OFF TOPIC discussions
Bill, you've got a beauty there!
RoyB, I really can't use round noters due to soft tissue problems with my hands. The pad on my thumb (I hold the noter with my thumb on top) needs a larger point of contact than round noters offer so I use flat noters. I don't know what makes a bamboo noter hard on your fingers but round noters don't work for me. Just a thought.
I've used beeswax on noters to get them to slide real slick-- I have a small slab of it and it can just be rubbed onto the noter. Just keep your string wiped mostly clean when using it.
My friend Matt did a delightful interview with Aubrey Atwater earlier this year. It can be viewed here:
I live here in old coal country in southern Perry County OH and since the hills aren't nearly as big as those in SE KY, we do not get walls of water as you describe. We do, though, see flooding due to many areas not having much/any top soil for good rain in-soak due to mining (some done many decades ago and some done more recently). My heart is with all touched by the awful flooding.
Roy B, I have this book, put out by Homespun, and it came with a recording:
I am a straight by-ear player and have listened to Jean's instruction (which accompanies the Homespun book) many many times. There is also an older instructional recording Jean did and it is offered by Smithsonian/Folkways. If I were only going to have one of them, I'd go with the Homespun. I only include the link so you can see what it looks like-- I'm thinking I purchased my copy straight from Homespun.
I'm not a great player yet have been at it since '05. Though modes haven't sunk in all the way for me, it hasn't stopped me from making music one bit. Still enjoying the journey! Happy strumming to you!
Thank you for sharing the video, . For some reason, I have been unable to watch past the 4:20 (or so) mark in the film yet am sure the damage is as awful as I can imagine from other images I have seen.
I've made donation and am guessing donations will be needed for a very long time. Just a bit ago, I saw where more heavy rain is forecast for the area already hit by floods. :(
To complicate matters, as I recall, one of Jean Ritchie's instructional recordings has Jean telling how her dad, Balis, told to tune the dulcimer "Bim, bim, bom," and on another recording, she has him saying to tune "Bim, bim, bim , bom." Both mean the bass is tuned then the other strings (whether 2 strings or 3) are tuned to the 5th above the bass. Love me some Jean Ritchie!
The devastation in Hindman and surrounding areas is heartbreaking, I imagine, for all of us.
I've seen photos and videos of the horrible flooding in Kentucky, including devastation in Hindman. My heart is with all whose lives have been uprooted by the torrent. It was good to see on Facebook that mountain dulcimer friend Sarah Kate Morgan had marked herself as safe-- she is on staff at Hindman.
You'll hear mountain dulcimer long before you'll see it and, no, Joni Mitchell isn't playing it (though she was the big surprise guest at Newport).
One of the Hanseroth twins (Brandi Carlisle group) opens Carey with mountain dulcimer and you see a quick look at him on dulcimer later in the video.
That's a lovely instrument, one made by a person with a lot of skill. Enjoy!
At the moment, I have 8 mountain dulcimers here in the house and soon the number will be 7. (My oldest niece is interested in mountain dulcimer and I will be giving one to her when life allows.) Over the past year or so, I've passed several instruments along to a couple young people and hope they enjoy them for a long time!
In addition, I have 3 Ken Bloom bowed dulcimers and one Michael Fox Dulcijo.
Look at lots of video clips of folks playing a variety of music on a variety of different fretted dulcimer configurations and, perhaps, that will give you an idea of what approach you'd like to take to making music. First and foremost, lean into what music is in your heart to make and get the tool (instrument) with which to do it best. It's a process and it can be lots of fun to explore.