Forum Activity for @melanie-cook

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
08/08/22 12:38:49PM
17 posts

Very frustrated!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you, @ken-hulme!!  I suspected Star of the County Down was a minor tune. I've seen someone play it with a capo on the 1st fret. I remember hearing the Clancy Brothers playing Star. I think it was on You Tube. Thanks again for all your help! Can't wait to get going with these!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
08/07/22 08:04:56PM
17 posts

Very frustrated!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Ken @ken-hulme.  My very favorite Celtic-type song is Star of the County Down. I'd love to learn Danny Boy (Londonderry). As far as Americana-type, Shady Grove and Poor Wayfaring Stranger. Is it even possible to play them with DAA? I'm guessing I can with Shady Grove maybe. Thanks for the link. I'll be checking that out. Dusty has sent me Sweet Hour of Prayer for DAD. I'm fascinated with noter drone and I think I'm going to tune to DAA for a while and see how it goes. Fingerdance style sounds interesting! I appreciate any help you can give me!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
08/07/22 01:34:07PM
17 posts

Very frustrated!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Dusty. Yes, I can tune my dulcimer and read tabs. I can play some basic chords - D, A, G. One of my dulcimers has a 6+ fret and the other a 1+. I love the traditional tunes and some Celtic which seems to be needing a different mode like Dorian or a capo. I appreciate your wisdom and any help you have! 

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
08/07/22 01:00:40PM
17 posts

Very frustrated!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Perhaps it's my senior brain but I'm getting so frustrated with learning to play my dulcimer. I began learning, wanting to know everything about this wonderful instrument, all the theory, the modes, chord progressions etc). But it just isn't clicking. I thought I wanted to play chord/melody style but I'm finding that my short fingers and slightly arthritic hands make chords difficult. I have a 26" VSL and don't want to go smaller. Then there are hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. The modes and tuning totally throw me. I've begun to think that I'm on information overload. I follow several very good dulcimer instructors, but each has their own way of doing things and seem to teach above my head at the moment. I've come to the conclusion that noter style may be a better fit for me. I've been reading up and listening to Jean Ritchie lately and I think that the traditional and Celtic style songs are what draw me in. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for me to learn? I found Strumelia's blog with her suggestion to begin at the beginning of the blog (2009). That looks helpful. I really think that getting comfortable with the different tunings may be important, even if I stayed with noter drone. 

I read when I first started that the mountain dulcimer was one of the easiest instruments to learn to play. I can pick out a tune by ear but I want to do so much more. What am I doing to make ti seem so difficult?

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
07/22/21 06:51:46PM
17 posts

DAA on a McSpadden


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


Hi, there! About a year ago, I bought a McSpadden - standard 26" VSL and I love the sound. I am a relatively new player and my intention has been to play chord melody in DAD. However, I'm now wanting to play noter drone in DAA. I'm finding out now that in order to play a McSpadden in DAA, I need a "bridge compensation."  Can I still play my McSpadden in DAA without this?

Thanks!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
12/08/19 12:48:52PM
17 posts

Purpose of DAA tuning


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you all so much for your responses. It does settle my mind a bit. I think I'm going to primarily stay in DAd but I do noodle a bit with my noter on DAA. Thanks again!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
12/07/19 06:56:48PM
17 posts

Purpose of DAA tuning


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you, Strumella for the good advice. I have to admit that chord melody is what I want to master but I also love the noter drone style too. I think I'll work on the DAd tuning and get that going and then experiment with DAA. I think that was my issue - that if I learn the notes and chords for one tuning - then I had to unlearn it to play the other. Thanks again!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
12/07/19 04:57:21PM
17 posts

Purpose of DAA tuning


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you, Dusty. Now I understand. I should have realized that before, having played guitar in the past. I think it is helpful to put the chord name above the tab as you say you do on some out your tablature. That way, you see the finger fret placement and at the same time see what chord you are playing. Thank so much for your help!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
12/07/19 04:17:06PM
17 posts

Purpose of DAA tuning


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you, Dusty!! Yes, so far my dulcimer has been fairly respectful! :)  I think what throws me is to see tab with the chord symbol written on top. When I played guitar and sang with it, I played the chord at the proper time and all was good. But to play the melody note - sometimes the chord on top is impossible. I like your idea of experimenting. I think I'm going to give my ducimer (the one tuned in DAd) a name so we can be friends. Thanks again.

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
12/07/19 11:25:41AM
17 posts

Purpose of DAA tuning


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for these answers! I have been working with my dulcimer for a couple years and I still struggle with playing either DAA or DAd. In my mind, I'm thinking that I need to learn both but my senior mind is just not comfortable with learning chords in DAA and in DAd. Since I primarily want to play chord melody, I'm thinking DAd is best for a beginner/novice. I want to play with tab but also to just pick out a melody and then figure out the chords to go with it. For some reason, this instrument just intimidates me and I'm very frustrated!  Any suggestions?

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
10/24/14 10:26:20AM
17 posts

Thanks for the welcomes and I have a question.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Dan. I appreciate your response. I've been reading so much the last couple of days that it's getting confusing!

Melanie Cook
@melanie-cook
10/24/14 10:15:39AM
17 posts

Thanks for the welcomes and I have a question.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I wanted to thank everyone for the warm welcome here! So many friendly people and good information.

I have a question and I hope I'm not going to have a problem. My grandson has my better dulcimer and I will be getting it back in the next few months. Meanwhile, I bought a handmade one off E Bay simply so I could begin learning and practicing. I found out that this one is 15 years old and does not have the 6 1/2 fret on it. Will that be a problem in learning to play? I know that for many, many years, people have played on dulcimers without this extra fret but I've been reading that this extra fret is important. I'm new enough to all this to not even be able to ask intelligent questions yet.

Am I going to have a problem?


updated by @melanie-cook: 06/11/15 07:42:05AM