Forum Activity for @ken-longfield

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/17/22 07:31:47PM
904 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

Thanks for the offer Jan. Like I said, I'm just curious and not that curious to really put you to all that work of tracing the bridge. I knew Robert Hutchinson and played many North Country dulcimers at his booth during a couple of arts festivals. I think Buzz would be more interested in a tracing of the bridge it he is going to restore the North Country dulcimer which was the beginning of this thread.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/15/22 10:36:29AM
904 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

Thank you Jan. Now I want to know more. How wide is it at the base and the top? What is the diamond of the four holes drilled in it? What is the distance from the top of the bridge to the top of the center hole? What is the distance between the top center hole and bottom center hole? What is the distance from the outer edges to the middle hole to the outer holes? What is the thickness of the bridge at the top and and at the bottom? I'm just the curious sort.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/07/22 06:49:44PM
904 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

That's a good find Skip. If you go to Paula, you can see some really good photos of the bridge. That is another person you can contact if you need someone to make a tracing of the bridge and measurements.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song.

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/07/22 03:01:23PM
904 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

No problem, Buzz. Looks like you conquered it. Yep, that's a North Country Dulcimer alright. The place where the strings contact the bridge will be placed at twice the distance from the fret board side of the nut to the center of the 7th fret. Any good luthier or repair tech should know that. Jan Potts, one of our moderators has a photo of a North Country dulcimer here:

Perhaps if you send her a message here she can shed more light on the bridge shape.

To send her a message, click on "Members" above. Put "Jan Potts" in the search window. When her page comes up click on "send message" just below her profile information on the left hand side of the page..

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/07/22 12:40:50PM
904 posts

North country dulcimers floating bridge replacement


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

Robert Hutchinson was the maker of North Country dulcimers in Bairdsford, PA. Besides making dulcimers, he was known also as "The Kazoo Guy."A He is no longer building. The bridges on his dulcimers were unique. You can find some photos on the dulcimers on the internet. You will need to have someone custom make a bridge for you. If you can find someone who has a North Country dulcimer who would be wiling to trace the bridge for you, then whoever makes a bridge for you would have a pattern to work from. It will take some work, but shouldn't be too difficult.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/28/22 07:01:06PM
904 posts

End of Finger Stabs


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Interesting solution, although I usually stab myself on the other end when using homemade loop end strings.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/26/22 09:23:40AM
904 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, you can. I think the gauges (from melody to bass) would be 0,012, 0.016, and 0.025. If those are a light, you can go up to 0.014, 0.018, and 0.026, 0.027, or 0.028.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/25/22 07:56:05PM
904 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You can tune a dulcimer any way you want to. DAd or DAdd happens to be the most popular tuning at the moment.  In the groups I play with we also play in DAA, DAC, DAG, EAA, CGG. and a few others. I play mostly three string dulcimer hence the references. If you play with 4 equidistant strings you have many other tuning possibilities. One caution is that you may need to change string gauges to reach some tunings. You'll know if you start breaking strings that you'll need another gauge.

Ken
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/22 12:19:27PM
904 posts

Making a noter


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

My current favorite noter is the handle of a foam brush. I cut the foam off the handle after the paint hardened. It works very well for me.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/22 10:03:23AM
904 posts

Making a noter


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


Roy, I don't know if you ever go over to Downingtown, but if you do there is a Woodcraft store there. It carries maple dowels. If I ever get down your way again, I have lots of different sizes and species of dowel material I can bring along for you to try.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 08/16/22 10:04:31AM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/02/22 09:40:04PM
904 posts

Kentucky Flood and Dulcimer History


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Robin, go to it on Facebook and right click on the video to bring up settings (I think, I don't use Windows) and switch from automatic to one of the lower settings. I used 240 and it worked well.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/02/22 06:59:24PM
904 posts

Kentucky Flood and Dulcimer History


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for the suggestion Salt, but 4 minutes and 20 seconds seems to be the cut-off. I was able to watch the video by going in to settings and changing from the auto setting to 240p. If I were smarter at this computer stuff, it would have dawned on me sooner to do that.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/02/22 04:38:15PM
904 posts

Kentucky Flood and Dulcimer History


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks, Salt. I had not seen the YouTube video before.. I appreciate your sharing it. I still would like to find a way to see the other video. When I see the video of the Artisan Center and think of how many times I've been in the Cody building my heart aches. It is not for the stuff that was lost in the flood, but for the lives disrupted and livelihoods compromised. They were making such wonderful progress with the Road to Recovery through the Luthiere and Troublesome Creek Instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/02/22 12:15:01PM
904 posts

Kentucky Flood and Dulcimer History


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Salt, Ron, and Robin for you comments. I, too, thought of Mike, Doug, and all the other folks I've met in Hindman over the years. I have been ins several floods here in Pennsylvania and involved in the cleanup afterwards, but none have been as devastating as this flooding in eastern Kentucky. Our area Lutheran churches were just getting ready to send some work crews to western Kentucky to help with the rebuilding after the tornadoes. I suspect we will be doing the same as eastern Kentucky cleans up and prepares to rebuild. I usually make donations through Lutheran Disaster Response who coordinates with other religious organizations and government entities in providing relief and rebuilding aid. I will also be making direct donations to the Appalachian Artisan Center and other folks in Hindman.

Like Robin, I have been unable to view the video for which Salt provided a link past about 4:20; just after she gets inside the Troublesome Creek Instruments building. I hope sometime to be able to see the entire video.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/23/22 06:39:08PM
904 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

John's suggestion looks good also. I don't have that book, but have met Anne and know that she does a good job of teaching in person. It is worth checking out as well.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/23/22 06:28:18PM
904 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Wally has provided some good suggestions which you won't pick up in books. I'm 75 and pretty much self taught although I started in playing in 1974 when I made my first dulcimer. Over the last 20 years I've attended lots of festivals and workshops and accumulated lots of tab. These days I'm mostly focusing on playing single melody string either using a noter or my index finger. I can play chord/melody style but really like the sound of drones. For fretting only the melody string, I suggest Maddie's two books; Teach Yourself Dulcimer and The Wonderful World of DAA. If can purchase the books along with the audio/video downloads, I think that would be ideal for you. Can listen to audio or watch the videos whenever you want. I've found that with growing older that tab gets harder to see. I have to write out larger numbers on most of the tab I have.

We have a group that meets on Tuesday night on Zoom that plays mostly in DAA. I know it would be a little advanced for a beginner, but you are welcome to watch us play and ask questions. We meet at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, so it would be at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. If you are interested, let me know, and I will send the information on how to join the meeting.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/23/22 01:24:40PM
904 posts

Best instruction material?


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Steve, I don't know where you are in Oregon, but I suspect that dulcimer players are sparse in your area. I've used many books over the years and made recommendations to lots of students. A good basic instruction books that has been around for quite some time is Maddie MacNeil's You Can Teach Yourself Dulcimer from Mel Bay. It begins with DAA tuning plus you can access audio and video from Mel Bay. If you want to go with DAd, First Lessons Dulcimer in DAD by Joyce Ochs (also from Mel Bay) is a good beginners books. It has audio access. These books originally came with CDs or DVDs, but everything from Mel Bay is now by download these days. There are also lots of beginners lessons via video through the internet if you have a good internet connection where you live.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/21/22 12:35:00PM
904 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Yes, that is correct as Skip said.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/21/22 08:54:39AM
904 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

Roy, Ken and Skip's suggestion is how I would handle the problem with the size of the loop. Put the non-loop end of the string through the loop, put over the end pin (knob, as you called it), and pull tight thus making a larger loop. It is a lot easier than trying to make a new loop. I suggest buying bulk strings from JustStrings.com. It is less expensive than having to buy sets all the time. Twelve 0.012 strings cost $4.03 plus shipping  and you can get five 0.022 D'Addario strings for $12.26. I think that works out to 4 sets of strings for $16.49 plus shipping with a couple of extra 0.012s. BTW, you can also make larger loops using ball end strings buy looping the plain end of the string through the ball. Best wishes as you work to make this dulcimer playable. As I recall it has a beautiful sound.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/18/22 02:10:55PM
904 posts

Tuning peg replacement question


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

It really is a very nice dulcimer although, as I recall, the shafts of the tuning pegs are rather thin. I think dropping down to a 0.020 wound string for the D would be good. The 0.012 are about right for A, but you could try a 0.014 which is 0.001 heavier than the suggested string on the Strothers' String Size calculator. 0.012 is 0.001 lighter. You might be able to get away with a 0.011 or 0.010 if they don't get too floppy when tuned up to pitch.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/27/22 10:38:36PM
904 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I don't use wire cutters. I use diagonal cutting pliers. That's not a semantic difference, but a difference in the steel alloy used in the construction of the pliers. A few years ago I purchased a set of small Husky pliers that included a small 4 inch diagonal cutting plier along with a needle nose plier and flat blade plier. They work well for instrument construction. I also have another small diagonal cutting plier that I keep in my traveling gig bag. I've had since 1974. I have a cheap pair that I bought at store called "Ollies" that sells "good stuff cheap" just to have an extra pair around. They work well also.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/25/22 11:04:03PM
904 posts

Mystery dulcimer, perhaps from the 70's


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

Interesting dulcimer, but I have no clue as to who the builder might be.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/24/22 09:50:52AM
904 posts

Left handed playing


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Some left handed folks have no problem playing right handed. Let her give it a try. If that doesn't work, try restringing, but as Noah cautions, you may find some strings buzzing or binding. In that case you will need a new nut and saddle (a.k.a. bridge).

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/09/22 08:02:49PM
904 posts

My latest and greatest mountain dulcimer!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Congratulations on your new dulcimer. I am sure you will enjoy it and have fun playing it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/06/22 06:48:38PM
904 posts

Clinch Mountain Backstep


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

You're welcome Ken. Thanks to the Disney Law, the copyright is in effect for 78 years following the death of the holder and I think the heirs may be able to renew it. I'm not certain about that as it has been quite some time since I read the statute.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/06/22 10:43:06AM
904 posts

Clinch Mountain Backstep


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Larry, check out this discussion. It may be why you can't find a dulcimer tab. https://fotmd.com/strumelia/group_discuss/2101/clinch-mountain-backstep-copyrighted

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/03/22 10:06:08AM
904 posts

COVID and Nursing Home Visits


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I am happy to report that our group is back playing at a local retirement center. There are three sections to the center: assisted living, nursing home, and memory unit. We played this past Wednesday at the memory unit. Next month we will play for the nursing home residents and the month after that for the assisted living folks. We play the first Wednesday of every month and are scheduled through the end of the year. Protocols require that we check in at the main desk, have our temperatures taken, receive a visitors badge, and then can proceed to where we play. Masks are required while walking through the buildings, but not while performing.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
06/01/22 05:19:47PM
904 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


Joe, it is wonderful to hear that Joe Sanguinette started you on your dulcimer journey. He was a very nice gentleman and good builder. I hope you are enjoying and playing all of those "revival" dulcimers. My profile of Joe appeared in DPN Volume 23, No. 3 in 1997.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 06/01/22 05:46:06PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/31/22 09:54:57PM
904 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I just looked at the previous post in this discussion. I need to update my list and add a violin my wife found in a closet when doing spring cleaning. Neither one of us remembers where it came from. Also, I now have three more dulcimers and an Oscar Schmidt autoharp. I also discovered a recorder, tin whistle, and Native American flute. There are probably still more for me to find in closest and cabinets.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 06/01/22 01:14:05PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/24/22 11:27:23AM
904 posts

Kevin Roth interviews Howard Rugg


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robin. That was a delightful interview. Six years ago I had the good fortune to visit Howard in Felton. It was rather serendipitous as my wife made a mistake in navigating our camping trip. She booked us in to a campground about a mile from Howard's shop in Felton rather than finding a place closer to the Monterey peninsula where we were headed. I had a great visit with Howard. He is just as you see him in this video with Kevin and Bosco.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
05/01/22 10:26:33AM
904 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Teddy, I thought of you at worship this morning. Psalm 30 was the appointed Psalm. I particularly liked verses 2 & 3: "O Lord, my God, I cried out to you and your restored my health. You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead; you restored my life as I was going down to the grave." These verses were particularly meaningful for me before and after my open heart surgery which was almost a year and half ago now.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/30/22 11:20:01AM
904 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Good luck Teddy on your dulcimer journey. Playing a mountain dulcimer is very therapeutic. There are serveral styles of playing, but as a piper you may like the noter/drone as a starting point. In that style you play the melody on one string (the one closest to you as you hold the dulcimer on you lap) and the other two or three strings act as drones. I'm sure you are familiar with it. Once you receive your new dulcimer and start playing don't hesitate to ask in the forums if you have any questions. As you know by now, we are happy to offer any help we can. Best wishes.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/28/22 05:51:00PM
904 posts

Stanley Hicks / David Love dulcimer


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


Greg, thanks for the information on the Hicks/Love connection. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge of the Watauga County dulcimer community.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 04/28/22 05:52:00PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/23/22 02:04:51PM
904 posts

Fret addition?


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

Lois, I'm not really a bum ditty player. I'm more like Don Pedi describes as syllable player fitting the strums to the words of songs. As I understand bum ditty it is a single strum followed by a double strum. You can also do ditty bum which is the opposite; a double strum followed by a single strum. Hope that helps you.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/23/22 12:42:23PM
904 posts

Fret addition?


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

Not much to add that hasn't already been said. Like, Dan, I hope you are not planning to add a fret to a hundred year old dulcimer or one from on of the historic traditional builders. Keep in in mind that adding the 6 1/2 fret is not just putting a fret midway between the sixth and seventh frets. You need to calculate the proper placement for the 6 1/2 fret either by doing the math yourself or using a fret calculator. If you already have the equipment to do the job yourself, go ahead. If not you may find it less expensive to have it done by a professional.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/23/22 12:31:28PM
904 posts

Teaching Advice


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lorilee, my oldest grandson is also on the autism spectrum. He is 13 and in junior high school (8th grade). Early on I tried to interest him in dulcimer, but was unsuccessful. He is in the middle school band and plays percussion. His father helps him. His father is not a percussionist, but plays guitar, trumpet, and piano and has picked up some percussion from being in bands. Our grandson seems to identify with the various patterns of drumming as well as different intensities (soft to loud). I don't know if one of his stims (watching things spin) is related to his drumming or not. He is not particularly proficient in math but is very good a remembering numbers.

You could approach your granddaughter by doing some simple counting. Count the scale 0 - 7 (if in DAd) or 3 -10 (DAA). Start with one strum per note, then add a strum to each note, and so forth. You can then introduce different rhythms 3/4, 4/4, etc. I suggest she use her index finger to do the noting even if you have to lower the strings in pitch a little bit. Holding a noter can be frustrating until you master the technique. Slipping in to the middle string causing an extra rattling noise can be disturbing. Of course, you can show her how to hold the noter properly and she how she does. Take it slowly in small increments at first. Don't force it. If she shows an interest, help her to be successful at it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/16/22 11:55:51AM
904 posts

virtual fest from Hindman KY


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robin. That not only honors Cari but also brings back some wonderful memories.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/09/22 09:16:48AM
904 posts

virtual fest from Hindman KY


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've enjoyed both Don's and Joellen's presentations. I was disappointed in yesterday's presentation on Troublesome Creek instruments as they couldn't get the Powerpoint to work. I hope they get it together by the Traditional Dulcimore Gathering in Berea as Doug is to present the Powerpoint there also. Looking forward to Don's workshop this afternoon.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
04/07/22 09:03:03AM
904 posts

12 String Guitar


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I didn't notice this post before either. My only experience with at 12 string guitar was a Yamaha that a college roommate owned. I played around with it some, but I never got into it. That was over 50 years ago. I do like the sound of a 12 string, but it is not something I enjoy playing.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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