Forum Activity for @mandy

Mandy
@mandy
03/08/19 07:13:29PM
140 posts

How do you Practice?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Diane, here’s what I do.  I play multiple instruments so this really helps me a lot.  I’ll also outline a typical practice session for me and what I teach on banjo.  

I first do a slow warm up.  Here’s the fun part.  Grab some good old index cards.  Punch a hole in the corner of them and put a ring binder thing in the hole.  Then write 1 song on each card that you know.  When I say “know” I mean you play it by memory and no tab or sheet music.  Let’s say you really know 10 songs well.  Then during this 10 minute warmup (or however long you use for a warmup) you play the first card (song) once through slowly.  Then flip another card and play the next song.  Do this slowly and if you mess up or can’t remember any of it, continue playing it through until you get it right, but keep it slow.  Next practice session you pick where you left off in the stack.  Let’s say you go through 2 or 3 cards each practice session.  Then over the course of the week of practicing you’ve done went through all 10 of your cards and kept those songs fresh.  Continue to add cards as you learn a new song fully.  Try it out, it’s fun, and you don’t have to think about it too much or worry about “losing” songs.  If you decide you don’t particularly want to keep a certain song, then chuck that card out in the trash and move on.  Sorry to be long winded but that’s a great warmup that will also keep your songs fresh.  *Not my idea by the way, I read this years ago somewhere and  started using it. 

After warmup, normally I have folks work on techniques.  This can be done using a song, a certain section of a song, chords, scales (if so inclined), or short pieces.  I also have them drill sections here that are sticky and a little tough to complete up to speed. This would also be where we use a metronome (if we are using one at the time). 

Next I have them working songs.  Usually we have one we are currently on (learning) and one we start with. So we are normally working on 2 songs at a time and some technique.  May or may not use a metronome here as well depending (or a drum track, or something fun like that).

Then the last bit is always reserved for FUN time.  Anything goes here, anything that makes you smile! Cut loose and have a blast playing your dulcimer.  

I ask people to devote at least 30 minutes per session, 4 times a week.  Me personally I play a LOT more than that though, LOL because all of it makes me smile.  

Blessings,

Mandy 

Mandy
@mandy
06/08/18 12:25:21PM
140 posts

Favorite chair/seat for playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here’s my favorite spot.  I’m pretty jittery so the glider is perfect for me.  The hardest part is trying to be still if I’m making a video, LOL.  


image.jpg image.jpg - 206KB
Mandy
@mandy
04/02/15 10:30:31AM
140 posts

Mountain Dulcimer Cd's you like to listen too.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Lexie, check out Sarah Morgan. I have her Run to the Window CD and really enjoy it. Good stuff.

Mandy
@mandy
03/31/15 10:16:54AM
140 posts



I have one of each also. The hourglass I have is a Folkcraft. The teardrop I made myself in a class. To me the teardrop sounds louder and better (could it be that I'm biased, sure). Both slide around in my lap even with the strap on. I think this is because when I play I'm usually on the couch and not sitting straight up so my legs are not far enough apart. But I use that strap to counteract this and can usually control the sliding around enough. Plus I usually tap my foot anyway so it's bouncing up and down too. Overall I would say I prefer the teardrop - again I'm probably biased but that's ok.

Mandy
@mandy
03/06/15 09:42:50PM
140 posts

Played dulcimer today for my daughters 2nd grade class! SO FUN


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The kids made me do this twice. They are really singing along on the first clip above (which is the 2nd time through the song).

Mandy
@mandy
03/06/15 06:38:08PM
140 posts

Played dulcimer today for my daughters 2nd grade class! SO FUN


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Lexie, I played rosin the bow, and did a sing along of ill fly away
Mandy
@mandy
03/06/15 05:00:39PM
140 posts

Played dulcimer today for my daughters 2nd grade class! SO FUN


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Went in today to show the kids how I made the dulcimer and showed them the pictures. Played a couple songs for them. They were singing along! I have a few video clips that a teacher took on my phone but I'm not sure how to get them on here, LOL. If I fig it out ill post
updated by @mandy: 06/11/15 07:42:41AM
Mandy
@mandy
02/28/15 09:41:18AM
140 posts

playing 3 strings versus 4 ,for finger picking


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'd remove the one closest to the soundboard (the outermost string). I find myself using 3strings a lot now and I like it.
Mandy
@mandy
02/11/15 02:18:39PM
140 posts

Look what I've been up to! BEWARE - dulciporn


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here's the vid!

Full of wonderful mistakes

I already broke a string, LOL. Too much messing around tuning. I decided to go with DAA on this one. I found some DAD tab for this and didn't like the way it sounded so I winged it.

Mandy
@mandy
02/10/15 03:27:41PM
140 posts

Look what I've been up to! BEWARE - dulciporn


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Next few days or so hopefully. I'm working on a song I want to play on it now and once I feel it's pretty good I'll post it.

Mandy
@mandy
02/07/15 02:01:23PM
140 posts

Look what I've been up to! BEWARE - dulciporn


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks y'all. I love it. Now I just have to figure out what I want to play on the vid. Hmmmm.

Mandy
@mandy
02/07/15 11:24:34AM
140 posts

Look what I've been up to! BEWARE - dulciporn


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Everyone, been awhile. I just finished a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and made this beauty.

Here are the woods I got to choose from. - I chose sassafras for the top, butternut for the sides and back, and walnut for the headstock backstrip and fretboard and tailpiece. Here they are with a few cuts - and you can also see the sassafras piece i used under the headstock here also

Here's the walnut fretboard piece I chose, I chose the sapwood on purpose because of it's uniqueness and beauty (in my eyes anyway)

Here are some assembling pics - don't mind the center strip, it's just a spacer and will come out later. notice my banjo case sitting there too, LOL, had to jam some!

Here's the lining strips being glued in to give more gluing surface - you can also see the back piece there with the center strip of walnut.

My beautiful back - as I was looking at the butternut we had I noticed the grain and purposely cut it so that the grain would match the curve of the instrument. With walnut strip.

Here's the front closeup of head and fretboard, I cut the little curve at the top of the head to just give it a little uniqueness also. The fretboard and head are from the same piece of wood. I loved all the color in the fretboard.

Closeup of body - dogwood flower cutout with wood-burning. I would not recommend trying to wood-burn on a wood as soft and grainy as sassafras (lesson learned, but I think it still looks good) more of the fretboard color - there is sawdust everywhere still (LOL).

Finished front -

Overall it turned out beautifully I think. The fretboard is nice and flat and I love it. The instructor for the class was Mark Edelman. He has a shop in Gatlinburg, TN. and is a fine player also. Great instructor and fun week. Hard work too.

Got it home and yanked out my Folkcraft hourglass dulcimer. Side by side I like mine much better (no favoritism or anything, LOL). Seriously though my fretboard is a touch wider and that allowed me to still have plenty of room for the string spacing without ever worrying about pulling a string off the side of the fretboard while playing (which does happen on my Folkcraft). A big surprise to me was that this one is louder than my Folkcraft also. Quite a bit louder. Not sure if shape has anything to do with that. Mine is also a much warmer (less tin-ny) sound.

I'm going to be playing this forever and I'm so thankful that I was able to build it. Thanks to a mentor of mine whom I must give a huge thank you to here - Aubrey Atwater - without your kindness I never would have been able to take this class. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I would recommend Mark's class to anyone and everyone who has the desire to build their own dulcimer (there are a LOT of tools involved). Mark has been building dulcimers and playing for 40 years. He's not much of an internet guy, but if you are ever in Gatlinburg, TN be sure to visit Smoky Mountain Dulcimers and tell him I sent ya.

I'll get a video of me playing this beauty up soon.

Mandy


updated by @mandy: 03/02/19 06:21:38AM
Mandy
@mandy
08/26/14 11:22:54AM
140 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yeah for some reason I can do it much easier on my banjo. That's my primary instrument and I can pretty much find anything I need on it without a problem. Just wanting to do the same on dulcimer and I'm probably just getting in my own way about it. Thanks for all the responses.

Mandy
@mandy
08/25/14 01:38:39PM
140 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ok yes I get it John, thanks so much.

Mandy
@mandy
08/25/14 12:14:15PM
140 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey John, yes that makes perfect sense. I mostly play in DAD so I'd be G on 3rd fret. Thanks. So for the G chord since G B and D make up the chord those make sense. But what I don't get is how the A and the E work. How do I find out these notes using other chords without knowing theory? Hope that made sense to you?

Mandy
@mandy
08/25/14 11:58:40AM
140 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yeah totally lost on all that. Yeah I knew I was getting in over my head with that question. I just don't know theory so I just try things out.

Mandy
@mandy
08/25/14 10:27:42AM
140 posts

Harmony notes/chords


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ok so I'm wanting to branch out in my playing more. Anyone have suggestions on how to find the harmony notes and chords without getting in too deep in the music theory department? Really looking to play more back up and variations within what I'm already doing to add in more instruments. I can do the basic stuff (play the same chords further up the neck, play the melody notes on the bass string kind of stuff) but am looking to expand more. Thanks. I could be just digging myself into a hole with this question but I'm living on the edge anyway so why not. LOL.

As an example let's say the main chords the song uses are G and D. What would be considered the harmony notes/chords of those 2 chords?


updated by @mandy: 06/11/15 07:41:51AM
Mandy
@mandy
08/25/14 08:41:31AM
140 posts



I use a strap and that works fine. I play pretty aggressively too so if I don't use a strap it would be in the floor in pieces! Good luck!

Mandy
@mandy
07/02/14 08:37:45PM
140 posts

Introducing Ol' Hickory


OFF TOPIC discussions

That is beautiful Phil !

Mandy
@mandy
06/25/14 10:37:21AM
140 posts

Lost my pick in the sound hole


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Haven't read the responses but the title sounds like it could be a song title "lost my pick in the soundhole"

Mandy
@mandy
06/23/14 03:09:31PM
140 posts

Which is Better, a 3 or a 4 Stringed Dulcimer?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I broke a string on my 4 string folkcraft dulcimer, so now i'm playing with 3. I like both ways, but it is easier to play it with the 3 strings based on the way I play. Once I get around to putting on my new strings I'll install the 4th (can't leave one lonely string in my package).

Mandy
@mandy
06/15/14 01:32:24PM
140 posts

Everyone knew the dulcimer!!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Some interesting stories y'all. Thanks for sharing them. It is really neat to see how people respond to the mtn. dulcimer and it's wonderful to see so many who do "know the dulcimer".

Mandy
@mandy
06/12/14 11:48:24AM
140 posts

Everyone knew the dulcimer!!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

My husband and I played a morning concert at the John C. Campbell Folk School this morning and had a great time. Cool thing happened though. I have been really wanting to play the dulcimer for folks, so I practiced up a couple tunes and brought it this time. I asked everyone (around 50 people) if they knew what it was as I held it up in the air. Most shook their heads yes and someone even said "it's a dulcimer". AWESOME! Then I gave a short little history of the instrument and played for them.

In most of my interactions with different people I really don't have a bunch who know what it is or even what it's called. It was just a breath of fresh air to be in such a concentration of folks who were familiar with it.

So to start a discussion about this - how do you find you are received when you bring out your dulcimer? Do they know what it is?


updated by @mandy: 06/11/15 07:40:41AM
Mandy
@mandy
06/12/14 11:52:13AM
140 posts

Playing with a strap


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I love using a strap on my dulcimer. I play pretty aggressively (I guess) because it would be almost impossible for me to play without one I think. LOL.

I'm a "pro strap" type though because even when I'm sitting down I like to be wearing my banjo strap, guitar, strap, and mandolin strap too. I can't imagine playing without it actually. I tend to like to go from sitting to standing a lot too though (not on dulcimer of course though).

Mandy
@mandy
05/19/14 01:43:45PM
140 posts

Song quest


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm addicted to John Stinsons #2 on dulcimer. Not sure why, just am.

Mandy
@mandy
08/05/13 03:33:52PM
140 posts

Should One Watch the Fret Board While Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Since you play multiple instruments you may not need to ever look, others do. I look sometimes, sometimes not. Fret placement plays a role for me since I play banjo and guitar and dabble in mandolin.
Mandy
@mandy
05/05/13 04:25:17PM
140 posts

Are There More Than Ever?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I can only speak to my personal exp. I've not been to any festivals, workshops, or played live with another dulcimer player. I've only been playing dulcimer for a year and a half, but I've played banjo since 2005 on and off.I play whatever I like the sound of basically. If I hear something cool, I'll try and fake my way through it. I mostly play by ear, but also use tab about a third of the time. Whenever I use tab now though, I'll use it more as a guide and change things as I go. I always use a pick, and I do not have the patience to get the nuances of the notes/drone style.If I was going to attend a workshop now, I would want something that centers around using the whole fretboard. That and learning how to pick out harmony notes interest me.This is an interesting discussion.
Mandy
@mandy
12/31/12 10:16:17PM
140 posts

I think I'm In trouble here! Bought yet another dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hi ya'll. I'm much more calm tonight about it. Of course that's because I've been playing music for the last hour and a half!!!!!

I do try and live the most balanced life I can right now, but it's just hard when I want to be playing more. I know I'm a whiny baby and all, but it is a constant test to try and squeeze in the time I want.

As for giving up things like the business, I don't want to do that. Giving up helping some folks learn in my home, naw don't want to do that either. It's totally not about the money either, believe it or not. It's because I now have people who are depending on me and I don't want to let them down. Plus it's fun watching that spark in their eyes as something clicks and the sheer joy of playing music.

I'm learning everyday to prioritize everything I do at home. If it's supper or something I'll try and get the dishes done while I'm cooking or I'll put them away and try and take out the trash and stuff like that all together. That way when my daughter goes to bed most things are already done so I can go watch TV (BLAH) or go play music. Some nights I'm really lazy and just sit there like a zombie watching TV, but most nights I can sneak up and play for an hour or so before bed. The problem is that I've come from being able to play for hours a day anytime I want to now having to squeeze it in.

Mandy
@mandy
12/30/12 10:58:48PM
140 posts

I think I'm In trouble here! Bought yet another dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ha Ha Patty! I haven't even snapped the first one yet, if you can believe that. I'm too busy touching it and playing it for that. I'll get some up in a few days hopefully.
Mandy
@mandy
12/30/12 10:52:14PM
140 posts

I think I'm In trouble here! Bought yet another dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

My dulcimer is a Folkcaft Western Red Cedar top, Black Walnut sides and back, maple fingerboard with wenge fretboard, wenge nut, bridge, and end cap thingy. It's got a beautiful sound, a scroll head, and the sound is.... SEE I'm starting to repeat myself even.

I'm so in Lust with it I'm telling you - I would probably French kiss it if there was a way.
Mandy
@mandy
12/30/12 10:45:12PM
140 posts

I think I'm In trouble here! Bought yet another dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

First of all, ha ha made ya look! No seriously though I am having some issues.I've heard people talking about having lulls in music and that I would have phases where I would eventually go for long stretches without playing music. Funny thing is that I'veNot had that happen yet at all. Actually it's more the opposite. My desire to play has only gotten stronger over the years. Now I've done the insane thing of playing a bunch of different instruments to top it off. It's totally fun, don't get me wrong, dut dang I feel like I have a crack addiction or something.So now that I'm working again full time, trying to take care of my 6 year old, my husband, be in a band, run a minuscule business, and still teach a couple of people at home, YIKES I am in way over my head here. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, but my crack addiction is suffering and it's actually painful!My wonderful husband is helping me, so that relieves some things, but now I have a beautiful new dulcimer!!!!! I'm physically in pain here people!! Can u feel me?I play it every second I get and MAN it is AWESOME. I'm playing TONS better just in the 5 glorious days I've had my hands on it.So here goes - Hi I'm Mandy and I am an addict. HELP. Insert goofy sad faces here.....


updated by @mandy: 02/05/16 06:45:48PM
Mandy
@mandy
05/11/13 08:56:26PM
140 posts



I play it DAD capo 1st fret. Here is me practicing it. http://mountaindulcimer.ning.com/video/wayfaring-stranger-dulcimer
Mandy
@mandy
12/09/12 12:32:06PM
140 posts

Ho Ho Ho and here I go again- buying another dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Haha! I'm partial to the "Pop tarts for Christmas dinner" one. LOL I mean who has time for turkey's when I NEED to be strumming my new dulcimer? I'll just cook most of it the night before, or we'll just have a later dinner. You may be on to something though in suggesting I write my own song for it. Hmmmmm..... got me thinkin' now.


Dusty Turtle said:

Mandy, I think the Folkcraft deserves that you write an originalsong. So get out your writing pad. Here are some suggested titles:

"My Dulcimer Kicks your iPad's Butt!"

"Two Dulcimers, One Husband" [Or "Mandy's Trinity"

"Cut Down the Christmas Tree, I Need Wood for a Dulcimer" [Or "Cedar ain't just for smellin'"]

"No Christmas Dinner, Mama's Still Playin' Her Dulcimer" [Also known by the refrain: "Pop tarts for Christmas"

"The Second Best Husband in the World" [Hey, what do you want? I'm married, too!]

Congrats on the impending arrival.

Mandy
@mandy
12/09/12 10:14:29AM
140 posts

Ho Ho Ho and here I go again- buying another dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sam you are such a sweetie! I'm trying to decide right now between I'll Fly Away (i've been really doing that a ton and just can't get enough of it) and Wildwood Flower (i usually play that as my first song when i get something new). I may change my mind and play something completely different too, but I'd like to play one of my favs.

Sam said:

Screw 'er down to DAC and play Shady Grove. Jean Ritchie would be proud to have such an ambassador as you, just as I am.

Mandy
@mandy
12/09/12 10:10:28AM
140 posts

Ho Ho Ho and here I go again- buying another dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've been pickin' my banjo a lot lately too. We have a gig on the 20th and I'm trying to cram in a ton of Christmas songs. Luckily I already knew a couple that we could add. Carol of the Bells on banjo, please record it if you can I'd love to hear it.

John Voorhees said:

Congrats on your new toy for Christmas. The next dulcimwer that I get I will have to make, right now I have laid my dulcimer aside and picked up my banjo again, practice Christmas music, mainly Carol of the Bells. Cheers john

Mandy
@mandy
12/09/12 10:09:07AM
140 posts

Ho Ho Ho and here I go again- buying another dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hey Bill - do you have any audio recordings of how it sounds? I'd sure love to hear it.

Bill Davenport said:

Oh you'll love it Mandy. I have one. I picked mine out at The Ohio Valley Gathering when Richard was there. Sound is awsome.
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