Forum Activity for @bob-reinsel

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
03/24/20 06:25:44AM
75 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Bonus!

My son made this pick box for me after a similar discovery last week: Guitar Pick Box


updated by @bob-reinsel: 03/24/20 06:26:17AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
10/31/19 02:22:51PM
75 posts

A litle confused on string gauges


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

I think you will be fine with those strings.  In fact, after so many years with the old ones, these will feel positively silky to you.  And the slightly heavier bass and treble strings should balance each other well.

Make sure double check your order for loop end, or ball end strings, whichever you need.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 10/31/19 02:27:06PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/17/18 01:28:58PM
75 posts

Recording multiple tracks?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I use Audacity for audio.  If I am producing a multi-track recording, I usually dub the tracks sequentially.  After you lay down the first track, you can over dub the next track while playing the first one back through headphones.  Here is an example:

Here is another:


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/17/18 01:29:59PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/05/17 03:36:03PM
75 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Jan, you're right.  They are just cloth bags used to store the instruments.  Not a hard case in sight.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/04/17 10:08:03AM
75 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Over the weekend I had an opportunity to meet Ralph Lee Smith at our local library.  He appears to be doing well, and gave quite a good talk on the history of the instrument and also played some old Virginia tunes.  Also, his book,  The Story of the Dulcimer , has been re-released in a 2nd edition.  It has been out of print for some time, so this is great opportunity to pick up a copy.  You can get it here:  https://www.amazon.com/Story-Dulcimer-Charles-Wolfe-Music/dp/1621902382 .  This is one of the key texts of dulcimer scholarship.

He also brought some of his collection and allowed us to handle and play them.  In in the photo showing Ralph pointing a the instruments on the table, he is highlighting a Virginia style dulcimer that dates to about 1850 or so.  He also discussed an early 19th Scheitholt that was found in a Virginia antique shop.

IMG_0705.JPGIMG_0710.JPGIMG_0708.JPGIMG_0704.JPG

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/27/17 03:15:40PM
75 posts

DAA tuning: Plus frets


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I sometimes use the 6.5 (and 13.5) fret when playing in DAA tuning, but not often. I don't own any instruments with other extra frets.  Mostly I find them useful when playing chord style in DAd tuning.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
03/05/17 03:58:03PM
75 posts

What's your favorite FOTMD smiley?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm a big fan of the dancing pickle. pimento   And this guy dancecool

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
02/03/17 12:47:06PM
75 posts

What songs were you taught in kindergarten/grade school?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

First thing that came to mind for me was Eensy Weensy Spider (or Itsy Bitsy spider, if you're my wife).  

Then I remembered a tune that my dad used to sing to us.  One he learned from his mother.

 

Did you ever go down to an Irishman's shanty

Where money was scarce and whisky was plenty

A three leg-ed stool and a table to match

An old broken door and an old broken latch

 

Sung to the tune of the Irish Washerwoman.  I've known this tune as long as I can remember.  My grandmother's name was Susanna McGranahan, btw.  She knew something about being Irish.  :-)

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
01/25/17 04:36:05PM
75 posts

Stringing a 5 string?


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

JenniferC:  Which string goes to what peg? Can anyone help me?

If you are right handed the lightest (thinnest) strings go on the left side pegs starting with the one closest to the nut.  Like this:

 

Top of Peghead

3

        4

2

        5

1

______ (NUT)

| | | | | 

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
10/10/16 11:03:57AM
75 posts



I generally use a wipe on polyurethane for everything but the top of the fret board.  I apply it in really thin coats with a soft cloth to build up a finish.  I also lightly sand the finish ones or twice during the finishing process.  On the fret board I use boiled linseed oil.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/26/16 09:36:17AM
75 posts

Strings for Modern Mountain Dulcimer


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

William, you can order pre-packaged string sets from several different makers.  Martin and D'Addario make dulcimer specific sets which are available through Amazon.  You can also easily order sets from McSpadden and FolkCraft.

Be careful to order either  loop ends or ball ends depending on what your instrument needs.  Both are readily available.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/20/16 04:14:51PM
75 posts

raising the nut!


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

Paula, I think Matt may be on the right track.  If there is a buzz in a particular area, you can check it with a short straight edge or a small square.  It needs to be long enough to rest on at least three frets.  As you check the frets you will quickly see and feel where the high and low points are.  You might also be able to see a curve or twist in the fret board by holding the instrument up to your eye and sighting down the length of the fret board from one end.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/30/16 09:25:03AM
75 posts

Determining string gauge


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

I generally use a bronze or nickel wound .22 or .24 gauge on the low string.  It's really a personal preference, up to a point.  Especially if you want to go to lighter strings.  Heavier strings cannot be tuned to as high a pitch.  Light strings will be soft and unresponsive if they are tuned too low.  If you tune somewhere between C and E on the low string you could even use a .20 or .18 unwound string for the base if you want to.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/30/16 09:25:38AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/29/16 12:03:28PM
75 posts

How do YOU memorize music?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have never really understood how I memorize music.  It's a thing that I have done since I began playing piano as a child.  In fact, reading music has been harder for me than playing by ear, which comes kind of naturally.  I would only read music until I had it in my head. I don't know if I have ever successfully learned a tune on dulcimer from tab, but maybe I haven't really tried.  

For me, the learning process starts with listening to a tune until I have it in my head.  YouTube is a great resource for finding various interpretations of songs.  I usually will listen to several different recordings when I am learning something.  I also learn the music first and put the words to it later.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/10/16 10:15:39AM
75 posts

Oh Fiddlesticks!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 I think I'm going to try this with my bother on Sunday.  He's a percussionist by training...

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/01/16 08:37:11PM
75 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Hohner Piccolo. Hard times come again no more.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/01/16 09:30:56AM
75 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Hohner Puck? 

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
05/25/16 10:12:43PM
75 posts

Weather Conditions


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken, that's a good suggestion on the padded/insulated case.  

One of my instruments has a Sassafras top.  I took it with me to Cape Cod last year where it got exposed to a little more humidity than normal, which must have revived the oil in the wood somewhat. The Sassafras scent would hit you in the face when you opened the case.  At home, it's a pretty constant 32-35% humidity when the heat or AC is running, so the oils stabilize and don't give off so much scent.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
05/25/16 02:38:13PM
75 posts

Weather Conditions


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Kandee, changes in humidity rather than temperature are the challenge.  Wood takes on and gives off moisture continuously and will naturally mimic the ambient air conditions.  The wood will give off and take on moisture until it is in balance with the moisture in the air.  As wood takes on water it expands and as gives off water it contracts.  Dry enough conditions, for a long enough period of time, can eventually cause cracking.  The more stable you can keep the humidity in the instrument, the better.

Wood doesn't expand and contract much due to air temperature.  

The good news for you is that the process is usually slow, so you likely won't hurt your dulcimer by leaving it in your trunk for a day.  I wouldn't leave in the cabin of the car where temps can get really high (well above 120).  That could cause issues with the glue joints if it was made with a traditional hide glue or something like that.  If it was made with a contemporary wood glue (which it most likely was) you probably won't have an issue.  

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
03/05/16 01:16:16PM
75 posts

Sad news- Rest in peace our good friend John Phillips


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wow, I am so sad to hear this.  John P was a good friend of mine here, and a good FOTMD Citizen as well.  I will miss him.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
02/03/16 11:17:22AM
75 posts

pocket tunes and maintaining the backpack


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dry and Dusty, and Elk River Blues seem to be on the top of the list right now.  My pocket song seems to shift around some.  In fact, about a week ago I was playing for a friend, and for the life of me I could not remember where I was going in the middle of a song I play nearly every day.  Right now I can't even remember which song it was.  I just remember the feeling of having a total brain cramp.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
01/27/16 10:57:44AM
75 posts

DAD tuning and very taut melody string


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

Another thought is that the strings may be old.  Over time, the metal in strings gets work-hardened from tuning, re-tuning, strumming, etc.  Eventually they loose their ability to stretch and they become brittle.  If you are still using the same strings that were on the instrument when you received it, I recommend putting new ones on.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
01/27/16 10:50:34AM
75 posts

Quick question about Homer Ledford Dulcimers.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Those metal things look like fine tuners similar to what you would see on a violin.  They are used to fine tune the strings after you get the pitch set with the tuning pegs.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/23/15 11:34:08AM
75 posts

Squeakless Strings?


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

objectsession:
I don't want to divert the thread, but I'd also like to hear how they compare to flatwound or flattop strings. First of all, are either of those the same as squeakless strings? . . EDIT: I just remembered to use the search function. So, McSpadden squeakless strings are flat*wound*, right? Is that the same for other squeakless sets? I put flatwounds on my mandolin, and I'm pretty happy with them there. (Different instrument, I know.)

Yes, McSpadden squeakless strings are flat-wound.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/22/15 09:11:17PM
75 posts

Squeakless Strings?


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

I've used McSpadden squeakless strings. I have them on two instruments right now. To me they are warm and mellow, but not mushy or muddy.  I like them. 

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/16/15 02:38:07PM
75 posts

Thoughts on Harmonicas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Terry, your posts about harmonicas inspired me to dig mine out.  I have about half a dozen that I played in high school and college.  That's over 30 years ago now.  I guess they are all getting to be "vintage."  thumbsup   I have a couple of marine bands, a blues harp in b-flat, a chromatic (which I never really learned to play well) and a Piccolo in C.  I like the piccolo because it slides right in my pocket.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/16/15 01:19:19PM
75 posts

What's the best thing to use to condition my old all black walnut dulcimer?


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

Although it is hard to tell from the photos, the fret board and body may have been finished differently from the body.  If the fret board looks a lot less shiny than the rest of the instrument, then this is probably the case.  For everything but the fret board you are probably OK with a guitar polish, or believe it or not, Pledge furniture polish.  I would try a small spot first to make sure.  Not knowing what is on the fret board, I would probably apply a light coat of lemon oil to it.  I use Old English lemon oil.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
12/13/15 07:39:12AM
75 posts

Old Photos


OFF TOPIC discussions

This is Robert Owen.  He was my great-grandmother's Uncle.  This photo was taken in Scotland.  Judging by his apparent age, I'm guessing in the 1870's or 80's.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/17/15 01:48:18PM
75 posts

The One That Gets Away...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 Great!  Now I have got Stephen Seifert and Dusty running around in my head!  I think I'm going to give up dulcimer and switch to glass armonica. worthy


updated by @bob-reinsel: 11/17/15 01:49:08PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/16/15 03:05:50PM
75 posts

The One That Gets Away...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Whiskey Before Breakfast.  My mind gets totally wrapped around the Stephen Seiffert version and I just can't face it because I'll never get it that good.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/06/15 04:15:39PM
75 posts

Ocarinas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Sheryl St. Clare:
I picked up one at a sale shaped like an Armadillo for my son who plays ocarina. I don't think anyone even knew what it was, because they sold it to me for a quarter. It's definitely unique!

Now I really have to go find mine! 

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/06/15 09:37:57AM
75 posts

French folk music with dulcimer


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

In the video there are a bunch of instruments on the stage, including what looks like a mountain dulcimer on a stand at the far left (stage right).  Also what I think might be a bowed psaltery downstage.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
11/04/15 02:44:36PM
75 posts

Ocarinas


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Somewhere I have a small one that kind of looks like a terracotta pig.  I'll have to see if I can find it.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
10/05/15 02:07:34PM
75 posts

Oddities hanging on your walls


OFF TOPIC discussions

Dusty, I think you could figure it out!  

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
10/02/15 03:49:53PM
75 posts

Creative song mix-ups (NOT mistakes!)


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've heard you can since any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas:

 

THEY say that “time assuages”,—

  Time never did assuage;

An actual suffering strengthens,

  As sinews do, with age.

Time is a test of trouble,  

  But not a remedy.

If such it prove, it prove too

  There was no malady.

 

Now that's a cheerful little ditty. dancecool


updated by @bob-reinsel: 10/02/15 03:50:08PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/28/15 02:17:25PM
75 posts

And here's a callus and there's a callus..


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

No callus on my thumb because I generally don't use it much.  Pretty solid calluses on my other four fingers.  But I also play guitar, which is how I got them in the first place.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/18/15 10:28:04AM
75 posts

Playing with Guitars


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

When I play with guitar players, I usually try a couple of things: Key of D (in either DAd or DAA tuning) and Key of G using DGd tuning.  D and G are common and comfortable keys to play on guitar.  If your guitarist wants to play in C it's easy to capo the guitar up one step (which puts it in D) and you play the dulcimer in D (again using either DAd or DAA tuning).

If I am doing a mix of chord style and noter-drone in the same session, I like to use DAd for chord style and DGd for noter drone because you can quickly re-tune that middle string from A down to G and it's easy to hear the perfect 4th between the D and G strings.  It sounds like the first two notes of Here Comes the Bride.

 /