Forum Activity for @d-chitwood

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
12/23/18 04:21:12PM
138 posts

Capo for Radius Fretboard?


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

So I ordered Terry's new capo and it works fine. The measurements were the same on the Bella, 10" radius FB, same width and heighth. It's easy to use and works fine. It was so nice to finally be able to play with the 4th fret capo'ed. I love this Bella Dulcimer so much that now I don't want to play anything else! 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
12/23/18 03:21:09PM
138 posts

A Dulcimer Related White Elephant Gift!


OFF TOPIC discussions

I do believe I've come up with the bestest white elephant gift ever!

Oh! Merry Christmas!

Ok...for starters, I can't sing. Not a lick! But I love to sing and everyone knows I'm not a performer. SO...here's where the funny gift idea comes in!

I took a photo of myself holding my dulcimer with Christmas garland draped around my shoulders and printed it off with the words 'Sing along with ME! Dulcimer Christmas Tunes! All of your favorites!' and inserted it into an empty DVD case, so it looks like a CD with me singing and playing Christmas tunes.

NOT something anybody would want to hear, LOL!!!

What's gonna be funny is that people won't know if I'm serious or not and I have no doubt more than one nervous giggle will come out  (Is she serious?? I don't want to hurt her feeling!) Laugh

And the best part is.....inside the case there is NOT a CD of me singling and playing but instead a $25 lotto scratch off Christmas tree ticket with multiple chances to win. 

And I have no doubt, NO DOUBT, my Daddy will steal the gift from whomever first opens it and bless his heart, he'll be so disappointed when he finds out it isn't really me playing and singing, LOL!!

I thought about giving it to my daughter's boyfriend as a joke gift just to see her mortification tic but chose to resist the temptation! giggle2


updated by @d-chitwood: 01/13/19 05:09:18PM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/23/18 03:52:11PM
138 posts

What did you do on 'Black Friday' (day after thanksgiving)


OFF TOPIC discussions

Put up my autumn decorations, pulled out Christmas, set my tablescape, washed dishes, washed clothes, shopped for my Daddy, and wished my husband hadn't gone hunting. Glad my son is in town.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/23/18 03:50:56PM
138 posts

What if you could only have one dulcimer?


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

Definitely the one I just bought. The tone is so beautiful it made me cry the first time I heard it. I can't imagine owning another one that sounded better and also had a 25.5 VSL so that my fingers don't hurt. Love my Tony Vines Bella Dulcimer.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/23/18 03:49:26PM
138 posts

Argh! Organizing your music!”$&?!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I started with notebooks categorized: Christmas, Hymns, regular. Then they got too full, so I put everything in dropbox then FourScore on my Ipad. I still use a printed paper copy when I'm working on a new song. Just too easy to have it laying out than pick up my ipad and set it out.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/19/18 08:05:35PM
138 posts

Capo for Radius Fretboard?


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

@dusty-turtle, I did see the dulcimer Tony Vine made for Aaron. He had it displayed cause all the other dulcimers got sold and there was just a row of empty stands, LOL. I think Tony did say something about Aaron's being custom made. Tony's guitars are like masterpiece works of art and the dulcimer Billy got...man, oh man...I've never seen anything so beautiful! 

I stayed up late last night playing around and the Ron Ewing capo was working fine and keeping the tune spot on. So for now, I'll stick with that. I did speak with Tony and he said to hang tight that he was making a capo and it would be ready in a month, so I can use it then. 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/19/18 04:52:45PM
138 posts

Capo for Radius Fretboard?


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

Hi Brian,

It is 10" fingerboard Radius according to the dulcimer specifics and a 25.5 VSL. I don't know about compound radius.

So here's the thing. I can't feel any type of curve, nor does it look different. All I do know is that the action is low and smoothe and after an intensively insane class with Aaron O'Rourke on flying finger licks, Cindy ran a flying finger test on the fretboard and her eyes flew open wide and she said, "OMGOSH did you see that!? That was so easy on this fretboard!!"

It has the most comfortable feel to it of any dulcimer I've played and I do use all five fingers in chording and barring and whatnot.

I did find out Terry McCafferty also does a radius fretboard. 

Again, I can't see it or feel it. I'm sure there was a reason Tony and Aaron came up with the idea. All I know is my fingers don't hurt at all and I don't find myself wishing the action was lower. 

 I've only had the Mcspadden, Folk Root, Gibson, Gallier, Sweet woods, Modern Mountain & Blue Lion to compare to. So many have hurt my fingers. This just feels ...gentle and easy. I will say one thing...the sustain on the harmonic is insane. I think I heard it still going after I went to bed. giggle2

 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/18/18 09:33:04PM
138 posts

Capo for Radius Fretboard?


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

It's walnut with butternut soundboard. The fingerboard overlay is wenge and the VSL is 25.5. My friend got one of the fancier ones (I think he sold out every single one he brought) and honestly, it was the most beautiful dulcimer I've ever seen. The sound...unlike anything I've ever heard. It made me cry when I played it. It made. me. cry. I looked up at my friend, and her eyes were filled with tears. Yall. The dulcimer made us both cry. 

It will be my keeper for the rest of my life. The tones are stunning. He sells $20K guitars so the man knows high quality stringed instruments. He did something heavenly with his design, gracious alive. 

Several instructors were lucky enough to order or buy one. 

It was a once in a lifetime find. 

But that spider capo, it can go suck an egg as far as I'm concerned, LOL. I'll find which capo works best and go with that. So far Ron Ewings is doing pretty good. 

 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
11/18/18 06:45:10PM
138 posts

Capo for Radius Fretboard?


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

Hello all!

 This past weekend I got to go to Unicoi festival and it was fantastic! I bought a new dulcimer from Bella Dulcimers and it's the best sounding thing I have ever heard, Lordy mercy! The action is low and so comfortable and the sound...ohmyheavens, it's like angels singing! I have never heard anything like this before and I've owned a gallier starsong which to me, was a gorgeous sounding instrument!

This Bella Dulciner has a radius fretboard, like Terry McCafferty's dulcimer. Tony Vine the luthier (you may be familiar with his guitars?) suggested I use a spider capo and gave me one. I'm struggling on the best way to use it. If anyone else has a radius fretboard, what do you use?

I did put on one of Ron Ewing's capos and it seems to work fine actually. Just wanted to know what yall use if you have one! Thank you!

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
07/13/18 08:20:10AM
138 posts

Anyone familiar with Bob McGowan dulcimers?


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

It seems sometime last year, Bob got to the last person on his list (a friend of mine) and offered her the chance to buy his last built dulcimer. So unless things have changed, I think he has retired. I have heard that his dulcimers sound wonderful, rich and full.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
03/09/18 01:03:16PM
138 posts

Is Rick Probst still making dulcimers?


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

I found him by contacting his brother at the probst furniture company. Rick can be hard to find but his dulcimers are amazing.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
01/23/18 11:57:59AM
138 posts

So You're That Kind of Gal?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yep. I love celtic songs.

Give me a Blackest Crow, Will Ye No Come Back Again, Dark Island...

I play and pick and play these songs again and again, adding to them the harmony of Greensleeves and a few others. 

I need some more music. If you know the above songs, then you know what I love. Can you please recommend some other possibly little known celtic-y tunes that are haunting or lovely?

I'm happy to pay for tabs. I just need some fresh songs. Thank you, thank you!

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
08/17/17 01:07:42PM
138 posts

Newish Ginger tuned to "Gee, what exactly does that mean?"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you Dusty! That's some great info! Right now, I play mostly in CGC or C#G#C#. I love a lower tuning. Can I get a compensated bridge if I want to change it out?

 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
08/17/17 12:33:47PM
138 posts

Newish Ginger tuned to "Gee, what exactly does that mean?"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I just took possession of a Redwood/walnut ginger. It's very nice and has a great tone. It is tuned to G with an extra set of strings, 26, 14, 10. 

My question is...what exactly does the G tuning mean? I realize Mac has you get a compensated bridge if you want it tuned to D. But what does that actually mean?

Can I play DAD tab? How should I tune it? Do I need to change strings to play in DAD? 

Dusty? Ken? Looking for yall to chime in and let me know what exactly I have here. Thank you as always!


updated by @d-chitwood: 08/17/17 12:35:38PM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
07/25/17 08:43:07AM
138 posts

And then peace fell.....


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

We have a new puppy. She is an English Shepherd and her name is Piper Lou. As you can imagine, chaos has reigned in the house since her arrival Sunday afternoon. Our other dogs are kindly tolerating her and also getting annoyed with her fuzzy self. 

This morning, I sat down and began playing Larry Conger's original tune, September on the Mississippi. It was like peace itself fell upon the room.

The lab layed down, the puppy layed down, and best of all and most important of all.....the other english shepherd who has been most annoyed...layed down directly in front of the pup, arms to arms, face to face, totally relaxed with an all-accepting posture and a 'I'm ready to play with you while we lie down face'.

Then they all fell asleep.

This isn't the first time I have seen the enchanting, mesmerizing song of the dulcimer totally change the atmosphere. Such a peaceful, restful tune. 

 


PIPER LOU.jpg PIPER LOU.jpg - 115KB

updated by @d-chitwood: 07/25/17 08:47:25AM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
06/15/17 01:01:45PM
138 posts

"What was that bell sound I heard at 5pm yesterday" says you


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Strumelia:

What a great feeling when your new instrument is even nicer than you hoped!

I did hear that bell tone you mention, and wondered about it.  It made my cats jump.  kittyscratch

Laugh Hahaha! That made me laugh out loud!

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
06/15/17 07:33:21AM
138 posts

"What was that bell sound I heard at 5pm yesterday" says you


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 

I'm pretty sure half of you were fiddling around with supper yesterday and looked up from your soup pot, wondering what in the tarnation that bell sound was...that kept going and going and going. The birds flew from the trees, the dog woke up from its nap, haha! giggle2

I confess...it was me. HUG  I just took receipt of my 26" mcspadden and whilst playing around I accidentally hit the 7th fret with the side of my hand. A bell tone harmonic rang out so loud and for sooo long, I gasped! And of course rushed to pull up Larry Conger's Summertime so I could put this new found force of nature to work.

Lord help mercy, the harmonics on this thing!!  Of all the dulcimers that have passed through my hands (folkroots, gallier starsong, gibson, 3 mcspaddens, modern mountain, blue lion) I have never in all my born days heard such a ring!  My other dulcimers pale in comparison. Woo Hoo...thank you Brian G. 

So have at it! Can we talk harmonics? 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
06/15/17 07:17:26AM
138 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Most 'fun' I would have to say 'Nut factory shuffle'. Anytime my playing partner and I get into a 'kerfuffle' with a challenging song, we'll look at each other, grin, and tear into Nutfactory with a vigor, laughing at our confident bravado. I love how loud and in your face this song is and it is a hoot to play! 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
05/19/17 04:20:25PM
138 posts

It's like finding a 1965 brand new Mustang


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

So this koa folkroots. I have given it a name. Jimmy Earl, ala James Earl Jones, "Luke I am your Father". The deep, rich voice this dulcimer has blows me away BUT...that longer vsl, I just can't do it. It will go the way of my last two mcspaddens and I will be sticking to the shorter 25-26" vsl. But seriously folks...how did Howard get such a boomy voice outta these things. Nothing comes close. 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
05/13/17 12:47:30PM
138 posts

Back to the Luthier you go


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

I just now received a refund check for my sent-back dulcimer. The builder did find the issue, albeit, twas an odd issue he could fix by changing out bridges, and did so on several others he found with the same issue. They refunded my money minus the shipping. 

I realize I'm going to be a play it before I pay it kind of consumer from this point forward.....when the instrument is over $400.  

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
05/06/17 02:18:40PM
138 posts

Does size really matter? 28.5 vs 26


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

I have decided to lose all of my longer vsl dulcimers. The Mcspaddens have that traditional 28.5 and the Folkroots has 29 (I think). I do love the sound of the Mcspadden though. I just can't do that longer vsl anymore.

I'm wondering how I would like a 26" Mcspadden. For those who have heard the standard vs the 26" of the Mcspadden, what are your thoughts? Big difference in sound, or just better playability? 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/30/17 02:02:28PM
138 posts

Back to the Luthier you go


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

Have you ever had to send a dulcimer back as soon as you got it? WITHOUT NAMING BRANDS OR LUTHIERS, I was curious what caused you to send one back and was the return policy one you could live with.

I just received a dulcimer on Friday and the intonation was off on the bass string on many frets and there was just a funny 'off' sound every time I strummed. It wasn't cheap so I sent it back. (Also since I had mentioned earlier I had ordered a Sweetwoods baritone, I wanted to clarify this was NOT the sweetwoods baritone) 

I'm hoping the maker will refund my funds and not make a fuss. I just know I wouldn't play it. 

Again, without naming names, what has been your experience with sendback?

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/30/17 01:23:12PM
138 posts

Healthy Living- healthy eating, exercise, weight loss, veggie gardening, etc.


OFF TOPIC discussions

I was looking at the sweetener aisle this morning and wondered about monkfruit. I have gotten completely away from most all sugar but might want to sweeten an oatmeal crisp fruit dessert and wondered if any of you have ever used monkfruit and if so, what brand or form did you use?

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/09/17 12:56:44PM
138 posts

Capo positions, tunings, chords and other wonderful things


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Oh dear, now my head hurts. wasntme

But....I do get what you are saying. It's just a lot to take in for someone who has never been taught this.

I printed off some of what we have talked about....and i intend to study it. But just a little at a time, as to not overwhelm.

I'll go back and reread what you are saying. I guess my initial question in the midst of my confusion (not utter, but mildly)...would be, so the reason I would want to know this is to somewhat play a song, with just the music and chords? 

 

 


updated by @d-chitwood: 04/09/17 12:56:55PM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/09/17 12:02:51PM
138 posts

Capo positions, tunings, chords and other wonderful things


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

In light of the recent fantastic conversation we just had about the chords, I wanted to speak about capos.

(Preface: I am 2 years in, play like a crazy woman time-wise, but have zero music theory knowledge so grace grace if this question makes you laugh.)

I was lying in bed early this morn, when suddenly I had an epiphany. If the  1 0 1 is an A chord, then if you place a capo on the 1st fret, are you now tuned to A? And if 0 1 3 is a G chord, when you place a capo on the third fret, are you now tuned to G?

Again, please don't laugh...I'm just now getting into this. If this is correct, then it would explain all the choices of chord for each A, G, D etc because you might be tuned into something where you need a higher fret. (Am I embarrassed at this point? Yes, yes as a matter of fact I am. But I feel safe here so yall go easy on me if this is not right. ) sun

And...does anyone have a capo tuning chart that showed what key each capo creates?   

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/09/17 11:55:29AM
138 posts

How and if to add a 1 1/2 fret


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

The comments here regarding a historical dulcimer make sense, however, what if you owned one of these and you truly wanted to use the dulcimer to its fullest and there's nary a song now that doesn't have the 6 1/2 fret? Personally, I wouldn't be able to play any of my favorites without that fret and I've bought two dulcimers without it. I added it to both and now enjoy them fully but truly do wonder, would anyone really be buying one to just hang on the wall...or, can you fully enjoy a dulcimer without the 6 1/2? 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/09/17 09:09:35AM
138 posts

What are you reading right now?


OFF TOPIC discussions

My sister told me about a book called Dispatches From Pluto, by Richard Grant. The story of a Brit and a New Yorker who buy a Mississippi plantation and encounter southern culture for the first time. She said it was laugh out loud one of the best books she has read in ages.

 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/06/17 06:03:36PM
138 posts

Any experience with dip joint sterling silver splints?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

ROFL!! I'll keep that in mind! Dusty, you entertained my husband and myself last night with your playing. I like to pull up different videos with all of your massive collection (seriously, how many are you up to??) Every time I think I've found some wonderful luthier, I see you beat me to the punch. I basically want all of the ones you own.

Do you have a will? Children?  :) :) 

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/06/17 04:59:22PM
138 posts

Any experience with dip joint sterling silver splints?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hahaha, you're funny, Ken. Not coming to the dark side. I have noters but taping has made the world of difference. I can play for hours and hours and have no pain the next day. Immobilizing is what needs to happen and the tape works, just didn't know if anyone had used the finger ring splint things.

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
04/06/17 04:07:38PM
138 posts

Any experience with dip joint sterling silver splints?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have a bit of arthritis in the first joint of my middle finger/left hand. The more I chord, the more irritated it gets, so I tape it to immobilize it. I just saw on a few sites these sterling silver wired finger splints. They almost look like cool rings that can be worn down on that dip joint. 

Has anyone ever used one? How well does it work to immobilize the joint? I'm not giving up playing for sure, but I need to get creative on holding that one joint in place!

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
03/18/17 09:10:10AM
138 posts

Am I hearing an echo? Great silkie


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

She moved through the fair........Are these the same song? I love Joe Collin's tab The Great silkie. And I love, She moved through the fair. Both haunting. Suddenly, I said, just this morning, ....WAIT...they sound exactly alike.

?????   Are they?


updated by @d-chitwood: 03/18/17 09:10:31AM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
03/12/17 07:01:32PM
138 posts

Which bridge compensation for A ginger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you Lisa. At this point, I am fully 1-1/2 fret savvy and no longer cringe at the sight. I am seeing it as a benefit now and appreciate the add-on. However, that 8-1/2 fret, ugh, now that's an entirely different story! 


updated by @d-chitwood: 03/12/17 07:49:02PM
D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
03/11/17 05:20:04PM
138 posts

Which bridge compensation for A ginger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I know this is an old thread, but I'm also trying to make this decision. Monica, did you buy one? What did you choose? I mainly play in DAD or CGC. I find the AEA tuning of a soprano is just too high for my liking and I'm thinking the Gdg would be too close to that. Wish I could hear one in person!

D. chitwood
@d-chitwood
03/07/17 07:15:52PM
138 posts

Most inspiring live workshop/lesson you've ever had?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I know this may sound sorta silly, but back in the day (okay, okay...two years ago, haha!), my friend and I attended a day long time with Joe Collins. We were newbies but obsessed and had never had anyone show us exactly how to do a proper pull-off. Joe showed the class specifically how to do a fine and dandy pull off and you should have seen my friend and me turn our heads, look at each other with jaws dropped and a big ol' lightbulb go KAZAM! over our heads, haha!

Sometimes it's the little things. winker

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