posts

Great Lyric/Chord Find


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Thanks for that link! I was looking for Cats in the Cradle and that is in the list.

Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
04/18/13 09:34:12PM
41 posts

Great Lyric/Chord Find


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Alas this site seems to not exist anymore. Does anyone know whether there's a mirror site or new URL? Via the way back machine I can see the main page with all the song titles, but alas, the links don't work.

1