Forum Activity for @bob-reinsel

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/28/15 02:17:25PM
79 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
79 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.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/12/15 10:59:29PM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I'm leaning towards ice cream. Really, I'm actaully leaning towards ice cream right now!grin

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/12/15 09:47:20PM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Ok, here is my half of the challenge.  My son and I doing Pretty Betty Martin on dulcimer and spoons.  I can either play them or use them to eat ice cream!

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/11/15 10:49:43AM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Strumelia, I'm up for the challenge if you are!

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/11/15 10:40:58AM
79 posts

Positive game-changers in your progress


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wout, I am right handed.  And yes, you are understanding 'game changer' correctly.  I learned both strumming and finger picking playing guitar.

I think what I was trying to say is that I have forgotten how hard it is to work with both hands because it is automatic for me after so many years.  When teaching my kids I have left off trying to teach them rhythmic strumming (bum-ditty-bum-ditty for example) and just let them strum to the melody line.  This way they get to hear themselves playing a tune which is fun and exciting for them.  Luckily both of them have a good ear, so I can often sing a line and they can follow it on the dulcimer.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/11/15 09:41:20AM
79 posts

Positive game-changers in your progress


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The first thing that popped into my head when I read this thread was that teaching my kids has been a game changer for me.  It has really made me slow down and think.  I have been strumming instruments for 30 years so it's really second nature for me to sit down and pick out a tune because I don't have to think at all about what my right hand is doing.  But that's not the case for my kids.  Since I have been doing it so long, I had forgotten how hard it is to combine rhythmic strumming with fretting notes and chords.  So I had to slow down and not worry about strumming with the kids right now and just focus on helping them be successful playing a tune.  

This has actually helped my playing because I find that I focus more on bringing out the melody line and trying to make it ring out clearly from the strumming.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/02/15 02:55:27PM
79 posts

Looking For Tab: Elk River Blues


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Here is my version, I don't have it tabbed out:  Elk River Blues .  I kind of based this on this recording by the author:

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/01/15 09:45:40PM
79 posts

String size


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Marg, when I think about "tone quality", I think of three things pitch, volume and timber.  String choice has an effect on all of these.  First, let's define what I mean: 

Pitch: the note to which the string is tuned.  You also see this referred to as tension.  More tension = higher pitch, less tension = lower pitch.  Lighter weight strings can be tuned to a higer pitch than heavier strings because they require less tension to reach that pitch.

Volume: loudness.  Heavier strings can produce greater volume than lighter ones

Timber: (pronounced tam-ber) This is all of those sound qualities that are not Pitch or Volume.  Highly subjective and influenced by many many factors such as Wout mentions above: body design, wood choice, string materials, etc.

So, string choice is really a personal choice as to what you think sounds best on your instrument.  For example, for many years I have played medium weight, John Pearse phosphor bronze wound strings on my guitar because I get greater bass response and a warm tone.  Right now I like the McSpadden flat wound (squeakless) strings on one of my instruments because thery sound mellow and sweet on it and I have another strung up with nickel wound tenor banjo strings because they are brassy and bright. (and I found them at my local music shop in a pinch)

Robin Thompson plays an instrument with all plain steel strings of the same guage tuned to the same note.  

Have fun and don't be afraid to try something new! thumbsup

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
09/01/15 03:46:30PM
79 posts

Champion tuner up grade


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's a great idea.  I never liked the slotted bolts either.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/31/15 09:12:30PM
79 posts

Blackest Crow - Looking for a variety of versions


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Seamus, you could actually use Robin's tab to play my version, just tune to D-G-d instead of D-a-a.  The fret postiions are the same, but because of the tuning the key is different, so the written notes will be different.  If you stick to the fret numbers and rhythm it should work.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/31/15 04:31:07PM
79 posts

Blackest Crow - Looking for a variety of versions


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

 Let me see if I can put something together for you...

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/19/15 10:25:47PM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

OK Sheryl, no vids for you ... Yet.  Strumelia, game on!  I'll be practicing. 


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/20/15 07:43:10AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/19/15 11:26:12AM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Here's a challenge for you.  If you post a video of you playing bones, I'll post one of me playing spoons.  What do yout think?

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/19/15 09:08:49AM
79 posts

Playing the Bones


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Strummelia, we want to hear you play!


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/19/15 09:09:06AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/07/15 07:26:45AM
79 posts

strap button


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

+1 on Ken's suggestions.  Sometimes you see the nut-end strap button installed through the side, but it is still drilled into the solid block at that end.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/04/15 01:42:55PM
79 posts

Please Don't Pick on Me. *tee hee!*


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Strumelia, I think you're right about smaller/heavier picks making less noise, or at least less obvious noise.  I think thinner picks have a brighter slap sound where thicker ones tend to have more of a thunk to them.  How's that for qualitative analysis?  thumbsup

By the way, for those who are intereted in Gorilla Snot, you want the drumtisck/pick gripper stuff, not the hair gel. :-)

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/03/15 03:05:42PM
79 posts

Please Don't Pick on Me. *tee hee!*


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sheryl, I have to answer your question in two parts. 

1. The video is actually by randy adams: @randy-adams happys

2. I  strum in a similar way to what Randy shows.  The return stroke is just the reverse of the out stroke.  Nothing fancy.  I hold the pick a little more loosely or tightly depending on the effect I want.  

For general use, I prefer a thinner (softer) pick, but I also switch to different weights for different purposes.  I even use a pick cut from a plastic butter tub lid when I want something really soft.  Pick choice for me also varies from isntrument to instrument.

Probably 90% of the time I use these picks, at least right now I do:  http://www.amazon.com/Tortex-Guitar-Pick-Pack-418P-50/dp/B0002D0CEO .  I also like the old standby fender thin plastic tortoise shell type.  I got used to them playing guitar.

This is such a personal choice I suggest trying different things until you find something you are comfortable with.  Also, remember that when you play, you are sitting pretty much on top of your instrument, so you hear things (like pick slap) that other people don't.  Even those just a few feet away.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/03/15 03:31:12PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
08/03/15 01:47:28PM
79 posts

Please Don't Pick on Me. *tee hee!*


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here is one way described by fellow FOTMD member Randy Adams:


updated by @bob-reinsel: 08/03/15 01:47:59PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/28/15 02:17:35PM
79 posts

Let's talk about "Floating Bridges"


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

Lexie, floating bridges can be either notched or un-notched.  The important thing about them is that they can be moved.  It is also the tricky thing about them. 

The primary advantage of a floating bridge is that it can be moved, the primary disadvantage of a floating bridge is that it can be moved. Laugh

To compensate for intonation issues on the instrument you can slide a floating  bridge a little closer to or farther from the nut. If, for example, you install a different guage of strings, you might need to adjust the bridge, or you might not. It can also be used to compensate for a high action. Sometimes you will see them angled across the strings to compensate for intonation differences between the melody and bass strings.

A fixed bridge requires slightly (very slightly) more precision on the part of the builder, but it is often easier on the player, because she doesn't have to worry about getting the bridge misaligned and throwing the instrument out of tune.  This is especially true of an instrument built with a low action.

Once I get a floating bridge set where I like it I mark the location with a pencil line at the base.  That way I can reset it in close to the same spot if I need to.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 07/28/15 09:26:50PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/26/15 03:33:58PM
79 posts

Crack in Soundboard?


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

Colleen, the crack in the photo looks like it might be reapairable to me.  I would try to flow a small amount of super glue into the crack and then clamp it closed for a few minutes.  On thing about a crack like this is that you may end up needing to sand and refinish the area around it, or you may find you need to refinish the whole top after you fix it.

Also, take a close look at the tuning machines.  The two closest to the nut are on backwards, which might make it a little difficult to keep in tune.  The tuners are designed so that the string tension will pull the shaft tight against the worm gear on vertical post.  In this case the tension pulls the round gear away from the worm gear which could loosen the tuner.  This is also easily repairable.  You can probably flip-flop the tuners from one side to the other.

If the price stays low, it might be worth a try.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/25/15 02:56:03PM
79 posts



One thing to try with your broken Snark is to set it in the sound hole.  It should work just fine.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 07/25/15 02:56:14PM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/20/15 09:12:24AM
79 posts

Number of dulcimers


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I once asked my brother what he wanted for his birthday.  He said "CDs and Music Scores."  I replied, "you already have tons of CDs and music scores."  and ye said "yes... but I don't have them all."  

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/09/15 09:51:47AM
79 posts

odd frets


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wow, that hammered part is remarkable!

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
07/02/15 10:52:30AM
79 posts

Interesting looking dulcimer setup


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 Mark, love your lantern avatar.  I have a small collection of them.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/29/15 03:10:43PM
79 posts

Do You Have A 'Go To' or Favorite Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is my current "go to" instrument.  Mostly because it is sitting conveniently close to the sofa.  It is all walnut with a Sassafras top.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/17/15 08:54:20AM
79 posts



If all of the dulcimers in the world were laid on the ground end-to-end it would be a very good thing.


updated by @bob-reinsel: 06/17/15 08:55:19AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
06/17/15 08:49:53AM
79 posts

Lets have some fun and laughs..


OFF TOPIC discussions

Strumelia:
Bob, that is too cute!!  

Strummelia, that's me in about 1967.  We were in a somewhat different place in our lives those days.  nod


updated by @bob-reinsel: 06/17/15 08:50:54AM
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
04/22/15 01:43:33PM
79 posts

My New Just intonated dulcimer. Thank you Robin Clark & Bob Reinsel.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Robert, thanks for the examples, they are really interesting. In the Liza Jane scale the B is a little flat to my ear in addition to the E. But I would expect that since the calculator is designed around a scale starting at the 3rd fret rather than the scale starting on the open string.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
04/17/15 03:34:42PM
79 posts

My New Just intonated dulcimer. Thank you Robin Clark & Bob Reinsel.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Wow, Bob that's a great looking instrument! I am really happy to hear that it worked out well. Thanks for the shout-out on the calculator. I appreciate that. I'd love to hear it, BTW.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
04/16/15 02:56:28PM
79 posts



Babs here is the photo. It's an interesting instrument. There is really quite a log going on here. Here is what I observe:

1. 5 strings, 2 dedicated drone strings with no fretboard

2. Chromatic scale notes appear to be fretted only on strings 3 and 4

3. String 5 appears to only have frets for the diatonic scale starting at the 3rd fret. (as best I can tell from the picture)

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
04/09/15 10:58:28AM
79 posts

Homemade Capo


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

Me too. They work pretty well.

Ken Hulme said:

Looks pretty good... a bit heavy perhaps, but as long as it works, who cares. I've made capos from a 1/4-20 bolt and wingnut with two wooden disks to grab the sides of the fretboard, and a length of vinyl tubing to protect the strings from th bolt threads.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
04/09/15 09:35:03AM
79 posts

Tunings you like to use on your dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So for tunings I mostly use DAd, DGd, DAc and DAA. But I really like to think of them in numbers rather than letters. That way I can pick whatever pitch is comfrotable or sounds good. So that would be 1-5-8, 1-4-8, 1-5-7, 1-5-5. What I like about numbers is that it helps me reference the intervals in my head when I tune the instrument to itself rather than to a tuner.

A trick I learned a long time ago is that the interval between 1 and 5 sounds like the first two notes of the song the witch's guards sing in The wizard of OZ. (OH-EE-OH-OH-OH if you remember the tune). The interval between 1 and 4 is the first two notes of Here Comes the Bride. And the octave (1-8) is the first two notes of Over the Rainbow.

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with electronic tuners. I love them when restringing an instrument or when I am trying to tune in a noisy location. But I also think they are kind of a crutch because it is easier to accept what the tuner says than to really listen to the tuning and intonation of the instrument.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
03/11/15 11:12:10AM
79 posts

High or Low tuning dulcimer.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I broke a brand new guitar string on Christmas day 1981. Sure, I was a little upset about it at the time, but it quickly cured me of any reluctance to re-tune or change strings.I learned how to tune my instrument and how to change strings on day one.

Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
02/17/15 07:53:06PM
79 posts



I've seen people keep humidifiers in guitars and violins. I'm not sure it's necessary as long as the humidity in your house is fairly stable and not super low. I have a humidifier on my furnace which I set at about 35% or so.
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