Forum Activity for @paul-certo

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
04/08/16 07:04:38PM
243 posts

need or not need 6.5 fret


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

Unless you need both the 6 and 6+ frets in the same song. Then you could find the two notes far enough apart to be cumbersome, in some songs. Over The Waterfall uses both, but not close together. The A part uses one, the B part uses the other.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
04/08/16 06:55:32PM
243 posts

need or not need 6.5 fret


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

The 6+ fret is not for DAA tuning, rather it is to get the DAA notes while tuned to DAD. The 6+ is almost never used in a tuning such as DAA. It helps you to njot retune as much. But the same thing can be accomplished by retuning, or by playing  the melody on the middle string when tuned to DAD. Tougher to do for noter players, easier for fingerdancers.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
04/08/16 06:40:40PM
243 posts



A 158 tuning such as DAd will give you all the chords that BELONG to the key that your 1 indicates, but chords from outside of that key will not all be possible. On a diatonic dulcimer, a certain amount of tuning changes is normal to accomodate different keys and/ or modes. A chromatic fretboard will give you all the notes, but some of the quick simplicity of the diatonic fret pattern is lost, so there is a somewhat longer learning period. Not so different from mandolin, guitar, etc, but there is more to deal with. No single three string tuning will compensate for all the missing frets. If the music you intend to focus on requires frequent use of chords that come from outside the basic key, a four string tuning as mentioned above is probably your best bet. 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/28/15 11:31:09PM
243 posts

Tuning question difference between DAg and DAc


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

For sake of clarity, those with extra frets should pretend your dulcimer does not have any + frets. They cloud the issue, though I have and use extra frets. Diatonic instruments and the music thoeory that they follow, do not go into extra frets.

D Aeolian scale is D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C,D. D Dorian scale is D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D. Note that Bb in Aeolian is replaced by B in Dorian. Many songs do not use all the notes the scale contains, and sometimes you can play these songs in more than one tuning. If you were playing chords, you would find that some chord notes are not available in both tunings. Playing melody and drones you have the choice in these songs.

However, if you play the same song in more than one tuning, but use the same fret numbers, you are not playing both versions in the same key. I suspect it is only the extra fret that allows you to do this, but it still doesn't allow you the correct drones for both keys. You may need to tune the drones to give you the correct drones for the key those frets gives you. The "standard" drones are the 1st and 5th notes of the scale. In the DAC/DAG example above, this is D&A. But if you use the same fret numbers in both tunings, you are not playing the same notes, and the drones do not match.

 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/13/15 08:57:56AM
243 posts

Types of tuners


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

I doubt if nylon or gut strings are readily available for dulcimers, but tenor or baritone ukulele strings might work. This would be a trial and error excersize, because mass is so much different than with steel. As mass of string goes up, the note at the same tension goes lower. Given the limited top movement on a dulcimer, I'm not sure they would produce much volume. Volume with steel strings can often be limited on a dulcimer. That's the nature of a fretboard glued tightly to the full length of the instruments top. Nylon & gut strings do have a softer, more mellow sound. They also have less tension, making it easier to play with tender fingers. I may experiment with a set of ukulele strings and see how it works out. Limited sizes may be a problem, though, making it hard to get the tunings we want.. Violin & guitar family instruments used gut for a long time before steel became available, and friction tuners were fine with them. Because of the gear ratio of geared pegs, they work particularly well with steel strings. Violins with steel strings almost always have some type of fine tuner to allow the small adjustments needed for steel strings. It isn't really the slippage that causes issues, it's the fact that nylon/ gut stretch so much when tuning. The tuner has to move more length of string to adjust the note up or down. Geared tuners for nylon string guitars usually have  very large diameter shafts or fast gear ratios to deal with the stretch factor of non metalic strings. Smaller diameter friction pegs would work better than larger ones when used with steel strings. But then you are back to dealing with the hole sizes the instrument was built with. 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/11/15 07:48:10PM
243 posts

Fretboard width


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

If you use a capo, it may not fit on an extra wide fretboard. A wide fretboard, and a long scale length, may mean some long stretches if you play chords. Some things to think about before having a custom fret board made. 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/11/15 07:37:41PM
243 posts

Types of tuners


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

Are you replacing tuners? The holes that were drilled for the original pegs may not fit all replacement tuners, as shaft size may vary. If possible, measure the original so you can buy some of the same size. If you are changing from tapered violin pegs to another style of tuner or friction pegs, you may have to plug and redrill the holes. Banjo and ukulele friction pegs require straight holes, while violin pegs, Pegheds, and Perfection pegs require tapered holes. Geared tuners use straight holes, but not all shafts are the same size, so you may need to widen, or plug and re drill the holes. You will also need pilot holes for the screws that hold geared pegs in place. Filling tapered holes, or tapering straight holes would be the trickiest jobs of these. Particularly if the holes have worn over time and are no longer round. Some players like the esthetic of traditional violin pegs, some don't care what is there as long as it works. All friction pegs work best with nylon or gut strings, the high tension of steel strings tries to loosen the strings, and makes them tricky to tune. I got very tired of the constant messing with the friction 5th string peg on my first banjo and had it replaced with a geared peg. I have one ukulele with friction pegs, but the nylon strings work a lot better than the steel did on the banjo. I do have to keep a small screwdriver in the case to tighten the pegs, over time banjo & ukulele friction pegs work loose and won't hold tune. At least every 2-4 weeks one or more need to be tightened.  My prefference is geared tuners, I only want to play it, not do surgery. Particularly at a gig.  I don't use multiple tunings on my ukulele, so I minimize the tuning there. My other instruments are all subject to multiple tunings, but they all have steel strings. 

 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/11/15 06:48:46PM
243 posts



As long as it fits in an overhead bin or under your seat they can't make you check it. If you are among the last to board, and bins are full, you have to put it under your seat. If it won't fit there, it gets gate checked in the cargo hold. I have one very large bass dulcimer that won't go under the seats. I don't take it on airplanes because I only have a fabric case and had to make that myself. No way will I chance them throwing a set of golf clubs on top of it in the cargo hold. But if there is no space in the cabin, they do have the legal right to make you check your instrument. You can read the rule on the TSA web site. That is why I mentioned the smaller size dulcimers in my earlier post. Most normal Mt. Dulcimers will fit under the seat. A pair in a double case probably will not fit under the seat. A jumbo monster like my bass dulcy will not fit under the seat. Heck, it doesn't really fit in my lap! I have to angle it so the top faces kinda forward. But it may be because my stomach leaves too little room!

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/10/15 11:02:49PM
243 posts



Not sure I trust Fed Ex any more than Airline Baggage handlers. I saw that video where they threw the TV over the fence.

 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/10/15 11:00:53PM
243 posts



I've never had a problem flying with a dulcimer. Just about any mountain dulcimer should fit in the overheads. If it doesn't fit in the overhead, it still may fit under the seat, or the flight attendants may have space in a closet. The one I took on aircraft is a pretty much "standard" sized dulcimer. But if you are concerned, you might want to buy a small model such as Ron Eweing's Dulcimette, or McSpadden's Ginger. I'm sure there are other makers building small models, just can't think of names offhand. Mine has flown on about a dozen airplanes with no issues. I would never check it, though. Baggage handlers are less than careful. If you think it may end up checked, make sure you have a sturdy case, not a fabric case.

 

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
06/16/15 01:13:23PM
243 posts

Concert Ukulele


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

The one or two Oscar Schmidt ukes I have tried had poor sound. We have 2 Kala ukes, a concert and a Travel Tenor, and both sound pretty nice. The Travel has a very thin body, so it doesn't sound as nice as the other Kala. We also have a baritone Favila made in 1963. This is my favorite, but Favila closed up some years back. The fourth is an Islander concert made by Kanile`a. I think Islander is their budget line. I would put the Islander up with Kala for sound and quality. It sounds better than the Travel model Kala, but the Travel Kala gets the most use.When it was my only uke, I put a pickup in it for playing out, so it gets the nod by default, plus being thin makes it easy to fit in a crowded car or under the seat in an airliner when travelling. I feel cramped on the 2 concert ukes, years of playing wide necked 12 string guitars, probably. If I played them enough, I would probably get over that. They are my wifes toys, actually.

I don't advocate buying instruments without playing them first, though a friend's 8 string Kala almost had me ordering one. I did play his, though. I can't see having a fifth uke in the house. But buying without playing robs you of one of musics greatest pleasures, and can leave you wishing you had "known then what I know now." I wanted a Martin guitar for years. But when I saved the money to buy one, I tried a lot of them, and the necks felt like the wrong end of a Louisville Slugger. I ended up with a Taylor instead. Had I ordered a Martin without trying, I might be wishing I hadn't. Hindsight is much clearer than foresight.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/11/14 11:53:08PM
243 posts



When you capo a guitar or banjo, the chromatic fret pattern lets you keep all the same fingerings, just changing the key. On a dulcimer, the mode as well as the key changes, unless you have a chromatic dulcimer. The capo is useful, but we do have to remember that the mode changes at each fret. Three of the modes are major, four are minor. This means when the guitarist capoes at the first fret and his D chord or scale become Eb, our DAd dulcimer capoed at the first fret gives us E dorian, a minor scale. To match the guitarist's Eb, we need to re tune. The capo has it's uses, we just can't always match positions with other instruments.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/11/14 11:35:12PM
243 posts

Book of "Hokey" Songs?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Play what you like, most group jams are pretty receptive to other songs, though too many tear-jerkers in a row doesn't always go over too well.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/12/14 12:01:48AM
243 posts

How does one know what chords to play?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Type this into your browser: Amazing Grace - chords

You should get several web sites with lyrics & chords. Some of the sites will let you change the key to whatever key you want, others won't. You may not find every song you want, but there are thousands of songs available in this way. Try doing what others suggested above, and if something sounds wrong, let your browser find it for you. Over time, your ears will get good at telling you when it's right. This will help you until then.

This page came up in my browser: http://www.bing.com/search?q=Amazing++Grace+-+chords&pc=MOZI&form=MOZLBR

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
07/09/14 12:00:01AM
243 posts

Which is Better, a 3 or a 4 Stringed Dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It's your question, you have to answer it. My ears have lost some of the high end hearing, so a double melody string makes the melody clearer for me. After 40 years playing 12 string guitars, my fingers don't shy away from doubled strings. But you need to please your ears and hands. I added a fifth string to one dulcimer so I could double the middle string. I tune it to D Aa Dd, most of the time. I play the melody on the middle strings when I need a 155 tuning, and on the melody strings when I need a 158 tuning. But sometimes I use other tunings. My answer cannot possibly please everyone, but it pleases me. You need an answer that gives the dulcimer do what you need it to give you, not us.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
06/11/14 12:57:26AM
243 posts



If you can find some thin sheet metal or wood to tape over the fretboard on eather side of the fret, you can then sand it with fine sandpaper and get the shape pretty close without damaging the wood. Aluminum foil is too thin and soft to do the job, but a Popsicle stick may do just fine. There are slotted sheet metal tools made for the purpose, but if you aren't going into a new career as a luthier you may not want to buy specialized tools.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
02/02/14 12:41:25AM
243 posts



The installation of a pickup should have little to no effect on unplugged volume. The size of the dulcimer will. Each instrument has it's own voice, perhaps this one is just a bit quieter than your other dulcimer. Since it does have a pickup, you should be able to get the volume you need onstage, so I don't think I would be concerned. Over time, you will probably find you like both of them for different songs, or playing styles. Let them teach you what they like.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
01/27/14 11:42:16PM
243 posts



For most casual gigs, such as coffee shops and such, dress in the image you wish to convey to the audience. You are who you are. I was born and raised in a large, Northern city, to dress as a Southern Farm Boy isn't me. And may be seen as an insult by some audiences or sponsors. For formal gigs such as weddings, you need to dress for the occasion. When you get invited to play at an art museum fund raiser, consider it a formal occasion, and dress with class. For a Christmas performance, wear seasonal clothing. Try not to be a caricature of anything, you need not dress as Uncle Sam for an Independence Day performance. Tasteful in all cases, no matter what the pro's do. When radio stations all over the world play your recordings, you can wear a dress made of meat, and still get gigs.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
12/12/13 10:55:12PM
243 posts



If you can borrow a tuner from a friend, either the same make, or a different make of tuner, try it, and see if the "out of tune" changes. I suspect it's less critical than it looks on a tuner, and probably not far enough to hear the difference. My guess is each tuner is probably more sensitive to certain notes, or a certain part of it's range, and less sensitive to others. If the dulcimer sounds good when you play it, don't let the scientific lab equipment bother you.Tune the open strings, and let your ears decide the rest.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/10/13 10:23:21PM
243 posts

Your "Dream Dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ain't gonna happen, I never get the last word in, even when I talk to myself! I would probably want a pickup in it so I can plug it in at gigs and actually be heard. I forgot that yesterday. Tomorrow I'll see what else I forgot.

Patty, both of mine were kits, and I was green as last weeks pine sprout. There is a great deal of satisfaction in playing an instrument you built yourself. But it gets hard to keep a lid on it. I keep thinking of building more, and that path leads to trouble. Just ask the comptroller of this corporation, Mrs. Wanda.

Still, you might look into kits. You need a certain amount of tools, but not the big powered shop equipment, mostly hand tools and clamps. It's fun, at least I enjoyed it. But if you use sassafras wood, you gain weight. Stick to some other wood, and avoid the weight gain. My sassafras dulcimer is 21 years old, and I still haven't lost that extra weight!

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/09/13 12:05:44AM
243 posts

Your "Dream Dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The only thing I know for sure is it would have a shorter scale, not over 25.5", maybe even less, to ease the long stretches for my arthritic wrist. It would have geared tuners, I change tunings to get a different scale, not to fight with friction pegs. Other than that, I won't know it till I hear it. The luthiers I have in mind would set it up to play well, and do impeccable work. The sound would be the deciding factor. When "THE sound" hits your ears, and you know you can't walk away without it, that's when you know you found it.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/09/13 12:16:20AM
243 posts

What to call your dulcimer collection?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I call them "the big one, and the little one." But daughter Marianne calls the big one "Chupacabra." Those with a large herd might need a term for the group, but I guess a single word could stand for a variable number. 30 cattle are a herd, 100 cattle are still a herd. 12 would be a dozen, 13 a luthiers dozen. 20 would be a score. Four Score would probably upset Mrs. Wanda, but two seems to be OK with her.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/01/13 12:22:58AM
243 posts

How Many


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have 2 dulcimers. I've had one about 22 years, and the "new" one about 18 years. Also one banjo, 2 ukulele, a sack of harmonicas, 7 guitars, a lap steel guitar, and several guitars friends have brought me from other folks tree lawns. "I figured you could fix it and get some use out of it." Some aren't really worth the cost of the parts they need. If I do fix them, I will find homes for them.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/27/13 11:47:51PM
243 posts



If you have trouble tuning, are your strings very old? Old strings can be a real bear to tune, and may not stay in tune. It's usually not the time, but the mileage that counts. Played a couple of hours a day, the strings may go dead in a month or less. If your strings are not very old, the next big question here is, does your dulcimer have historic/ collector value. If there is no compelling historical reason to keep the violin pegs, it's cheaper to use standard geared guitar, ukulele, or banjo pegs. One of my ukes has friction uke pegs, and I have to keep a screwdriver with it so I can tighten them when necessary. I bought a screwdriver just to keep in the case, and woe to whoever touches it! Murphey's Law states that the pegs will need to be tightened when I have an audience and can't find the screwdriver. With fiddle pegs, you won't need the screwdriver, but fiddle pegs were devised during the days of gut strings, and work best with gut or nylon strings. They were never meant for steel strings, and violins strung with steel almost always have fine tuners. My ukes both have nylon strings, and friction pegs work OK on the one that has them. If your dulcimer is giving you problems tuning, or staying in tune, and has no historical value that you plan to milk for all it's worth, you can put geared tuners on it. Try to measure the diameter of the hole opposite the knob, and find a set of tuners that fit that size hole. Putting them on is a lot easier than reaming the holes in the video above. Guitar machines will come 6 to a set, uke or banjo machines are in sets of 4. You will need a small drill bit to make pilot holes for the mounting screws. If you don't want to do this yourself, you can have it done by a guitar technician. Find a music store with an in house tech. Some stores send instruments out for work, which means more time without the instrument, and possibly a larger bill.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/09/13 12:54:02AM
243 posts



I suspect it's dorian, try DAG for key of D, or DGB for key of G.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/27/13 10:16:42PM
243 posts



Here are the members from Australia. http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/profiles/members/?q=Australia

You might also try posting on the Everything Dulcimer list of Dulcimer Makers. http://everythingdulcimer.com/

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/27/13 10:43:30PM
243 posts

Carrying a Chair


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm much too heavy to trust most folding chairs, and bad knees make it tough to stand up from low to the ground chairs. Mrs. Wanda bought me one similar to this about 20 years ago, and it has been to a lot of gigs, jams, and assorted other uses. I'm going to need to recover it soon, the vinyl has some small tears and holes in it. The X frame legs are rectangular steel tubing, it isn't too heavy, and it's very stable even under my weight. Carrying a lot of weight to a jam isn't much of an issue, as I use a 4 wheel dolly. I seem to lug more than 2 dulcimers & a stool with me, usually a banjo and/ or a guitar as well. http://www.samash.com/SearchDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&pageSize=15&beginIndex=0&sType=SimpleSearch&searchSource=Q&resultCatEntryType=2&showResultsPage=true&pageView=grid&searchTerm=KT7800 I don't recall the name of the seller, I think it was a mail order, but the one here is the Sam Ash chain of music stores. This is similar to mine. If you prefer a seat with a back, a drummers throne is a good starting place. Sturdy, even if you're kicking the bass & hi hat, but heavier to haul. My 4 wheel dolly is from Home Depot, and converts from 4 to 2 wheels. I can haul an amp, a guitar, a banjo, a dulcimer, seat, and a bag of mics & cables on it. If you plan to only take a dulcimer and a seat, you won't need the dolly.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/17/13 01:40:53AM
243 posts

Newbie goes shopping


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You're on your way now! Does he play as well as build? He may be able to get you started learning to play.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/13/13 09:16:28PM
243 posts

Newbie goes shopping


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It's very tricky for a person new to stringed instruments to purchase one. There be SHARKS in them waters, and they own businesses that supply cheap junk dulcimer shaped objects to unsuspecting purchasers. (Also guitar, banjo, and mandolin shaped objects, the RATS!) The Apple Creeks mentioned above, for example. Some folks found a decent one, mostly by accident, and it was reasonably playable. Others opened the package to find it would not play in tune, perhaps the frets were incorrectly placed, perhaps the action was not properly set up. Don't buy by mail or over the net without the advice of others who know the reputation of the maker. It is possible to buy a very serviceable dulcimer for l$100 to $150 from several makers. They will not be fancy instruments, as more fine detail work costs money. But a lot of the fine detail work doesn't make the instrument play or sound better, much of it is cosmetic enhancements. (Of course, we see these works of art on our friends' laps, and want our own, that's human nature. ) McSpadden enjoys a very good reputation among their customers, as do owners of some of the others listed by Carrie, Wayne and Strumelia above. A quick search will turn up web sites for Flat Creek, Lark In The Morning. and McSpadden, I don't know about Walnut Creek.If you can locate a dulcimer club in your area, or a few players, you may be able to get some first hand advice and shopping assistance. Gila Mountain Dulcimers has a listing of clubs on their web site. http://www.gilamountaindulcimers.com/clubs.htm I don't know if Gila still builds dulcimers, but at least look for clubs or players in your area. Here in Ohio we have several builders who enjoy a good reputation, but that's a long way from your area. It would be best to see and hear the instrument before you buy. Better still if you can play it yourself, but that comes from having one to learn on. Your second purchase comes from a much stronger position, guided by your experiences. What you don't want is to be guided by hindsight, but too often that happens. Wait a few days and see who else pops up here with first hand knowledge of the makers you have located.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/08/13 12:56:07AM
243 posts

ABC Notation songs and software


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I've never seen this, before. How do you interpret it?

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/04/13 10:08:27PM
243 posts

Bingo!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You are using C for D, D for E, etc. Now try using D for D, E for E, etc. When you get to F, you will find it sounds wrong. Go to the black key just right of F, and it will be the F# you need for the key of D. Another "Aha!" moment? That's what the black keys are for. When you get to C, you will find that a great many songs will need the black key just right of C-C#. Go try it, your wife will be tickled!I learned enough about scales & chords playing guitar to find songs on a piano. I won't ever be mistaken for a pianist, but I can make songs come out of it.Kicking & screaming, but they come out.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
10/04/13 10:34:50PM
243 posts



I suspect a metal noter would make more noise as it touched the frets. As for steel strings cutting the brass, in theory it could, but not in one lifetime. I have used a brass slide on guitars for a couple of decades. I made it from a brass pipe nipple, with the ends cut off. I also have one made of a bone from a deer leg. It's softer than the brass one. Eventually, they bone would be cut, I suppose, but you turn it to a new place and keep playing. The meat didn't last near as long as the bone has, and it's still going strong.

For slide guitar, the slide is really used as a movable fret, letting you play a note wherever you place the slide, even if there is no fret there. You ideally want a fairly high action for slide playing, to stay away from the frets. The sound of the slide hitting the frets is not music. Look at a steel guitar some time, the nut is 1/4" or more above the fret board. It can't be played with bare fingers at all, with the exception of playing harmonics.

As Ken said, each material sounds different. I like thick glass best, but I dropped it a few times over the years, and it was no more. It had a crack from cutting it off the wine bottle, but it was the floor that really did it in. Steel works, but it rusts, stainless is better, but thin wall tubing lacks something in sound quality, I prefer thicker. The bone sounds good, but I think it needs to be thicker, too. A cow leg bone might be worth trying. I may have to steal a soup bone before Mrs. Wanda cooks it! There are also ceramic slides, but I never tried them. The brass one is fairly thick, and sounds better than the stainless one I have.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/26/13 10:36:48PM
243 posts

Dulcimer playing stand


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You can use a keyboard stand. I use a single frame X stand. There are double frame models for heavy keyboards, but no mountain dulcimer would be near the weight of a large keyboard. Mine was on sale at Sam Ash Music for $9.95 several years ago. This is what they look like http://www.sweetwater.com/c508--Keyboard_Stands?utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=keyboards&utm_term=keyboard_stand

It can be raised for standing players, or lowered for sitting players. Good luck with your knee replacement, I am investigating it myself.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/22/13 09:38:05PM
243 posts

Bridge height nugget found in this forum


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

Sounds like you're on your way! Have fun, and post any questions you come up with. Someone here will be able to answer.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
11/01/13 12:53:03AM
243 posts



Larry, how is the John Rearigh dulcimer you bought? I don't know anything about the maker, but that in itself means only that I haven' t been out of the house enough! I'm in Ohio, he may not have attended festivals I've been to. Does it play well, and sound good?

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/06/13 01:35:55AM
243 posts



You will likely find that some songs are hard to sing in some keys, but other songs will be easy in those keys. I can't explain this in music theory terms, but what Guy said probably covers it. I only know from experience that I need to try songs in different keys until my voice fits. I sing in C,D,E F, G and A, but not all songs fit the same keys. In G, I often need to sing in a lower octave than I would use in E for the same song. With some songs I have a few choices that I can reach easily, with other songs I may have only one or two good keys. You have to experiment with your voice to find what suits your vocal range.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
09/06/13 02:03:05AM
243 posts

Opinions on new dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Gail, if you are looking for a specific sound you aren't finding in your current dulcimers, your best bet is to get to a few shops or festivals where you can play a number of different instruments and let your ears tell you which one you like. Play every one in your price range, and if you don't find what you want, save up till you can increase your price limit. It's not only one of life's great pleasures to shop by ear, but probably the only way you will really find the one dulcimer that you just have to own. Sooner or later one dulcimer will refuse to let you leave without it.

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/06/13 11:28:18PM
243 posts

Should One Watch the Fret Board While Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If you look at the fret board, how can you concentrate on the pretty girl in the third row?

As my old Drill Sgt. used to say,

"Ain't no use in lookin' down

Ain't no discharge on the ground."

Don't let all of us who didn't pay attention to the teacher change what you are doing. Music teachers will tell you to look at the music, not at the fret board. But try to make some eye contact with that girl.....especially if she's your wife!

Paul

Paul Certo
@paul-certo
08/03/13 04:29:18PM
243 posts

2 chord songs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This list is from Peter Wernick's website, but is all 2 chord songs. As he is a banjo player/teacher, these are not necesarily all common dulcimer songs. They are mostly common bluegrass songs, and some are probably familiar to a lot of dulcimer players. If nothing else, it is a list to use as a starting point. http://www.drbanjo.com/instructional-2chordsongs.php

If you play using drones, you effectually make every song a one chord song. This is another possibility you may want to consider. You then can demonstrate the same song using chords, and discuss the difference in how it sounds. These are both just different ways to approach a song.

Paul

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