Forum Activity for @skip

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@skip
10/04/20 06:52:50PM
266 posts

How do I know what key I'm in?


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!


I learned several years ago that it is much easier to understand music theory, as applied to MD, when the word 'key' [in music] has several definitions. One defines or indicates the specific notes in a scale [the one you found], another, more generic, refers to the lowest note in a scale, regardless of the notes involved. The second one can also be a 'keynote' or 'scale center'.

So, in your tune, the written 'key' scale [def 1] is G; the 'key' on the instrument [def 2] is D. 

The 6+ can be considered an additional fretboard overlay that modifies the mode layout of the frets. Two fret board layouts, 1 without the 6+, one without the 6. 


updated by @skip: 10/04/20 07:27:10PM
Skip
@skip
09/22/20 11:35:57PM
266 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

Sounds good to me, the second piece especially. I think sometime is the better choice. Maybe a bass [one note on each beat?] arpeggio on some of the longer notes, or strum across all of the bass strings to finish. I also feel you will get much better at figuring out what works as you become more familiar with the instrument. You could also switch fretboards [octaves] for repeats or play octaves across 2 fretboards. Instrumental falsetto?winky


updated by @skip: 09/22/20 11:39:10PM
Skip
@skip
09/22/20 07:08:01PM
266 posts

Modern Mountain Dulcimer


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

If you have a floating bridge it can be re-positioned, which can help some. Another trick is to make the base string VSL a bit longer by modding its slot in the bridge. That's done by refiling i so the string breaks over the slot further back. It may be too late to try this though since you've already lowered the bridge [many times, refilling the slot lowers the string]. 

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@skip
09/22/20 06:48:19PM
266 posts

Modern Mountain Dulcimer


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

Dime next to the 1st fret, nickel on the 7th fret. If its high on the 7th, then mod the bridge, then check both places. Be careful about modding the nut, a little bit can have drastic results and barely affects the 7th fret. I suggest doing the 7th first, leaving the space a bit high then doing the nut, if needed. If you have a zero fret, all change is done at the bridge since the nut there is basically a locator/separator.

Skip
@skip
09/07/20 05:29:59PM
266 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I use a single space because I get a spelling error when I don't.

Skip
@skip
09/03/20 11:31:40AM
266 posts

Choice of Wood: Pertinent or Purism?


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

A random thought occurred to me, how's your hearing? Hearing aids or not? Audio preferences? I quit messing with penny whistles and harmonicas because their sound is unpleasant to my wife's ears, too shrills. I have poor hearing so almost all MD's sound very similar to me, no nuances. And there's always the 'ego' factor.whistle

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@skip
08/28/20 11:22:09AM
266 posts

Choice of Wood: Pertinent or Purism?


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

Keep in mind being a 'luthier' can be a hobby or a business.  If a hobby, the luthier can do what (s)he wants and can afford, In business, money and customer satisfaction is king.

Skip
@skip
08/22/20 06:19:31PM
266 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

I suppose you could use just about any D guitar tuning, or maybe the D pentatonic scale would work [DEF#AB]. There's a lot of room to experiment. Currently I can't see the center section being used with the 2 outer sections without a lot of playing around for awhile, probably finger/flat picking.

For string selection. You could go a couple of sizes larger since this tools recommendations are a bit light.

http://www.strothers.com/string_choice.html

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@skip
08/22/20 01:08:24PM
266 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

The curved nut/bridge could be replaced with straight ones if the wide fretboard is flat. Then you could do both a base and baritone or ???. I don't think using those as drones will work too good unless the MD sets are both in the same key. Even then it may be overkill.

The wide fretboard is basically a blank canvas that you could use to create something unique. Maybe a combined MD tuning like DADADA or DADDAA or???.

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@skip
08/22/20 10:46:30AM
266 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

It looks to me like it is made to support a fretless bass guitar [or dobro?] and two different MD tunings. Bing Futch plays a double MD tuned that way. I would think any 2 tunings would work, although I would use a standard and a bass.

A quad MD!  HUG  The 6 string fretboard could, possibly, be set up as 2 more, fretless [think chromatic], MD tunings. It looks like the spacing between the middle strings is a bit wider than the others. 

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@skip
08/17/20 12:17:07PM
266 posts

If I Had a Hammer (dulcimer) but no left-hand


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

A tip. Try not to cross your hands/hammers on alternate strokes. If you do a D scale on the treble bridge, for instance, start with the left on the D, which lets your right hand do the G [right side of the bridge] and the left hand can then do the A on the left side of the bridge.

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@skip
08/17/20 11:55:41AM
266 posts

If I Had a Hammer (dulcimer) but no left-hand


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I'm not a HD instructor but this is what I would do. Since you're probably looking at muscle memory instead of strength, I would practice with the weak hand only, then add the other hand occasionally to add coordination. Using your fingers to move the hammers should help as they move more accurately than your arms. Start by learning the finger motion one hand at a time until it feels more or less natural with both hands. Then alternate notes between hands as you move up/down a scale. Just do one note and alternate between hands if necessary. D[left ]-D[right] up/down the scale. Go slow at first to compare hands. Scales for awhile then a really easy tune like Mary had a little lamb, or whatever. Alternate hands/notes.  

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@skip
08/17/20 10:23:06AM
266 posts

If I Had a Hammer (dulcimer) but no left-hand


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Does 'practice, practice, practice', sound familiar? poke

I took an intense 3 day class many years ago. We did scales, a lot! Both on each side if the treble bridge and across both bridges. Rick also tried to get us to use our fingers to power the hammers instead of wrist/arm movement. That is done with the hammers held between the thumb and pads of the first 2[or 3] fingers [no death grip]. The thumb pushes down over the pointer finger while the middle/ring lift towards the palm. It's kind of a flicking movement.

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@skip
06/29/20 11:37:36AM
266 posts

FOTMD Chat Room!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


MaryB:

Where is the general discussion area, I thought I was there! Sorry, I do have difficulty navigating this site....



The blue cloud with a tail in a square icon at the lower right side of your display opens the chat room. 


I consider the 'Latest Activity' the general discussion area. It is the base site of


https://fotmd.com


It shows the latest posts. The 'Forums' at the top of the page shows the different specific forums. The "Groups' is where you can go to post a new question/comment about a particular interest area like beginners, or noter drone, etc. All current, active, posts made in any Group or forum will appear in the 'Latest Activity' area.


updated by @skip: 06/29/20 11:42:06AM
Skip
@skip
05/18/20 08:52:32PM
266 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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

You could try flipping the bridge over to eliminate the bridge [notch] as the problem. Hopefully the slant of the string will counter the bottom being square. 


updated by @skip: 05/18/20 08:53:40PM
Skip
@skip
05/18/20 10:47:23AM
266 posts

Bass String Buzz @ 1st & 2nd Fret


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


Have you checked the action, nickel/dime method? A strip of paper under the nut/bridge will raise the action.

Edit: In your user photo it looks like you're fingerpicking. From your hand position it looks like you may be slightly lifting the base string with your middle finger. 


updated by @skip: 05/18/20 11:05:41AM
Skip
@skip
05/09/20 07:37:00PM
266 posts

VSL Breakpoint Angles, Radiuses, and Excess String Lengths


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

I guess y'all are discussin' that percission  string support thingamajig. You know, the one on one other end from the string tightener doohickys. Back here in the hills, we call 'em the back string lifter and the one by the string tighteners is the front string lifter.  poke   

Don't suppose it really matters much what they're called as long as both folks doin' the discussin' are talkin' about the same part. gringrin

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@skip
05/08/20 01:08:05PM
266 posts

VSL Breakpoint Angles, Radiuses, and Excess String Lengths


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

Here's a few confusion factors just for fun;

Consider that pressing a string on a fret creates a new VSL, so fretting at the 7th [or other] fret leaves an unplucked portion of the starting VSL. Sympathetic/mechanical vibration could cause buzzing or unwanted [harmonic] overtones on the unplucked portion. 

The ends of the string on each side of the designated/primary VSL form a sub-VSL and can be considered to produce a harmonic of the primary VSL.

The radii of the stop points are not being specified [just assumed] in association with the string properties, .020" R vs 2' R, one pretty sharp, one almost flat on an 1/8" bridge for example.

Etc. Etc. [Theory vs practicality vs experience vs opinion vs???]

Without precise conditions and measurements?????

What I hear [not very good] or do vs what someone else hears or does ends up being pretty subjective. My $95 kit sounded just as good to me as a classmates $500 custom MD.

Most all of it seems to work just fine.

pokesmile

Skip
@skip
03/25/20 09:55:44AM
266 posts

Dulcimer String Anchor Pins


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

I would just install the 4th string and use it. It will hold with no problem, It's pretty big and there is almost no leverage on it. If it really bothers you, cut it off, refinish and install the recommended pins. The escutcheon pins are standard for MCSpaddens, even the some of the older kits [I have one].


updated by @skip: 03/25/20 09:56:22AM
Skip
@skip
12/31/19 10:03:37AM
266 posts

Intonation


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That shouldn't make a difference, I use a phone app on mine the same way and it is the same readings as the tuners I have.  The slot for the melody string may be cut so the string touches on the tuner side of the nut instead of the bridge side, effectively making the distance to the 1st fret longer. 

Skip
@skip
12/30/19 10:42:53PM
266 posts

Intonation


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That makes it an interesting mechanical mystery if it has fretwire frets.


updated by @skip: 12/30/19 10:53:42PM
Skip
@skip
12/30/19 09:39:11AM
266 posts

Intonation


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Use your tuner, then check the tuning at the 1st fret, if it's not close to what is expected, then probably just tuned. most all tuners available are set up default as equal temper. The space from the zero fret/nut to the 1st fret  is usually too big.

Skip
@skip
12/28/19 11:01:54AM
266 posts

Tuning a Banjo into a mountain dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Paula Brawdy:

Has anyone ever retuned a banjo into  mountain dulcimer tuning?

Probably. I would imagine almost every tuning has been tried by somebody. An instrument with 4/5 tuners [or more] could be tuned [with string research] to just about any tuning using some, or all, of the tuners available. Would it be satisfactory? That would be up to the player.  I play a 5 string Blue Lion with only 3 strings installed and it is great.

The name applied to the tuning probably depends on which instrument is being discussed. 

Skip
@skip
12/21/19 10:43:10AM
266 posts

Dulcimer app


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Be sure it is a chromatic tuner. Pano Tuner and gString are both good ones from the Playstore. I use Pano Tuner for MD and the free version of Piano Tuner for autoharp. 

Skip
@skip
10/19/19 05:43:45PM
266 posts



I've used linux 20+ years and I dual boot Ubuntu/Win 10.

You might try these on tefview:  

www.banjohangout.org/archive/223939

Skip
@skip
10/19/19 10:53:13AM
266 posts



Thirty-two bit support is pretty much on the way out, across the board, on all fronts, not just Apple.

Skip
@skip
09/21/19 10:17:11AM
266 posts



You could just replace the bridge and not worry about the saddle.

Skip
@skip
09/19/19 09:55:33PM
266 posts



My first thought was your second fix, but it may look a bit strange unless you match really well or contrast the repair material. Then I thought it may work better to completely replace it all the way down to the box with a similar piece depending on the difficulty of removing of the original.

Skip
@skip
09/09/19 11:33:52PM
266 posts

Removing a fretboard


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

I wouldn't recommend a heat gun, really high risk of burning the top especially around the sound holes and head/tailstock. Been there, done that. Heat works good when the pieces are pretty much the same thickness, not so much when the are so different

A wide drum sander [panel sander] may work. I've tried leveling wood using a hand held belt sander, doesn't work real well too often.

A 7"-8" long hand plane may give the best results [long up, around 18"/ 20", planes are what the old time cabinet makers used to level or flatten a board].

Skip
@skip
09/03/19 01:27:32PM
266 posts

Tuning for a 4 Equidistant String Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Like most everything else with a MD, there is not a 'proper' tuning for 4 equidistant, it depends on what you're trying to do. The strings are equally spaced across the nut/bridge, like a 4 string banjo, so they can be picked individually. This layout is used primarily for fingerpicking/flatpicking

Skip
@skip
09/02/19 03:45:24PM
266 posts

Using a strap


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

FYI- DON"T use the strap to carry the MD like a rifle or purse, over your shoulder, unless you have installed straplocks. The strap could come off the button, allowing the MD to crash and break. I've seen it happen several times  to really nice, expensive MDs [not mine, yet].


updated by @skip: 09/02/19 03:46:26PM
Skip
@skip
08/19/19 07:09:40PM
266 posts

How to Convert guitar tab to mt. dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

As far as I know, there is no way to convert guitar tab to dulcimer tab. I think most folks would start with the standard music notation [SMN] and write their own. Doing melody only is fairly easy if you have a little background [FACE, Every Good Boy Does Fine] and know the basics of your MD [tuning, note locations], adding chords [fingerings] etc is harder. Some use a music notation program like TablEdit, MuseScore, or Finale etc. 

Skip
@skip
08/15/19 08:05:37PM
266 posts

Bass string gauges


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

What's it's current tuning, bass to treble?

Skip
@skip
07/24/19 10:27:23AM
266 posts




My Dad fixed tongue [cow] which was then sliced. Had some good haggis and neeps [mashed turnips] in Scotland. Germans have magen [tripe] soup and pickled herring sandwiches. Both are good. Fifty- fifty beer and carbonated lemonade [Germany]. Tried menudo, bleh and cabrito [young goat]. Supreme pizza with anchovies. Alligator and some of the other regional Southern foods, most of which is pretty good [that I've tried]. I'm sure there are more western European dishes I've tried, but it's been 30+ years ago.

Tried Crow a few times, don't like it at all.whistle


updated by @skip: 07/24/19 10:37:50AM
Skip
@skip
07/22/19 03:30:47PM
266 posts

Richard and Denise Wilson dulcimer - needs a bridge


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

You couldl probably make it yourself, which is pretty easy. Just about any hard material will work, a threaded rod, hard wood, hard plastic, corian, etc, as long as you can shape it. Start with a piece 1/4" thick x 3/8" high x 1 3/4" long. The 3/8 will be the fret board to string starting dimension, it should be a bit higher than needed to create a nickel space from the top of the 7th fret to the strings. Taper the length by sanding on the 1/4" surface so one of the 3/8 sides is about 5/16 or so. Use a triangle file or nick the sharp edge on the 3/8 side of the tapered edge for the strings [ match the slots on the nut]. They don't need to be very deep, just enough to locate the strings. The 3/8 side is the one that will face the nut. Sand the bottom [opposite] 1/4 surface, keeping it square, until you get the nickel spacing. I would keep the nickel space on the plus side [about the thickness of a credit card] to allow for string wear-in. Sand the ends to fit the width of the fretboard. Done. 

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@skip
07/13/19 12:27:31PM
266 posts

Restringing advice


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

Lisa; 

Showing the 'D' like that is a space saver. It would take another staff [bass staff], below to to put it in its proper spot. These two staffs, together, are called a 'grand staff'.

There should be an '8vb' to show that the notes are actually those an octave lower than written.

Skip
@skip
06/27/19 01:37:49PM
266 posts

Capo positions, tunings, chords and other wonderful things


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

No need to retune. A 'D' chord in DAD sounds the same as a 'D' chord in any other tuning, the fingering changes when you retune. 

Look at it this way, a capo changes the order of the notes available in a tuning. It does not change the notes available in that tuning. Retuning changes the notes available on the instrument. You can prove this to yourself by checking the notes on each string with/without a capo and retuning and do the same thing. 

Tuning and note order [capoing] are not particularly relevant to playing chords. They may change the fingering.  As long as you have the notes available for a chord, and they are reachable, you can play that chord. Chording is very focused, it is playing 2-3 [or more] notes at a specific point in the tune.

For your own information try writing down the chords you need for each of the songs you will be playing. Then do the same for the chords you can play in the DAD tuning. If all the songs are in D or G, then you need to know the chords D, G, A, C. The notes needed for those are D, F#, A, G, B, C#, E, and C. Note that I only specified notes, not tuning. Find those on your dulcimer, they are all available in DAD. It is acceptable to use only 2 of the three notes of a chord, the first one and the last one [called power chords].

When the capo is used to change the tuning/key it is changing the first, lowest, or root, note of a scale. It is not changing the notes available on the dulcimer.

Just a note, if you have  1+ on your dulcimer, you can play the chords [C, F, G] in key of C. The 1+ adds the C and F in DAD

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