Forum Activity for @wally-venable

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
02/15/24 10:34:44PM
50 posts

Ergonomics and Wrist Strain


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

As to seating position, I'm only about 5' 6" tall, with short legs. My lap is horizontal when I sit in a 1950s vintage wooden folding chair, but on more modern chairs for table use my lap slopes down in the wrong direction. I carry a piece of hard urethane packing foam about 3" thick and 12" square to use as a foot rest. (That beats trying to find and carry a Sears catalog or city phone book, or hauling my own chair around.) My elbows are above the dulcimer in my lap and my forearms about horizontal.

Some short folks put their heels on the front cross bar of steel chairs and achieve about the same effect.

Time spent on working out your seating is a good long-term investment.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
02/13/24 08:41:44AM
50 posts

Ergonomics and Wrist Strain


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Given the wide variety of playing styles used on the dulcimer, I don't think there is any "proper form."

Noter-drone playing puts a very different stress on the wrist than any form of chording. Some people I have met who have hand issues find it the only way they can play. It is part of the reason I play almost exclusively in that style. I use a noter which is about 3/8 inch in diameter and about 6 inches long with my forefinger on top and the heal on the noter at my wrist.

You appear in your photo to be playing chords, so that probably won't helpyou at the present, but of your problem becomes severe, consider the noter-drone tradition before giving up.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/07/24 08:49:44AM
50 posts

String suggestions


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

One basic point in looking for strings. Until about 10 or 15 years ago, there were no "dulcimer strings." Ball end strings were part of the guitar string rack while loop end strings were banjo strings. Either will be more than long enough.

Just avoid violin, mandolin, and ukulele strings or you will end up with something too short.

I hypothesize that many of the early builders bought banjo strings from mail order vendors like Sears. Some would have purchased rolls of piano wire and put their own loops on it, but a roll of piano wire is pretty long and might be a lifetime supply.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/03/24 10:32:40PM
50 posts

Robert N. Lackey, rest in peace


OFF TOPIC discussions

Norma and I attended a good many sessions by or with Bob in the Morgantown-Fairmont-Fort New Salem, WV over the past eight or ten years. He was always good company.

We now remember not seeing him at dulcimer events over the past year or so.

We will miss him.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/03/24 09:02:00AM
50 posts

Traditional role of the mountain dulcimer.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken said:
....  There probably were no Euro-trained luthiers among the Moravians, the builders to follow were trying to replicate instruments that had come from the old country....

Nor among the Germans, Scots, Irish, etc. but it is almost certain that simple fiddles were being made and played. As I have noted before, there is still a culture of "cigar box" instrument makers, many of whom are now making instruments with electric pickups. I suspect that wood from shipping boxes for various imports was used because it was available in usable "thinnesses."

I can remember 75 years ago when "orange crates" were made of rather high quality stock about 1/4 inch thick. Cub Scout manuals provided plans for making stuff from such readily available recyclables."

Ken also said "prior to that there were wood/bone/ivory inlaid frets or the tied gut frets of Lutes.  Mushroom frets weren't invented until the mid 1800s in Europe."

I can imagine using the wood from small boxes set in slots cut with a cross-cut or furniture maker's back saw as frets. I seem to recall that some match boxes had wood parts when I was a child, and you can produce small pieces of thin wood with a simple plane.

It's easy to envision hill folks as "having nothing," but the reality is that most communities had craftsmen capable of making windows and doors and their frames, country furniture, etc. as well as the occasional gift of extremely high quality. There would have been good quality saws, planes, knives, and chisels, in most of the smallest villages and on many farms.

Most hill folks went to the county, or township, seat to pay taxes, serve on juries, consult real estate lawyers, and so on. The men-folks served in the army. They didn't live in complete isolation and saw most of the "high tech" of the day.

While I have been part of a university community I have had neighbors who lived with more-or-less 1899 resources, so I have some first hand knowledge.

And we know that many of the earliest dulcimer vendors lived in towns.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
12/06/23 09:39:36AM
50 posts

Traditional role of the mountain dulcimer.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It seems to me that the inquiry of "what the mountain dulcimer's role was in the area it came from a hundred odd years ago" is attaching undo importance to the instrument. It is a FOLK INSTRUMENT, something which can be made at home and used to create music.

We might ask the same question about the bones, spoons, shipping crate drums, cigar box fiddles, the washtub base, the monkey stick/Stumph Fiddle, cigar box uke/guitar, and many other musical devices. All of these have enthusiastic contemporary users and builders with forums, etc. and are used in public performances. I think all of them are also commercially produced and sold to a widespread market.

As a parallel to the current interest in the lap dulcimer, look at the cajón (Ca-HOne). It is a wooden box on which you sit and pound. In its modern version it is a Peruvian folk instrument, and you can easily pay $400 for a top grade one through Walmart's on-line shopping. You can find YouTube instruction on how to play it, ensembles, and get lessons at many music schools.

Enjoy your dulcimer, I enjoy my assortment along with other instruments. By all means, study its history. But we shouldn't make it into something of great world-wide importance.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/28/23 06:17:17PM
50 posts

6 String Dulcimer Question


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

Most of my playing is on a small 6-string dulcimer which I adapted from a Korean instrument probably made in the 1960s.

I play noter-drone in Daa, but I use octave pairs on the middle and bass - Dd-Aa-aa. I use an 0.030W on the middle A. It probably is 0.012, 0.012, 0.014, 0.030, 0.012 and 0.028W.

I like it, and it is soft enough that no one in our group notices my mistakes, or at least is polite enough not to mention them.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/26/23 10:35:46AM
50 posts

Accompaniment


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The dulcimer was devised for playing for one's own enjoyment, or for a few family members, not an "audience." This would probably have been in a room in a small home after the player's work was done in winter, or on a porch in the summer. Other family members often would have been reading, sewing, washing dishes, etc. 

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/24/23 01:19:46PM
50 posts

How to train my ear


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I should have written

"Perfect pitch" is often considered a curse. I had a friend with perfect pitch who, 60 years ago, found that almost all the pianos in a good showroom were off key, and she couldn't play most of them beause they hurt her ears.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/24/23 01:07:22PM
50 posts

How to train my ear


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You should be able to distinguish between a whole step and a half step in American/European music. To "learn" absolute pitch shouldn't be a goal. (Some Asian and African music doesn't use European intervals based on a logarithmic scales.) Good musicians play intervals, unless of course they are "bending" a note artistically.

Digital tuners with absolute reference to frequency haven't been around very long. We didn't have precise standards in the not-so-different past. We had tuning forks and reed pitch pipes, both of which produce tones which will vary minutely with temperature. To mention only two countries, the USA and Austria (home of Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) used different pitches for the A to which they tuned.

A band from the 1920-1950 period would have tuned to the piano, if they used one, which would have been relatively tuned if it was "in tune."

A symphony orchestra tuned to whatever A the oboe played at the beginning of the concert. The oboeist might or might not have used a fork or pipe as a reference.

As the saying goes, "this ain't rocket science, it's art." "Perfect pitch" is often considered a curse. I had a friend who, 60 years ago, found that all the pianos in a good showroom were out of tune, and she couldn't play any of them.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/24/23 09:00:18AM
50 posts

How to train my ear


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm with Ken, to a large extent. Few of us "train" our ears, but "our ears learn."

We learn, I think, by having music in two forms at the same time. Playing or singing while hearing others in a group. Plying or singing while reading music as sheet music or TABs. Singing along with a record.

A set of instructions in any form may help because it is structured so that your experience is expanded, not because it is just repeated.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/19/23 08:22:53AM
50 posts

Fiddle


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I've learned a lot by buying "$100 dollar instruments" on sale at $30 or so on the Shop Goodwill website and working on them.

You can't buy much of a lesson for $30.

I haven't had to try learning sound post setting yet. I don't bid on ones which are shown with the bridge out. I bought a post setting tool on eBay for less than $10.

Glad your experiment ended productively.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/18/23 05:47:41PM
50 posts

Fiddle


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

The general advice is NEVER TAKE ALL THE STRINGS OFF A FIDDLE AT THE SAME TIME. (Unless you are a luthier doing a major repair.)

String tension holds the sound post in place. You place the sound post and, carefully position it, with all strings loose. Tightening strings without a soundpost can break the face.

Before they were installed, the pegs were probably all the same. During set-up or a service, individual holes may have have been reamed and pegs smoothed with a sort-of pencil sharpener to improve fit and smooth turning.

I'd suggest looking at http://www.makingtheviolin.com/ before fiddling with fiddles. There are other useful violin sites, of course.

Actually "one string at a time" is good general advice when replacing strings on any string instrument, including dulcimers.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/18/23 10:09:47AM
50 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

@shannmilan... My path won't work for you.

We have a local lap dulcimer group which meets twice a week in two different configurations, one for beginners in a classroom setting, one for sort'a playing as a group. My wife has attended both for about five years, I've been taking an active part for about two.

I don't practice, so my skills aren't that good, but I have acquired a LOT of knowledge, as well as becoming a technician.

I also studied violin as a kid, sung in choruses, and am teaching myself viola, arranging music for a crank organ and trying to learn to practice.

As far as "courses" goes, what courses are available to you? Unless you live near me, I can't make a suggestion, except possibly for on-line resources.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
09/02/23 09:58:25AM
50 posts

The Joy of Sharing Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

How serious can you get with a recorder? See the following:

J.S. Bach Toccata & Fuge d-Moll BWV 565 arr. for recorder orchestra
Berliner Blockflöten Orch

Dietrich Schnabel - Symphony 1, mvmt 4

Three Irish traditional - Quinta Essentia Recorder Quartet & Paul Leenhouts I Quarteto Flauta Doce
Quinta Essentia Quarteto

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
09/02/23 09:37:30AM
50 posts

The Joy of Sharing Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I suspect that the recorder over tin whistle choice is often snob-ism. The American Recorder Society says

"Rather than a mere toy, an educational aid, or a simple musical instrument suitable only for amateurs, the recorder is a vehicle for serious musical expression demanding years of dedicated study. It has a long and interesting history and can lay claim to an extensive and highly varied repertoire spanning eight centuries. It has always enjoyed a particularly rich representation in literature, drama, painting and sculpture."
https://americanrecorder.org/about_the_recorder.php

Similarly, four year olds should be given lessons on the violin or piano, not the dulcimer.

IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING FUN OR ENJOYING MUSIC! (Or learning to count.)

As a result, where I live you can buy a recorder in a "dollar store" for $1.25 whereas you have to go to a music store to buy a tin whistle for $9.95.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
05/19/23 09:34:49AM
50 posts

Dulcimer Players News demise


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Keeping such things alive is simple. All you have to do is find a individual willing to pledge say $30,000 a year to under-right operating losses. That would keep the Editor from having to do so from personal resources.

For that you could hire a young person to do so, and maybe find a solution to bringing new folks into our fold.

For better or worse, people under 35 seem expect to be paid as Executive Directors of things us "over 70s" did as volunteers.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
05/14/23 09:41:25AM
50 posts

Converting a 4 String Dulcimer to a 3 String


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

There is no standard for string spacing. In fact there are few "standards" for anything regarding dulcimers.

In making simple capos I have found that fretboards vary in width from about 1 3/8 inch to maybe 1 3/4 inch. Usually the outer strings are about 1/4 inch from each side.

I would suggest that if you are fingering you might want 1/2 inch between the strings. For noter-drone playing, you might prefer to have the melody closer to the edge.

The simple answer is just pick a slot and you will get used to the spacing as you play.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/12/23 05:31:47PM
50 posts



I just bought a Hondo II dulcimer on ShopGoodWill. I bought it primarily to study the stick/fretboard, which has a unusual, if not unique, head. it also has no strum hollow.

There is a good set of photos of a similar instrument at

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-hondo-ii-string-mountain-1837332089

The VSL is 26 1/2 inches with LOA of about 34 1/2 inches. No 6+ fret.

It, and the case are in like-new condition. It came with a collection of Vega banjo strings.

It had 8 picks, including the one inside the body, of a type I have never seen before. They are marked Jim Dunlop on one side and USA Nylon .38 MM on the other. They are so thin you can read type through them!

I could see in the on-line photos that the bridge and nut had been reversed so the the doubled strings were on what is normally the bass side. When I placed my winning bid I thought it was for left handed playing, but when I looked again at the photos of my prize, I saw that the two were different diameters. It is set up with an octave string paired with the bass.

The strings were all loose when it arrived, so I don't know how it was intended to be tuned. I have started with Cc-g-g. I'll probably move it up to Dd-a-a first, then put a larger string on the middle to make it Dd-A-a.

It's certainly worth the $45 with shipping which I paid as an educational experience!


updated by @wally-venable: 05/07/23 09:48:59PM
Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/02/23 09:27:19AM
50 posts

Liquid Electrical Tape


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

I have used "Liquid Electrical Tape" on a number of things to improve holding them or creating non-slip surfaces. The attached .PDF describes how I have used in to make picks harder to loose.


Liquid Tape.pdf - 153KB
Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/30/23 08:59:27AM
50 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ooops, I Googled CGB, but got CBG. Maybe it is a tuning for a lower voice, aeolian mode.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/30/23 08:55:41AM
50 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I would have guessed that it was a tuning, one full step down from DAC, but I Googled it.

Turns out is is "Cigar Box Dulcimer." that is an instrument with a rectangular box body and a neck. It is not a dulcimer, by our standards. And the body is probably not a real cigar box.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
01/03/23 10:08:12AM
50 posts

Recommendations for best software for splitting PDFs?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

In Windows, with many .PDF files you can Right-Click on a page, turning it blue. Then select Copy Image. You then go to your favorite graphics program and use Paste As New Image, then save the song as a page image. This assumes that the pages are, in fact, images, it won't work with straight text.

Drag-&-Drop would probably work, too, but I haven't tried it. You might Drag-&Drop into a Word file and save as .PDF, but I haven't tried that either.

The technique probably also works in other operating systems.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
10/14/22 10:42:58AM
50 posts



I'm with John.

I'd get tuners which match the originals (more or less). Easy to remove and install.

If you don't have an electronic tuner, get one. They can save a lot of strings if you aren't skilled at tuning, and of course the tuner can be moved to your shorter VSL instrument. My preference is a KORG tuner with a clip-on guitar pickup, but I have also been happy with the cheap ($4 from China) JOYO type

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
07/24/22 12:03:36PM
50 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

The lap dulcimer is a very simple musical instrument, but it is a musical instrument. I believe that there are a few people who do lack the requisite skills.

If you can't tell Go Tell Aunt Rhodie from Frere Jaques you will have challenges. Some sense of melody is required.

There are also folks with no real sense of rhythm - folks who will bring a drum to a jam session and just bang on it, missing the beat. Dulcimer tunes include a wide variety of note lengths (quarter, half, eighth, etc.) In our local group the comment, "Well, at least we all finished at the same time," is sometimes good for a laugh.

As a dulcimer player, I am a beginner, but I have been attending our local dulcimer group sessions for several years, sometimes playing ukulele or U-Bass. I've been watching how others learn and how and why others are challenged.

If you didn't have trouble in primary school music, and/or can comfortably sing along with hymns or patriotic songs at gatherings you should be OK.

Keep your initial sessions short. Few beginners can really stand a full-hour lesson. If you find yourself saying "I've got to get this right," you're pushing too hard. Learning curves are only steep if you try going too fast.
Wally Venable
@wally-venable
07/23/22 04:18:32PM
50 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

There are a lot of "details" which are easily skipped over when learning on your own. Many of these have to do with getting comfortable. Many of them are treated trivially in books and videos and easily missed.

For me, and many others, chair height is an issue. I'm short, and modern chairs are made too high to be good. I use a 2 inch foam foot block to raise my knees so the dulcimer doesn't slide away. That beats toting a 1950s vintage chair which does fit me. Some folks use straps, mats, etc. to reduce slipping, but proper height  and angle can provide a serious advantage.

Almost everyone uses a chair without arms. When a gathering is being set up, this is usually a discussion topic.

Where are you going to put your book while playing? Traditional music stands are great if you are playing most orchestral instruments, but put the music too high if you are looking at both the paper and your frets. You probably want a table about 25 (not 30) inches high.

Since you will not be learning these things in a group, when you watch videos, study how the performers set up.

There is no one right way for everyone. 

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
07/23/22 12:21:57PM
50 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

How well you can learn on your own depends on many factors.

What is your previous musical experience? Have you taken violin lessons or learned to play some other instrument by ear? Can you sing folk songs? How is your sense of rhythm? Any such experience can either help or hinder your learning.

As a starting point, you should be trying simple songs which you already know, and work from clearly printed TABS for those pieces.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
07/23/22 09:46:14AM
50 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I haven't found anything better than The Dulcimer Book. Ritchie's book will be a little challenging for some because of her suggestions on learning to tune. Some will be a bit put off by her early introduction of alternate tunings.

If possible, find a local group and learn "their way," at least that way you  you can ask questions and get demonstrations.

A lot of the YouTube stuff is posted by folks trying to sell you lessons.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/28/22 07:46:56AM
50 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've used "dollar store" nail clippers. Hard to beat the price and they can get lost in a gig bag.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/07/22 06:25:50PM
50 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have short lower legs (28 inch inseam), although I'm about 5' 6" in overall height. Chairs from the 1930-1950 period fit me fine, bur chairs have grown about 2" since about 1960.

I use a block of foam (firm urethane?) which is about 2" thick and about 10 by 12 inches on top as a foot rest. It is half of a piece of shipping foam from a computer or something. I ran a piece of paracord through a hole across one end. It's light, doesn't shed or need cleaning, and the cord makes it easy to carry.

The foot block sure beats carrying an old wooden folding chair.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/04/22 12:08:59PM
50 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

>>> get an electronic tuner.

I agree, although many now like to use a cell phone APP.

>>> Use the tuner to verify that the frets are properly placed.

Yes, if the tuner shows every not is "in the green" you don't have problems with fret placement. Using your method, if the strings are high, a tuner will "tell you" that the frets are misplaced.

If you have a good ear, simply playing the octave fret will tell you a whole lot about intonation. The error may be either bad fretting or string height.

And we have not touched on "buzzing" which may also require correction.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/04/22 09:28:11AM
50 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I would absolutely tell anyone with no dulcimer experience or first hand technical advisor NOT to buy a dulcimer kit from anyone.

If you don't really know what you are doing, shop in a face-to-face setting where you can try out the instrument and discuss it with the seller. Preferably the seller should demonstrate the instrument.

I suspect that the "unplayable" Applecreek dulcimers primarily need a proper setup. It is common in the music world for factory made instruments to be shipped with the expectation that the selling dealer will do a setup to meet the customer's needs. This is primarily adjusting string height, but also may involve other details. In the ukulele world, string heights are typically too high because lowering them is easy, but raising them isn't. This is probably true for most low priced fretted instruments. If you buy such an instrument, the retail dealer, not the manufacturer or wholesale distributor, is responsible for assuring that the instrument is ready for use.

Wooden instruments can, or will, change between the time they are built and the time the first owner begins to play them. Woods bend, and exposure to string tension can also alter them. No builder can predict the changes.

Generally speaking, if you are ordering an instrument costing $500 or so directly from a well established builder, it will probably be checked and setup before shipping. This is partly because the builder's reputation is at stake and partly because the builder is doing retail business.

For those with a good musical ear, I suspect that if the heights are just a bit high a dulcimer set up with (common) 0.012 strings and which plays "OK" in DAA tuning might be irritating if tuned to DAD, but OK in DAD if restrung with 0.010 melody strings. Correcting that sort of thing is "setup." My opinion on that is based on 70+ years of playing string instruments, training in physics, and amateur building of a variety of fretted instruments. It's not "Rocket Science," but it is precision technology.

I have seen dulcimers from semi-pro builders which were NOT properly set up. Knowing wood working isn't the same are knowing lutherie.

With regard to natural wood versus cardboard versus laminated construction, you should not generalize. All need setup, whether by the builder, retailer, or buyer.

Our local dulcimer group instructor bought a batch of cardboard dulcimers for loan to students. They have served us well for a decade or so, but this is because her guitar player husband spent hours doing the setup, as well as some assembly. She also purchased a group of Applecreek instruments, but again they got an adequate checkout.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/04/22 09:18:17AM
50 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

... Or to be lent to a complete stranger with no experience who wants to explore playing music.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
06/02/22 08:51:46AM
50 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That has not been my experience.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
05/31/22 08:10:17AM
50 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If the cardboard dulcimer kits were less than $50, I'd support the suggestion that they are a good first instrument. My wife started on a borrowed one.

Given price realities, I'd strongly recommend the small Applecreek dulcimer. Musician's Friend sells it for about $90 including shipping.It is also available elsewhere, including local music stores, for about $130.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-traditional-instruments/apple-creek-dulcimer/510985000000000?cntry=US&cur=USD&utm_content=510985000000000--Apple+Creek+Dulcimer&source=3WWRWXGS&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-daUBhCIARIsALbkjSYEltKaS7Fs8hL-W8oj-b52fwkpBeVI-o4TqblScoCbR7xYsnzMqiMaAlBiEALw_wcB

It has a nice sound. It's built in an ISO 9001 certified musical instrument factory in Romania from the same woods that the company uses to produce violins, guitars, etc.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/30/22 08:40:26AM
50 posts

Looking for a Small Dulcimer


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

Thanks for pointing out the CAPRITAURUS DULCIMER. At over $600, it is well above my friend's price range.

After my telling her about the available options she has decided to buy her own new small Apple Creek instrument. They are readily available for under $150 with case.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/26/22 10:20:26AM
50 posts

HELP- Broken tuner peg


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

On reflection, a screw driver bit on a 1/4" socket wrench would allow greater downward pressure and torque than any regular screw driver. An extension would help, too.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/26/22 08:59:44AM
50 posts

HELP- Broken tuner peg


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

It looks to me that the string hole is now more-or-less a slot. First, I'd try using a screw driver, but not really expecting that to work.

My second try would be to deepen the slot with a saw and files. This would require removing other strings and maybe some pins. I think that would require less skill than drilling for a screw extractor.

It also looks to me like the string hole in the broken pin might have been off-center. I would also be concerned about the variation between notes in the string windings.

If the pin holes do not go all the way through the wood, some may have bottomed out. The pins may not have been backed out enough before winding on the new strings.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/08/22 04:58:39PM
50 posts

Looking for a Small Dulcimer


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

Oops. I thought I had indicated that our local group is tuned DAA. I guess I assumed that mentioning the Apple Creek dulcimer and posting here had covered it. Sorry.

I'm collecting the suggestions.

As Susie noted, things like the Little Dulcimers List tend to drift out of date. There isn't a strong sustained demand for 24 VSL instruments. I've built several, but don't add my name to the list, 'cause I build straight sided things for personal use. I could use my home-built band saw to do a sawn frame build, but I won't.

Looking for the McSpadden Ginger has an interesting result. When you Google it the page says " 26" Fret Scale Dulcimer ". You have to click on a particular Ginger model to get the "23 3/16" fretboard" and "Optional setups are ... and D-A-AA" information. I'm sure it would be a good choice, but, at $500+ without case, I don't know if it is within her price range.

Wally Venable
@wally-venable
03/07/22 04:00:13PM
50 posts

Looking for a Small Dulcimer


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


We have a friend who is looking for a small dulcimer. She is currently playing a borrowed small Apple Creek instrument. She has tried "full size" instruments and is uncomfortable with them.

I would describe her desires as follows:

24 inch VSL
Hourglass body
Geared tuners
6 1/2 fret
Holes you can't drop a pick in
Good sound
Not looking for a specific wood
New or used OK
Moderate price

Any suggestions?

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