Forum Activity for @corvus

Corvus
@corvus
11/03/21 12:42:04AM
15 posts

Painful thumb


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Also, if the string is too high over the fretboard then that can make it much harder to press the string down with the thumb. 


updated by @corvus: 11/03/21 12:52:09AM
Corvus
@corvus
11/02/21 09:23:41AM
15 posts

Painful thumb


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Using a thumb, be it the left hand thumb for fretting or right hand thumb for picking, will always make the thumb feel sore when you do it for the first time or after a long break from playing. It will feel even worse if you continue to play while the thumb is sore. 

The following solution works every time for me. When the thumb starts to get a little bit sore, then stop playing for the day. Then for the following week or so, just play gently for about 5 minutes on the first day, increasing the time by about 5 minutes or so each day. Keep it gentle and do it every day for about 7  to 10 days. It's very important to immediately stop playing if the thumb gets too sore during this period, then maybe give it a two day break.

By the end of that one to two weeks of playing the skin on your thumb will be much harder and you should by then be able to play for quite long periods with no pain.

 

Corvus
@corvus
09/10/21 09:31:43PM
15 posts

Can you tell me about Curt Mangan FusionMatched strings?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I have always found that thicker unwound strings produce a slightly louder and more mellow tone than thinner unwound strings.Regarding the wound D string, you are clearly aware that the different materials used can produce slightly different tones (though I've never tried the string brand you mentioned), and like the unwound strings a thicker wound string will produce a slightly louder, more mellow tone, compared to a thinner wound string made of the same material.

For the 27" VSL you mentioned, tuned DAD, I'd suggest the following string gauges for a loud, yet more mellow, tone ..... 13 13 16/or17 and 26 for the D wound string. Those gauges will provide a strong, sweet, slightly more mellow tone. With those gauges, if you have a high string action then it will be marginally more difficult to press the strings down, and if you have a low string action then the dulcimer will be just as easy to play with the thicker strings.


updated by @corvus: 09/10/21 09:34:33PM
Corvus
@corvus
06/13/21 11:48:02AM
15 posts

What's the exact difference between a dulcimore and dulcimer


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


From the pictures I've seen they both seem to be extremely similar indeed. Do you know who invented the word dulcimore, and who invented the word dulcimer?

 

Corvus
@corvus
05/16/20 11:39:14AM
15 posts

Humidity and a sticky fretboard


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

As bodily fluids are not exactly the same from person to person you'll sometimes find that a specific remedy will work well for one person but not another person. For me, the following remedy works great. Whenever the fretboard  gets a bit yucky I simply immerse a cloth into very hot water, then squeeze the cloth till it's only damp, then wipe the fretboard whilst the cloth is still very warm. Just wipe it over the top of the strings, back and forth a few times, and then wipe it again straight away with a clean, dry cloth.

There's lots of products that contain all sorts of chemicals, but I've found the warm, damp cloth method works really well for me. Hope that helps.

Corvus
@corvus
05/16/20 11:24:19AM
15 posts

Tips what do you bring when traveling with your dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Only 1 thing is necessary, an insatiable desire to play your dulcimer again and again and again and again and again. If that's the only extra thing you have, then you'll be living in dulcimer Heaven.

Corvus
@corvus
05/16/20 04:19:03AM
15 posts

Is the strumhollow redundant?


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

The strumhollow is certainly not redundant, in fact dozens of thousands of players pick & strum in that area. That area provides a slightly stronger and brighter tone which is precisely what many dulcimer players want. Other players will use both the strumhollow & fretboard area & some players use the fretboard area exclusively in order to get a more mellow tone and for other reasons.

It's important for us to remember there is no correct way and no wrong way. No superior way and no inferior way. If it works for you then 'your' way is what you should use.

A huge majority of dulcimers are built with strumhollows & that is driven by public demand. If nobody wanted strumhollows then builders would not build strumhollows.

Corvus
@corvus
05/16/20 02:49:13AM
15 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

When I said it was was just like the old ED I was referring to the design & format of the discussion forum.

I think we should all remember it's not a competition. I believe we should all be inclusive of, and supportive of, all dulcimer websites & dulcimer Facebook sites etc.

Let's spread the dulcimer 'love'.

Corvus
@corvus
05/14/20 08:35:55AM
15 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I've just discovered that the ED site is now back up and running again.The discussion forum there is just like the old discussion forum. It's been back on line for several months.

I'm very happy that it's back. It was my favorite dulcimer website for years. Just go to the usual www.everythingdulcimer.com  address.


updated by @corvus: 05/14/20 08:37:17AM
Corvus
@corvus
05/09/20 11:10:23AM
15 posts

VSL Breakpoint Angles, Radiuses, and Excess String Lengths


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


Matt is totally correct with his definition of the 2 words bridge and saddle. Close to all dulcimers have a saddle. A saddle is a separate bearing surface and it is inserted into  a bridge (on mandolins, guitars etc). Hardly any dulcimers have a bridge, so the saddle is instead inserted into a groove on top of the dulcimers fret board just behind the strum hollow, or sometimes it just rests on the top and is moveable for intonation purposes. A tiny minority of dulcimers have a bridge that runs at a 90 degree angle to the fretboard; this bridge is usually glued directly onto to the soundboard, and a saddle is inserted into the top of the bridge.  Either way, the strings are positioned on top of the saddle. They are the facts and virtually 99.99999% of luthiers worldwide are aware of the correct definitions.

The vibrations go from the strings directly into the saddle, then into the bridge below or in the case of dulcimers into the fret board below, they are then transmitted into the soundboard, sides and back.


updated by @corvus: 05/09/20 11:54:43AM
Corvus
@corvus
01/15/20 08:48:31AM
15 posts

New to me, Q’s on nut/bridge fit and strings.


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


Glen, because you can tune the open strings to sound correct yet when you fret them at the 1st fret they sound sharp, will almost certainly mean the action at the nut is too high. Lowering the nut action so that the action is low and easy at that end of the fretboard will instantly get rid of this note sharpness problem in that area of the fretboard. The only thing that would prevent this simple solution from working is if the nut is incorrectly positioned and even more so if it's incorrectly positioned in combination with an incorrectly positioned saddle/bridge. All this is assuming the frets are correctly positioned, if they are not then that would complicate things a great deal.

Also, it's probably best to not rely too much on tuners for tuning, other than tuning one initial open note in order to set the pitch. After you get that open note accurate then tune all other notes via your ear taking into account the relationship of the subsequent notes to each other and to the initial note.

And one final fact, no fretted stringed instrument can be tuned perfectly for everything. Perfect tuning requires specific fret placement combined with specific tuning techniques, and those placement and techniques differ depending on the music played. In other words, what's perfectly in tune for one type of music can be quite imperfectly out of tune for other types of music. That's why throughout the cultures around the world there's many different and complex approaches to fret placement.


updated by @corvus: 01/15/20 09:06:11AM
Corvus
@corvus
01/14/20 10:00:50PM
15 posts

1-2-4 Chord Surprise!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lisa, I've been playing the dulcimer for decades and find the following rule to be 100% accurate for me "the more you play the easier it gets, especially if you're having fun doing it".


updated by @corvus: 01/14/20 10:01:35PM