Forum Activity for @richard-streib

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
12/21/18 09:50:25PM
99 posts

Black Mountain vs Walnut Valley


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I purchased a Walnut Valley dulcimer in Early 1993 and kept it until 2017. I sold it to a lady in our club who wanted it. Then I found one nearly like it earlier this year that appeared to have been bought but left unplayed in its case. So I now have a Walnut Valley once again. I really like the Walnut Valley. It is quite versatile. I have played it noter drone and with 4 equidistant strings using the noter. It sounds good in multiple modes and tunings. I don't think you would be disappointed with a Walnut Valley.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
12/09/18 05:28:44PM
99 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Is tab available, free or pay, for The Holly Tree??

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
11/18/18 11:33:42AM
99 posts

What if you could only have one dulcimer?


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

What if?? That requires considerable consideration. Like Dusty stated one does not always shine on every song--thus the justification for having more than one.

However IF I had to have just one, it would be the Leonard Glenn reproduction Kevin Messenger made for me.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
11/01/18 04:30:02PM
99 posts

Keith Young Dulcimer


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

David D. It looks in your initial pictures like the fine tuner for the bass string is down where the strings curve under the end of the fretboard to anchor. So you may need to only get 2 made to match.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
11/01/18 08:35:39AM
99 posts

Keith Young Dulcimer


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

That's pretty significant. Glad it worked for you. I may have to get some for some of my older dulcimers.

 

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
10/23/18 07:25:41AM
99 posts

A Sweet Find


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Don't know why the pictures loaded vertical. They were horizontal on my file on the computer from which I loaded them.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
10/23/18 07:10:14AM
99 posts

A Sweet Find


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I recently found on ebay a "used" Mountain Valley Dulcimer Smokey River model. I prefer to call it "second hand" rather than used. This dulcimer came in a hard side case (chipboard) and appears to have been unplayed. I'm guessing someone purchased this intending to learn to play and then it was set aside.

There is not a mark on it. No indications the strings have ever been pressed down to the frets. No pick marks. It's made of beautifully grained book-matched walnut. I'll change out the friction tuners for some planetary tuners I have on hand harvested from another dulcimer. The real plus for me is that this '91 modern era dulcimer has a nice, clear, bright sound, which is what I prefer. I can see it becoming the dulcimer I use when playing with the dulcimer club where they like to use capos and other more modern playing styles.

My very first mountain dulcimer was a Mountain Valley Wildwood Mountain model, so this is a nice find for me.


Walnut Valley Smokey River top.jpg Walnut Valley Smokey River top.jpg - 1002KB
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
10/22/18 02:57:21PM
99 posts

Buying a used McSpadden questions


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

Dulciana, I agree that price seems a bit high. I did buy one made in '91 from an auction locally that was like new. The pick and noter were still sealed in a little kraft paper envelope. It appeared to have been purchased and never played. If you find one like that,  the $300.00 would make a good starting point to bargain for a selling price. Another concern to consider is if someone stored an unused instrument in a not so instrument friendly environment; such as a hot attic, a damp basement, or a non climate controlled rental storage unit. As for the plywood back, the quality of the plywood which McSpadden used was the very best and very stable over time. I would not allow that fact alone to cause much hesitation.

I would think a price $225.00 price range would be more reasonable.

Fortunately for those of us who look at used dulcimers, many were purchased and left largely unplayed. Sometimes someone picks one up at a yard or estate sale or a family member disposes of the estate without knowing a lot about a dulcimer. They can be real treasures when we find one.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/30/18 07:23:44AM
99 posts

Information about a Change of policy at McSpadden


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Perhaps the concern is more about letting the dulcimer community know and hoping it understands than anything internal to their production practices.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/29/18 07:09:48PM
99 posts

Information about a Change of policy at McSpadden


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

For many years McSpadden's policy was to set up all standard dulcimers in DAA,  with setup in DAd available on request. That has now changed. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from Jim Woods at McSpadden.

"...we have just this month changed that policy.  Now well over 90% of our standard dulcimer are sold in DAD tuning so we have yielded to the pressure and made that the default setup.  I’m still working on getting that news out to the dulcimer community.  Trying to implement a change like that in a policy that has been in place for 56 years doesn’t go smoothly."

 

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/17/18 02:42:15PM
99 posts

Somewhere over the rainbow


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Really liked the discussion related to copyright. It is becoming clearer now. It really is not as cut and dried as we would like it to be for our understanding. Hats off to FOTMD for strict standards regarding copyrights.clapper

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/13/18 08:44:44PM
99 posts

Will donate student dulcimer to needy beginner


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The student dulcimer has found a home. Thanks everyone.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/13/18 02:21:48PM
99 posts

Courting Dulcimer for sale or trade


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

That's a beauty and a reasonable price. I am not in need of it but I am sure it will sell--just may take a little time

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
08/11/18 07:41:06PM
99 posts

Intermediates


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lois Sprengnether Keel:

I hope Lisa's blog is read.  Her call for respect is needed. 

Let's all play, whether by ear or in print, a chorus of Aretha Franklin's R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

 

The dulcimer produces such sweet music and it is versatile enough to be played in different ways.

I "amen" the appeal to respect others of our forum no matter their choice of playing style, use of TAB or SNM or memory.  Let's just all have fun and enjoy the dulcimer in the way that appeals to us and allow others the same without disrespect related to their playing method or style.

 

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/25/18 07:50:23PM
99 posts

Will donate student dulcimer to needy beginner


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The widow of my best friend has asked me to help dispose of her late husband's student dulcimer. It will be a gift to someone (child or adult) who wants to learn to play but who does not have and cannot afford a dulcimer to start out on. The dulcimer has been played very little and looks new. It comes with a padded soft case and I will cover shipping cost for a needy learner within the 48 continental states. It is an Apple Creek ACD100 tear drop shaped model with 24.25", VSL just right for a smaller handed person or one whose hand has limited mobility.

I would like to suggest that the recipient learn to play the dulcimer and when they no longer need this instrument that they would consider passing it on to another needy learner.

Thanks for reading this.

 

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/21/18 03:38:53PM
99 posts

Choose just ONE song for all eternity...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Mine would be Amazing Grace.  I can never get over how amazing God's grace is.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/19/18 06:48:24PM
99 posts

Do you name your dulcimers?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

For years I did not name mine but have been more recently.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/10/18 04:21:31PM
99 posts

June Apple Dulcimer tone/sound


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Banjimer:

I have a June Apple dulcimer.  It doesn't have the light silvery sound of the J.E. Thomas  reproductions that I own.  Nor does it have the resonant sound of the larger bodied dulcimers.  The sound falls somewhere in between.  You could probably describe it as a balance between the two.  Keep in mind that Carl and his staff at June Apple Dulcimers manufacture several different models of dulcimers and dulcimer ancestors.  The June Apple model has a somewhat smaller size than other models made by June Apple, so it's not surprising that the sound is somewhat closer to traditional than it is to guitar-like.  June Apple also makes a larger-bodied dulcimer.  I don't have personal experience with the larger model, but I would assume that its sound is more resonant and similar to other dulcimers with wider, deeper soundboxes.  In short, the difference in sound is more  a combination of volume and resonance.  Everything else being equal, smaller-bodied dulcimers have less volume and less resonance.  Larger-bodied dulcimers have more volume and more resonance.  Other factors to consider are the type of wood used, particularly the soundboard (top), and the thickness of the top, back, and sides.  I'm not a builder.  A builder would be more qualified than I to describe the various factors affecting the sound of any given dulcimer.

The dreaded malady DAD is currently in remission. So glad my bank account was not quarantined. I have recently come into possession of June Apple model dulcimer from June Apple Dulcimers. This model is copied from the shape and size of the Huntington dulcimers. It sports book-matched walnut back with decorative stripe, walnut sides, book-matched top of Western Red Cedar, Wenge fretboard overlay. It has snowflake design sound holes as well as snowflake position dots. As @banjimer notes in his post the sound is not as silvery as the Thomas reproductions but it is not as resonant and mellow as the larger bodied modern dulcimers. The tone is in a word "sweet". It is not an overly loud instrument with its tone quite well balanced across the spectrum. Craftsmanship is superb. I have it strung with 3 strings since I prefer a single melody for noter style playing. It has notches for double melody and for 4 equidistant. Fretboard is taller for noter playing.  It sounds so good I can't imagine a lot of change after it "plays in" some more.


June Apple Winter Beauty.jpg June Apple Winter Beauty.jpg - 226KB
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/06/18 03:40:18PM
99 posts

How does your pet react to your Dulcimer playing?


OFF TOPIC discussions

David Bennett:

Sally Ann will be four months in a few days. For some reason she thinks she's the boss.

So, David, Sally Ann is a cat. If she is like our cat, she IS the boss. Tis the nature of house cats.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
07/04/18 02:20:33PM
99 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Happy 4th of July to all the friends on FOTMD.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/26/18 09:20:21PM
99 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken H        It is looking awesome. Can't wait to see it finished.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/19/18 08:27:40PM
99 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Awesome news. So glad to hear that you are healing. Those saws can take a nasty bite when they get angry.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/16/18 10:04:57AM
99 posts

Favorite noter?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I really like bamboo for a noter. A very nice thing is that one can get the diameter desired without any woodworking other than cutting to length and sanding or filing away any tiny splinters where it is cut.

Some dulcimers' fretboards are too low for me as I hold my noter underhand and drag my knuckles on the top of the dulcimer. So do I restrict myself to custom-made dulcimers (I wish) with a taller fretboard or do I improvise?

The dulcimer budget runs thin after a while so I improvised. I made what I call a stacked noter of bamboo. It works for me on the lower fretboards and is considerably cheaper than a custom-made dulcimer.


Custom Stacked Noter.jpg Custom Stacked Noter.jpg - 96KB
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/15/18 06:54:21PM
99 posts

fret markers.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have not used them on a dulcimer. On paper they stay on well so long as the page is not handled multiple times per day. On the dulcimer I would not think there would be any kind of consistent "trauma" to them to dislodge them. When the time comes to remove them permanently some lemon oil will remove the vestiges of the sticky glue.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/15/18 06:48:50PM
99 posts

fret markers.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Avery Dennison, the label company, makes some removeable labels. You could get some and cut whatever shape you want. If you want circles use a hole punch, then use the "waste" dots for your markers.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/02/18 09:34:58PM
99 posts

Favorite noter?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sandi,

Our tastes change and methods may change over time. Sometimes we add something different. Sometimes we change to a different way of playing. How wonderful the versatility of this special instrument which we all love.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/02/18 07:44:58PM
99 posts

Favorite noter?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sandi,

That little Wren sounds might good. Liked your playing

 

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
06/01/18 08:53:05PM
99 posts

Favorite noter?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Glad you got the noters and like them. One of the members here turned me on to using bamboo or river cane as some call it.

Do you like your Feather dulcimer? Thinking about Jay model from Peter. It will fit in my motorcycle trike trunk.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
05/30/18 11:43:24AM
99 posts

Warren May, McSpadden, Blue Lion?????


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

I concur with Ken and Kusani. The sound and feel of every dulcimer can be very personal and fit one player better than another. It would be best to try the one you wish to purchase before spending the money. That is not always as practical as one would wish. Even 2 identical custom-made instruments by the same builder can sound a bit different played side by side.

I have owned/played McSpadden and Blue Lion. They are both excellent and sound great. But they are worlds apart in sound, not at all in a negative way: just different.  I like the sound of Warren May's dulcimers but have only strummed one in his store in Berea, never owned one.

Blue Lion sometimes has a vendor space at some festivals and sometimes there are McSpadden resellers/dealers at some festivals so that may be an option for trying each of those. I do not know if Warren sells at festivals or not. I know the last festival I attended had a couple of people come by just to shop the vendors though they did not register for the festival.

Deciding on another dulcimer is always a process and the careful buyer weighs lots of factors over time to make the best decision. If only one could buy all three and then decide and send the others back.

Best wishes on making your decision.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
05/28/18 08:36:57PM
99 posts

Favorite noter?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have access to bamboo and will be glad to send you some noters if you like. Send me your address etc.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
05/13/18 11:25:14AM
99 posts

How does your pet react to your Dulcimer playing?


OFF TOPIC discussions

That's one beautiful cat. I know you will enjoy her. Thanks for adopting a rescue.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
05/02/18 11:35:04AM
99 posts

Is This Common


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have difficulty playing in a group, our club, jams etc. It seems there is too much auditory input and I lose my concentration or place in the music. Songs I can play passably well at home in practice fall to pieces in a group. Is this common?

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
04/09/18 10:09:16PM
99 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

ShowtimeGary's is an Amburgy from 1976. Signature in the strum hollow is seen on one of his images. I'm jealous.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
04/09/18 05:49:05PM
99 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Showtimegary--that is an awesome instrument you have. Enjoy it.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
04/07/18 02:25:09PM
99 posts

Everything Dulcimer - Closing Down.


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

So sad. That like this site has been a breath of fresh air for those who love the dulcimer. Will sure miss the tabbed music.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
04/06/18 08:52:08PM
99 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Robin T so glad you had the time to play the dulcimer. It is so relaxing and therapeutic during  stressful times. Caring for a loved one is a blessing but the emotional load can be burdensome. Grab all the moments you can for your own respite so you can keep on going. Blessings to you.

Richard Streib
@richard-streib
04/01/18 11:27:50AM
99 posts

Strings!


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

Starting out it is best to follow manufacturer recommendations. As you discover the sound you prefer there is nothing wrong with experimenting and strings are inexpensive enough before telling the spouse you need another dulcimer to get the sound you prefer.

Nickel vs bronze vs phosphor bronze wound. So many decisions about strings. There is some difference. Many consider the nickel wound to be somewhat brighter. With aged ears and hearing loss I doubt I could hear much difference. Some folks use plain steel rather than wound for the bass string. Ken H. on this site is one who does that.

Juststrings.com offers single strings in loop end or ball end. Their website is very complete and it may take some exploring to find what you need. They are very helpful by phone or email if you have questions. I tend to purchase all ball end.  A couple of snips with wire nippers on the ball will break the soft material and then you have a loop end.

Keep asking questions. That is the way to learn.

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