What's fer dinner?
OFF TOPIC discussions
Sounds very tasty, Ken!
Don Pedi also has a large collection of historic instruments and gives great talks and allows "hands on" with the collection. He brings his expertise, popular workshops and great performances to the Homer Ledford Festival held every year on the first half of Labor Day Weekend in Winchester, KY (just east of Lexington). It's a small festival and we always have a great time.
I would suggest you listen to the dulcimer players who play the kind of music you want to play and ask them how they are tuned.
Listen to some of what FOTMD member Sam Edelston plays. If you like it, you might want to chat with him directly--or anyone else whose music sits well with you.
Wow! I asked my husband, Craig Potts, to pick the number and he gave me a good one! I will look forward to having Jessica Comeau's CD! Congratulations to the other winners, too!
Thank heavens we sang a lot in my family. We didn't listen to the radio, nor did we kids have radios of our own, but we sometimes listened to the hi-fi show tune albums. For most of my childhood I didn't realize there was a story that went with those songs! We sang a lot in Girl Scouts, too, and even had a chorus in our elementary school for a semester or two that met for a half hour before school started. I made my own music, too, as the family piano was in my bedroom from age 5 until I graduated from high school.
Mrs. Vaughan taught me from Kindergarten and moved with me through intermediate school so I had seven years of teaching from her.
Was she your only teacher for 7 years, or was she a music teacher? I was guessing you meant the former. I never had a general music class throughout all of my education--what a treat that would have been, I think! Our teachers (up through 6th grade) all had a piano and music books available to pull into the classroom if they wished to do so--some were very opposed to the idea, unfortunately.
We should probably play more of the songs we learned as children. I'm glad this discussion is still giving folks lots of ideas along these lines!
Mountain dulcimers can play most any kind of music...check out Butch Ross, Stephen Seifert, Aaron O'Rourk, and Bing Futch among others (these just popped into my head--there's really a long list of mtn dulcimer players playing non-traditional dulcimer music or playing in non-traditional ways). My advice: play the music that's already in your heart or your head and see where it takes you!
Susie, your gliders look very comfortable!
For me, seat height is key. I'm fairly tall, but have disproportionately short shin bones. A child's chair works pretty well for me--17 inches, tops. Office chairs which can be lowered often work well and they often have arms, which I need for support. My right arm, after complex shoulder surgery, can't just hang free; it has to be supported or it feels like gravity is pulling it out of the socket--very painful).
I have several 3 legged folding stools and an assortment of folding chairs, but my favorite remains my recliner!
One of the ways to keep a pick from flying off and getting lost is to tether it to a ring of leather or other soft material that you slip on one of your fingers. Even a slice of a finger off an old glove would work. Some people crochet them or make a ring of beads strung on elastic cord. If it goes flying it won't get too far!
Hmmm...I own both Ron's and Bonnie's. Maybe I should do a test. I'd want to contact Ron Gibson, also, to see if he could tell me the original cost of his dulcimer, since I got it used. My Bonnie Carol's are both used, too, for that matter, and they both sound great....and I prefer their sound to the Gibsons. But, there again, is the preference for a particular sound that is so personal--and some days I don't even like the sound of my favorite dulcimers! What's up with that?!
I wanted you all to know that if I wasn't already scheduled to be out of state at another dulcimer event that weekend, I would, for sure, be joining y'all in Berea. Just a suggestion...if someone writes the John Jacob Niles Center at the University of Kentucky, you may be able to get permission to make a quick stop at JJNiles' home just outside Lexington, not far off I-75 at exit 104. It is private property, so I'm sure people don't want a bunch of cars parking in the driveway and poking around without permission--part of the building is still being used for storage and office space, I think. John Gribble and I visited the site when he was working on his JJNiles article for Dulcimer Player News in 2016. The house, which is right by the road, looks like it is partly in ruins, but if you stand in the center of the courtyard and look past the vines that seem to be covering everything, you will spot some treasure such as the small niche with the figurine of St. Francis of Assisi, beautiful handmade tiles inlaid in the stonework, and a leaded glass window. Not far from the house is the small Episcopal Church with the double doors that he hand carved. The pretty stone-walled cemetery behind the church has the grave of JJNiles and if you're lucky there will be some flowers and trees in bloom! The church caretaker lives across the road and can tell you more about why this beautiful small church is located in (seemingly) the "middle of nowhere."
Richard, you said, "Hoefully that [noter/drone] influence will be felt."
Have no worries!
I know the class sessions haven't been announced, yet, but there are many fine noter/drone players-performers-instructors-enthusiasts on the staff, so there's no doubt that you will have a fine offering of classes in this playing style. Also, as Ken H. points out, outside the class times there will, additionally, be a lot of great music sharing among the participants and you can join whichever group draws your interest...many of these will be noter/drone.
I've been to Hindman many times for a variety of events and am sorry I will miss this since I'll be out of state at another dulcimer gathering the same weekend. I know most of the people on staff and they will provide what you're looking for! I hope you do get to go and if you do get there, I hope you have a grand time! Tell us all about it when it's over!
Wow, still feels like magic to me!
I'm impressed so much in how far you've come in 4 years! And I can tell that magic spark is still there. You're fun to work with because when something "clicks" for you, you light up the room! Hope we can play together soon!
I think it's easier with 3 strings, so I think you made the right call! But then I usually play dulcimers with just 3 strings--if a dulcimer happens to have 4 tuners, I just use 3. So I guess it depends on what you're used to...
Patsyannie, I have owned my Banjammer (made by Mike Clemmer at Wood 'n' Strings Dulcimer shop in Townsend, Tenn.) for 8 years. I have never mastered playing the "real" banjo playing techniques (like "claw hammer") but I really like the sound you get when you play songs like "Camptown Races". I also play slow songs on it though...it's a lot of fun to experiment!
For anyone who is interested in learning to play a Banjammer (which you can play like a dulcimer or play it clawhammer style like a banjo) the Clemmers will be hosting the 5th annual Banjammer Gathering in Townsend, TN the first weekend in October. Here's a link http://www.banjammer.com/ I went the first and second years and it was a LOT of fun!
They have classes for beginners/novice and intermediate/advanced levels.
I played my baritone ukulele in Gail Weber's living room....that's as close as I came. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be joined by Karen Smith Gratto and we'll play whatever comes to mind.
Don, I use my 1 1/2 fret (also written as 1+ or 1.5 ) so I can play in the key of G without retuning or putting a capo on. The 3 main chords in the key of G are G (0 1 3), C ( 3 1.5 1), and D ( 0 0 2). Being able to play the chords without moving your hand up and down the fretboard is very helpful--for those who play with a lot of chords. (note that the 8.5 is one octave up from the 1.5 and the 13.5 is one octave up from a 6.5)
If you are playing melody/drone, the fact that the 1.5 gives you a C on the middle string might not matter at all to you.
I'll let those who play noter/drone or melody/drone chime in here.
Marg, your place is so lovely, and looks like a great place to sit and trade tunes! It was so gracious of you to invite me over to stay at your home 3 years ago when I was at MD Anderson with my brother, and I was sorry it didn't work out. I hope your neighbors enjoy your music!
Lovely deck--thanks for the photo! Let me know if you need jamming company someday!
Type your zip code into the box here and it will give you lots of info on what the eclipse will look like from your location. This is a really cool site. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/16019892/solar-eclipse-2017-interactive-map
It's actually all day--wherever you are around the globe on Aug. 26, 2017!
$50? The case itself is worth that!
You got quite a deal, indeed! If you keep it, you've got quite a bit of interesting musical history there. When old buildings were torn down, Homer was right there to reclaim the wood, as old wood with history--especially music history--makes the best instruments!
If you're not doing anything Labor Day weekend, fly into Lexington, KY and come attend the Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival in nearby Winchester, KY. On Thursday there will be a talk on Homer and his instruments at the local history museum with famed dulcimer player Don Pedi. He'll have many old instruments for people to look at--and maybe try out--and there will be time to tour the small museum and see Homer's shop which was moved over from his nearby home. You can sit in on some jams, maybe attend some workshops on Sat. and there will be a fantastic blow-your-socks-off concert with some of the country's finest musicians Sat. night.
I'm so glad you got to meet Bob and Janita Baker, too! What a great immersion into the dulcimer world!
You'll probably find that how much you like camping increases with the increase in the amount of "comfort" camping stuff you take. A tent you can stand up in was a good start. Next, you might want to think about a cot with a great pad or air mattress on it. Oh--and pitch that tent near a great restaurant!
Fair value of an instrument like this is very difficult to determine...sorry! Condition is always a consideration--but that doesn't mean the dulcimer needs to be in pristine condition! Some people like the little nicks and gouges because it makes them look loved and "gives them character". There are other features that are desired by some buyers that are not desired by others...wooden tuners or geared tuners? added frets or no added frets? Artistically, some prefer absolutely plain, letting the pure beauty of the wood draw the attention. Others are looking for an instrument with hand carvings and beautiful inlays. Then, of course, there's the matter of intonation--and how it was intended to be played: noter/drone or chording and fingerpicking? How many dulcimers were built by a particular luthier--are they easy or difficult to obtain? Is it a style, design, etc., that's in demand? These are just some of the considerations that go into determining the value of an instrument.