Forum Activity for @steve-smith

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/16/19 07:31:47AM
28 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

This is a wonderful group of players of a variety of types/sizes of kantele. They're doing a tour next month through the Midwest and Washington DC. I wish I could get up there to see them!
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Steve Smith
@steve-smith
05/27/19 11:17:26PM
28 posts

Your next performance?


OFF TOPIC discussions

It was a lot of fun! Of course, 6 hours outside does a number on the hammered dulcimer tuning, but it wasn't too bad. One fun thing was meeting a guy who many years ago went to school with and played with Peter Tommerup in California and jammed with him and Michael Rugg, but he never learned to play dulcimer. Another fun thing was the 12 baby goats running around. Not too bad other than Landslide, who spent quite a bit of time climbing on everything and trying to eat instruments, cases, etc. At least when they're this age they don't yet have many teeth and don't do much damage! As for footage, nothing this year. I'll attach a picture from another year while we were setting up...
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Steve Smith
@steve-smith
05/26/19 07:59:17AM
28 posts

Your next performance?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Tomorrow (Memorial Day) at the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock, NC, and we'll be playing everything we know and probably some we don't, based on requests. Jean and I play mountain and hammered dulcimer from 10-4 in front of the goat barn under a large oak, moving around as the sun moves. It's one of our favorite events of the year because of all of the folks we get to talk with. This will be our 34th year playing there!
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
03/16/19 08:10:17AM
28 posts

New player / New purchase


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've only played Richard's dulcimers once, but I could be very happy with one. I play a 30 year old custom McSpadden that I absolutely love, and I think his had much the same sound. Very mellow but solid, and the build was excellent. I'm sure you'll love yours.
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
03/15/19 09:25:40PM
28 posts

New player / New purchase


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, Richard builds some nice instruments!  If you're interested in hearing him, although not playing dulcimers, he and Tom Fellenbaum (another builder of wonderful dulcimers) are the alternating hosts of Celtic Winds on WNCW here in western North Carolina every Sunday from Noon-3pm Eastern.  You can listen live at wncw.org or through several apps.  They play some great music, and very occasionally you'll hear some dulcimer, too!

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
12/17/18 12:00:36PM
28 posts

McSpadden Friction peg replacement


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

It depends on the instrument. At least by the late 70's, when I got my first McSpadden, they had friction tuners that are different than wooden pegs, although they are still 1:1 straight-through tuners. Peg dope won't help with these, but if this dulcimer is even older, then maybe they did use pegs and it would. Basically, if it has a screw head on the end, it's not a peg and you can tighten the screw to keep it from slipping.
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
12/16/18 05:03:57PM
28 posts

McSpadden Friction peg replacement


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

Look at the end of the pegs, first. Theirs usually had a screw in the end which could tighten the grip. It worked well on those I had of theirs.
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
11/15/18 12:14:34PM
28 posts

Mark Tindle dulcimer AC-53


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

I don't know how many he made. He started building when we were in the same club in Tulsa, and he built a variety of styles, some very nice. But we moved to NC after a few years and I didn't see many of his instruments after that. If Mark doesn't reply you can probably find out what you need from Dennis Moran in Tulsa: http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Dulcimer-House-918-744-8928
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
11/14/18 10:34:04PM
28 posts

Mark Tindle dulcimer AC-53


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

Mark Tindle was a fine furniture maker many years ago, and started making and playing dulcimers in the early 80's. He made some very nice ones, and it looks like you got a good one. He's not building, now, although it looks like he's still playing some. Here's his website:

http://www.tindlemusic.com
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/03/18 08:12:41AM
28 posts

Hammered Dulcimer Hammers


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I just measured my favorites, and the wood portion is 23-1/4 cm long. My backup hammers are 22-1/2 cm. We don't have any that are shorter.
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/18/18 05:46:57PM
28 posts

Recording multiple tracks?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ron's suggestion of a click track is good, depending on the tune, as he says. For this tune on YouTube I had the advantage of someone else recording and mixing it, but the click track and the lead-in phrase helped me keep the parts consistent. We recorded about 16 tracks on mountain and hammered dulcimer, many made up on the spot. The important thing was only using parts of each track, and not all at the same volume. I was impressed with what she did with all the pieces after we were done!


updated by @steve-smith: 08/18/18 05:48:11PM
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/05/18 06:59:09PM
28 posts

Dulcimer just followed me home


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

The label should have a model number on it. Some of the Sweet Song dulcimers (with SS in the model number) were kits, and Morris may have bought and built a kit. Strings you can get at lots of music stores or online - you can use any loop-end string of the right size. And the tuners have small screws in the ends you can tighten a bit to keep them from slipping.
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/02/18 08:47:08PM
28 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

We've only been to Falcon Ridge once, over 15 years ago, but we loved it, rain and all!  And several of this year's performers were there, too.  Be sure to see Dar Williams, one of our favorite folk singers.  Of course, living up there, you probably are already friends with her!

I'm making plans for a different type of event, too.  My daughter and I got great tickets to see Hamilton in Charlotte!  With over 75,000 people in the "virtual waiting room" when tickets went on sale yesterday, we figured we had no chance...  (And "My Shot" is fun on dulcimer, too, although it can't beat Lin-Manuel Miranda!)

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
07/19/18 12:55:49PM
28 posts

Clarification needed on playing 4 equidistant strings


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

I play nearly always in DAdd in a 4-string equidistant setup. If I have 3-string tab, I do as you say and chord the bass, middle and outside melody strings and let the second melody drone. That makes some chords have an extra D that doesn't "belong", although sometimes that adds a nice sound, too. You can even avoid that by fretting the second melody the same as the bass, and that will always work, since they're both D, just an octave apart.

My fingering is almost always middle finger on the bass string, index finger on the middle string, ring finger on the second melody and thumb or little finger on the first melody, depending on whether the melody string fret is higher than the middle string fret. It even works for chords like 3-3-3-5, although it takes some getting used to. But going from that to 2-3-2-4 and back, for example, is much easier than moving fingers around on the strings.

Agreed, not as easy for a beginner, but not that hard, either. Good luck!

- Steve
Steve Smith
@steve-smith
07/14/18 02:57:00PM
28 posts

How does your pet react to your Dulcimer playing?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Here's Maggie as I was playing this morning. She always comes to be with me when I play, and loves to sit on my case and get the occasional scritch. Cloudy, our other cat, is content to stay on her perch on the sofa, instead.
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Steve Smith
@steve-smith
02/07/16 04:28:42PM
28 posts

Tuning equidistant strings?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've played D-A-d-d 99% of the time for the last 35 years, but I also like D-A-c#-d for some of the interesting chords it offers as well as the chromatics.

Tom Fellenbaum builds some great instruments, too.  If you like Celtic music, he alternates Sundays with Richard Beard, another great dulcimer builder, as a host of Celtic Roots on WNCW from Noon-3pm Eastern.  Richard was on today, so Tom ought to be the host next week.  (Available online.)

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
02/07/16 04:20:54PM
28 posts

Dulcimer shops near Asheville NC?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken Hulme:
Here's the shops I know of in that general area. Native Ground Music -- 109 Bell Road, Asheville, NC 28805-1521...

That's just Wayne Erbsen's house - there isn't a store there, and he doesn't sell dulcimers, anyway.  But the others are good.  Have fun, Annie!

 

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
03/19/15 10:51:15PM
28 posts

who to buy strings from ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The biggest difference is that JustStrings will send you a ball of strings. I did that once and saved money, but had a big mess! McSpadden's will be individually packed. I don't know about Folkcraft, but you could ask.

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
02/15/15 06:36:57PM
28 posts



I also like the Zoom - I've used a H2n for the past couple of years to record tunes for our club website . With just under 800 mp3's now online, it's made life a lot easier, since I can record anywhere without having to worry about the noise of having the computer on, etc. I've never worried about video, however. I don't really think anyone wants to see me!

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
01/15/15 10:23:56PM
28 posts



You'll find a few hundred more at the Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective tab page. They're all arranged for both DAd and DAA, playable with chords or just on the melody string. You can listen to a variety of versions of each online, too. That helps, I think, since I usually look for tunes I've never heard before for the newsletter!

- Steve

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
10/12/14 09:59:51AM
28 posts

Homemade beaters for mountain dulcimers-?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You could do what we did once when we drove 30 miles to a friend's house and discovered we'd left our hammer bag at home. We took a wire coathanger and cut it and shaped it into hammers. Here's a very rough mouse sketch - I'm not sure where the originals are.

A bit heavy, but they worked surprisingly well. I'm sure you could do the same for a mountain dulcimer, and probably making them shorter would make them lighter, too.

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/28/14 06:22:35PM
28 posts

Brief trip to NC mountains


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The Dulcimer Shop in Blowing Rock was started by Rogers McGee, and is now run by his son, Bill. It's a small shop but has a nice variety of items for its size. And Bill and company are friendly folks who'll chat with you all you want, as long as you give them a break when paying customers walk in!

High Country Dulcimers in Foscoe / Boone appears larger in it's website photos. I haven't been to their shop, but my wife as dealt with Mac McKinney over the years with various Girl Scout projects, and they, too, seem like nice people.

I'm sure both would be nice stops on your trip, but you might want to check their websites or call for their hours.

If you do plan to stop back in Black Mountain, besides Song of the Wood you might want to see if Tom Fellenbaum is around at Acoustic Corner , just around the corner from Jerry's shop. Tom's workshop is next door to the shop and he isn't always in, but you might be able to find out when you could visit. He doesn't usually have many instruments available to buy "right now", but hey, he's dulcimer folk! Another good guy to visit and learn from!

Another option is to see whether Don Pedi is playing around the area. If not, you might be able to catch his radio show his show on WCQS except in Boone, where they don't have a translator. Even then, you could listen online!

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/28/14 05:53:15PM
28 posts

Reading DA AD Tab


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

An additional note to add to Ken's explanation - I always tab for both D-A-dd and D-A-AA for our dulcimer club tunes ,but I always show tab for all three strings, even though all of our tunes can be played on just the melody string or with chords, as desired. This is the first time I've seen tab like this, with only the top two strings shown for each. I can't say I get around very much, but in my experience this isn't a very common tab style.

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/09/14 03:15:23PM
28 posts

Book of "Hokey" Songs?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I did notice, Lois,that on that Amazon listing the contents were listed in the first comment. Maybe the same person did the same on the other decades' books. That way you could at least see what's in them and then buy them at the other site!

- Steve (Father of a librarian and husband of a school library assistant!)

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/09/14 01:34:25PM
28 posts

Book of "Hokey" Songs?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

You might want to check out the Hall Leonard "Decade Series" if you don't need tab and just wantnotation, chordsand lyrics. An example is Songs of the 1920's at Amazon.

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
09/04/14 02:53:19PM
28 posts

Try these sites for free tab


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Just to clear up an old comment (I wasn't a member at that time and didn'tsee it), the WNCDC taband midi files areuploaded toEverythingDulcimer about once a year. I think I may be a year or so behind, besides...

But the Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective tab page is always up to date as of the current newsletter, and also includes mp3 recordings of each tune. They're the ones we used to send out on CD, but this is easier! One version is always the melody, the second isas-shown on the tab, andoften there's a third that is either finger-picked or playedat full-speed if it's a faster tune. (No tab for the fingerpicked versions, because I make them up as I record them!) And all of our tunes can be played on just the melody string with drones or with full chords, in either D-A-dd or D-A-AA.

The midi files are on both websites, although I really wonderwhether anyone uses them. But they're so tiny and so quick to produce with the notation software I use that they're no problem to provide, too. That software, by the way, is a DOS program I bought in 1989!

Ken Hulme said:

All of the Western North Carolina Dulcimer Collective (WNCDC) tabs are archived on EverythingDulcimer.com along with midi files to listen to.

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/25/14 08:40:15AM
28 posts

Free Kantele method book - asking for feedback!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

One of our club members has at least one kantele, but it doesn't look like she's commented here in four years. I'll send her a link to your post.

I've been listening to lots of Finnish and other Scandinavian music the past few years, and included a kantele piece as one of our dulcimer club tunes last year. The tune, Suomi , is from Finland. In fact, the name is Finnish for Finland! I heard it played on the 5-string kantele on Poul Lendals album nskebarn . (Although in one section of the recording there's a harmony note that makes me think he's playing it on a 10-string kantele.)

Suomi mountain dulcimer tab

Suomi on mountain dulcimer

Steve Smith
@steve-smith
08/22/14 01:31:40PM
28 posts



I use pieces of soft but somewhat rough leather about as thick as shelf liner. Mine are from a 30+ year old calendar, but we've bought other pieces from the scrap bins at craft stores. With them, we've never had to use straps. I put one over my left knee and place the dulcimer with its first fret above it. The other goes where the dulcimer crosses my right leg, near my hip.


updated by @steve-smith: 02/17/16 03:45:42PM