Forum Activity for @dusty-turtle

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/17/19 05:28:25PM
1,051 posts

How do I tune this, or change the setup?


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

Ken is right.  It looks like the bridge has a groove for a double melody string, so you could make one in the nut and string the dulcimer as a three-course instrument with a double melody string.  Or you could just string it as a three string instrument with no double melody.  Lots of folks take off that extra string anyway.

You might consider putting on new strings if those on the instrument seem old. I try to change strings every few months.

By the way, this Forum on Site Questions is intended for questions about how the website works.  So I've moved this discussion to the Forum for questions on specific instruments and luthiers. It will be easier for others to find that way.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/17/19 05:31:17PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/17/19 03:10:49AM
1,051 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Sorry, kiddos. I won't hear it. Don't ever tell me you are tired of Bile Dem Cabbage Down.

https://youtu.be/fyt646v4hxA

I thought I'd listen to a tune before going to sleep. This one has me so jazzed I'll be up for hours.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/15/19 08:06:48PM
1,051 posts

Your Three Favorite Songs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Favorites?  Depends on my mood.

I will say that I think the two most beautiful melodies ever written are Danny Boy (Londonderry Air) and Greensleeves.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/10/19 11:53:36PM
1,051 posts

For sale: Ron Gibson baritone MD... PRICE REDUCED: $400!


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

Terry, I hope your recovery goes quickly and painlessly.

I had a Ron Gibson baritone that I was obliged to sell.  I've often regretted it.  Unfortunately, I am in no position to buy another dulcimer right now.  Too many medical and household expenses recently.  That's a good price for a fine instrument.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/10/19 11:36:13PM
1,051 posts

Blackbird


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I had a feeling Butch would take care of you. He's good people.
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/10/19 07:12:22PM
1,051 posts

In What Key is The CC-A-D Tuning?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

DAC is in the key of D minor.  Your "home" or "tonic" is the first fret on the melody string, which is a D.

Jimmy, let me add that if you are playing in a drone style, the drones themselves tell you what the key is.  Drones can only be the 1st and 5th notes of the scale, so DAA is D ionian.  DAd is D mixolydian.  DAC is D aeolian.  And DAG is D Dorian.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/10/19 07:15:09PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/10/19 12:54:11AM
1,051 posts

Blackbird


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey I just remembered that Butch Ross also has a book of Beatles tunes.  Since I know he has played "Blackbird" on the MD, I bet that tune is there.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/10/19 12:48:21AM
1,051 posts

Blackbird


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

JP, if you contacted someone privately, that would be OK.  But if we make those kinds of connections on the public discussions at FOTMD, even if the actual exchange happens elsewhere, the site is still legally implicated.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/09/19 11:57:16PM
1,051 posts

Blackbird


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

jp: hmmmm so those of you who are gigging musicians only play 'Public Domain" tunes?

Soooo all the cover bands we go see at the local pubs are in violation of the copyright laws?

so if i learn this song on my own and tab it out am i in violation of CR law.... how about if i gave a

copy to a friend....

JP, performing and distribution are two different things.  You can perform a cover at a formal venue because in all likelihood that venue has paid an annual fee to ASCAP. And even if they didn't, the legal burden is on the venue and not the performer to ensure they are in compliance with copyright tunes.

You can play at home and for your friends and family any copryighted music you want.  That is legal.  It is also legal to tab out for your own purposes a copyrighted song.  And you can even share it with a friend.  That's all legal.

But you cannot distribute that material without paying for a license to do so.  And the Napster court case affirmed that online sharing constitutes illegal distribution.  Because FOTMD is free and open to the public, we cannot exchange copyrighted materials. 


updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/10/19 12:03:00AM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/09/19 10:52:43PM
1,051 posts

Blackbird


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Most of the stuff on those guitar tab sites is illegal. Plain and simple.  There are also tons of YouTube videos of people playing covers of copyrighted tunes.  That's all illegal, too.

Neal Hellman published a book of Beatles tunes arranged for the MD, but I don't think "Blackbird" is in there.  The only dulcimer player I can think of who has played the tune is Butch Ross.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/08/19 01:16:57PM
1,051 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

That's really cool, Robin.  I just got some information from the Sibley folks at https://www.sibleyguides.com/2011/08/abnormal-coloration-in-birds-melanin-reduction/

If you scroll down a smidge you will see pictures of a normal cardinal, a fully leucistic cardinal, and a partially leucistic cardinal. You can't confuse them.  From your comments it would appear you saw a fully leucistic female:

These birds can produce melanin, so the eye appears black, but something prevents them from depositing melanin in the growing feathers. The red carotenoid pigment is unaffected so the feathers are red in all the normal places for a female cardinal. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/07/19 05:13:59PM
1,051 posts

How Do I Attach Photos To A Post?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

The second way to incorporate a photo is to embed it as I did the screen shot in both of these responses to you.  In that case you choose the "embed local media" icon, which looks like a piece of film strip and is the second-to-last icon on the tool bar above the text box.

 

How Do I Attach Photos To A Post    Forums   fotmd com 2.png

 

When you click the embed local media icon, a screen will appear asking you what size you want the photo to be and where the photo is located.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/07/19 05:17:12PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/07/19 05:00:10PM
1,051 posts

How Do I Attach Photos To A Post?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Jimmy, there are a couple of different ways to incorporate a photo into a post.  One is to use the "Attache File" button just below the text box on the right. As in this screen shot below.

How Do I Attach Photos To A Post    Forums   fotmd com.png

When you "Attach File" it appears as a small icon below your text, with a download link to the right, as in the case below.


Dusty the Jester.jpg Dusty the Jester.jpg - 20KB

updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/07/19 05:09:37PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/07/19 01:24:09AM
1,051 posts

No Strum hollow


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

You don't need a strum hollow. You can strum or pick anywhere you want.  I usually tell beginners to strum wherever their hand and arm feel most comfortable. Eventually, as you have discovered, you will learn to move toward the bridge to get a sharper tone and tighter strings and toward the middle of the dulcimer to get a warmer tone and looser strings.

Adding a strum hollow will not change the tone of your dulcimer.  The only exception would be if you use a flatpick and sometimes hit the fretboard, creating a clicking sound.  (I sometimes have that issue, unfortunately.) Good technique can avoid that problem, and strumming over the strum hollow does as well, obviously.

It sounds like you are off to a great start.  My advice would be to eventually begin strumming both in and out, alternating in a steady pattern, but don't worry about that right away. Take your time.


updated by @dusty-turtle: 02/07/19 01:25:20AM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/06/19 10:55:32PM
1,051 posts

Playing dulcimer with a ukelele


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Ken Longfield: When I first saw the title of this discussion, I was going to suggest using a pick instead

There's always one comedian in the crowd. happys

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/05/19 03:11:44AM
1,051 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I've been listening to a lot of Mandolin Orange the last few days. Their effortless harmonies are just so sweet.  They have an approach to songwriting and singing that is serious and relaxed at the same time. Had I found these two back when I was playing the mandolin and getting frustrated by the bluegrass obsession with speed, I might have stayed with the mandolin and never taken up the dulcimer.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/04/19 03:09:34AM
1,051 posts

FolkRoots baritone teardrop $400


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

James, can I ask why you specify the way you have tuned this dulcimer? Couldn't it be tuned AEa or GDg or other standard baritone tunings?

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/03/19 03:10:23PM
1,051 posts

Hard-sided case for a McSpadden Ginger?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Barbara, my baritone dulcimette is about 28.5" long and 7" wide at its widest along the lower bout.  If your local music store is worth anything, they might be able to order a viola case from one of their suppliers. You could then bring in your Ginger and determine whether it would fit or not. If not, they should be able to return it no problem.  It's worth talking to them.

You will have to adjust the inside of the case to adapt it to the dulcimer, but you should be able to see how to do that when you see them both together.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/03/19 03:13:53AM
1,051 posts

Music must be in my blood


OFF TOPIC discussions

Very cool photo, Charles. I was going to say something similar to Strumelia's comment (though I certainly couldn't identify the date of the photo by the clothing -- wow!.  Bluegrass was invented in the 1950s, so these guys were some kind of string band.  Think of Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, although that trio used a banjo instead of a mandolin.

If you want to hear what they might have sounded like, Columbia Records put out a 2 CD compilation of stuff that was originally released on old 78s from the mid 20s to the mid 30s.  The CD is called White Country Blues.  I highly recommend it.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
02/01/19 11:28:39PM
1,051 posts

Larry Barringer


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

@Victorsings, I think I remember reading somewhere that Larry Barringer turned his luthier business over to Terry McCafferty, who is currently making excellent dulcimers out of Houston. You might consider contacting Terry.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/30/19 05:57:51PM
1,051 posts

Hard-sided case for a McSpadden Ginger?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hi Barbara. I used a viola case for my baritone dulcimette by Ron Ewing. It is about the same length as a Ginger.  You can see a picture here.  I just cut away the part of the case that holds up the neck.  I didn't do a particularly good job, but the case works really well.  It's small enough to easily fit in the overhead compartment of airplanes and the hardshell case offers peace of mind.

I suggest taking your Ginger into a music store, not a Guitar Center but a store that deals with a variety of instruments such as those that serve school orchestras.  The will have lots of types of cases to check out.

There are also gun cases with customizable foam that could be form fitted around your dulcimer, but TSA would definitely notice those!


updated by @dusty-turtle: 01/30/19 09:00:39PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/26/19 03:18:19PM
1,051 posts

Jam chord progressions


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Don Grundy: Does it make a difference? My dulcimer has a1.5 fret.

The 1+ fret will let you play C and F chords down around the nut as well as D7 and G7 chords. It also makes it super easy to play bluesy licks.
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/26/19 01:12:57PM
1,051 posts

Jam chord progressions


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Don, you've gotten some good advice here.  As Robin has pointed out, the main keys for folk music are C, D, G, and A, and Skip has explained how to figure out the important I, IV, and V chords in those keys.  You can use any chord chart, such as those Stephen Seifert makes available, to learn how to play those chords.  You should also be aware of how versatile the barre chord is.  I assume you can count to 7 and you know the alphabet. winker If 000 is a D chord, then 111 is an E chord, 222 is an F (really F#) chord, 333 is a G chord, 444 is an A chord, 555 is a B chord, and 666 is a C chord.  Then we start over with D again at 777. Until you learn more chord voicings, those are safe places for you.

Personally, I prefer to approach this by using a capo, which enables me to play in D, G, and A out of a DAd tuning, and then tuning down a step to CGc to play in C.  Then I only have to learn the chord positions for one key but they will work in the others.  What I mean by that is that 002 is a D chord when tuned DAd, a G chord with the capo at 3, an A chord with the capo at 4, and a C chord when tuned CGc.  So I consider that a I chord rather than remembering four different chord names.  The same with the 013.  That's a G in DAd, but a C with the capo at 3, a D with the capo at 4, and an F when tuned CGc.  I could memorize all that or I could just think of it as a IV chord.  I could go on, but hopefully you see my point. 

I explain this approach in a document I've attached which was written for a different but related question, and also includes a transposition chart for the major keys.  And you can see me demonstrating how to use a capo to move to the keys of G and A this video here.


strumming in various keys out of DAd tuning.pdf - 22KB

updated by @dusty-turtle: 01/26/19 01:26:52PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/21/19 11:01:31AM
1,051 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

We were lucky; the cloud cover disappeared just in time for us to see the spectacle. I, too, was amazed how red (bloody?) the moon really was.  Pretty cool, huh?  No monkeys here, though. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/13/19 08:58:41PM
1,051 posts

NOTICE: Forum/Group consolidations


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

I, too, like your moves, Strumelia. But don't tell my wife! Groucho Marx Emoticon by JakarNilson

Seriously, I fully support the consolidation of materials. As the site grows, we want to make sure it is still easy to find information. Bravo!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/12/19 02:55:41PM
1,051 posts

My First String Change....Whew!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If by "standard" you mean a guitar capo, yeah, that won't work.  Ron Ewing in Ohio makes great dulcimer capos for about $22 or $23.  He usually ships really fast, too. If you're pretty handy on the workbench you can make one of your own.  It's worth having one around even if you don't use it for this tune.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/12/19 02:11:33PM
1,051 posts

My First String Change....Whew!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Congratulations, Jimmy. Now that you're so good at changing strings, I have an old autoharp . . . 

Hey, I do have one tip for you which I learned from Butch Ross and can't believe I never though of.  As you found out, it can be hard to keep the loop ends on until there is enough tension on the string.  But you can use a capo to do that for you, which frees up your hands.  So put the loop end on, pull the string taut, and put a capo on to hold it in place.  Then go ahead and wind the string around the tuner.  It's so simple I'm embarrassed that I was changing strings for years and never thought of it.

And don't worry; the 45 minutes will be reduced to 5 or 10 in no time.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/09/19 11:48:48PM
1,051 posts

Do you have a pre 1989 FolkRoots or CapriTaurus dulcimer (made by Howard Rugg)?


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

Patricia Delich:  Maybe ... I don't know. You'd either have to show me where the photos are or ask Wayne ... :-)

How about this?

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/09/19 11:40:06PM
1,051 posts

Do you have a pre 1989 FolkRoots or CapriTaurus dulcimer (made by Howard Rugg)?


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

Patricia Delich: I attached a photo of Lil Sweetheart. I'll also upload it to my profile page photos. 

Patricia, maybe that was the one Wayne posted some pictures of.  I remember that ribbon binding.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/09/19 11:27:19PM
1,051 posts

Do you have a pre 1989 FolkRoots or CapriTaurus dulcimer (made by Howard Rugg)?


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

Patricia Delich:
Dusty Turtle: I am particularly fond of the short scale dulcimers Howard has begun to build.

I have one too and I love it! Howard called her "Lil Sweetheart". She made an appearance in our film (Hearts of the Dulcimer).  :-) 

Patricia, I wasn't aware that Howard had started building again when you guys were making the film. I thought he started afterwards, perhaps as a result of renewed attention the film brought it!  And I think I remember Wayne posting some pictures of a small dulcimer that Howard was building for him several years ago. Perhaps that was a prototype.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/06/19 11:36:15PM
1,051 posts

Inexpensive short dulcimer


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

Lisa, the danger buying most of the cheap dulcimers out there is that they are not really instruments but "dulcimer-shaped objects" intended to be hung on a wall somewhere rather than played.  A lot of them have really high action, making them hard to play, and many don't even have correct intonation, so you will sound off even if you are playing correctly.  

Bill Berg and David Lynch are two reputable luthiers who make "student" dulcimers for less than $150.  They are real instruments and will encourage you to play.  However, they are not really small travel dulcimers.  The small dulcimers don't really cost less than the big ones since they involve basically the same amount of work.  One option for you might be a cardboard dulcimer.  Folkcraft sells some that you can either put together yourself or buy pre-assembled.  I played one at a festival a couple of years ago and was amazed how well it sounded, although obviously it did not have extraordinary volume.

But I should also say that I own several really nice small dulcimers, including octave dulcimers by Ron Ewing and David Beede.  They are small enough to fit in a decent-sized backpack or under the seat in front of you on a plane and yet they both have a really charming tone.  They don't have a lot of sustain, but they stand out in a group of dulcimers because of the higher pitch.  They are not really cheap, but they are delightful instruments that maintain their value pretty well.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
01/04/19 07:34:57PM
1,051 posts

“Shinga Shing Shinga Shing Ching Chang”


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Almost every day, I am sitting playing the dulcimer and my wife smiles lovingly and then closes the door to whatever room I am in.  I get the hint.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/30/18 12:10:59PM
1,051 posts

Randy Wilkinson tab book for Elizabethan Music


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Oh my! I could just kiss you, @Maddie-Myerskiss I've been looking for that book for years and I don't know why it never occurred to me to post a note here.  I'll send you a personal message right away. You're the best!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/30/18 02:32:42AM
1,051 posts

Randy Wilkinson tab book for Elizabethan Music


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

For several years I've been searching for the book of dulcimer tablature that accompanies Randy Wilkinson's album on Kicking Mule records called Elizabethan Music for Dulcimer.  The book came out in 1982, I believe.

Does anyone have a copy kicking around that they'd be willing to part with?

Muchas gracias!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/29/18 04:12:33PM
1,051 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I found this story about a choir for people with dementia to be really uplifting.  The Good Memories Choir in Chicago is for people with dementia and their caregivers.  Too often people with dementia have minimal positive contact with others, but choir singing brings people together in an activity filled with positive emotions.  And because music memory involves melody, tempo, lyrics, and all sorts of emotions, it involves many parts of the brain, including parts that are not affected by dementia, so music really does temper the effects of dementia.  The Good Memories Choir had its first concert this month. Among the songs they sang were "Blue Skies," "This Little Light of Mine," "What a Wonderful World."

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/25/18 03:56:13AM
1,051 posts

Happy Christmas To All


OFF TOPIC discussions

And Merry Christmas from a rainy northern California. Peace and joy to all. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/16/18 01:01:00AM
1,051 posts

Are McCafferty dulcimers worth the very high price?


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

Adrian, I can only compare my McCafferty with the other fine dulcimers I own: Blue Lion, Modern Mountain Dulcimers, and Probst, the latter of which I currently have strung as a baritone. 

My 25" McCafferty has a superior balance, very warm tone, and exceptional volume.  It is not as bass dominant as my Modern Mountain Dulcimer, but is better balanced.  Compared to my Probst, the McCafferty does not have as much sustain, but don't get me wrong; the sustain is very good, just not quite as infinite as the Probst. And the sustain might be a function of the shorter VSL. I have a feeling that the sustain of a 28" McCafferty would be just as remarkable as the Probst.

The action is also wonderful. It takes very little pressure from your fingers to fret a string.  I also find it equally beautiful flatpicked or fingerpicked.  Prior to buying the McCafferty, I used my MMD for flatpicking and my Blue Lion for fingerpicking, but the McCafferty excels in both.  However, I found the strings a bit too far apart for fast flatpicking and moved the melody and bass strings in a little bit so that they are about 1" apart.

I don't know much about electronics, but I love the pickup Terry uses. It is a Twin Spot pickup by K & K Sound.  I plug right into my Fishman Loudbox mini with no pre-amp and no equalizer and the sound is just what you'd want: an amplified but warm, acoustic tone. 

I bought my McCafferty before Terry started making radiused fretboards, so I can't speak to that feature.

In general, I cannot imagine a competent player looking for a high-end dulcimer with a big, round, warm sound being dissatisfied with a McCafferty instrument.  There might be a detail or two (such as the distance between strings) that would have to be customized, but Terry knows what he's doing.  His dulcimers are really nice.  Two members of my local dulcimer group contacted him for their own the first time they heard mine.   A few days after I received my dulcimer from Terry I played in a kind of round robin on a stage with three other dulcimer players. We took turns playing tunes.  Afterwards, a professional player in the audience (he was actually the main act who followed us) told me that the tone of my dulcimer really stood out among the others.  He didn't say my playing stood out, but was only talking about the tone of the dulcimer!

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/15/18 10:46:46PM
1,051 posts

Using Metronome apps


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I use something called Metronome Beats.  It can be programmed in any number of ways. I particularly like the visual display options.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
12/15/18 10:19:03PM
1,051 posts

Are McCafferty dulcimers worth the very high price?


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

Adrian, there is no way to really answer that question.  I have a McCafferty dulcimer and love it.  Obviously, it was worth it to me.  But I don't know how anyone can quantify the variables that add value to a dulcimer. Sound is one issue. So is comfort.  And the visual appeal might be another factor.

My advice would be that if you have to ask if it's worth it, you should probably play for a while before making an investment in your dream dulcimer.  With a McCafferty dulcimer you are paying for some variables that might not be important to you.  Do you want an ebony overlay on the fretboard?  That adds significant cost.  Do you want an internal pickup?  Do you want a radiused fretboard?  Those options probably amount to a third or so of the cost of the instrument. If you don't want those, then you should not buy a dulcimer with them.  If you don't know if you want those options, then wait.

It took me several years of playing to determine my own preferences.  If you are a beginner or have only played a couple of dulcimers, I would suggest not even thinking about spending more than a few hundred dollars for a dulcimer until you have played long enough to know exactly what you want.  (That is, unless you have loads of cash. If you have loads of cash, go ahead and buy a McCafferty.  In fact, buy two, and send me one!  And I'll take a David Beede dulcimer, too, while you're at it. grin)

Seriously, though, there is no rush.  Attend some dulcimer festivals and pay attention to the dulcimers that sound good to you. Ask if you can try them.  You will have the opportunity to try some nice dulcimers and you'll have a better sense of how they differ, what your personal preferences are, and what dulcimers might be best for you.

And don't forget to check the For Sale forum here.  McCafferty has sold a lot of dulcimers over the past couple of years. I bet we start seeing a few used.

 /