FOTMD's 10th Birthday Pickled Dulcimer Contest!! (contest CLOSED)
OFF TOPIC discussions
I had a Keith Johnson hourglass which I sold to another member here. It was well made and sounded good. Mine had handmade pegs instead of geared tuners. I enjoyed it while I had it, and its new owner enjoys it now.
San Francisco Bay Blues, Bird on a Wire, any country song before 1970, Peaceful Easy Feeling was one of the 1st songs I learned on the dulcimer, Desperados Waiting for a Train, Lulu's Back in Town, Ain't Misbehaving (including all the dim and minor chords on a dulcimer with no extra frets.) So many songs.... so little time!
Thank you DT, Ken, Janene, Jim and Cindy. It's been a fun time playing in a band, particularly one of this genre. We may look "fun" but really we're a bunch of crusty old farts (Except Susie and Brian and Christy who wasn't there.)
Sunday we were presented with the Traditions award from the Folklife Center of Fairmont State University. We played for about 20 minutes after the presentation of the award.
It was a great honor to receive it.
Interesting instrument. I don't know either if it's a tulip or lyre, but my money's on tulip. I know where Volga is, but don't know anyone who lives there. In fact, it's not far from here in Barbour County. I have an hourglass made in the county seat of Barbour Co. and it's 4 independent strings as well. Have you started with the bridge set the same distance from the 7th fret as from the nut to the 7th and see how close the intonation is.
2 dulcimers is a great way to go to jams. If you're in DAA then raise the bass string to E and your A melody & middle strings are in A mixolydian, EAA (Like DAd.) If you're in DAd then lower the A string to G and you're in G ionian, DGd (like DAA.) If there are some songs in C then take the DGd and capo on 3. This will get you started in jams.
Nigel, as others have mentioned, picks are personal. I have a bag of picks of all kinds in my case, most of which I never use. Jerry Rockwell turned me on to "Pointless Picks," round ones that I really like for some things. I have a V-Pick "Bing" for use when I need to "stand out." Some Hercos including the one Ken H mentioned and some Dunlops. Even tho' I have a couple in the bag, I hate floppy picks. Floppier the pick, the less control you have. Bottom line: try out a bunch (another fav of mine is the Star Pick, the green ones) and buy more of what you like and put the others in a bag. When you find other dulcimer players who didn't bring a pick you can whip out the bag and say, "Well, here's a few." LOL
That's a pretty cool discussion. I hadn't started playing the dulcimer again when it took place in 2010. Oh to know several years ago what I know today about older dulcimers and players, etc. I'm ordering my copy of Anne Grimes book today!
Oh, and Jeff's dulcimer is an old Dennis Dorogi that was given to him. Note that there are no 1/2 frets on it. Also, Jeff told me he never plays in DAd. He uses a lot of tunings, but for some reason that's not one of them.
Well, Dave, they can be tuned numerous ways. When I got my 1st it was tuned DAdd. Now, I usually use DAAd. However DAdc is a good one for minor key tunes (Aeolian mode.) Then there's always DAdA, the Jean Ritchie tuning. Have I just confused you to no end? Well pick either of the 1st 2 and start playing. There were no beginner's books for 4 independent strings when I started, and I don't know of any now, either. Janita Baker has some books for 4 strings using her tuning DABbd (I think.) Seems like it would be a cool tuning for solo fingerpicking like she does.
Having been involved in the 1st 3 Homecomings, I am very saddened that they are having to cancel after scheduling it this year. I hope they will be able to set something up for next year and keep it regardless of the perceived attendance. They were a fun time. Even the last one when there was no water was a good one. Let's see what we can do.
I guess someone didn't pay the omeka.net bill. Shame. Pretty good pics of some interesting instruments.
James.... don't forget the F minor either!
Lisa.... very clear explanation of the note/number/scale relationship. When one "gets" that then they are ready to progress to the higher realms of music theory or just realize they can now transpose music on the fly when confronted with sheet music in say Ab.
Randy... that's my 1st criterion as well. I do tabs for folks and most of them I send out in 2 tunings, but some just won't fit a second tuning.
Don, Ken steered you right with the link to the Farina book. I've downloaded it a couple of times to make sure I had a copy. Joan Baez's folk stuff will be found in a lot of books, I'd think. You'd have to look for it by song title; some might be on the usual tab sites. However, Dylan's stuff and Joan's original/modern songs would still be under copyright and might be hard to find. I know Andy Beyer teaches a workshop on 60s folk songs (which I took) but I now have no idea which songs he covered. LOL. Oh, yeah, you might want to check out Ralph Lee Smith's books including the one on Greenwich Village Days (I think that's something like the title) for the folk songs which were common in the 60s folk revival.
Dusty, I enjoyed your video if no one else did/does. lol. I will point out that here in WV "Rachel" is played with the C# in the first part, not a C natural. If you listen to the video of Melvin Wine playing it you can hear that plainly. Also, he doesn't play it at lightning speed. He's relaxed and kind of rocking back and forth with it. I think you've given me impetus to learn this one that I've liked since hearing Alan Freeman's version on record.
In the 1981 Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers Thomas F Johnson is shown as a full time instrument maker since 1967 with one employee. He made guitars and dulcimers. I don't think the North Texas State instructor is the same one.
Marg, it sounds like there were some very inconsiderate people there or no one knew what a slow jam was supposed to be. I hate playing really fast, even when I know the tune and can play it "that" fast. Most of these fiddle tunes are dance tunes, not show-off tunes. However a lot of people don't seem to realize that. Even when they are fast they should be dance-able. I don't know any of those tunes other than "8th of January (Battle of New Orleans)" and I know it should go at a lope not a gallop. To get to your question, I'd play chords. I do that with the band on tunes I'm just learning or don't know too well. If our bass player isn't with us yet I'll try to emphasize the bass notes and maybe throw in a little bass run.
The best stick-on pickup imo is the Schatten Dualie. I've used a lot of pickups since the 70s to amplify nylon string guitars and this one is better than anything I've ever had. I actually got it when it first came out to try to get the "Willie Nelson" sound from a little Argentinian classical guitar I have. I combine mine with a Boss GE-7 equalizer/preamp which I got in a pawn shop for around $25. Couldn't resist it; mint in the box. Now I've upgraded my amplifier to a Fender Acoustisonic 150, but I've been using the Boss still. I have other effects I use as well. Now I just have to get a good vocal mic to round out the equipment.
Oh yeah, Schatten makes a dulcimer pickup as well now. I have not tried it as the dualie has satisfied my needs wonderfully.
I would suggest In Search of the Wild Dulcimer by Robert Force if you don't have it. I've seen it on-line for as little as $2.99 to as exorbitant as $69.95. Robert has graciously made it available for download here: http://www.robertforce.com/SongsAndInstruction/InSearchOfTheWildDulcimer.html
There are other great things on his site as well.
Jerry Rockwell has some great resources as well. I recommend his Music Theory to anyone with a dulcimer. In fact were I to be starting over on the instrument, those 2 books would probably be the only ones I'd buy.
Shucks, I would have let y'all known that 2 years ago. I've been using it to scarf up Roger Nicholson arrangements and articles from the old days of DPN to use in my fingerstyle workshops. Thanks Roger's widow & daughter for giving me permission to use his material in classes about his style.
I had never heard of the spider capo, so after looking it up, it is quite similar, but probably better, than one called "The Extra Hand Capo." I had (and still have) one of those and it was really cool experimenting with the different strings held down with open strings. Even tho' I don't like capos (they cut off too many frets) I might have to try one of those.
A "C" in the "traditional fiddle tune" "Red Haired Boy?" I never play a "C" when we play it. There is a "G" in the "traditional" way of playing "Red Haired Boy" because it's in the key of A. I believe the same holds true for "Salt Creek" which is probably traditional but (and I could be wrong here) was copyrighted by Bill Monroe.