Forum Activity for @skip

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@skip
09/16/22 11:22:25AM
351 posts

Bass Dulcimers


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

Blue Lion also has the 5 string Acoustic Jam bass with a 26 1/4 " VSL and 1 5/8" fretboard and Folkcraft has one with a 26" VSL with a 2" wide fretboard. I have the AJ5 Blue Lion and removed 2 strings. 

As far as construction goes, I believe they about the same as a standard, just deeper for the volume needed for the lower notes. The string tension is about the same so I don't see a need for heavier construction. I've converted ones I made to bass and baritone with no problems. I even converted a regular Tennessee Music Box to sound like a standup bass for kicks. Hard on the fingers to play though and not very loud because the box is too small.

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@skip
09/07/22 04:41:59PM
351 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

If you go to Jan Potts public page, there is a post by 'Paula' just below the photo [her thumb nail id icon] that looks like it is probably a photo of the bridge in question. 

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@skip
08/28/22 06:23:53PM
351 posts

End of Finger Stabs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I bend them back like Strumelia and make sure the cut end is inside the tuner hole.

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@skip
08/25/22 04:22:17PM
351 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If the tuning is A2E3A3 [lower than DAd] or similar it's a baritone. The physical dimensions won't be an indicator.  

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@skip
08/20/22 12:37:34PM
351 posts

Making a noter


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

I heard bamboo tomato stakes from a garden center are Tonkin cane. It's used for top quality split cane flyrods and those giant scaffolds you see in China. 

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@skip
08/16/22 08:50:34PM
351 posts

Making a noter


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


If you take a heavy [metal] noter [I used a 5/16  x 3 1/2 " bolt] and with a light touch, you can slide the bolt/noter on the string, without the string touching the frets, and change the pitch. You need the mass of the bolt/noter to kill the strings vibration at the point of contact. I also tried a piece of 1/2" steel rod which worked the same as the bolt. I had to use a real light touch because the MD is set up for chord/melody with low set strings.

The frets then act as lines locating the the notes. For the big spaces the note is just past [bridge side] the 1/2 way point between the 2 frets.

But, since you say you had problems with dobro slides, this may not work for you.


updated by @skip: 08/16/22 09:04:51PM
Skip
@skip
08/16/22 05:24:52PM
351 posts

Making a noter


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

The noter acts as a movable fret like a slide on a steel guitar or dobro. So you can actually get the notes in the large spaces as long as you stay away from the frets. One of the advantages of having a high nut/bridge. The frets act like a 'note marker' then. The string isn't stretched as much either.


updated by @skip: 08/16/22 05:27:53PM
Skip
@skip
08/16/22 01:26:09PM
351 posts

Making a noter


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

I don't think the string needs to touch a fret when using a noter. If that's true, it's the answer to the tuning problem [with a bit of practice].

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@skip
08/16/22 11:17:52AM
351 posts

Making a noter


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

Last nite I happened to think that anything you can cut to size and hold onto would work, screwdriver, chunk of a broom/mop/garden tool, tablespoon, big nail in a piece of wood or file handle, etc. I suppose some would work better than others.

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@skip
08/15/22 03:37:37PM
351 posts

Making a noter


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


 I used a heat gun in a home built, stove pipe oven to harden mine when I was making split cane fly rods.

Try a dobro [bottle neck] slide. Pretty much the same thing, just bigger and it could fit over your thumb/finger.


updated by @skip: 08/15/22 03:41:12PM
Skip
@skip
07/31/22 11:42:33AM
351 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I agree with with Ken H.

I do have one last thing to point out, He bases all his tunings as starting on the melody string [being D for example]. The current concept is to base tunings on the bass string. This difference seems to affect the results in various ways.


updated by @skip: 07/31/22 11:51:01AM
Skip
@skip
07/30/22 10:42:18PM
351 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I think there's a proofing error there. In his description on page 66-67 he writes"~~where the mode's most major-sounding tonality is found. The Ionian mode originally began at the note C on the third fret." Then in the chart on page 109, in the Ionian row, he has C  under 'original tonality' but in the last column does not have a tuning showing the GCgg  [X  X+3 XX] tuning. Instead he has the CFCC tuning. Further down on page 67, he shows X+3 X XX as a newer tuning [what we expect for this mode].

So if he actually strums CFCC expecting a C Chord???

The VSL doesn't affect the note order, the notes remain the same, they just cover more length.  

 C D E F G A B C

  1  2  3 4 5 6  7 8

  C  G  G

   1  5   5


updated by @skip: 07/30/22 10:56:06PM
Skip
@skip
07/30/22 11:46:19AM
351 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Two buttons, bim Bim Bom and bim bim Bom.

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@skip
07/28/22 03:50:51PM
351 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I've read his chapters on tuning, Mixolydian mode, and other modes and I'm uncomfortable with his approach to "music theory", which is what this thread is about, what's in his book. It seems to be a mixed bag of concepts and, maybe, opinions. 

This feeling is based on everything y'all have taught me along with a lot of time researching and thinking.

Now I'm gonna go hide. duck  


updated by @skip: 07/28/22 03:53:18PM
Skip
@skip
07/27/22 05:00:21PM
351 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I can't explain why, but I think the first 4 pages of chapter 4 have a big impact on this subject. It's a whole new way of looking at modes [for me, at least]. It's going to take awhile to digest.

I haven't figured out how the Ionian comment fits yet, probably never will. I don't think the current mode applications [theory?] apply though. He's coming at it from a different angle.

X X+3 XX is his take on DAd tuning. He starts on the melody string[s] [XX] then middle [X+3], then X an octave lower.

I downloaded the book from his site.


updated by @skip: 07/27/22 05:02:41PM
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@skip
07/26/22 07:30:24PM
351 posts

String action is too high?


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

Changing strings or tuning isn't going to do much. The problem is the extra height causes the tension for the length to be too much. What may help is to lower the nut [or deepen the notch a bit], make sure the string is touching the bridge as far back as possible and kind of split the difference between sharp/flat [open/affected fret]. It should be ok to be on the slightly sharp side rather than the flat side as flat is annoying and more obvious. If it's less than about 10 cents [usually in the green on the tuner] it is probably acceptable to most folks.

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@skip
07/24/22 07:24:26PM
351 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Steven:

LOL I started the same way, with only a sparse, barely remembered, 3rd grade understanding of music,,,,,,,, at 60 or so! It's been an interesting, and fun, trip so far. I've met, or talked, to a lot of really helpful, knowledgeable, folks along the way.

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@skip
07/24/22 05:41:21PM
351 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

@ Steven

Just look at modes as being the names of a re-ordered scale. CDEFGABC to DEFGABCD is a diatonic [8 note] scale changing modes, all the same notes, different order.

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@skip
07/24/22 01:15:43PM
351 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

It really will be pretty easy to for you to learn the basics, you have 11 years of music background to help. Many folks start with with with none.

Remember back when you started with the banjo. You probably started with a childs song and picked it out one note at a time on one string. With the dulcimer that's the standard, normal way for n/d and finger dancing. You pick out a melody on the melody string, one note at a time, with no concern for any of the other strings [the're just drones to fill out the sound]. Then you do the same thing but strum across all of the things at the same time as you fret the note. When you've gotten to this point you've caught up with 50% or more of MD players. 

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@skip
07/21/22 11:01:24AM
351 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

That's it. The larger one fit's over the peg.


updated by @skip: 07/21/22 11:03:06AM
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@skip
07/21/22 10:52:12AM
351 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Yes, technically, but the only one you fit over the peg is the one you make. You could cut the string but I'v never been able to make a new loop that doesn't come apart. The homemade ones I've seen have about a 1/2" tail perpendicular to the string  to help prevent that and the wraps are tight together.


updated by @skip: 07/21/22 11:00:29AM
Skip
@skip
07/20/22 07:45:52PM
351 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Put some tape on the end block to protect it an use a file.

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@skip
07/20/22 06:25:19PM
351 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Un-winding the loops work-hardens the wire, Try feeding the loose end though the loop [kids lasso] to fit over the peg. If they still break, wrap the wire twice around the peg then through the loop, kind of a reverse tuning pin technique.

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@skip
07/16/22 09:42:05PM
351 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Ok. I had the same slipping problem the first time I messed with wood pegs. What I found to work best for me is to push the peg further into the hole as I finished, maybe going a little bit past where I wanted to be.

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@skip
06/25/22 06:48:51PM
351 posts

String spacing help, please


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


It's probably going to be 1/8" from the sides to the outside strings, another 1/8" between doubled melody and bass strings and  single middle string. The bass set is probably a bass and its octave with doubled melody strings. My 5 string Blue Lion is 5 equidistant strings, 1/8"  sides to outside strings. 

Look really close at where the strings connect to the pins also


updated by @skip: 06/25/22 06:51:28PM
Skip
@skip
06/07/22 01:47:06PM
351 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I just thought if the tv tray worked it could also be turned into a table/music stand by adding the top [if needed] and a slanted vertical music /tablet holder.

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@skip
06/07/22 01:02:38PM
351 posts

Table for Mt. Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

A tv tray may work. There are some with  L shaped legs that are height adjustable. A short board would add extra length if needed.

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@skip
06/04/22 03:47:17PM
351 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's what I use, cell app. I made the recommendation as a starting point. At this time in his journey, if it's screwed up, send it back. I also suspect the op doesn't have a good ear' right now. happyspoke

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@skip
06/04/22 10:56:08AM
351 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@Tull66, Different strokes for different folks.

My first experience in my dulcimer world was to build a kit. No musical or wood working background or mentoring at all. It turned out good, I still have it. I went on to build some from scratch and to buy some, although none were [are] foreign made. Be aware there are poorly made MD's floating around in the US that are wallhangers also, but they are mostly homemade I think. I have a friend who bought a foreign made MD, It sounded ok to me, but he is very experienced and has made some stringed instruments. Actually, I've really never heard a bad sounding MD in 20+ years, cardboard or home built, lucky I suppose. If you decide to get an inexpensive or questionable sourced MD, be sure of the return policy and get an electronic tuner. Use the tuner to verify that the frets are properly placed. Folks here will help with that. A used name brand is an option also.

Bottom line, you started at the right place, here. You're getting getting input from several different viewpoints, from folks with different backgrounds and experience, all of which have merit. 

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@skip
05/28/22 10:26:50AM
351 posts

Four string spacing pros and cons?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

One other thing, the doubled melody string produces a different sound/tone than a single melody string. 

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@skip
05/12/22 10:07:10AM
351 posts

Reasons NOT To Get a Chromatic


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

A couple of other points I forgot, a chromatic will probably be a bit more expensive to buy and much harder to sell.

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@skip
05/11/22 06:02:29PM
351 posts

Reasons NOT To Get a Chromatic


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


I think many of the reasons will be be focus on tradition and your music interests which will include style of play [N/D or chording] and need for the extra frets.

It will boil down to what you want plus a bit of DAD [dulcimer acquisition disease]. comfort

I am NOT a traditionalist but I find I play mostly traditional [diatonic] music most of the time when I play with others even though my main MDs are chromatic. I use the chromatic side mostly when playing by myself.

I forgot to add, there are 'chromatic tunings' such as DAA#d, but they are 4 equi-distant strings. These are done on the standard diatonic MD.


updated by @skip: 05/11/22 06:10:08PM
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@skip
04/23/22 09:58:49AM
351 posts

Fret addition?


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

There are some things to think about for fret installation; 

1. tools; fret saw with depth control, square, hammer/press, measuring device and file[s] for leveling and finishing the ends.

2. where to put the slot

3. the correct size of fret wire

The 6+ is far enough from the nut-0 fret to be rather difficult to place, the 1+ is easy.

It's probably more efficient to pay for a single installation unless you think you may do more of them.

Skip
@skip
04/19/22 09:30:03PM
351 posts

Various Tunings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

@jost :

Keep in mind that as long as you are playing the melody on one string [the melody string for instance, the other 2 are drones], the tune can be played in any mode [tuning]. Off the top of my mind, DAC [Aolean], CGC [Mixolydian], GCC [Ionian]. This is because a key scale consists of all 7 modes, each mode beginning with one of the notes in the scale. For instance, there is an Aolean mode in each key scale, it starts with the 6th note of the scale as the lowest, or beginning note. The notes are different for each scale, since the "parent key scales" are different.

G key scale = GABCDEF#G [Ionian], EF#GABCDE [Aolean]

D key scale = DEF#GABC#D [Ionian], BC#DEF#GAB [Aolean]

Just for giggles, playing on just one string, no drones, is not a mode or is all modes, take your pick.whistle


updated by @skip: 04/19/22 09:43:31PM
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@skip
04/18/22 05:56:42PM
351 posts

Various Tunings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I also found this table somewhere in my research. Pretty much the same but there are some differences between this and my earlier chart. 


Dulcimer mode tunings.jpg Dulcimer mode tunings.jpg - 154KB

updated by @skip: 04/18/22 06:05:16PM
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@skip
04/17/22 02:35:30PM
351 posts

Various Tunings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here is a collection I've assembled over time, mostly from various internet sources.

                                                 {me}    [D on fret]            {me}

Ionian...(key) scale..DAA        {155}        [3]        W W H W W W H

Dorian......................DAG       {154}        [4]             W H W W W H W

Phrygian..................DAF        {153}        [5]                  H W W W H W W 

Lydian......................DAE       {152}         [6]                      W W W H W W H

Mixolydian...............DAd        {158}         [0]                           W W H W W H W

Aeolian...................DAC        {157}          [1]                               W H W W H W W
Locrian...................DAB        {156}          [2]                                    H W W H W W W  


Then there are 'special purpose' tunings like DF#A {135}[full triads], DGA#d {145+1}, DAA#d {155+1} and DBA#d {165+1}[chromatic], DGd {141} [reversed G tuning], etc. So I don't think there is a book that has them all. 

I hope this helps.
Skip
@skip
04/07/22 06:59:35PM
351 posts

Composition in G minor


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You will probably need a chromatic or use temporary frets [paper clips about .040 or tooth picks may work],  tmp frets 0+, 4+, no capo [DAd. Can capo at 3 [DAd] by adding a temp fret at 7+ also.

1