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!
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!
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!
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!)
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.)
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!)
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.
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.)
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.