Forum Activity for @ken-longfield

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/21/24 10:27:53PM
1,097 posts

FOTMD one year anniversary on July 29th, 2010 !


OFF TOPIC discussions

Wow! Fifteen years. I'm looking forward to the anniversary party.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/06/24 01:20:49PM
1,097 posts

Did you purchase one of these dulcimers in the 1970s?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I didn't buy any dulcimers in the 1970s but made my own. I do have many catalogs and price lists but not sure of the dates. There may be one or two from the 1970s and early 1980s. Of course, I have a lot old issues of DPN from that time with prices of some instruments. Let me know if you are interested in any of these. I can scan and send them to you.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/04/24 07:52:00PM
1,097 posts

Dulcimer Players News demise


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Jennifer, you might get a better a response if you post this as a separate inquiry rather than in the discussion where few people will see it. I have not seen any dulcimer tab for it or even sheet music. I have found guitar chords, but that is all.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/03/24 07:43:19PM
1,097 posts

Pete Seeger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

For Pete Seeger fans, there is a new book out, Pete Seeger with David Bernz Chopping Wood Thoughts & Stories of a Legendary Folksinger. It has a forward by Arlo Guthrie. It is not a biography but as the title says, thoughts and stories. David Bernz, the editor of friend of Seeger's provides some commentary and context.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/03/24 03:06:59PM
1,097 posts

Pete Seeger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I was in New Jersey this past weekend and made it a point to stop at the Pete Seeger memorial. It is behind the Puffin Foundation building at 40 Puffin Way and at the entrance to the Teaneck Nature Preserve. Pete is recognized not only for his contributions to folk music, but also for his community activism in cleaning up the nearby Hudson River and other activities. Whether or not you like his politics, no one can deny his positive influence in getting folks to sing and play musical instruments. I think he is one of the most underrated banjo influencers. His book,  How To Play The Five-String Banjo , started many on a lifetime journey. Well, today is the anniversary of his birth so I thought I'd share a photo of the memorial and one of me with Pete. BTW, he did a lot to encourage Jean Ritchie's participation in the folk revival (scare?) of the 1940s, 50s. and 60s.

Memorial

Me and Pete

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 05/03/24 03:10:25PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/30/24 10:27:24PM
1,097 posts

Hindman Boys (and Gal)


OFF TOPIC discussions

I agree Robin. The Culture of Recovery is a wonderful program. The luthiery and Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company are a great way to give people the opportunity to develop a skill and turn their lives around. Kudos to all involved.

Ken

"the dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/30/24 07:26:38PM
1,097 posts

Hindman Boys (and Gal)


OFF TOPIC discussions

Me, too. It's on at 9 p.m. EDT on my PBS station.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/24/24 09:42:55AM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robin. I'm on the road the rest of this week and the beginning of next so I won't be watching for at least week. I do plan to join when I get back. Thanks for the heads up on Mike Seeger. I miss him. We had some good times when he was here to do some concerts.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/23/24 04:16:39PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Today I received a very nice reply from Mark Brewer who is the general manager of WOUB. Here is part of his reply:

"Best advice I can give you at this time is to join WOUB Passport at https://donate.woub.org/woub/passport .  As you probably know, it’s a $5 minimum monthly donation. Create and use a different email address that is not tied to your current WPSU Passport so nothing wacky happens there.

 

We currently have 15 episodes of Ramblin’ on Passport and 6 episodes of Hocking Valley Bluegrass (produced in 1978) available.

 

If you can watch them all in a month, just reach back out to us to let us know you want to cancel.  If it takes two months…..well, you get the idea! If you want to go this direction, when it’s time to cancel, just reach out to membership@woub.org and we’ll take care of it."

As you can see, the advice is pretty much watch KenH suggested, but a little less expensive. The folks in Athens get a good deal on their membership price for Passport.

So, I'm away at a dulcimer festival this week and then on to NJ to visit my cousin. When I get back I'll join because I should probably be home for a month and can binge watch all of the programs.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/22/24 10:15:12AM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dusty Turtle:

Does the website actually check your IP address? I wonder if you could register an account with PBS and just choose WOUB as your local station.  I'm going to give it a try.

 

I already tried that Dusty, and it didn't work. So it looks like if you want to view the program it will cost at least $12. Our local stations cost for Passport is a donation of at least $60, btw. Ken, I think you mean $12 per month donation.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/22/24 10:16:13AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/21/24 03:57:27PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Robin. I sent an email to WOUB but it goes to a general inbox, so I don't know if anyone at the station will read it and respond. I'm sure they get a lot of email. There was no way that I could find through the website where you can contact a specific person.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/21/24 10:17:44AM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Dusty. I've seen Mountain Born a few times.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/20/24 11:14:10PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Well, I'm disappointed. The live stream was not available outside of the WOUB viewing area. It was not available through my PBS Passport membership through WPSU. I'm not sure how the agreements work with Passport, but there must be some contract that needs to be approved between PBS stations for items produced by other stations to be carried by the local station. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/19/24 04:47:40PM
1,097 posts

Dulcimer by JR


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

Here is a link to info on Dulcimers by JR. Once you reach the site, scroll down to June 7.

https://heritagedulcimers.wordpress.com/today-in-mountain-dulcimer-history/timdh-june/

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/18/24 09:28:02AM
1,097 posts

Hindman Boys (and Gal)


OFF TOPIC discussions

I agree with Robin. Can't wait to see the show.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/17/24 10:53:32AM
1,097 posts

Question about the 6 1/2 fret


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

Jerry Posner:

 My question is ... when did the 6 1/2 fret become popular?

 

I started building dulcimers in 1974; 50 years ago. At that time none one plans I found had a 6 1/2 fret. So, become popular? I guess sometime in the early 1980s or perhaps even the late 1970s.

Precursors of the mountain dulcimer, those built like their European ancestors, sometimes had "odd" fret patterns. These patterns sometimes represented a different starting place for the "do" of the scale. Sometimes they just represented the "bad" ear of the builder.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/17/24 10:59:16AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/15/24 05:04:18PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, Richard, it's a little late for me too. Worship starts at 9 a.m., so I might get 5 or 6 hours sleep if I'm lucky.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/15/24 03:28:03PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

We are members of WPSU, a PBS Station in Clearfield, PA associated with Penn State University. Not all PBS stations follow the same schedule, nor do they broadcast the same content, which is why I'll likely be streaming the show.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/15/24 05:04:53PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/15/24 01:29:18PM
1,097 posts

Something to watch


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I received a notice today that WOUB, a PBS TV station) will broadcast a program about Jean Ritchie on Saturday, April 20, at 11 p.m. EDT. It looks like it can be streamed if you are not in their broadcast territory. All I know about this is what is in the link: Jean Ritchie on "Ramblin'"

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/16/24 07:51:34PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/14/24 05:40:43PM
1,097 posts

Does soundbox tension affect volume and tone


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

Dwain, Don Kawalek is also a vendor at Pocono this year. Although not known as a dulcimer builder he has been making guitars, banjos, and mandolins for many years. He worked for a guitar builder in New Jersey for a while and then went on to become a shop teacher in northern Virginia. I don't know if he does any repair work. I met him when I took a week long banjo making class from him.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/14/24 10:35:59AM
1,097 posts

Does soundbox tension affect volume and tone


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

I am signed up for Dwain's workshop. The nice thing about the Pocono festival is that you can sign up for individual workshops rather than for the entire festival. Looking forward to seeing you at the end of the month Dwain.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/12/24 10:54:22PM
1,097 posts

Does soundbox tension affect volume and tone


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

John Petry:

Having set up many violins & cellos etc over the years....You may want to explore using a sound post. Not really a "dulcimer" thing, but you're an outside the box kinda guy anyway. If you Google "adjustable soundposts" you will find much info good and bad about using them in so- called "real" instruments... Bottom line, is that moving the amount and location of tension to the vibrating surfaces [top and bottom] can and does change the tonal qualities. I suggest an adjustable only because there are no standard rules when it comes to dulcimers and the dimensions. Instead of having to re mount your strings, an adjustable may give you more room to play around, or just source some dowel rod and have at it..[or pencils, chopsticks,...] Changing the tensions to the body and try and find the "sweet" spot[s] if any? Then we'll have to find out if heart holes with pointy bottoms sound as good as rounded ones......

just the meanderings of a wandering mind......

 

While the sound post may not be "a dulcimer thing," two old time dulcimer makers, James Edward Thomas and Charles Napoleon Prichard, used sound posts. In the case of Thomas, he actually used two; one at the 3rd fret and one at the 10th fret. Prichard's was in the middle of the fret board half way between the scroll end and the tail end of the dulcimer. Both used staples rather than modern frets. 

A friend of mine who was building reproductions of the Prichard dulcimer did not know that Prichard used a sound post. After I told him about the sound post and its placement he said it made a substantial difference in the volume of this instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/13/24 10:51:45AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/12/24 10:40:07PM
1,097 posts

Does soundbox tension affect volume and tone


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

Nate, when I built my first dulcimer the end of the fret board was cantilevered. That was the what the plans I was using called for. The plans were designed by Joseph Wallo who worked in Weaver's Violin Shop in Washington, D.C. It is the shown in the bottom photo of this post.

I have added another photo of a courting dulcimer I built for a friend and both fret boards have cantilevered ends.

My first dulcimer is now fifty years old, been under string tension that entire time (tuned DAA), and has not warped. I don't know how the courting dulcimer faired, but it is only 47 years old.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


IMG_0414.jpg IMG_0414.jpg - 153KB

updated by @ken-longfield: 04/12/24 10:44:24PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/02/24 11:55:27AM
1,097 posts

What's the exact difference between a dulcimore and dulcimer


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

Thanks, Wally, I misunderstood you. I have Chet Hines' book and quite a few others books like it. I'm sad that I never met Patty Looman but I do have a few tabs Patty made for some of her workshops.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/02/24 08:54:24AM
1,097 posts

What's the exact difference between a dulcimore and dulcimer


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

Dan, my comment about Thomas calling them dulcimers comes from a conversation I had with Mike Sloane. Also, both Ralph Lee Smith and Jean Ritchie refer to Thomas as making and selling in dulcimers. I think if he used another name for the instrument that would have appeared in their writings. If there is a specific reference to Uncle Ed using another name, I haven't seen it.

Wally, the name "dulcimore" appears in writing way before Bill Schilling started his club. I think Kimberly Burnette-Dean found that spelling in estate lists she found while researching dulcimer history in southern Virginia and western North Carolina.

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/01/24 12:55:01PM
1,097 posts

Bodhran (Irish Drum)


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Wally Venable:

"Mountain Mahogany" is virtually unknown to those of us living east of the Rockies.

 

I've never heard of it living in Pennsylvania. I see that it is very hard and dense. I should make a good tipper. I sure the shillelagh and walking stick are very sturdy.

Ken

"the dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/31/24 11:33:20AM
1,097 posts

International Appalachian Dulcimer Day


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

From observing and listening to the IADD posts on Facebook, I say that the movement to celebrate our beloved instrument is gaining ground.  Thank you to all who posted offerings for this day. I celebrated by working on a few dulcimers I have in my shop for repairs. I did play a few tunes.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 03/31/24 11:34:27AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/25/24 06:26:41PM
1,097 posts

What's the exact difference between a dulcimore and dulcimer


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

That's a good question Nate. I wish I had a good answer. I don't think it is a stylization. You may be closer with your second suspicion. Perhaps these various names came about by spelling out the name of the instrument spoken in different dialects. It would probably take a linguistic study to confirm this. I'm not a linguist and have idea how one would go about doing this.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/25/24 10:50:43AM
1,097 posts

What's the exact difference between a dulcimore and dulcimer


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

I can't speak for what Ken Hulme meant, but I would say that the popularity of tunings differed by regions. What was popular in southwestern Virginia (bagpipe or unison) may not have been what was popular in Kentucky or North Carolina. Tunings were selected to suit the voice of the player if she/he was singing with the dulcimer. In a 1-5-5 tuning the bass string was set to "a good note" and the other strings a fifth above it. A good note being one that suited the singer's voice. Tunings also depended upon what suited the song, e.g., major or minor scales. Accepting a "standard" tuning allows folks to play together. When I first started playing it was CGG and moved to DAA and then to DAd. If you listen to other dulcimers players today, you will find many playing in other tunings when the perform solo.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/24/24 01:35:03PM
1,097 posts

Can anyone out there help me with a tuner question?


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

I'm coming in late to this discussion Linda, but let me add a thought or two. First, I think the tuners are banjo friction tuners ( probably Champion) and the plastic buttons were replaced by walnut buttons. I don't know if this was done by the manufacturer (Grover) or by McSpadden. Second, wood is subject to changes in humidity and temperature. After taking the dulcimer out of the closet, there may have been some swelling or shrinking of the wood in the peg head. Sometimes when the screw bottoms out another washer, which is thicker than the original, can be used to thicken the side wall of the peg head allowing more space for the screw to tighten. There really isn't anything to malfunction on those pegs as they are a friction fit, but unlike violin pegs where the friction is within the peg hole, the friction on these pegs is against the wall of the peg head.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/22/24 11:30:01AM
1,097 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


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

Art S:

Making progress! For clarification @ken-longfield, to set up the action, you put the dime on the fret board, and the nickel on top of the fret?

 

Yes

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/19/24 09:08:19AM
1,097 posts

Crack in the soundboard, by the sound hole


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

I seldom go to festivals anymore for workshops but just to visit with dulcimer friends. However, Dwain, your workshop interests me. I might register for the Pocono festival just for that. I can easily drive over, take your workshop, and return home. I'll see when it is scheduled to take place. Thanks for offering this.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/17/24 05:58:10PM
1,097 posts

Crack in the soundboard, by the sound hole


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

Marg, it looks like it cracked along the grain of an area that has no support under it. A friend of mine has something similar happen when she had her dulcimer on her lap and when she bent over to pick something up off the floor a part of her anatomy pressed down the dulcimer's top. In many old dulcimers you damage like this. It just the nature of the beast.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/17/24 11:44:03AM
1,097 posts

Crack in the soundboard, by the sound hole


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

If it were my dulcimer, I would glue a thin strip of wood along the underside of the crack. If you have any quarter sawn spruce, pine, or cedar, that's what I would use. I would glue the strip with the grain of the quarter sawn patch running perpendicular to the crack. It looks like you have enough room to get a clamp through the sound hole to do this. Of course, first start with super glue repair of the crack and re-enforce it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/08/24 03:49:18PM
1,097 posts

New Cherry Galax Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Three cheers for the new owner! That person is receiving a beautiful instrument.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/03/24 07:46:40PM
1,097 posts

Folklife in Ohio


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

In another dulcimer site a member shared a link to a video about folklife in Ohio. It was produced by Ohio Bell and does show some dulcimer information. Ralph Rinzler from the Smithsonian Institution is the narrator. Besides my interest in the mountain dulcimer, I am interested in many aspects of folklife and suspect others here are too. Simple Gifts Enjoy!

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/29/24 04:35:22PM
1,097 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


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

Art, it looks like the tuning pegs are traditional violin pegs. When tuning you need to push the pegs in to the peg box as you turn them. They stay in place by friction. There are now geared violin pegs that look like the pegs you have. Do at search for Wittner violin pegs. Some of us who build and repair dulcimers use these measurements to set action: The strings should just touch the top of a dime placed on the bridge side of the first fret and top of a nickel placed on top of the seventh fret. I think Canadian coin are about same thickness as USA coins. If you haven't already done it, it would not hurt to make sure the contact point of the bridge should be the distance from the nut to the 7th fret doubled. The StewMac fret calculator says that the break point for the strings over the saddle (bridge) should be 72.159 inches for a non compensated bridge. I agree that eliminating the crude space would make the dulcimer look better. If you put notches in the bridge, just make sure to keep the touch point (break point) of the strings in line across it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/29/24 09:30:01AM
1,097 posts

Vintage dulcimer information sought


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

I agree with John. Nice find. I suspect you will ask about the cracks in the back. Those can be fixed easily with some CA glue or wood glue and clamping.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/28/24 11:31:37AM
1,097 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hi, Marg. With regard to the Lazenby dulcimer I would not use wood filler on it. Instead I would plug the hole with a piece of hardwood dowel rod. You will need to measure the diameter of the hole when you take the screw out. You might need to enlarge the hole a bit to fit a readily available dowel. Glue the dowel in to the hole using wood glue. You will then need to drill a hole the diameter of the end pin or just a hair smaller and tap the pin in place. This hole should be drilled at a slight angle like the other ones. Those look like standard hitch pins. It might be hard to just by one. If you send me a private message with your address I'll send you one. I'm pretty sure I have a few of them downstairs in my shop. I won't be venturing down there for the next week or so until my eyes get adjusted to the cataract surgery I had yesterday. Hope this helps you.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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