Forum Activity for @ken-longfield

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/16/20 07:35:00PM
653 posts

Anyone bidding"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sure, Dusty, I'll send you 3 bucks as soon as I find a few herds of deer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/16/20 05:49:37PM
653 posts

Anyone bidding"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I'm curious to know if anyone here is planning to bid on this dulcimer. 

http://www.cmt.com/news/1824963/take-this-swarovski-crystal-studded-four-string-dulcimer-off-dolly-partons-hands/

It should be a nice addition to anyone's dulcimer collection.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


Unknown.jpeg Unknown.jpeg - 12KB

updated by @ken-longfield: 09/16/20 07:45:35PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/13/20 05:22:40PM
653 posts

Does anyone know what kind of pick this is?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I wish I could help you, but I can't. The shape is the Fender 355 shape which is also made by D'Andrea. I am not aware of anyone selling a white triangular pick which has red dots imbedded in it. I can't tell from the photo, but the picks looks to be a thick one. I have some white picks in that shape from Folkcraft when it was in Connecticut, but not with the red dots. I don't think those dots where there when the pick was manufactured.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/31/20 11:50:29AM
653 posts

Magnetic pickup vs Piezo vs Mic pointed at dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have two dulcimers with built in piezo under saddle pickups. I think both do a very good job of reproducing the acoustic sound of the instruments. I used stick-on piezo pickups for a long time, but they not only amplified the sound of the strings, but also amplified pick noise and any touching of the dulcimer. Using a microphone can be tricky in that you need to find the proper placement for it. One reason I stopped using a microphone is a sound tech at a festival I was playing at insisted that the mic be suspended over the dulcimer. Well, when the mic slipped out of the holder and fell on top of the dulcimer, that was it for me. I went to direct plug-in.

As to magnetic pickups, I have no experience with them on a dulcimer. I know Folkcraft is now offering them on some models. I am not aware of anyone selling magnetic pickups for dulcimers, but maybe you do.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/28/20 09:43:59AM
653 posts

Are there fretless dulcimers?


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

I'll second Strumelia's post. Randy Adams is a national dulcimer treasure and I'm happy to own an instrument he made which uses toothpicks for frets.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/28/20 09:41:40AM
653 posts

Choice of Wood: Pertinent or Purism?


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

People tend to forget that for a good long time McSpadden dulcimers were made from laminated wood. It was used primarily in the back and sides. The reason the David Schnaufer model was discontinued is that the laminated cherry wood that he specified for the back and sides was no longer available. An advantage of laminated wood is that it is more stable than solid wood. A disadvantage is that it can be heavier than the same amount of solid wood depending upon variations in thickness.

I sometimes build a dulcimer with a spruce or cedar top, not for reasons of sound, but because I like the contrast in the woods; a light top and and a dark bottom.

Over the years I've made some very nice sounding instruments for low quality wood and some real clunkers from very nice wood. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/21/20 05:10:51PM
653 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

Marg, I can't tell from the photos. Are all six guitar strings the same gauge (thickness)? I am guess that the tuners for those strings have the tuning knobs below the peg head. It looks to me like there are two sets of three strings down the center. I am puzzled as to why the two dulcimer fret boards face in the same direction. Are both tuned the same? Is one equal string spacing and the other with a double melody string? I am having trouble understanding the purpose of this design.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/20/20 06:01:47PM
653 posts

Dr. George Orthey, Mountain dulcimer and Autoharp maker


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

And that's not all Leo, 200 hammered dulcimers, one guitar, and various other instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/19/20 05:02:17PM
653 posts

Dr. George Orthey, Mountain dulcimer and Autoharp maker


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of my friend, Dr. George Orthey. During his lifetime he built over 1,500 dulcimers and 1,500 autoharps. An article about George appeared in Dulcimer Players News, Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter, 1987.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/17/20 11:51:21AM
653 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I hope the rolling black outs don't cause your AC to go out or do you have a back up generator. Our son and his family live way south of you in Van Nuys and they've been having this heat as well. Stay cool inside and play dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/10/20 08:00:28PM
653 posts

Truss Rods?


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

Guitars and banjos need truss rods to stabilize the neck because of the pressure from the strings. On most dulcimers the strings are not anchored to the neck but to the peg head and the tail piece With a fret board spanning the length of the sound box, it acts as a truss rod preventing the dulcimer from warping by pulling up at either end. I have a dulcimer I built 46 years ago which has a cantilevered fret board. To keep the fret board from warping, I made it out of three pieces of wood glued together. It is still flat. Unless there is pressure from the strings or the wood used for construction was not well seasoned you should not have any warping on a mountain dulcimer. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/19/20 11:33:40AM
653 posts

video Mr. Wilson at Mountain Dulcimer Museum in Hindman


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robin. Randy is a very patient teacher whether with children or adults.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/05/20 05:26:40PM
653 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Beautiful Irene. I'm glad you are able to share it with us.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/02/20 06:22:50PM
653 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Irene, the death of a loved one is never easy. After 55 years there will be many times in the years ahead where you will want to share something with him and he won't be there. These moments are painful but also an opportunity to be a blessing as you remember the wonderful life you had together. My your memories of you husband be a blessing to you and your daughters. My sympathy goes out to all of you.

Ken
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/30/20 11:02:26PM
653 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Nice story Lisa. It's like putting new strings on your dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/25/20 08:47:54AM
653 posts

Getting back into my Dulcimer


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Hello, Gary, I'm glad you are getting back in to playing your dulcimer. I can't really add to what KenH and John have said. Just sit down and play as often as you can. Enjoy.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/24/20 11:03:32PM
653 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've switched from Pegheds to Wittner geared tuners. I think the tuning is a little more precise. You would be in big trouble if you cut the button off as the gears are in the button rather than the shaft.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/21/20 11:32:30PM
653 posts

Need Help Identifying a Dulcimer


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

The wood appears to be a type of mahogany used by many builders of inexpensive dulcimers in the late 1960s and 1970s. I can't tell if the top and back are plywood, but I suspect that the sides are. If the peg head and fret board are a single piece of wood the that is mahogany. The side view of with pegs definitely shows a piece of mahogany.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/07/20 06:49:56PM
653 posts

Herdim picks


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Jergen:

 


For the dulcimer I use the red ones, the thickness is actually not documented anywhere.



Jergen, if you mean that the thickness is not given in millimeters, you are correct. Here is the website describing the three gauges of the picks: thin, medium, and thick.  Herdim Picks


I'm not sure, but I think the points have more to do with stiffness, rather than thickness, with I being the least stiff and III being the stiffest. As I noted below, people have measured the thickness of the pick and points, but the measurements vary widely.


Ken


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/04/20 03:53:48PM
653 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you, Dusty.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/04/20 01:22:03PM
653 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Well, I finally finish the restoration of a Pennsylvania German zitter. I purchased two of them back in the Fall of 2019. The other one was easier to restore as I just had to repair a few cracks and reglue some joints. The top on the one I just finished was beyond repair and I had to make a new top. Here is the instrument.

Ken,

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


IMG_4349.jpeg IMG_4349.jpeg - 106KB
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/30/20 09:48:20AM
653 posts

Carved headstock and end piece.Maker?


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

I may have to adjust my guess of the age of this instrument as it has no 6 1/2 fret that I can see. If someone were going for a traditional dulcimore, I understand leaving out that fret, but since at least the mid 1970s the 6 1/2 has been basically standard.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/29/20 11:14:52PM
653 posts

Carved headstock and end piece.Maker?


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

I have no idea who made that dulcimer. I doubt that the peg head and tailpiece are carved. It looks like a simple cut with a band saw. From the look of the tuning pegs, it would guess it was made within the last 20 years or so.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/26/20 08:05:00PM
653 posts

Herdim picks


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dictum, the company in Germany who makes the Herdim picks, says that they began making them in the 1960s for guitar players and developed by Gunther Dick. There are three gauges of picks; yellow, thin; red, medium; and blue, thick. On each pick there are three points: I is thin, II is medium, and III is thick. Folks have measured the various thickness of points on each pick, but the measurements vary depending upon who does the measuring. I use the blue pick and mostly play with I point.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/26/20 10:18:49AM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here is a link to the issue of DPN in which my article on Everything Dulcimer appears. It is on page 33.

https://issuu.com/dulcimerplayersnewsinc/docs/120823190208-24b1ef20f89d4e1e9cbb6004cdabb332

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/24/20 09:26:25PM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I thought I had posted a response to Lisa's request for the exact year ED started. It was 2002. Bruce began running some tests as he built the website starting in January and went online full time in March 2002. I think KenH joined on March 15 and I I joined on March 18. I wrote a short article on Everything Dulcimer for Dulcimer Players News. I'll have to search for that article. I did some early testing of the site Bruce and he asked me to be a moderator. When Bruce was at sea Ron Zuckerman pretty much ran the website and I helped with some of the work. Now help me out, Did I respond to this request in some other discussion?

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/16/20 11:14:37AM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I did read your post about Jason, but did not realize that Steve and Dan had a played a role in ED. I know Ron Zuckerman did quite a bit of work with the ED website.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/16/20 11:04:36AM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I agree with Ken Hulme as I joined ED just after he did. Bruce called me and we did some testing of ED together. I don't remember any Jason involved in the origin of the website.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/16/20 09:26:33AM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I continue to check in to ED every day and make comments there when appropriate. I also tell people to check it out. It is important to have as many resources as possible to promote the mountain dulcimer and encourage people to play it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/15/20 08:13:15PM
653 posts

The EverythingDulcimer website has returned. Whooopie!!!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Indeed, it is not the old ED site. I was a moderator on that site and know the frustrations Bruce Ford experienced keeping it a safe place to discuss all things dulcimer. While he was at sea, he gave me and another person administration rights. I was overwhelmed by how much time it took to eliminate spurious material and offensive members. After he retired from the Navy and started his own business, he just did not have the time to put into ED anymore. Rather than turn it over to someone else, Bruce decided to retire the site. At least, that is how I understand it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/19/20 10:50:02AM
653 posts

The New ED


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

One thing that the original ED site had early on was a chat room which allowed a few of us to get to know each other. Those chats helped trigger discussions and responses on the main site. That is one of the nice things here as well, the chat room. Not a lot of folks use it, but we have a group of regulars on early in the morning (EDT) and sometimes in the evenings. I don't get in to the chat often as I'm not an early riser. Like my wife says, "You don't wake up until 10 p.m." I'm a night owl.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/18/20 10:30:20AM
653 posts

The New ED


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

I'm curious about how folks here have joined or used the new ED site. There does not seem to be many folks participating there and I wonder why? Could it be that the administrator remains anonymous creating a less friendly and personable atmosphere? Bruce Ford, the creator of the original ED, participated using his name and we knew a little bit about him. The same is true of Lisa here and Bobby at The Traditional Mountain Dulcimore site. Even at Discovering Dulcimers on Facebook some of us know the originator, Maria, and Wayne Anderson who maintains the page. What do the rest of you think?

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/10/20 03:46:09PM
653 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

That's a really nice looking Fender Strat. The Champion 20 is great amp. Here is a photo of guitar I built. I use it with a Fender Mustang LT 25.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

 


IMG_3941.jpeg IMG_3941.jpeg - 129KB
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/10/20 01:08:13PM
653 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

LisavB, I'm glad to hear your are using your stay-home time well. I'd love to see your pick Fender Strat. Last summer I built a Fender Strat look alike from a kit. I painted it emerald green. It is my first and only electric guitar. I bought a cool little Fender amp to go with it. Haven't tried cutting my own hair yet, but that may be in the future.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/25/20 11:37:04AM
653 posts

Dulcimer String Anchor Pins


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

I'm not a big fan of the single wooden peg as a string anchor. I think wrapping all the strings around it looks ugly. Just my opinion. I use brass coated brads which I install in a line, either in a horizontal line or on a slant. I generally cut the heads off the brads so that I can use either loop or ball end strings. I like having a separate anchor for each string.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/23/20 08:19:07PM
653 posts

Rest in peace, Maddie MacNeil


OFF TOPIC discussions

I first met Maddie when both of us worked in Shenandoah National Park. I can't remember if we first met in 1971 or 1973.  Occasionally my wife and I would drive from our location at Loft Mountain to see and hear Maddie perform at Skyland. This was in her pre-mountain dulcimer days. She played guitar and (I think) was just beginning to play hammered dulcimer. We had some good times in the park, but lost track of each other after my wife and I finished our stint at Shenandoah in 1973. A few years later we reacquainted, when we saw she was presenting a concert in our area. By then she was playing mountain dulcimer and I had begun building them. Over the years our paths crossed a few times and I wound up submitting an article to DPN which led to my doing a few more on dulcimer builders. When Maddie and Ralph began mountain dulcimer week at Shenandoah University, I signed up. This led to my running sound for all the concerts and helping out by making copies for the workshop leaders. I also did a few workshops on dulcimer maintenance. All of this was at Maddie's urging ( she would not take "no" as an answer). She even managed to get me on stage to play with other workshop leaders. I must say that she was very good about getting me out of my comfort zone. She was always so positive and encouraging. Even though we did not see each other often, I will miss Maddie and our friendship.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
03/16/20 10:39:39PM
653 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I, too, live in a rural area. All our dulcimer activities are cancelled because the nursing homes where we usually play are not allowing visitors. Also, a community Lenten service were to play at was cancelled. So I just plan to stay at home, play music, and work in the workshop. I have a PA German zitter to repair and a few instruments I hope to build. I should keep fairly busy. Oh, and I have some writing to do. The more I think about, the busier I will be.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/22/20 08:42:10PM
653 posts

Take a guess on who made this dulcimer


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

Yes, a Folkcraft, but I don't think it is a kit. The kits did not have that type of peg head.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/21/20 07:12:37AM
653 posts




Sound posts were used by "Uncle Ed" Thomas and Charles N. Prichard in their dulcimers. Thomas had two sound posts; one about the 3rd fret and one about the 10th fret. Prichard had one sound post in the center of the fretboard. A friend made a reproduction of the Prichard dulcimer and when I asked him if he put in a sound post, he replied that he hadn't. He did on the next one he built and noticed an increase in the volume of the dulcimer. I put one in a dulcimer I recently built. People have commented on how nice it sounds, but I can't say for sure it was because of the addition of the sound post. Matt is correct. If you want more volume from a mountain dulcimer, add a possum board.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 02/21/20 08:50:09AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
02/14/20 09:18:07AM
653 posts

Epinette


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Indeed, it is a small world. You did a nice job figuring out what you needed to do. It looks like a very nice instrument.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

 /