Forum Activity for @Ken Hulme

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/20/17 07:21:17PM
1,475 posts

The Drifting Thread...


Off Topic discussions

When I lived in Oregon, back in the 90s I had a near perfect job.  I got paid full time as a technical writer for a company in Portland (I lived in Salem, 60 miles away).  I had Sat & Sunday off as usual, but also had every Wednesday off as well.  Work 2,off 1, work 2, off 2, and repeat!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/20/17 07:10:10AM
1,475 posts

Hollows in a dulcimer top and fretboard?


Building dulcimers

Yep, the non-standard standard width is 1-1/2" simply because it's a standard board width

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/19/17 09:02:33AM
1,475 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'll see what I can do about recording Lay The Bend...   and post it here.  I got the tune from Mark Gilston, who posted it on YouTube a few months ago; it's in Ionian Mode.


updated by @Ken Hulme: 07/19/17 09:05:30AM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/16/17 09:18:04AM
1,475 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Getting ready for my "opening" concert on August 5th, and I'm having a blast playing the 17th century version of Child Ballad #1 -- Lay The Bend To The Bonnie Broom. The title is also the first of two refrains, and no one has a clue to what it means (well, there are several theories...).  Most think it's evolved into a nonsense line like Fa la la la la  lah lah lah lah.  The second refrain is equally obscure -- in the song is the women who beguile the man, not the other way around.  The old meaning of 'beguile' was "to help pass time pleasantly"...

There were three sisters in the North.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An they live-d in their mothers huse.
And you'll beguile an lady soon.

There came an knight one evening late.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An he came knocking at the gate.
And you'll beguile a lady soon.

The eldest sister she let him in.
Lay the bend to the bonnie broom.
An locked the door with a silver pin.
And you'll beguile a lady soon.

...  plus another 16 verses

This song is the forerunner of the late 1800s  The Riddle Song -- "I gave me love a cherry..."

 


updated by @Ken Hulme: 07/16/17 09:38:11AM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/14/17 11:01:44PM
1,475 posts

My first custom build


Building dulcimers

Lookin' really good there, Bob!  Keep up the good work!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/12/17 09:36:12AM
1,475 posts

The Positive Thread...


Off Topic discussions

I'm positively happy that I'm making Lobster Tail Bisque this morning!  Last week we were gifted with 4 nice Florida Spiny Lobster tails.  Last week I made Lobster Mac&Cheese with two tails; this week it's our other favorite lobster dish.  

The tails just finished boiling in flavored water for 3.5 minutes, so while they cool I'm telling you about it.  Next step is to brown the shells and then start the broth which will cook for an hour plus!

 

 


updated by @Ken Hulme: 07/12/17 09:36:54AM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/07/17 02:02:44PM
1,475 posts

The Gauges of the Strings


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

Sean -- it's a "sound" thing.  To me an un-wound string is a crisper sound than a fat wound string flopping back and forth.


updated by @Ken Hulme: 07/07/17 02:03:37PM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/07/17 07:34:04AM
1,475 posts

Happy Anniversary!!


Off Topic discussions

Eight years ago today, FOTMD opened its virtual doors for the first time.  

Thank you Lisa...

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/05/17 08:43:05PM
1,475 posts

1978 Homer Ledford


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

Just use the Strothers String Gauge calculator -- plug in the VSL and the notes of the open tuning you want to use (DAd, DAA, etc) http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.html

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/05/17 08:36:56PM
1,475 posts

My first custom build


Building dulcimers

STOP OVERTHINKING!!!   You will always see "imperfections"; others won't (unless you don't patch that 6" crack in the back!!)

The instruments I've seen here that you've built are excellant; carry on!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/05/17 11:51:35AM
1,475 posts

WANTED: Gila Mountain Dulcimer


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

Good luck, CD!  Since Kerry passed away I think I've only seen two of her dulcimers for sale...

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
07/05/17 11:50:35AM
1,475 posts

The Gauges of the Strings


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

I play mostly old-style traditional instruments with 27-28" VSL, three strings, fretting only the melody string.  I normally buy bulk 12s for the melody and middle drone, and non-wound 20s or 22s for the bass string.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/27/17 04:04:23PM
1,475 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

IIRC "trailing hearts" is what the Ford's called their "vine with multiple heart shaped leaves" soundhole design.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/27/17 12:39:28PM
1,475 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Kerry passed away in 2014; her passing was a great loss to the dulcimer world.

 

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/27/17 07:34:02AM
1,475 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Bleeding or Weeping Hearts are also found on many tomahawk blades, as well as Pennsylvania/Kentucky longrifles.  As someone said there are as many folk tales about what that means as there are tomahawks and long rifles.  A "bleeding heart" is, of course, someone who is considered too sentimental or liberal in dealing with social situations. 

There is some indication that prior to the 14th century the heart as a geometric shape represented not the heart of sentimentality, but rather the shape of the Linden leaf, which was held by Germanic/Scandinavian mythology to be a source of magical power, or any number of other plant references.  Only in the 15th century does the heart geometric shape begin to represent love, sentimentality, and other Christian ideals.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/22/17 09:48:52PM
1,475 posts

Thumb pick


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Marge -- try a large, deep thimble -- plastic or leather. Or a short section of thin plastic tubing  I make archer's Thumb Rings out of wood (they are also made in horn and bone) for shooting a bow Asian style, and there are a wide variety of thumb rings which might be adaptable.  Think of your thumb tip as a flattened cone from the tip to the first knuckle.  Now look for thumb sized cones...   Maybe bakery piping bag tips?  A short piece of copper tubing?  Think outside the box!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/21/17 08:14:28PM
1,475 posts

Si Bheag Si Mohr dulcimer duet


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Kathy -- if you look one post below your post you will see that Paul already listed his address and price of the arrangement package

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/20/17 05:59:34PM
1,475 posts

Looking for a pick


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I made a pick like the elongated Schilling, cut from an old credit card.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/20/17 12:53:57PM
1,475 posts

Looking for a pick


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Search on"Jean Schilling vintage guitar picks", you'll find them sold here and there at pick collecting sites, on Ebay, etc.

D'Andrea -- dandreausa.com -- made those teardrop Jean Schilling picks and one shaped like a dulcimer; but no longer apparently.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/19/17 07:32:18AM
1,475 posts

Soundboard identification!


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

Just do the "scratch n sniff" test!  Slip a piece if coarse sandpaper inside where that deer is, and sand around in underside. If is does not smell of 'root beer', it's not sassafras!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/12/17 06:48:28AM
1,475 posts

1978 Homer Ledford


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

There is a master list of the known Homer Ledford dulcimers which lists the instrument number, date it was built, materials, and first owner.  Sorry, I don't have the link to that, but someone here does, I'm sure.

When you take pix, be sure to get his signature as well as top/bottom and side, and a close up of the tuning head.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/11/17 04:59:12PM
1,475 posts

Fixed Bridge and Intonation


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

MOST dulcimers, I would say, have a moveable bridge -- at least somewhat moveable and somewhat loose enough to move (although many builder put a drop of glue to hold thing during the initial string up).  Remember, too, that this is a folk instrument in transition, not a concert instrument with 500 years of development.  Also understand that there are a couple of "offshore" makers of dulcimers who haven't any real understanding of fret-spacing, intonation, etc.  and who seem to be building from unscaled photographs.  Like Robert, below, I think you unfortunately ran into a DSO.  

When that "Apple" company started, a number of years ago, they were horrendous  - 7 out of 10 instruments were mostly unplayable.  The instruments were dirt cheap, looked decent (unless you had a good eye) and sold like hotcakes.  They've gotten somewhat better (or at least a couple of employees have) over the years, but obviously not 100%.

 

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/10/17 08:42:49AM
1,475 posts

Fixed Bridge and Intonation


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

Generally we use a small triangular file to cut string notches -- much better than a saw; notches only need to be string diameter deep.  Try using a heat gun or hair dryer on the bridge/fretboard junction for a few minutes to soften glue, then use a small hammer and a punch (small length of wood or dowel) and a sharp tap to loosen the bridge.  If all else fails, you can (carefully) sand the bridge flat and make a floating bridge from a small split of chopstick or very hard wood with string notches.  Set it on top of the flattened bridge and angle the bass string end a few millimeters towards the tail as you begin tightening strings.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/09/17 05:11:47PM
1,475 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lately I've been having fun playing Lay The Bend To The Bonnie Broom, a 19th century forerunner of The Riddle Song.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/09/17 05:08:27PM
1,475 posts

Where you playing next?


Single-Instructor workshops, band & house concerts, Club activities, monthly Jams

Memorial Day I played at the Altapass Orchard Memorial Day Picnic, on the Blueridge Parkway up in North Carolina.  Except for an Pen Mic or three, I'll next be at the Americana Community Music Association Listening Room on August 5th, opening for Nate Currin.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/08/17 10:11:31PM
1,475 posts

Stone pick


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Interesting.  I don't have a stone pick, but I use a malachite pestle, from a Mexican mortar & pestle set, as a noter.  I do have a pick made from "vegetable ivory" from the Ivory Nut Palms on Pohnpei Island in the Federates States of Micronesia, and another made from polished turtle shell (found an empty shell in the woods years ago). 

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/07/17 07:48:53PM
1,475 posts

New Bill Berg dulcimer


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

Marg -- why not drop Bill a note, or give him a call and ask about loosening the bridge  I would suggest heating it a few minutes with your hair dryer before giving it a tap with a hammer and a wooden dowel

 

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/04/17 06:09:54PM
1,475 posts

Tab: Does anyone have "The Irish Rover"?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I suspect you'll "be after making that tab the old fashioned way".  I've heard and seen many Irish tunes, including the one about the ship called The Irish Rover, but I've not seen tab for it.  The Traditional Irish Music Group here does not have it mentioned either.

Sea Chanties are work songs, so Irish Rover would not fall in that category.


updated by @Ken Hulme: 06/04/17 06:12:28PM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/04/17 07:33:00AM
1,475 posts

Tab: Does anyone have "The Irish Rover"?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Which  "Irish Rover"?  There are half a dozen tunes which could be named that, including the one Frank posted a link to.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
06/01/17 06:00:17PM
1,475 posts

My Next Project


Building dulcimers

Beautiful work!

 

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/24/17 04:19:07PM
1,475 posts

Picks on hammered dulcimers


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

There are European and Latin American styles of HD play that use fingerpicks.  The Mexican instrument is called the Salterio.


updated by @Ken Hulme: 05/24/17 04:19:39PM
Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/20/17 10:41:57PM
1,475 posts

Wanted: Bonnie Carol dulcimer


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

Dave shattuck:
Dave shattuck: She only makes a 25.25" VSL.

Her builders have changed then.  Of course it was 30-odd years ago when I knew her in Colorado; even then she wasn't actually making them herself anymore, but had a team of people making her designs.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/19/17 06:53:23AM
1,475 posts

Wanted: Bonnie Carol dulcimer


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

Almost every Bonnie Carol that I've seen had longer VSLs-- 28" or thereabouts!

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/18/17 10:26:25PM
1,475 posts

Dennis Dorogi


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I saw that yesterday.   Another one of the good ones has passed...

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/18/17 08:28:40PM
1,475 posts

Possum board options


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I play with both possum board and a stand-up stand.  If you play with a stand acoustically (not amped) you will want a board underneath, as the greater sound will head for the floor if you don't.  If you're playing with a pickup I don't think it makes much, if any, difference.

My stand-up stand is a tall waiter's tray table, from a restaurant supply house for $28.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/17/17 10:57:09PM
1,475 posts

Healthy Living- healthy eating, exercise, weight loss, veggie gardening, etc.


Off Topic discussions

A couple months ago we joined a year-round food co-op that offers a veggie box or produce box for $20 or a combo box for $25; plus lots of individual veggies and fruits for sale at way below local megamart prices (golden beets for 50¢ each vs megamart bundle of 3 for $4.49, and parsnips for 33¢ each instead of a bag of 3 for $3.99).  We've found a combo box works just about right for us.  There's no mandatory buy, and they have a number of pick-up points around the area.

This week we're getting:

5 Sweet Potatoes (pesticide free)
1 Sweet Onion
1 Red Onion (pesticide free)
2 Garlic Bundles
3 Bell Peppers (pesticide free,local)
3 Yellow Squash (local, organic)
4 Beefsteak Tomatoes (local, pesticide free)
3 Limes
8 Bananas
4 Sweet Oranges (pesticide free)
3 Avocados
2 Mangos

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/16/17 03:48:08PM
1,475 posts

Info about John ans Shirley Naylor Mountain Dulcimer


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

Did it break?  Do you need to raise/lower the action?  Black & white is probably some sort of phenolic/plastic.

Ken Hulme
@Ken Hulme
05/12/17 07:18:44AM
1,475 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It's pretty easy to adjust that string height by sanding a tiny bit off the bottom of the bridge (and maybe the nut)  Start a new General thread about that, and we'll talk you through the process.   

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