The Positive Thread...
OFF TOPIC discussions
Gee, morels! Thanks for reminding me to go out and check a couple areas of past fires, especially as it rained a little last night! Haven't had any in years...
What a great title for a thread! (poem, article, etcetera) I feel that way about many things, certainly wrt consistency of practicing - frequency and time spent. I was more disciplined when younger, for sure. Maybe some folks get better at that but I can't say I have!
I do try to be consistent with 'default' fingerings for chords and the overall fingerings I arrive at for any given piece - though they may need to deviate in other places/tunes. Eg, my 1st position G in DAD tuning, 3-1-0, or the flip of that, 0-1-3, I always do with index on 3 and ring on 1 of the middle string, which is probably a common fingering for that one. Main point w consistency of fingering is having set patterns that become automatic and therefore smoother. I want to try to avoid micro-second slow-downs while my brain is deciding 'which finger??'
As to warm-ups - good question/topic! Running through the scales is always good, and I second Dusty's suggestion of arpeggio's: the notes of a scale that make specific chords, like the d-arpeggio, 0 - 2 - 4 - 7- 4 - 2 - 0, on either bass or melody d-strings; d-arpeg on the middle is 0 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 10 and back again (important!). [Chord tonics/names highlighted.] One G-arpeggio in DAD could be 0 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 10 and back down again on melody or bass d string. Here too, develop a consistent fingering choice/pattern. Can you find an arpeggio going across the strings - first on bass, then middle, then melody, and back?? They are there!
I have a chord-melody warm up I do, especially when rusty. I have tab for it somewhere, but it's this, w scale highlighted:
0-0-0 (D), 1-0-1 (A), 0-0-2 (D), 0-1-3 (G), 0-0-4 or 2-3-4 (D), 3-3-5 (G), 4-4-6+ (A), 0-5-7 (D) and back again. Invert to bass.
Lastly, doing a couple familiar pieces, always. Perhaps choose one or two 'touchstone' pieces you play every time you sit down. (Prediction: You'll get really good at these and they will become 'fallback' or 'in the bag to pull out' pieces.)
I suggest slower-than-performing speed - you are warming up. It's "just" warm up but I say do it well, not sloppy!
More important than people may realize: Since they're familiar - as the patterns above will become - play without tab as much as possible - so you can watch your fingers! This is how to improve technique.
Make sure your fingers are doing what you want them to! (think of them like kids!) You need to make an eye-finger connection for your brain, that it will use when you inevitably need to look elsewhere (sing, etc) while you're playing. Get away from the tab as soon as you can, even if you make more mistakes initially. It's one step back, two steps forward, I guarantee!
O course that doesn't apply strictly to beginners who need more visual reminders, but as you play more, don't remain stuck on 'the paper.' Even for beginners, very simple patterns 0-1-2-3-2-1-0 shouldn't need to be read after the first time or two.
I see there's overlap here between warm-up and practice, but I guess that's the point: Stuff you can consistently do to get you going!
Sorry, I tend to be wordy, but all of the above ends up actually being just 3 or 4 to 10 minutes, max! You can do it!
1,500 dulcimers AND 1,500 autoharps?!? I only really knew of the former. Amazing productivity!
Think of just how many strings that represents!
Hi Strumelia and Dusty,
Thanks for your responses!
I trust it will prove to be a one time glitch. I didn't know there was a limit of 6/day until I tried to add a 7th. It appeared on the list but was shaded. I wasn't able (or didn't try long enough) to remove it, so it being there when I tried to load the rest was probably the thing that did it.
I'll just retry them, and stop at five just to be on the safe side!
Thanks. Yeah I can imagine there being too much of a good thing (all at once).
Maybe I'll do something like that and just post a few now and then on FotMD, highlights, w link, as you suggest.
But just for info: Is it normal to wait a day or so for approval and appearance of pix?? Or, is it more likely it didn't work, in which case I could just try it again. (I didn't notice how long the dulci-dog picture took.)
In any case, for now, I'll hold off and see what Strumelia says. Maybe she just hasn't had a chance to flick whatever magic switch is involved...
Perhaps this is more of a tech question than a forum discussion, but this seems the only way to ask a question. If there's a way to contact moderators and such I'm not seeing it. (But I'm a cyber-moron.)
I have many, many (hundreds of) historic photos of dulcimer and players, mostly from the 80s, including many makers and players no longer with us. I've spent hours and hours digitizing them with hopes of being able to share with people who will be interested.
I tried to upload several yesterday (8/4/20) up to the limit of 6 per day. Now I don't see any sign of them, either on my own pages or generally.
If they're still waiting approval, I understand that, but the fact I don't see them, nor any record of having submitted them, leads me to want to verify.
Also, at six per day, I could be uploading for a couple months. So I wonder if perhaps you really don't want people to post "too many" photos. I can always post them on my own site, but thought most folks here would find them interesting and I'm happy to share them. I'm not trying to hog or dominate the galleries, I just have a lot of interesting mountain dulcimer pictures to potentially share.
These are high quality, edited images, showing not just historic makers and players, but covering the incredible range of variation in dulcimers, with many unusual instruments, details of soundholes, pegheads, inlays, and also pix of dulcimer precursors like sheitholts and the langleik. I have reduced all in size to 400 - 600 kb.
Please advise! Thank you,
PS: I did start to add a seventh before getting the message there was a limit of 6. Did this perhaps invalidate the first six??
Actually, a "dirty little secret" of lap dulcimer playing is that Old Joe Clark is "really" in the key of A in all bluegrass and old-time (non-dulcimer) circles.
But it works so well for us in D! So we do it that way because we can.
Yes, one can play it in A, tuned DAD, with capo at the 4th fret, and then play 8 9 10 9 8 7 6.5... (flatted 7th, on 'Clark,' underlined). But notice that you need the 6.5. Without that extra fret, capoing at 4 and playing 4 (open), 5, 6... 11 produces the A dorian minor scale.
The diatonic aspect of the dulcimer at once makes it both SIMPLER to play but HARDER to understand when and if keys or tunings change!
"the vast majority of those Mixolydian tune book songs are not Mixolydian modal songs. They are Ionian Mode songs being played in Mixolydian DAd using the 6+ fret."
This is correct - or you could play across the strings and use the 2nd fret of the middle string.
This shows the confusion created by calling tunings by mode/scale names. Think of the modes as scales and scale variations. Ionian mode is a fancy name for the major scale, the old do re mi... Myxolydian is a fancy name for the major scale with the 7th note flatted. (Aeolian and Dorian are fancy names for two kinds of minor scales.)
On most modern dulcimers (w a 6.5 fret):
When tuned DAD you play an ionian/major scale from 0 (open) to the 7th fret using the 6.5 fret and skipping the 6th fret.
When tuned DAD you play a myxolydian/flat-7 scale from 0 to 7th fret using the 6th fret and skipping the 6.5 fret.
DAD tuning was called "myxolydian" because on the original dulcimers - with NO 6.5 fret - it is the only scale you could get going from open to the 7th. Also, that's how you MUST tune the dulcimer to play a song like Old Joe Clark that uses a flat 7th (on 'Clark': 4 - 5 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2...)
To play an ionian/major scale on a trad dulcimer - with no extra frets - you MUST tune to DAA, and the scale starts with the D that's now at the 3rd fret, and you play 3 - 10 on the frets. If you tune DAA on a modern dulcimer, you still play 3 - 10 for the major scale, but you have to make sure to skip the 6.5.
That's why DAA tuning became called "Ionian" - b/c that's the way you have to tune to get a major/ionian scale on a traditionally fretted dulcimer.
With the 6.5 fret (or playing across the strings) you can find the pure major scale songs even if you're in DAD tuning.
Bottom line: It's NOT really the tuning that is "myxolydian" - it's that that tuning allows you to play the myxolydian scale, in particular on a dulcimer with no extra frets. Same with all the other Greek names.
I tend to stay in DAD because I can play either mode with no retuning. However, you can't play a D-myxolydian scale on a dulcimer tuned DAA - unless you use the bass string.
I think of the DAD tuning as 'containing' the DAA within it - on that middle, A, string - but not vice versa.
Hope that makes sense. It can be a little confusing!
Thanks to all who have answered. I appreciate the information and encouragement. As to the info, I have to digest it all! Gosh, Strumelia, I hope all that was boiler plate from somewhere you cut and pasted OR that you're a very fast typist!
But without having read the responses in detail, what I had been looking to do was along the lines of, say, when I first got on the site and some people posted a hello. A general place or message board to say, 'gee I see the Kindred Gathering isn't listed here, but I was going to be there next week and thought some FOTMD members in Nor-Cal and Oregon may be interested...' And a link. Or not, if it's problematic.
See, though I want to mention the KG and that I'm going, it's not my place to post a festival listing as others organize it and I don't know why they choose to not use FOTMD OR ED! So posting that gathering IS something I'm "not authorized" to do - by them! I will ask them about it when there. Maybe on that basis, I should not post anything about it (??? This seems counter-intuitive to me!), but in any case it has raised the general issue of messaging to people and the group.
I'll read and plod.
Thanks again and ciao for now, Leo
What do I need to do to post a general comment? (that would come up on 'latest activity')
If I go to my own page and click on 'latest activity' a text box, just like this one, opens up. So I write my comment - in this case including info about the Kindred Gathering coming up - but when I go to post it, or update I think it says, I get: "FOTMD says: You do not have the proper privileges to perform that action!"
What does this mean? It's extra confusing as it comes after just posting some videos and comments with those.
Do all general posted comments have to be in the context of a group? Or what?
Or is it because I included a web address in the comment?
Thanks for the info!