general instrument question

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
2,233 posts

@Randy I like Dwight Diller's story and tune version. He called it Dead Man's Piece i think. At least i think it was the same piece, a very old banjo tune, almost just a repeated phrase. Best teacher I ever had. Never in a rush, knew the power of silences between the notes.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Randy Adams
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
3 weeks ago
112 posts

Ah but Lisa a good old time banjo picker playing a just right old time banjo in that good shaving a dead man tuning...transcends the mortal world...and I know you know that ❤️

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
2,233 posts

I deleted my prior post about how this tune used to have a nasty racist title that was (thankfully) changed in the 1970s. I'm sorry if I upset anyone by mentioning it. Personally, I like the tune's other title much better, which is "Protect the Innocent".
The tune itself is a pretty basic banjo tune... so basic in fact that it seems more like a 'ditty' than an actual tune to me. It reminds me a great deal of Cripple Creek.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 02/11/24 04:21:38PM
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
3 weeks ago
1,712 posts

@bing-futch just shared his lesson on Shaving a Dead Man here at FOTMD . What timing!




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@nate
3 weeks ago
229 posts

One thing I find really cool about that is that speeding up music doesn't change the pitch of the notes so you can speed up or slow down backing tracks or "play alongs" and they will still be in the original key

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
2,233 posts

Often when I'm watching a YT tutorial video on some subject, it drives me nuts when the person is talking slooooowly and I wish they'd just get to the point. talk  🐌 time tumbleweed  That's when I click the gear and speed it up to 1.25 speed... what a Godsend! 




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
3 weeks ago
1,712 posts

@wildcat, you click or tap the gear icon and then choose "playback speed." 

YouTube added this feature a couple of years ago. It slows things down but keeps the same pitch, so you can learn tunes really easily. 

On a PC, that gear icon is on the bottom of the YouTube screen, but on a cell phone it appears on the top right.

Edit: Woops!  It looks like @salt-springs types faster than I. 




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty: 02/09/24 02:15:43PM
Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
3 weeks ago
207 posts

Simple........on the youtube video.......start it.........go to the settings on the video (that gear thing).........hit playback speed and speed it up or slow it down.

Wildcat
Wildcat
@wildcat
3 weeks ago
22 posts

@lilley-pad How does one go about slowing YouTube down? Can this be done on a cell and a pc?

Lilley Pad
Lilley Pad
@lilley-pad
3 weeks ago
6 posts

Thanks you guys are the best. I'll keep my eyes open for Bing's episode.  The beauty of YouTube is that one can slow it down.

Just got a real instrument a Folk roots. My first one was a cheap import, waste of money oh well live and learn. Thanks again all for the good input. stay dry.😁

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
3 weeks ago
1,712 posts

It just so happens that the next episode of Bing Futch's Dulcimerica (#687) will feature Bing Futch playing and teaching Shaving a Dead Man.  Check it out in a day or two whenever it drops.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
2,233 posts

I just stumbled on a 14yr old video of our own @randy-adams playing that old banjer tune on one of his cigar box instruments  banjo :




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 weeks ago
2,103 posts

The song dates back to the 1930s at least, and does not appear to be copyright protected. No dulcimer tab I could find.  Best to sing/hum/whistle the tune until you KNOW it, then sit down and pick it out on youe melody tring and write the tab as you go...


updated by @ken-hulme: 02/07/24 09:44:27PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
2,233 posts

Lilley, Dusty is correct as far as I know. 
I think you'd have to work it out on the dulcimer for yourself (either making a simple tab or learning it by ear), but most of those old fiddle/banjo tunes are pretty simple in structure, so it might be fun for you to do. It's definitely a traditional tune and not copyrighted. I do like that tune name "Protect the Innocent".




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
4 weeks ago
1,712 posts

I don't think the song is under copyright.  It appears to have a long history as a clawhammer banjo tune, but at one time the title was different and included a racial epithet.  From what I can figure out, by the 1970s, folks were calling it "Shaving a Dead Man" or "Protect the Innocent."  There's lots of banjo tab out on the tune as well as discussions about playing it in different keys and tunings.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty: 02/07/24 08:20:37PM
Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
4 weeks ago
228 posts

That song may be  under copyright. I did a search and could not find when it was written.  Your best avenue may be to purchase the sheet music and create your own tab from the sheet music.

Lilley Pad
Lilley Pad
@lilley-pad
4 weeks ago
6 posts

Hi sorry I don't know where to post this question. Any idea where to get the dulcimer tablature for a song Shaving a Dead Man? Thanks Kids

NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@nate
one month ago
229 posts

Bob Stephens dulcimers are absurdly cool. I haven't had the privilege of playing one but the engineering is fascinating and the tone is definitely distinctive. They incorporate a lot of design elements that you won't find in any other instruments. They may look 'guitar-like' but they are very optimized dulcimers. Features like the floating neck and internal soundboard are examples of taking things that are distinctive about a dulcimer and pushing them further.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
one month ago
1,712 posts

@Bob-Stephens really does use a floating neck that does not come in contact with the soundboard.  His dulcimers also have a false bottom, so both top and bottom are free to vibrate. You can see some pictures here on his website and also in some of the pictures he has posted to FOTMD . He uses a metal rod that runs the length of the neck to enhance stability and reduce the need for excessive bracing of the soundboard.

He is a member here and has explained the evolution of his design principles elsewhere, so I won't go into more details (which I don't understand, honestly). One of those discussions is Floating Fretboards .

David Beede uses the same floating fretboard principle on his octave dulcimers.  (Or rather he did, until he stopped building.)  The fretboard is attached to the body with two or three metal dowels that drive sound vibrations directly into the sound chamber. I have one of these little dulcimers and am constantly amazed how much volume can emerge from such a small instrument. It's like the dulcimer version of Taylor's GS-Mini.  The "decoupled tailpiece" principle that David used on his full-size dulcimers is similar to a "discontinuous" fretboard to which Ken refers.

I have not yet played a dulcimer by Bob Stephens but I have a wooden, nylon-string dulcimer on order and will surely post a video or two after it arrives. (I have to specify "wooden" because he is now making dulcimers using 3-D printing for nearly everything but the top.)  I ordered one because I love the idea of a dulcimer specifically designed for nylon strings and look forward to exploring the different tonal possibilities of that instrument. Bob worked with Aaron O'Rourke on the nylon-string dulcimers and has been working with Butch Ross on the steel-string dulcimers. You can find them demonstrating those models on YouTube if you search for a moment or two. 

And here is Steve Eulberg demonstrating an earlier version of the nylon-string dulcimer .  When he turns the dulcimer on its side with the camera from above (1:17-1:27), you can see the space in between the neck and the soundboard.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty: 02/01/24 03:15:23PM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one month ago
1,404 posts

@lilley-pad My experience is I play the mountain dulcimer with the sound I want to fit the repertoire(s) I want to play.  Also, my experience is there is no Holy Grail.dulcimer Depending on style of play and repertoire, one instrument may suit over another.    

Bob Stephens is a member here at FOTMD and you can find his page by searching members.  Here is a video of Aaron O'Rourke playing a prototype (so, an early model) of one of Bob's wonderful-sounding dulcimers: 

https://youtu.be/EPClQt6v0Z0?si=0D_xkDv1OR9fTkH7


updated by @robin-thompson: 02/01/24 12:34:58PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
2,103 posts

Like John I've not heard of Stephens Lutherie.  And I also agree with John that there is no one Perfect Dulcimer, ... there is only what YOU find best for your playing style  Having just googled Stephens, I see a guitar luthier trying to improve the mountain dulcimer... 

The "floating fretboard" you see isn't that.  That's a "discontinuous" fretboard.  99% of dulcimer have a fretboard that runs all the way from the head to the tail.  The fretboard you see is 'guitar-like' -- it stops after the last fret, then there is nothing until a block for holding the bridge in its proper location and height.   

Some people will try to tell you that having the fretboard stop short will increase the tops' ability to flex and produce better sound. Truth is such an arrangement requires a lot of extra bracing under the top to prevent string pressure from warping the top downward.  That bracing does more to dampen sound than improve it and negates almost any advantage you might gain.

  Unlike the guitar, the dulcimer simply does not have enough top area available for such a scheme to work well.  I build a number of similar dulcimers 30 or more years ago, but discontinued the process because it was a lot more labor intensive for very little, if any measurable improvement in the sound quality.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
one month ago
382 posts

Ah, the search for the elusive "perfect instrument"!  It probably does not exist (just as the perfect spouse does not exist), but luthiers like me try to build the optimal dulcimer for each customer.

I have not encountered Stephens Lutherie.

Lilley Pad
Lilley Pad
@lilley-pad
one month ago
6 posts

Any one tried a Stephens Lutherie dulcimer? he has a floating fret-board design for lack of a better word?

I think I’m catching that disease that seems to run through the musical community.  Which explains why so many people have multiple instruments.  Not just dulcimer players but everyone in general.  They are all looking for the Holy Grail that one instrument out there somewhere, which has everything all in one instrument. Is beautiful, and has that perfect volume, sustain, balance, tone and range.  SMILE 


updated by @lilley-pad: 02/11/24 02:32:37PM