Forum Activity for @jim-yates

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
05/14/21 08:25:59PM
42 posts

Any banjo players out there?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I also enjoy Mary's banjo and dulcimer playing.
I'd like to share a banjo duet that AlKirby and I recorded alittle over a decade ago.  Al is playing Scruggs style and I'm playing clawhammer style.  Our friend the late Zeke Mazurek added some fiddleto the mix.  This was on our Sittin' In The Kitchen CD.
https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/media-player/audio_player2.asp?playlist=1201&musicid=



Sittin' In The Kitchen K&Y.jpg Sittin' In The Kitchen K&Y.jpg - 197KB
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
09/08/20 11:10:36PM
42 posts

Any banjo players out there?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I have a few instruments in the banjo family.
I play clawhammer and a few other folk styles on my 5-strings. 
I have a tenor that is strung with nylon strings that I often play in the Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band.
I also have a few banjoleles that I use Somebody Stole My Gal, Sweet Sue and Walkin' My Baby Back Home.

I used to play bluegrass banjo,but the arthritis in my thumbs has slowed that down a lot.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/09/19 08:57:10AM
42 posts

What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I just recalled a couple of songs that the kids in my class seemed to like a lot.

I'm Gonna Tell by Rosalie Sorrels was a favourite.

  I'm gonna tell, I'm gonna tell
  I'm gonna holler and I'm gonna yell
  I'll get you in trouble for everything you do
  I'm gonna tell on you

I'm gonna tell how you broke the plate
And I'll tell all about the bananas you ate
I'll tell on you one time, I'll tell on you two
I'm gonna tell on you!

I'm gonna tell Papa where you hid your gum
And then I'll tell that you still suck your thumb
And soon he'll find out about the cat and the glue
I'm gonna tell on you!

Another that I learned from a Michael Cooney record was one that he called What Do They Make In Washington?
Michael once worked at the Toronto Folklore Centre and he said in the liner notes that his Canadian friends should feel free to change the lyrics for Canuck kids, so I did.  My students sang:


There was a teacher in a fifth grade classroom
Teaching geography;
All about the goods from the different places
All across the country.
Well the lesson was nearly over
When a little kid raised her hand
She said, "Please tell me teacher,
For I do not understand:

  Tell me what do they make in Ottawa
  To give to all of the nation?
  Oshawa people they make the cars
  In Bewdly we take a vacation.
  They grow those big potatoes
  In P.E.I. I know
  But what do they make in Ottawa?
  I really want to know. 

After a few more verses, we come to:

Well, the teacher was bewildered
As teachers often are,
He knew that this young student
Had taken things a little too far
And searching for an answer
This is what he did say,
"That's a very good question.
We'll save it for another day."

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/04/17 12:57:26PM
42 posts

DAA or DAD as primary tuning ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Don Grundy: Mowing break. My daughter plays the ukulele. My son plays the guitar. Is there a tuning best to play with them?

The guitar can play in any key, especially if he has a capo.

Ukulele players seldom use capos and (almost) never above the 2nd fret. 
If she's strumming chords, in the key of D, simple D-2220 or 2225, A-2100 or A7-0100 or 2130, and G-0232 will accommodate most dulcimer folk songs.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
07/28/17 02:36:26PM
42 posts

DAA or DAD as primary tuning ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have used DAA as my primary tuning.  Since dulcimer is not my primary instrument, I like to stick to one tuning.  I have tried DAD, but find DAA better for chords and double stops and I really miss those lower notes on the melody string.
I have talked to those who feel that DAD is better for chording, but since I started on DAA, I have many patterns and shapes memorized. 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
03/04/17 02:50:07PM
42 posts

I've Just Bought a BANJO !!!!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Strumelia:

Bill- most oldtime fiddle tune banjo players I know, when playing for key of D, will either tune up to aDADE

 

which is referred to as 'double D tuning'. (the first lower case letter is the short fifth string)

 

OR, if they don't want to tune up that high they will tune to 'double C tuning' which is:  g, C, G, C, D

 

and then you can hook your fifth string up to 'a' and put a capo on the second fret for the other 4 strings.  That would bring you back up to double d tuning but with less cranking of the strings if starting from standard G tuning of gDGBD.

 

I usually just tune up to aDADE to play in D.

I really like this tuning when playing fiddle tunes too Strumelia, but when I'm singing folk songs in C or D and playing backup, I prefer drop C tuning gCGBD.  When I play this tuning in D, I like to start with open G, gDGBD, and capo the first three strings at the second fret and leave the 4th string open, capoing the thumb string to A.  This gives me aDAC#E, but I can use key of G shapes.

I use a capo for D rather than tuning up.  I'm a bit nervous about tuning up with the medium gauge strings I like to use.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
02/17/17 06:34:32PM
42 posts

What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I was a single father of two 3-7 year old sons for about 4 years.  The songs they loved us to sing while driving in our truck were Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, John Prine's Spanish Pipe Dream (which they called "that Blow up your TV song") and Gene Autry's Cowpoke Pokin' Along.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
02/09/17 11:04:33AM
42 posts

What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I recall a song about the musical instruments: "The clarinet, the clarinet goes doodle, doodle, doodle, doodle det... The violin's singing with lovely ringing... "

My dad used to sing us a song with the lines "Hush, hush, whisper, Who dares?  Christopher Robins is saying his prayers." when he was putting us to bed.
In the car, he'd sing The Whiffinpoof Song, St. James Infirmary and Frog Went A Courting.  He ended the song with verses I've not heard anywhere else:
They paddled off across the lake uh huh,
They paddled off across the lake uh huh,
They paddled off across the lake
And were swallowed up by a big black snake
Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh.

Well that was the end of him and her, uh huh,
That was the end of him and her, uh huh,
That was the end of him and her
Now we won't have tadpoles covered in fur,
Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh.

I taught school for thirty some odd years and some of that time was spent teaching music to kindergarten to grade eight students.  Some songs that went over very well with kids were Pete Seeger's Abyoyo, Carl Martin's The Vegetable Dance, the old jug band tune Boodle Am Shake, a song I learned in Scouts called The Watermelon Song and Hopalong Peter, a tune I learned from The New Lost City Ramblers.

My first dulcimer, made in about 1970, before I knew much about building instruments, stated in my classroom and kids were welcome to use it.  The diatonic scale made it easy for kids to pick out tunes or invent their own.  This old dulcimer, made from a the wood from a hollow core mahogany door and model railroad plywood for the top, has a lot of battle scars from kids playing it, but has given a lot of kids a lot of fun.


homemadedulcimer.jpg homemadedulcimer.jpg - 32KB

updated by @jim-yates: 02/09/17 11:12:18AM
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
09/05/16 04:38:31PM
42 posts

Oddities hanging on your walls


OFF TOPIC discussions

Our back room has an old foundry mold (I have no idea what the product was.) with a carved rosewood elephant sitting on it. 
Maggie said, "Jim, you're not going to take a picture of that thing before you wipe the dust off." 

Sorry Maggie.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/24/16 12:20:25PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Not so creative.  I got the idea by actually getting my moustache caught in the harp rack.
I've never tried playing the mouth harp with the dulcimer.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/24/16 12:07:31AM
42 posts

Oddities hanging on your walls


OFF TOPIC discussions

Here's a tiple, essentially a 10 string wire strung ukulele.  It was made in Chicago by the Regal Company.
It has four courses and is tuned gG-cCc-eEe-AA.  I do play this on occasion.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/24/16 12:02:20AM
42 posts

Oddities hanging on your walls


OFF TOPIC discussions

This is an old Oscar Schmidt guitar zither that hangs on our back room wall.  I also have a mandolin zither that was given to me by a cousin, but it hasn't found a home.  I doubt these will ever be played, but they look neat.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/23/16 11:46:10PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I don't believe I'll play the mouth harp with the drum, but when playing for kids, I have played the mouth harp while working a clog doll (limberjack).  I would play it for a while, then pretend to get my moustache caught in the rack.  I'd then ask one of the kids to come and work the doll while I played the mouth harp.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/22/16 08:38:56PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

And if you have a rack, it should be perfectly legal to play while driving.  In Canada, at least, hands free devices are legal.  I'm not sure the police would agree.

A couple of folks mentioned Chromatics.  Toots Thielemans, the master of the chromatic harp passed away today (August 22, 2016) in his early nineties.  Here's a clip of Toots playing his most famous composition, Bluesette.  Part way through he is surprised by another master of the chromatic harp, Stevie Wonder.
I bought a chromatic in the mid-sixties after hearing Toots, but it has not received much attention.

A friend of ours and a mentor to both of my sons, the late Willie P. Bennett was the best rack player I've ever heard or played with.  Here's the last song I ever heard Willie play:

Willie plays Stardust

One of our neighbours, Carlos Del Junco is one of Canada's (and the world's I'd guess) best mouth harp players.  He sometimes sits in with our jug band.  Here he is with our fiddle player, Jim Bowskill, playing guitar (Jim is a master of many instruments).

Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos Del Junco



Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/22/16 01:28:03PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Terry again, I have a plastic box that I bought at Canadian Tire (a Canuck hardware store).  It was meant to store small parts, but it fits six 10 hole diatonic mouth harps perfectly and fits in a guitar or banjo case easily. The old Elton rack is one I bought in the early sixties and the only modifications are a bend to make it hit my mouth squarely and a couple of lock washers.  I also have a drawer full of harps that I never use, but these six get played pretty regularly.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/22/16 01:20:12PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Terry, Here's another view of the drum.  It was a cheap, $7.00 drum from a school supplies catalog. I put the design on the front in magic marker.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/22/16 01:12:08PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Lisa, I lined up the thumb hole with the third hole from the bottom of the whistle and used a drill bit the same diameter as the hole on the front, so it makes the same note as the third hole from the bottom of a tin whistle.  I seem to recall playing a tune called Nonesuch, in my decade ago attempt at becoming a pipe & Tabor player, but I can't recall what it goes like now.

I just looked it up on "The Session" website and here it is:  Nonesuch on The Session

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/22/16 12:23:22AM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I had skipped over page two.  I just saw Lisa's video and was impressed.  I see that my homemade pipe & tabor are quite crude compared to the ones you guys have, but they'll do me for now.  Maybe I'll start working on the tune Lisa played.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/21/16 11:53:09PM
42 posts

Tabor Pipe and Drum


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

 

I made a tabor pipe from a Generation D whistle about a decade ago and worked at it for a while, but it has been sitting in a crock of whistles in my music room for a few years now.  I got it out to tke these photos

I strted by inding the bit that would exactly fit the third hole from the bottom and , placing the whistle on a piece of scrap board, I drilled through the back of the whistle.  I then put a piece of masking tape over all but the bottom two holes and, voila, I had a workable tabor pipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a cheap 12 inch frame drum, with no snare, that I had intended using as a tabor drum.  You guys may have inspired me to have another go at it.
What tunes do you folks play on your pipe? 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/16/16 11:37:12PM
42 posts

What do you use for a dulcimer strap?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Then there's the group called DAM (Mothers Against Dyslexia)

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/16/16 01:25:35AM
42 posts

What do you use for a dulcimer strap?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's the knot I was taught to use in Scouts when I wanted to shorten a rope.  I figured it'd work on a strap as well.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/15/16 10:04:18PM
42 posts

What do you use for a dulcimer strap?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


sleepingangel:

hugssandi:

 

The easy way to combat crochet strap-stretch, especially if it is thin, is just to knot it in the middle~like you do with a purse that's too long?  Does that make sense?

 


 

Good idea!

A sheepshank?


Sheepshank_knot.jpg Sheepshank_knot.jpg - 54KB

updated by @jim-yates: 08/15/16 10:08:05PM
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
08/12/16 01:49:33PM
42 posts

What do you use for a dulcimer strap?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I love Maria's strap.

Mine was a South American cotton belt that I bought at a festival.  Very colourful.


strap4.jpg strap4.jpg - 14KB
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
05/18/16 08:37:35PM
42 posts



I have put planetary tuners on all of my steel string banjos, but my nylon string banjoleles have friction tuners as does my favourite dulcimer.  I think you can see Pete's guitar tuners here.  He had three Grover Rotomatics and one cheap knock off that he put on when one of the Grovers got busted.


Pete's strap.jpg Pete's strap.jpg - 12KB
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
05/18/16 03:12:19PM
42 posts



@userno4, Why would planetary tuners cause a banjo to not hold its tuning?  Most banjo players seem to prefer them, although Pete Seeger did use guitar tuners on his banjo.
I think the planetary tuners on your Lyon & Healy would be add ons.  I believe it would have come with friction tuners.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/28/16 02:11:58PM
42 posts

recommendation on a capo for the dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Great information in the two links provided by Lisa.  Thanks for sharing Lisa.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/28/16 12:28:33AM
42 posts

recommendation on a capo for the dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Unless you have a 6&1/2 fret and capo at 3 in which case you'll be FCC or FCF, you will have to play in a different mode.  You can't just apply the capo a little higher if the tuning's too low for you the way you would on a guitar or banjo.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/03/16 09:02:32PM
42 posts

recommendation on a capo for the dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I guess I could cut the chopstick a little shorter, but I've never been stabbed.  This is still the original chopstick from 30 years ago, though the elastic band has been replaced quite a few times.

 

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/03/16 03:53:54AM
42 posts

recommendation on a capo for the dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Mine was not influenced by Ron Ewing.  In fact I'd never heard of him or anyone else using a dulcimer capo when I made mine about 30 some odd years backtemp_ning_photo_file.jpg .  It's still my favourite dulcimer capo.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
01/01/16 12:09:23PM
42 posts



The guitar was my first instrument, circa 1960.
Since we had only one guitar for a short while, my brother and I both learned mouth harp to play some Sonny & Brownie tunes
I bought my first mandolin in the mid sixties.
I built a dulcimer in the early seventies and bought a better one at a yard sale in the early eighties.
I quit smoking 40 years ago and put the money aside.  I used it to buy my first five string banjo.
I learned to play Autoharp on one that belonged to the school where I taught and bought a few of my own later.
I also play tenor banjo.
I have played at piano accordion, button accordion and English concertina, but have neglected them lately.
My newest instruments are the Filipino banduria, The ukulele and the tiple.

My wife says, "The concept of enough hasn't gotten through to Jim."
I'd probably be a much better guitarist if I'd stuck to it only.


updated by @jim-yates: 01/01/16 12:10:47PM
Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/23/15 02:02:25PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

No.  The Echo Super Vamper is a regular 10 hole diatonic.  I have no idea why they used the word "Echo".

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/22/15 10:38:22PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

This is a Marine Band Special in C that was given to me by my ex-father-in-law.  It's a 12 hole diatonic with a wooden comb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a 10 hole Hohner Echo Super Vamper in A that I bought in Scotland circa 1969 when my Marine Band in A crapped out.  It's identical to the Marine Band except for the top cover plate.  I haven't been to the British Isles in many years and am not sure if these are still available over there.  Perhaps they now sell Marine Bands over there.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/22/15 05:04:44PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

There is a framed copy of this photo on my piano.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/22/15 02:39:45PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

In 1968/69 I took a year off to hitch-hike overseas.  I didn't want to take a guitar, but I did take a few mouth harps.  I became a much better mouth harp player from my roadside practice sessions.
Just to add a bit of non-mouth harp, but dulcimer (the wrong kind for this site) content:
Just outside of Kilkenny I was picked up by an older gentleman who asked me, "Are you goin' to the fleadh?"
I asked, "What's a fleadh?"
He told me it was a festival of Irish trad music, so I said, "Sure I'm goin' to the fleadh."
The fleadh was in New Ross and on the way there, he asked, "Do you know what a dulcimer is?"
I said sure and described Jean Ritchie's instrument.  He stopped the car and said that his was a different type of dulcimer.  It was a hammered dulcimer and the first one I'd ever seen.  I spent the day with Mr. Andy Dowling (pronounced Doolin) and a pleasanter day I can't recall.
Here's Andy standing in front of his car in New Ross circa 1969.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/21/15 11:51:58PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I recall finishing a gig with the North Shore Ramblers at the Wilno Station Inn and driving the 3 hour drive home to Port Hope in the middle of the night.  Since "hands free devices" are legal in Ontario, I put my rack on and made my way home while playing the harp.  Not sure that the police would approve, but it kept me awake.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/21/15 09:41:06AM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

This plastic parts box was bought at Canadian Tire.  It jst happened to fit six harps perfectly and fits in a guitar case.  The Elton harp rack is one that I bought in the early sixties, right after I first saw Jimmy Reed.  The only modifications I've made is lock washers and a bend in the frame so that it hit my mouth at the proper angle.
The box now contains a Marine Band, a couple of Special Twenties, a Big River, a Blues harp and a Lee Oskar.  I have them labeled A/e, G/d, lowF/c, C/g, D/a and lowD/a.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/18/15 12:44:17PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Here's a video of my friend Carlos that a local guy made.  I hope this works. https://vimeo.com/119268204?from=outro-embed

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/14/15 09:16:18PM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

My kids got harmonicas in their stockings at Christmas (as did I and my siblings).

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/14/15 09:56:02AM
42 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Willie was one of Canada's best roots singer/songwriters.  He loved the music side of the music business, but not the business side.  He spent most of his career as a sideman, but released some fine solo albums along the way.

Jim Yates
@jim-yates
12/13/15 11:19:28PM
42 posts

recommendation on a capo for the dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

These are my dulcimer capos.  The elastic band/chopstick capo has been in use for over 30 years with occasional replacement elastics, but the same chopstick.
The Bic pen cap with the tail cut short and a string groove put in it fits over the fret to capo the bass string for playing in different modes without re-tuning.  It works well for DAA tuning.  I got the idea from a 5-string banjo player who uses one of these for a fifth string capo.


updated by @jim-yates: 12/13/15 11:20:43PM
1