Lullabies from Around the World -- Dusty's tab book available
FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...
I'm glad it got there safely, Ken. I hope you find a few melodies to your liking.
I'm glad it got there safely, Ken. I hope you find a few melodies to your liking.
I'm sorry to hear Ken's description of the shoddy construction of the Seagull Merlin. I have a Seagull 12-string guitar that is very nice (exceptional for the price) and made in Canada. The only Merlin I played (for a total of 3 minutes) had a slightly bigger and warmer sound than other strumsticks, but it oddly has only a 6+ and not a 6 fret. And it only has a total of 7 or 8 frets, so you only have one octave to work with. The price is about that of a student model dulcimer, so I don't see it as having much of a purpose at all. If, as Ken states, many of them are not playable due to misplaced frets, it's a real shame. No wonder you see so many on Ebay.
sometimes plays the dulcimer like a guitar. He has a special dulcimer that only has half of an upper bout so that he can wrap his hand around the fretboard. Check out this video. I think he had it custom-made, but I'm not sure. He is a member here, so you might ask him. If that design is something you're interested in, you might contact some of the luthiers here and see if they can make you a custom instrument.
I don't think putting heavier strings on a tin-sounding instrument like a strumstick will have more than a negligible effect. If you want a big, warm sound, you would generally need a pretty big box.
Let me add that I think your playing will be limited if you play by wrapping your hands around the fretboard. If nothing else, you eliminate the possibility of using your thumb. Notice in the video of Butch Ross that although he plays standing up for that first tune, which mostly involves strumming chords to accompany his voice, in the next clip, which involves much more elaborate fingering, he is sitting down and playing a regular dulcimer. (You might also compare the 3rd and 4th tunes in the same video for the same contrast.)
Hi all. If you prefer to order directly from me instead of from The Book Patch, please visit my website. Thanks!
Thanks for sharing that story, Strumelia. It is amazing how music touches something indescribable inside of us. The stories in Patricia and Wayne's latest Hearts of the Dulcimer Podcast tell similar stories about people at the other end of the lifecycle who have declined into a non-verbal state but still react quite alertly to music.
Watching the toddler in that video reminded me of my experience with my niece many years ago. I used to visit my sister about once a month when she and her family lived in LA. I would always bring my mandolin and sometimes my guitar as well. My niece was too small to talk or even to walk at the time, but I remember vividly her crawling over to me, trying to drag my mandolin case behind her by the strap. She was huffing and puffin by the time she got it to me, but then she just sat up looking at me, clearly waiting for me to start playing. I used to think it was evidence of a deep connection between us, but looking back, the connection was probably between her and the music. I was just a messenger.
If you eat a lot of carrots, perhaps you will save money and you can afford a lot of karats as well as perhaps some carats. But I'm a poor writer, so I use more carets.
Hey BRAshley, I just wanted to say "hi and welcome back." I remember your lively discussions when I first discovered the dulcimer world.
Thanks for your support, . I am pretty sure that you'll find a few lullabies in the book that will speak to you. A few are really short, so you may want to create a medley for a CD. As I say in the video, my personal favorite is Thula Baba. Check out this video of Kimmy Skota singing it first in her native Zulu and then in Afrikaans.
Look for a personal message from me, too.
Thanks so much, . This effort all started with me just searching for songs that the beginners in my local dulcimer group could learn quickly. Then I taught a couple of workshops on lullabies at dulcimer festivals, and after a time I had enough for a whole book.
It's been an exhilarating process. Now I just have to learn California tax law enough to know how to handle online sales. In the meantime, I'll just rely on The Book Patch to do that for me.
Hey now hey! I am really excited to announce that my first book of mountain dulcimer tab is now available:
Lullabies from Around the World arranged for the beginning mountain dulcimer.
$20 + shipping/handling
The book contains over 20 lullabies presented in both standard music notation and dulcimer tablature, all intended for DAd or other 158 tuning. All the tunes can be played either with a flatpick or in a fingerpicking style, and lyrics with English translations are presented for all tunes.
The arrangements are designed for the beginner player, and lullabies are perfect in this regard, since the simple melodies fit easily on the dulcimer's diatonic fretboard, and lullabies include a lot of repetition and are intended to be played slowly. These melodies are, very simply, beautiful, soothing and calming.
An Appendix includes:
1) an original lullaby I wrote entitled "Please Take Your Time Growing Older"
2) a discussion of 6 specific strategies to enhance the basic arrangements in the book
3) an enhanced arrangement of one of the tunes
Attached is a copy of the table of contents, and if you want more information, please view this video of me describing the book and playing some sample tunes.
Once I learn more about internet commerce and taxes here in California I will sell the book from my website, but for now you can buy the book directly from The Book Patch.
If you buy the book, please let me know, and I'll mail to you free of charge this 3" x 3" sticker offering helpful and humorous advice on solid left-hand fingering technique. The sticker looks great on a dulcimer case, a water bottle, a bicycle helmet, or whatever.
It's mostly the same tunes, but with updated lyrics. Instead of "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" you have to sing "If you're happy and you know retweet this meme."
Seriously, my kid was in kindergarten about a decade ago, and the songs were basically the same as when I was a kid. In fact, you're giving me a good idea for a "Call the Tune" for any songs for kids. We could all share our ideas for good songs for kids.
What a cutie! I can't wait to see it when it grows up!
Today is Bach's birthday, and if you haven't visited Google yet, do so. The banner is an artificial intelligence app that takes any melody you put in and adds harmony as Bach might have done it. It's really cool. I only wish it were longer so you could actually put in 12 or 16 bars. The depressing part is that the computer is better at arranging than I am!
Steve, this class looks really helpful. We stress left-hand fingering so much and too often forget right-hand technique.
We should be able to embed your video. I'll look into what the problem is.
Don, others have asked this question, too, assuming that the small differences in distances between frets would pose problems. But I've never found it to be a problem. I do think it helps that I tend to look at the fretboard rather than tablature when I play, but I think you'll get used to whatever instruments you play. I regularly play instruments whose VSLs range from 17" on an octave dulcimer to 28-1/2" on one I string as a baritone.
As explains, it is easier to finger certain chords on smaller dulcimers, which is why my main dulcimer now has a 25" VSL. But there is also a trade-off, as shorter strings in general have less sustain.
Don, the questions isn't as simple as you might think because VSL and string gauge both vary, so different VSLs might require different string gauges to get the same tones.
Standard size dulcimers can probably be thought of as having at least 25" VSLs. Dulcimers smaller than that, say in the 22-24" range are usually tuned up a fourth or fifth to G or A, but not always. A lot of people play the McSpadden Ginger model tuned DAd.
And Skip's suggestion of using a capo at the 7th fret demonstrates, you can also get DAd an octave above a standard dulcimer. There are a few really well-made octave dulcimers out there, Ron Ewing is probably the best known builder.
, here is a quick video I just made that demonstrates the main scales I am working on now and hints at the arpeggios as well.
Here is tab for the first scale, which goes up each string individually.
Here is tab for the second scale, which really works the pinky and goes across the strings in the first position.
I have not yet put together tab for the third scale I demonstrate that starts on the open bass string and then goes up two octaves to the seventh fret of the melody string. Check back with me in a few days and I'll try to put something together.
In the video I mention a tune by called "Time and Tide" which is a study of arpeggios. It's actually a beautiful tune and calling it a study does not do it justice. I also mention a book by called Faster Cleaner Better, which I have started working with for arpeggio exercises. I should probably have started with Mike Casey's book Hands-On Dulcimer which includes an enormous assortment of exercises for both right and left hands.
Regardless of how you start playing, I think it's important to end by playing something that you know pretty well. To avoid the frustration that comes from trying to improve on any musical instrument, it is essential to maintain a feeling of satisfaction and confidence. Don't put the dulcimer down when you're frustrated; rather, put it down with a feeling of joy and competence. Make sure the last tune you play is something you know well and that gives you pleasure.
Unlike Ken, I do practice. There are techniques or songs that I find challenging that I want to learn. Of course, sometimes I just play and don't care about mistakes or improving. That's important, too. But when I want to focus and consciously improve my playing I always start with some scales and arpeggios to get my technique into shape. Then I might play one song that I've learned recently, but pretty soon I start with whatever I'm working on at the moment. It might be a song or it might be a technique. Often it's a tiny section of a song, even a measure that's giving me problems, and I'll obsess on that measure, playing it over and over and over. But as I said above, while that OCD behavior does indeed lead to improvement, it can also be frustrating, so I make sure I avoid or at least minimize that feeling of frustration by switching to a tune that I know well.
Occasionally, I review lists of songs to make sure I don't "lose" any. Right now I have two different lists. One is the tunes that I play with my local dulcimer group. I don't really mind if I make mistakes with that stuff, since we play it all together, but I want to at least remember how each tune goes. The second list is my list of tunes that I might play if someone asked me to play in front of people. That list changes, as I add and drop tunes as my tastes and abilities evolve, but I try to make sure I can play those tunes with as few mistakes as possible. I don't go over these lists of tunes every day, though. Depending on how busy life gets I might only get to them once every couple of weeks.
There are some pretty fancy carbon-fiber guitars that are made specifically for outdoor extreme temperatures. And I've played those ukuleles like the Waterman by Kala that can be used as an oar if you get stuck in a boat. But I don't think dulcimers built along those lines would be so simple or inexpensive.
My initial thought is similar to what and have suggested. Get an octave dulcimer. They are no more than 2 feet long and can easily be transported in a small padded case and left beside your desk while you work. Then you just sling it over your shoulder, grab your lunch pail, and have a musical lunch hour. I work from home and still sometimes play one during lunchtime! My wife sometimes takes a shoulder bag to work that could easily hold a purse, a lunch, and an octave dulcimer. You could do the same.
Steve, there is a Forum entitled "Adventures with Other Instruments"which would be the best place to start a discussion about accompanying dulcimers on the guitar.
Jeannnie, I'm so glad you are starting to build your collection of dulcimers again. And your story is more evidence of what a kind, giving community dulcimer players are. Perhaps I'll see you at some dulcimer event in northern Cal one of these days.
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.
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.
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.
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.