Forum Activity for @frank-ross

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
10/17/18 11:36:56AM
33 posts

Show Us Your Pets!


OFF TOPIC discussions

Here is Lacey on her 18th birthday. She used to be a P1020939 2.JPG big fan of my dulcimer playing but is mostly deaf now. She is still pretty active - likes to watch the leaves falling and the birds at the feeder. She can't jump like she used to and here is a picture of her using the steps I made for her so she can get up on the bed.lacey demonstrates.JPG

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
08/26/18 02:51:40PM
33 posts

What's your favorite mournful, spooky, or lonesome song to play?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Cad E Sin Don Te Sin  has always seemed spooky to me   Link to tab


updated by @frank-ross: 08/26/18 02:52:39PM
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/08/18 07:16:54AM
33 posts



I like heart shaped ones - makes it easier to get your pick out when it falls into the MD. F style holes are much harder to get the pick out when it falls thru  - LOL

 

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
10/26/17 06:53:15AM
33 posts

What's fer dinner?


OFF TOPIC discussions

possum in a bag.JPG Hopefully it tastes better than it looks. 


possum in a bag.JPG.jpg possum in a bag.JPG.jpg - 95KB
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
11/24/16 05:16:02PM
33 posts

Remember Our Friend Oliver Ogden.


OFF TOPIC discussions

I was sadden to learn of the passing of our fellow dulcimer player, morning chatter and friend Oliver. I had the pleasure of meeting him through the chatroom and later in person. He had come to our Wartz gatherings and will be sadly missed. So sad to lose someone during this time of the year. Rest in peace Oliver, you will be missed. I played "Amazing Grace" this morning at home as a small tribute to him.  Very nice post you did for Oliver, Lexie did a nice job.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
09/07/16 07:45:46AM
33 posts

Loose back brace solutions


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

I lucked out again in that area - there was enough residual glue on the edge with the side to hold it (that is what was making the cracking sound when pressing on the 7th fret area). I pushed on the 7th fret area, got it got it to pop/crack open, got the glue to the area, waited a while and used a bent rod to pop it back. Otherwise I would have had to use a balloon or bent stick to hold it in place.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
09/06/16 06:30:03PM
33 posts

Loose back brace solutions


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

I just had that problem last month. I had a brace loosen under the sound board near the middle of the dulcimer. The lose end would make a cracking noise when playing around the 7th fret. I had heart shaped holes so I could actually get a small camera and a long shrink tube with a wire backbone to get the glue to the spot.


repair to McS 001.jpg repair to McS 001.jpg - 33KB
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
04/13/16 06:59:17PM
33 posts

Advice for KY Music Week


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

a spare set of strings might be handy if needed.

 

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
04/09/16 07:06:34AM
33 posts

New keys for dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ramps are up about 3 inches  here in WV.

 

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
03/02/16 11:24:28AM
33 posts

What do you aspire to with your music?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I wanted to keep the brain working and the fingers functional after I retired. I wanted something to do on cold rainy days and the winter nights, one can only tie so many flies for fishing. Death from TV or internet surfing didn't seem palatable. I had finished the dulcimer I started to  build over 40 years ago and wanted to learn how to play it. So it went on the bucket list. My aspirations change as I make progress - at first all I wanted to do was to play simple tunes and eventually use chords. I progressed enough where if I play in front of others I don't have to tell them the name of the common tune and it doesn't sound like one of the cats attacking the fret board. I can chord some now and have played at one open mike event. I play with other MD players and in front of friends now without the need of a barf bag. I hope to encourage others to take up the dulcimer and have fun. Having started my MD playing two and a half years ago at the age of 68, I have realized that playing fast Irish jigs will probably not  make my repertoire. The hardest part now trying to learn the tunes so that I don't need the tab sheet in front of my face and getting smoother playing. If I can make others happy, keep learning new skills and encouraging other to play, I will be satisfied.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/28/15 09:58:29PM
33 posts

How does your pet react to your Dulcimer playing?


OFF TOPIC discussions

As one can see in this previously posted photo, our three cats find my playing interesting. They seem to particularly like "Grey Cat on a tennessee Farm"

My 3 furry amigos . Usually one or two will wander in and plop down next to me or even rub the dulcimer as I try to play it.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/26/15 10:20:09PM
33 posts

Do You Have A 'Go To' or Favorite Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

my favorite is usually my latest acquisition. But I do like to play the others also - some sound better in different tunings than others so the tune I am playing sometimes decides which gets played. Also I have my 42 year old project dulcimer that I keep messing with that is starting to sound pretty good after the addition of metal tuners from wooden pegs bridge/nut adjustments.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/26/15 10:12:52PM
33 posts

Only in West Virginia?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Penn Alps in Grantsville, MD has 2 or 3 hanging in a local mountian craft shop. It in a artisian village with a restaurant. Just off I68 in western Maryland

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/19/15 04:58:17PM
33 posts

Tunings you like to use on your dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I usually am playing in DAD or DAA with an occasionaly journey into CGC, DGD and CGG. Some tunes just sound better in different tunings. That creates just enough confusion for my ears, fingers and brain.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
03/15/15 12:09:51PM
33 posts



I have one of each. Like them both. Some tunes sound better on the teardrop and some sound better on the hourglass. Since 3 points define a plane (in geometry) I find the teardrop rocks less when you really hard strum. Kind of like the difference between a 3 legged stool and a 4 legged one - the 4 will rock and the 3 will be stable. my 2 cents

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
01/07/15 01:07:29PM
33 posts



I have an 1989 and 1995 McSpadden and they both have those "pores" the teardrop more that the hourglass. Mine are walnut and both play beautifully. I haven't seen any problems with them.


updated by @frank-ross: 02/09/16 03:07:28PM
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
12/11/14 08:15:53AM
33 posts

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


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

the extra slots are for different string configurations - 3 string, 4 string with double melody, 4 string equidistant ....) the shorter piece is probably the nut and the higher the bridge - try them that way but don't glue them - also the edges with the closer double slots usually goes toward the player - hopes this helps some.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
08/13/14 07:41:44AM
33 posts

what was your first song on the dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

First tune was "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" then maybe "Aunt Rhodie" and "Streets of Laredo"

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
12/22/14 06:27:07AM
33 posts

Does anyone know a safe way to get bad or musty smells out of an autoharp?


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

I bought a MD and case off Ebay that must have belonged to a smoker. I took a small air compressor and blew out all the dust I could get to inside and outside the MD. Do this outside so you don't smell up the house. I sprayed the case with fabreeze and put it in the garage. Several treatments cured the case. I took dryer strips and sprayed them with fabreeze and stuffed them into the sound holes. I also wiped down the outside of the MD with a slightly damp paper towels. Refresh/replace the dryer strips weekly and eventually the smell will go away. Initially you are replacing one smell with another until the smell disapaites over time.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
06/06/14 09:33:56AM
33 posts

Shelf Liner Left Marks


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I second trying DR. Duck Ax Wax. To keep the dulcimer from sliding you could use a possum board (a board that lifts the dulcimer off your lap and gives a increase in volume) and put the shelf liner on the possum board.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
02/23/14 06:28:28PM
33 posts

Dulcimer kits from mid 1970's to early 1980's


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Cindy Stammich said:

Hi Frank,

Do you still have the dulcimer? Just wondering if we could compare photos.

Thank you!

Frank Ross said:

back in the early 70's I bought a kit from the RemBranD Company (their spelling and format) in Newton, Iowa. They sold Appalachian and hammered dulcimer kits. I have searched the internet for more info on the company but find very little. I still have the assemmbly instructions and a 6 page brocureon how to play it.

Mine is an hour glass shaped one - I'm not sure what models sold - will post a picture later

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
02/23/14 09:27:28AM
33 posts

Dulcimer kits from mid 1970's to early 1980's


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

back in the early 70's I bought a kit from the RemBranD Company (their spelling and format) in Newton, Iowa. They sold Appalachian and hammered dulcimer kits. I have searched the internet for more info on the company but find very little. I still have the assemmbly instructions and a 6 page brocureon how to play it.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
02/22/14 09:48:22PM
33 posts



their newer model catalog has this quote in it "The basic setup is D-A-AA. From that setup you can use any of the common tunings. If you expect to play only in D-A-dd, we recommend ordering the bridge compensation option to optimize playability in that tuning." you should give them a call

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
02/01/14 11:39:07PM
33 posts

Strumming so frustrated


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Julie, not sure how long you have been on your dulcimer playing journey. I have only been at it for 4 months now. This forum had been of great help and encouragement. A month or two ago I described that my playing sounded like a series of rear end car crashes. Several members recommended that I practice strumming with a metronome and it really helped. After about 2 or 3 weeks of practicing strumming to a metronome things started coming together. I also practiced walking my fingers up and down the frets as I strummed to the metronome. This really helped with the strumming hand to finger hand coordination. Start off at about 60 BPM and work up to somethingyou are comfortable with. Occasionally you may need to take a day off to get the tick, tick... tick out of your head. http://www.metronomeonline.com/ . I had never played an instrument before and am 68 so my fingers to brain speed isn't what you would call fast anymore. After 110 days I posted a video of "Ode to Joy". It isn't Carnegie Hall quality but it is a great improvement over the Atlanta highways in the snow noises I used to create. See video below - I can strum in both directions but was nervous and just wanted get through it without dorking it up. Keep practicing, don't give up and things will happen.

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
12/20/13 09:32:00PM
33 posts

Wandering in and Figuring it All Out - Six months a player


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

nice hopefully you meant it to be funny - have you ever though of going into comedy? I spent 42 years in the IT field working with engineers, scientists, accountants and office workers - they all seemed as confused at the nomenclature I used as I was of theirs. Amazing how many professions and hobbies have their own language that sounds foreign to the other person. I've only been messing with the dulcimer for 3 months and am waiting for the grandkids to come for Christmas to get a crash course in the middle C stuff and other music theory concepts. Go for the 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's - Super Yum -I stock up when I visit the big cities

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
09/22/13 07:48:04PM
33 posts

Bridge height nugget found in this forum


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

My dulcimer is one I built from a kit over 40 years ago. I had it all done except for the wood finish and strings. Well life got in the way somewhere alone the line and finally last year I ordered strings and a tuner for it. This August (why hurry) I finished the wood with a satin urethane, strung it and tuned it. I added learning to play it to my bucket list and at 68 years decided it was time to get started. I noticed that the higher frets were really hard to get the strings to contact. After searching these forums I found that the height at the nut end was OK but the bridge was over 5/16 inch. So I trimmed it down some and it is much easier to make contact with the frets now. The bridge was glued in so I used a band saw to trim it. I can't remember what company make the kits but it about 1970 -72 time frame. Next improvement may be geared pegs - the friction one are hard to fine adjust. I make a forked stick to help with the fine adjustments. - take care folks


updated by @frank-ross: 06/08/16 09:24:05PM
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
01/27/14 01:59:57PM
33 posts



I made some "T" shaped tops on my picks. I took blue painter tape and 2 pieces of thin cord (candle wick sized) and taped each piece of cord along the top edges of the pick. This gives it a wide top that is easy to grip. I didn't have a death grip but a too loose grip and it either rotated or slid inward or outward. I wasn't sure if I could use a hot glue gun and make ridges on both sides of the tops. I'll have to try the Gorilla Snot.Go with whatever works

Frank Ross
@frank-ross
03/17/14 09:38:37AM
33 posts



I only been playing about 6 months but so far I have an hourglass MD and a teardrop MD. I've also played the snowshovel a lot this year.