Forum Activity for @silverstrings

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
09/15/20 10:25:44AM
38 posts

I ordered my own dulcimer


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

Very cool. I have 2 McSpaddens and a Black Mountain 58 deluxe. I still play my Black Mountain a lot. Did you go with the 81 deluxe and a gig bag? Those extra features are great and worth it. Also, the gig bag has a huge pocket that is actually large enough for books!!! My Black Mountain is my go to for my travels. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/03/20 01:13:21PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Great News! My dulcimer is really fixed. I found someone in North Georgia who actually cleaned up several frets, had to level one fret and built up the bridge under the bass string. Used a wood that matched perfectly. I did write to McSpadden since I had shipped the dulcimer once to them. They were willing to pay for the repair since I made the effort to ship it to them first under warranty. This restores my faith in McSpadden. Just wanted to let everyone know the update. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
06/10/20 10:20:31PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Thanks for asking. It is still under warranty, so I shipped to McSpadden. They heard nothing and replaced the zero fret. However, the problem was still there. Then I let my teacher hear and he clearly heard it. So, my husband did some fret adjustments. He put thin paper under nut slot of bass string. It is still there, but not as bad. I found another place willing to look at it. Just finding the time to do the drive. When I finally get fixed, I will definitely let you know. The bass string was sitting on the 3rd fret. The nut needed adjusting but is unmovable. My husband figured it out. But he is a guitar teacher and not a luthier so he adjusted a fret just a little. However, what he did made it bearable to play. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
06/04/20 10:17:44AM
38 posts

Posts are refreshing on home page?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

I have a new iPad Air and the posts are not refreshing on the home page. The post section stays blank and  then slowly comes up. I don’t have this problem on other sites. Is anyone else having this issue? Thanks

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/19/20 09:58:04AM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Yes, I did buff both nut and bridge. Maybe nut needs it more? Yep, hard to find .028 loop end strings. I thought about thinner. I didn’t know if that would make it worse. I tried 3 bass strings. Two of them were phosphor bronze and other steel? The latter was better. Thanks so much for getting back with me.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/19/20 09:12:07AM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Strumelia, any suggestions on strings to put on and see if there is still a vibrating buzz? Thanks

Dusty Turtle, I looked and neither McSpadden have the v shape in the slots! Weird, but my Black Mountain Dulcimer does have the v shaped slots. Which no matter what I do on it, no buzz. That is why I don’t think it is me. My all Walnut McSpadden does not buzz either. Just my FAVORITE sounding dulcimer. I believe there has to be an answer. 

Yes, Salt Springs, I did tighten up everything on the headstock. I appreciate you input.

 

 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 11:17:03PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Wow, I appreciate all the responses!

Strumelia, I am tuning to DAD.

Yes Salt Springs, that was my thought about tightening the 2 screws on the tuning peg. I did that a couple of days ago.

Dusty Turtle, I will take a look at the nut slot. Since I have shipped once already, I may have to have someone else look at it.

The bridge is unmovable so I can’t move it. I did however try to see if buzz sound happened when I put on bridge without being in the slot and it still buzzed. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 07:40:53PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

I have a 26” VSL. Melody String .012 , Middle String .016 and Bass .026

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 07:29:43PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Strumelia, do you think maybe putting a little bigger gauge would help? My husband suggested that might help. I put the capo on and wow, there goes the buzz. They don’t have any redwood for a while and other than this minor issue, I really don’t want to replace. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 02:23:19PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Okay, will do. I think I will not saw at the bridge anymore. Like you said, I don’t want to overdo it. Thanks so much. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 01:58:34PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Hmmm, I am making sure about my technique and your article is GREAT in describing finger positioning. For the most part, I learned the correct way but do get lazy. That does help. Weird, that when I am lazy the other two dulcimers (another McSpadden and a Black Mountain) are not SO sensitive. Jim did recut the bridge slots and the nut looks good. However, it is still different than the other McSpadden so I did the floss. Both technique and flossing it, tee hee, helped some. Still kind of there from time to time. 

This dulcimer has such a great “sound” that I really don’t want to replace it. That is why I shipped it in the first place. I am sure there is an answer. I really appreciate your input.

I will be interested to find out what Jim Woods says. I do respect his opinion. 

I may floss some more. That makes total sense. That problem was not there UNTIL I changed the strings.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 10:55:36AM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

Skip, Yes, I have tried the nut/bridge and the Luthier checked the action. I sent a video to him. Hopefully, that will answer some questions.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/18/20 10:32:53AM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

I retuned the dulcimer to EBE and that did not do the trick. Jim Woods is great. He is willing to replace, but wants to make sure that it is not something I am doing. I understand his point. If he makes another dulcimer for me and it is still doing it, then, it is me!!!  I love the sound of this dulcimer. I would rather it be, “pilot error” as Ken Holme stated.  What is weird is that buzz does not happen on my other McSpadden (which has a 1-1/2 fret) or my Black Mountain (which is an inferior dulcimer). I will let you all know what we find out. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
05/17/20 10:02:20PM
38 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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


I have s 26” VSL McSpadden in Redwood/Black Walnut. Only had a few months and when my husband changed the strings (he is a guitar teacher so knows what is doing), the bass string started buzzing sometimes at the headstock. It can happen on open chords, 1st fret and 2 fret. We changed the bass strings to squeakless then tried regular, which was not as bad. I shipped it and all frets they checked were good. They did replace zero fret and did some work on middle string. This dulcimer has great tone and I hate to return to get another one built. However, Jim Woods and several luthiers who work there could not hear the vibrating buzz that I was talking about. He is a great guy and trying to help me with this issue.  I thought about “living with it”. But I hear it a lot and it is annoying sounding. It did not sound that way before we changed the strings. I tried paper under bridge area, nut area, tightening screws, etc... 

 


updated by @silverstrings: 05/17/20 11:13:49PM
Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/15/20 12:36:33AM
38 posts

The "I have small hands" idea


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

Agreed, Strumelia! Your insights are eloquently stated. I am thankful that I do attend a dulcimer group as often as possible. They have been very helpful on the economy of movement when going up and down the fretboard. I was fortunate that a teacher from the group helped me with that right at the start of my playing. This site is wonderful. The dulcimer and the dulcimer community are a true treasure. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/14/20 09:57:08PM
38 posts

The "I have small hands" idea


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

Thanks for this thread on small hands and VSL. All of you have such good insights and it is much appreciated. I am a newbie to the dulcimer and love learning from those who are much farther down the road on this wonderful music journey.  I agree that it takes practice to get the stretch that you need. I have been playing the dulcimer daily for almost a year now. The first couple of weeks, the top of my chording hand (left) hurt. I wear a size 4 ring! I pushed through and now can stretch my very tiny hand flat 7 inches! I really don’t know what is was before.  I have a Redwood/Black Walnut 26” VSL McSpadden, as well as, an all Black Walnut 26” VSL McSpadden. The all Walnut is pretty loud and the harmonics and sustain are wonderful. Same with the Redwood/Walnut but a warmer, somewhat lower sounding instrument. I can do a 1-2-4 chord but it was hard at first. It does take practice but I am delighted and don’t think I would not want a dulcimer with any shorter than 25.5 or longer than 26.5”. I guess what I like is being able to pick up other people’s dulcimers. If I had decided to “give up” and settled for a very short VSL, I would not get the joy of trying out different dulcimers. Only time I had trouble playing one is when it was 28.5 VSL which was the standard McSpadden. 


updated by @silverstrings: 03/14/20 10:13:44PM
Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/06/20 08:01:18AM
38 posts

Hair line crack bottom back of walnut McSpadden


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

I did hear back from Jim Woods and he said that those were superficial and in the wood all along. It was not a result of damage and will not get worse.  If the dulcimer was unacceptable to me, he would allow me to keep it until another one was made and shipped to me. I told him that I love the sound and wanted to keep this dulcimer instead. When asking about varnish, he told me that I didn’t need to do anything to that area of the dulcimer. If I wanted, I could use furniture polish that did not contain silicone. Old English (in the bottle) would be fine. Jim Woods of McSpadden Dulcimers was really helpful. Thanks everyone for your input, too. I have been playing the dulcimer less than a year and still have a lot to learn about these wonderful instruments!

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/05/20 06:56:20AM
38 posts

Hair line crack bottom back of walnut McSpadden


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

Thanks to everyone! I agree with every comment. I did send photos to Jim Woods and asked suggestions. If I ever need it repaired, I will go to a dulcimer luthier. It makes my heart full to know that I have such a great sounding instrument. I will definitely take great care of it. Going to let you all know what Jim Woods says in his response. He has always been great about any questions I have had in the past while making the two dulcimers that I have from McSpadden. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/04/20 07:41:39AM
38 posts

Hair line crack bottom back of walnut McSpadden


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

Thanks, Ken. My husband, a jazz guitar teacher thought I should possibly get a replacement dulcimer. I did explain that I tried out every dulcimer by various makers at a recent festival and not one compares to the sound and balance that I get from this one. I wonder if they knew the wood had problems or that it just happened with this wood. Thoughts on that? The luthier said that there is no place to put the glue. If it gets worse, he would fix it for me. What is CA “superglue” and what kind of varnish would you suggest? Thanks Ken, for any input. My brother is an award winning sound mixer for Sony Pictures and even he says that he has never heard such a “magical” instrument! 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
03/03/20 09:57:40PM
38 posts

Hair line crack bottom back of walnut McSpadden


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

So, I live in North Georgia and am very careful with my Redwood/Black Walnut McSpadden. It has been a mild winter. I never leave it in the car. I take great care of it. I have only had for 8 months and noticed on the back bottom part of my dulcimer a few hairline cracks. I will call McSpadden as they made it for me. I did let my husband show to his luthier. The luthier says that sometimes makers see a problem in the grain and don’t want to remake it so they cover it up. I really love the sound and no light is coming through the wood. I want to approach the right way with McSpadden. I don’t want to give up this dulcimer and get another. The tone is unbelievable. However, I have never had this problem with a guitar. I feel like I am already very careful with this instrument. Suggestions are very welcome. I worked hard to get this wonderful instrument and can’t go out and buy another. Thanks.


461AECBF-4E45-4FCC-A19E-D46876A344B0.jpeg 461AECBF-4E45-4FCC-A19E-D46876A344B0.jpeg - 277KB
Silverstrings
@silverstrings
11/25/19 03:26:31PM
38 posts

To remove one string or not to remove, that’s the question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Lisa. I have a McSpadden and my melody strings are closed together, too. There are times when I am quickly sliding my thumb while anchoring the other strings in chord playing where the bottom two strings separate some. I might see if I can try out someone’s dulcimer in my group. That is a great idea.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
11/25/19 01:54:31PM
38 posts

To remove one string or not to remove, that’s the question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Dusty, I appreciate it. I played rhythm guitar on an acoustic in the past and didn’t want to give up the extra string either. I just went to my first dulcimer festival and one of my teachers suggested I remove the string. I am a chord player and want to improve on hammer on’s and pull offs, etc... I think I should try it. 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
11/25/19 10:59:42AM
38 posts

To remove one string or not to remove, that’s the question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So, everyone in my dulcimer group plays with 3 strings. I have resisted removing one of the melody strings. I thought the sound would be better with 4. However, after 8 months of playing I am doing more flat picking, hammer on’s and pull offs.  Pro’s and cons to removing the extra melody string is encouraged. Thanks!


updated by @silverstrings: 11/25/19 11:00:10AM
Silverstrings
@silverstrings
10/11/19 09:25:05PM
38 posts

McSpadden Possum Board Volume


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

LD. Thanks, I am seriously thinking of going ahead with the possum board. Thanks for your input. I have 2 McSpadden’s with 26” vsl. One is redwood with walnut and the other is all walnut with some extra frets. I love them both!

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
10/11/19 01:11:47PM
38 posts

McSpadden Possum Board Volume


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

LD, so you are at least glad you bought the MsSpadden possum board? I have a 26” dulcimer from them, too and love it. What does your Spalted Sycamore sound like and does it have Cherry sides and back? I am looking at one of theirs in the 26” vsl length. Thanks

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
10/11/19 01:09:51PM
38 posts

McSpadden Possum Board Volume


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

LD:

I just purchased a new McSpadden Spalted Sycamore top short scale dulcimer.  I also ordered the possum board.  I have never worked with one, and it clearly makes it louder.  I have not put a lot of time into it yet as the dulcimer really sounds true sitting flat on my lap, but my initial reaction is that it does bring out volume but some of the deeper tones got brighter.  Just an unscientific observation.  I have another brand dulcimer that completely loses the lower sound on my lap, and the maker will not make a possum board for me.  I think he sees it as an insult!  I may tackle that project myself.  Anyway, it certainly has a use, and in an ensemble setup, volume will be increased.  

 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
10/11/19 07:51:08AM
38 posts

McSpadden Possum Board Volume


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

I am thinking of getting a walnut possum board to increase the volume on my 2 McSpadden Dulcimers. Does anyone have one of these? I will be playing acoustically in groups mostly and am not ready to think of external pickups and amps. Thanks!

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
08/30/19 01:17:32PM
38 posts

The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore TAB?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Thanks. I think you are correct. I am coming up with my own version on the dulcimer. Thank goodness I just got a dulcimer with the extra 1+ fret! Got the chords and a few lines worked out. 

 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
08/29/19 09:49:02PM
38 posts

The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore TAB?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs


Does anymore know where I could find the TAB for The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore by Jean Ritchie? Thanks. I can play the chords in Em but want the TAB if possible.

 

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
08/13/19 07:07:15PM
38 posts

Black Mountain Instruments still making dulcimers?


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

I am curious to know if Black Mountain Instruments out of California is still in business. Does anyone know? I looked online and have the impression that they are not still making dulcimers. Thanks

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/29/19 06:45:33PM
38 posts

Buzzing with pull offs- me or the dulcimer


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

Thanks for all the great insight and advice. I realized once I got to my Dulcimer Group, that my technique was the problem.  Greg Gunner, I think you nailed it. I am new at this so I am actually glad it was not my instrument. I even tried my bad technique on my Teacher’s standard McSpadden and realized I did the same thing! I appreciate all of you at FOTMD! Great site.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/23/19 10:28:09PM
38 posts

Buzzing with pull offs- me or the dulcimer


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

When I am practicing pulls offs on the Bass and Middle strings on the 1st and @nd frets, sometimes I get a buzz and sometimes not. Seems like I have to pull off very lightly. Is this due to my technique or lack of technique? I just got a wonderful sounding McSpadden so I hope it is me and not the instrument. My cheapest guitar doesn’t do it when I pull off. 

Any suggestions? Thanks

FYI, it is a 26”vsl and I do tune mostly in CGC because my Dulcimer tunes to CGC.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/13/19 07:42:48AM
38 posts

Ebony versus Micarta Fretboard on McSpadden Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, I do like the Micarta. Even Jim Woods of McSpadden told me that if he were building a dulcimer for himself now, he would go with Micarta. I know Ebony is rare now to get so I didn’t know if I should have it this time around. However, I live in a high humidity area. I have only been playing 3 months. Right from the get go, not only was it smooth, I found myself being able to look away from the fretboard from time to time while flatpicking. Slow, flatpicking, of course, tee hee.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/13/19 12:43:01AM
38 posts

Ebony versus Micarta Fretboard on McSpadden Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have a Micarta Fretboard on my McSpadden Dulcimer and love it. I am thinking about getting another McSpadden made with some additions and different woods. I was wondering about any experiences of other regarding Micarta versus Ebony for a fretboard in sound, durability and feel. Thanks


updated by @silverstrings: 07/13/19 07:38:03AM
Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/09/19 10:25:31AM
38 posts

Blue Lion IW Style 1 Red Cedar & Walnut question


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

Thanks everyone for your responses. I did the math and it would not save me much money. I just bought the McSpadden in my profile picture and will hold off for now. Dusty, the strings being farther apart and the floating bridge kind of made me rethink it. I want a dulcimer with a 1-1/2 fret down the road and am willing to wait. Again, thanks to Banjimer and Dusty Turtle.

Silverstrings
@silverstrings
07/08/19 09:38:42PM
38 posts

Blue Lion IW Style 1 Red Cedar & Walnut question


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

Does anybody have an opinion about the Blue Lion style 1 with Red Cedar and Walnut? I am wanting a big, warm sound. It also has a 1-1/2 fret that I will need in the future. There is a used one that I am really interested in purchasing. Thanks