Introduce Yourself!

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
one week ago
11 posts

Lilley Pad:

Hi Beth loved your exclamation about the D.A.A. disorder. I had a slight out break myself here. I almost bought a beautiful Used Blue Lion Dulcimer.  But after adding up the cost of the instrument having it shipped back to Blue Lion to have a pickup installed and retrofit the fretboard with the one and a half  fret and having no idea what it sound like, the cost reality hit me. There's an old saying with people with a custom car, paint and Chrome won't get you home. I guess what I'm trying to say is the aesthetic of the instrument got the better of me, then the practicality sunk in. I'll just stick with my FolkRoots and just accept the reality I can only play one instrument at a time. I'm much better now and have managed to shake off the disorder for now. ;o)

 

They're such pretty instruments aren't they? So beautiful to look at. That's part of the problem! :-)

Lilley Pad
Lilley Pad
@lilley-pad
one week ago
11 posts

Hi Beth loved your exclamation about the D.A.A. disorder. I had a slight out break myself here. I almost bought a beautiful Used Blue Lion Dulcimer.  But after adding up the cost of the instrument having it shipped back to Blue Lion to have a pickup installed and retrofit the fretboard with the one and a half  fret and having no idea what it sound like, the cost reality hit me. There's an old saying with people with a custom car, paint and Chrome won't get you home. I guess what I'm trying to say is the aesthetic of the instrument got the better of me, then the practicality sunk in. I'll just stick with my FolkRoots and just accept the reality I can only play one instrument at a time. I'm much better now and have managed to shake off the disorder for now. ;o)

 

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
one week ago
11 posts

Ken Hulme:

G -- GDG  Good on a short VSL dulcimer

Thanks Ken. My McSpadden Ginger is tuned to GDG. My standard McSpadden is now tuned to CFC, and my new Folkcraft to DGD. I haven't yet tried DAA tuning, so I might try it out on the McSpadden. 

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
one week ago
11 posts

marg:


Beth:


Send in the Music ( https://www.sendinthemusic.com/) is a Free Zoom music jam each Saturday out of Fla.  there is a couple 


Jan & Hamish Cormie who usually play Welsh music, Men of Harlech (DGD)  & Grand Old Duke of York (DGD) - Arr Jan Cormie


If you don't know them, maybe you could contact them - write to Pat, she could help you out ( pat@sendinthemusic.com )


Thanks Marg. I have the Cormies contact details and hope to join one of their sessions in Newport soon.

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
one week ago
11 posts

Strumelia:

Quick clarification:  "DAA" can refer to either a common tuning for us dulcimer players (with the bass string tuned to a low D, the tonic note played at the third fret of melody string, with the dulcimer played in the key of D) ...OR it can stand for "Dulcimer Acquisition Affliction"... a not uncommon illness whereby one succumbs to buying multiple dulcimers with little or no self control.

Sometimes the DAA illness settles down on its own after the initial raging fever. Other times, symptoms continue until friends or family stage some sort of intervention, or a storage/financial wakeup call occurs. Rehabilitation and/or therapy may be necessary for a return to 'pre-dulcimer discovery' normalcy.  🦠 🚑

A perfect and totally accurate description of DAA! :-)

marg
@marg
2 weeks ago
616 posts

Beth:

Send in the Music ( https://www.sendinthemusic.com/) is a Free Zoom music jam each Saturday out of Fla.  there is a couple 

Jan & Hamish Cormie who usually play Welsh music, Men of Harlech (DGD)  & Grand Old Duke of York (DGD) - Arr Jan Cormie

If you don't know them, maybe you could contact them - write to Pat, she could help you out ( pat@sendinthemusic.com )

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
2,126 posts

G -- GDG  Good on a short VSL dulcimer

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 weeks ago
2,255 posts

Quick clarification:  "DAA" can refer to either a common tuning for us dulcimer players (with the bass string tuned to a low D, the tonic note played at the third fret of melody string, with the dulcimer played in the key of D) ...OR it can stand for "Dulcimer Acquisition Affliction"... a not uncommon illness whereby one succumbs to buying multiple dulcimers with little or no self control.

Sometimes the DAA illness settles down on its own after the initial raging fever. Other times, symptoms continue until friends or family stage some sort of intervention, or a storage/financial wakeup call occurs. Rehabilitation and/or therapy may be necessary for a return to 'pre-dulcimer discovery' normalcy.  🦠 🚑




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
2 weeks ago
11 posts

Richard Streib:

Beth,

A note of encouragement. DAA is not terminal nor disabling. Nor does it respond to advanced medical treatment. I have found the best way to treat it is to get one more dulcimer.

Thanks Richard. It’s good to have the support of the fellow afflicted. I will definitely take your advice on board as soon as my bank account recovers! ;-)

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
2 weeks ago
11 posts

John C. Knopf:

Beth, have you contacted Robin Clark there in Wales?  He's quite the knowledgeable dulcimist.

Yes, thank you. Robin got in touch via this site as did Geoff Black. 

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
2 weeks ago
234 posts

Beth,

A note of encouragement. DAA is not terminal nor disabling. Nor does it respond to advanced medical treatment. I have found the best way to treat it is to get one more dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 weeks ago
389 posts

Beth, have you contacted Robin Clark there in Wales?  He's quite the knowledgeable dulcimist.

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
2 weeks ago
11 posts

Hi Ken. I’m not actually in Yorkshire - I just bought my first dulcimer there when visiting old friends near Northallerton. I live in a place called Llantrisant, near Cardiff in South Wales. Hence my tendency to post Welsh folk tunes. As to having my dulcimers in different keys, I’ve already retuned my standard McSpadden to CGC as an initial experiment. What else should I try? 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
2,126 posts

Hi Beth!  Where are you in Yorks?  I have e-friends in Hawes and that part of the Dales as well as elsewhere in the UK.  My partner is from Brighton originally but has been here longer than there.   I play mostly the Child Ballads and Border ballads/folk music, using Noter & Drone style.  Three is a good number of dulcimers (although I have more) as you can  tuned in each of the main folk keys...

Beth T
Beth T
@beth-t
2 weeks ago
11 posts

I’ve been a member of FOTMD for a couple of years now, and posted some audio clips of Welsh folk tunes, but I don’t think I’ve properly introduced myself. I’ve been quiet for the last few months, trying to get my head and fingers around my new toy - a lovely walnut/Engelmann spruce Folkcraft Series H dulcimer with a 1.5 fret, 25in VSL. Now that I’ve stopped stumbling over the 1.5 fret, I’ve posted some tunes that I’ve been playing on the new dulcimer - not perfect, but then I’ve never been able to play any tune right through without a mistake, especially when it’s being recorded! 

I have been playing the dulcimer now for about two years. I used to play guitar, but arthritis in my fingers made it difficult for me to shape the chords. I’d been eyeing dulcimers for years, but you don’t see them in music shops around here to try them out, so I did nothing about it. But in August 2022, I bought an all walnut McSpadden dulcimer from Red Cow Music in Yorkshire while on a campervanning trip and I haven’t looked back. I so wish I’d started playing one earlier. 

I play the dulcimer mainly at home, picking out folk tunes and trying to find chords for them. But I also get together with a group of people who meet to play Welsh folk tunes. This made me hanker after a quick way of changing keys, so I bought a McSpadden Ginger (walnut/redwood). Its higher pitch and brighter tone also had the advantage of being easier to hear over the other instruments.  My hearing is not so good (I have two hearing aids), so I find it difficult to play by ear against accordions and fiddles. 

I found myself obsessively browsing the internet looking for dulcimers with more volume, listening to videos of dulcimers made from different woods. The FOTMD site allowed me to research whether a 1.5 fret would allow me to play in more keys without having to use a capo or retune and catch up with everyone else. Eventually, as a 70th birthday present to myself, I ordered the Folkcraft dulcimer. I had a devil of a job getting it through the bureaucracy of UK customs, but thanks to Richard Ash’s co-operation and endless patience it finally arrived in January. I haven’t put it down since. 

So now I have three dulcimers and a bad case of Dulcimer Acquisition Disorder. Though the Folkcraft is in many ways more versatile, I still enjoy playing the two McSpaddens. I like the mellow buzzy tone of the all-walnut dulcimer and the brightness and portability of the Ginger. The Folkcraft series H sounds to me more guitar-like in quality and has a big sound. The 25in VSL suits me better too than the 27ins of the standard McSpadden and I’m enjoying the new chord opportunities that the 1.5 fret offers me. The ebony fretboard makes a difference too as does having only 3 strings - my fingers slide better over the fretboard, though I do feel that I have to be a bit more careful in my playing on the Folkcraft. 

Excuse my ramblings, but I thought perhaps my experiences might be of interest to those who can’t easily walk into a dulcimer shop and try out all the wonderful variations of dulcimer types before choosing what to buy. Thanks to you all at FOTMD for the information and warm support you provide - and also for putting me in contact with the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club here in the UK. 

RobMachin
RobMachin
@robmachin
3 weeks ago
2 posts

rdmarble:

Hello all! I just joined the group so I thought I would let you know a little about me. I bought my first mountain dulcimer, a Cedar Creek, in Branson at Silver Dollar City back in 2007. I have played it off and on (more off than on) and have recently renewed my interest in the instrument. I added to my collection last year with a McSpadden walnut body/sycamore top with a Galax back, and I am spending more time exploring the instrument. After 20+ years as a Minister of Music and another 20+ years as a public school music educator (band director) I retired in 2021. Since then I have filled my time performing in several groups on multiple instruments - baritone saxophone in a jazz big band, woodwinds and percussion in the local symphony, drums/percussion in an Americana/Folk/Country band, keyboards at my church, and pretty much anywhere when asked. I am looking forward to the discussions on here and learning more about the mountain dulcimer. Have a great day!

 

Welcome @rdmarble !! Hope you enjoy the community here as much as I am :-)

rdmarble
@rdmarble
3 weeks ago
1 posts

Hello all! I just joined the group so I thought I would let you know a little about me. I bought my first mountain dulcimer, a Cedar Creek, in Branson at Silver Dollar City back in 2007. I have played it off and on (more off than on) and have recently renewed my interest in the instrument. I added to my collection last year with a McSpadden walnut body/sycamore top with a Galax back, and I am spending more time exploring the instrument. After 20+ years as a Minister of Music and another 20+ years as a public school music educator (band director) I retired in 2021. Since then I have filled my time performing in several groups on multiple instruments - baritone saxophone in a jazz big band, woodwinds and percussion in the local symphony, drums/percussion in an Americana/Folk/Country band, keyboards at my church, and pretty much anywhere when asked. I am looking forward to the discussions on here and learning more about the mountain dulcimer. Have a great day!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
2,255 posts

That's too bad- the music is great, and it's good exercise!  jive mrdance




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Jerry Posner
Jerry Posner
@jerry-posner
4 weeks ago
8 posts

I do live close to Dewey Hall ... but I don't dance :-) 


updated by @jerry-posner: 03/28/24 11:05:40AM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 weeks ago
2,255 posts

Hi Jerry... so you waited twelve years to introduce yourself here?  biglaugh

Do you go to the monthly contra dance at Dewey Hall?




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Jerry Posner
Jerry Posner
@jerry-posner
4 weeks ago
8 posts

Hi, I've been a member here for a while, though somewhat inactive, so I thought I reintroduce myself.  I live in the Berkshires of Western Mass (right down the street from the Magic Fluke Company, known to ukulele players ... and I am also one of those)!  I've been playing and collecting dulcimers since the late 60's.  Bought my first one from Hank Levin at the House of Musical Traditions, then on St. Marks Place in NYC (I grew up in Northern NJ).  Here in the Berkshires, there is a busking program in the summer, and I've been happy to participate on dulcimer, ukulele and autoharp.  I work as a lecturer, so-called motivational speaker, training specialist and consultant.  I particularly speak about intentional gratitude practices, and every Tuesday I post a "GratiTuesday" quotation or gratitude reminder on my blog and various other sites. I have always liked the dulcimer ... a lot!

Susie
Susie
@susie
one month ago
500 posts

Welcome Rob! 

You're going to love your new McSpadden, a great choice!

We would love to see it a picture of it, after you get it.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
one month ago
2,255 posts

Nice to have you here @robmachin
McSpadden dulcimers tend to be very reliable and sound wonderful.
Be sure to join our UK Group on FOTMD as well.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one month ago
1,429 posts

Welcome,@robmachin !  Enjoy your McSpadden when it's made its way to you!  

RobMachin
RobMachin
@robmachin
one month ago
2 posts

Hello everyone!

I just joined the group here at FOTMD, and thought I would say "hello". I'm totally new to Dulcimer, and about to start learning - have just ordered one from McSpadden.

I live in a small town in Buckinghamshire in England with my wife and two children, two dogs and three cats ... so I send you all greetings from there! :-)

Looking forward to taking part in the community here.

With all good wishes, Rob

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 months ago
1,089 posts

Frank, you can't go wrong with a Warren May dulcimer. I have one, an all walnut. hourglass. Aren't kids something. My son came to me when he was about eleven or twelve and asked me I could teach him some chords on the guitar. By the end of that summer he was playing better than me. I became a roadie for his band when he was in high school. He went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and majored in film scoring and his primary instrument was guitar. He's a professional musician out in Los Angeles. Enjoy your new dulcimer. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Wildcat
Wildcat
@wildcat
3 months ago
22 posts

@richard-streib. I certainly will take some pictures and post. Yes, thanks to FOTMD,  I've read about the issue with the cold temperatures and letting the instrument acclimate to room temperature. When speaking with Gail over the phone today,  we discussed the issue as well. She was also kind enough to text me a video about going from daa to dad tuning if I  choose to.

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
3 months ago
234 posts

Frank, Warren builds wonderful dulcimers both in aesthetics and sound. I know you will enjoy playing it. Post some pictures when you receive it.

A hint: when it arrives if it is cold there, take it inside and let it acclimate to room temp in the box for a couple of hours before opening it. The hardest couple of hours for sure to tolerate.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 months ago
1,429 posts

Warren May builds lovely instruments, lovely both in looks and in sound.  Happy strumming, @wildcat !  

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 months ago
2,255 posts

Welcome to FOTMD  @wildcat.  That's a really pretty dulcimer you bought!  Warren May is a respected maker, I'm sure you will be pleased.  sun




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Wildcat
Wildcat
@wildcat
3 months ago
22 posts

Hello everyone, Wildcat here.  My real name is Frank, but I've been using Wildcat online since the long ago days of AOL. 

I grew up in Ulster County NY, with Illinois Mountain as my backyard. I married my high school sweetheart and we raised 2 children and now we have a granddaughter.  19 years ago we moved to the Lake George region of NY.  Six months or so ago we moved to Peru, NY with our jobs and we are looking to buy a home. Time will tell...

My son is a talented guitar player and I was a very untalented one! Three cords and the truth... campfire stuff done poorly,  but I enjoyed it. My wrist and hand started to make things difficult and I stopped playing. 

I really missed it and some time ago I started searching for something easier, eventually finding the dulcimer and the noter style of playing and here I am. I'm hoping to learn as much about playing in a variety of ways as time goes on. 

Remembering the "pain" of my first guitar (cheap!) I vowed not to do that again and after a lot of reading and researching, today I purchased a Warren May dulcimer.  You can find me sleeping by the mailbox waiting for this...

original Thanks for having me and thanks in advance for all the help. 

Jeannie in Paradise
Jeannie in Paradise
@jeannie-in-paradise
4 months ago
11 posts

Dusty Turtle:


Nice to hear from @Doug-Jones and @Jeannie-in-Paradise. l consider both of you local friends.  And Jeannie, you are the reason I am here. You found me at the original Everything Dulcimer site and encouraged me to join here. I will be forever grateful. flower


 


Awww, thank you Dusty! <3

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 months ago
2,255 posts

 @montycraig , I bet you are getting excited about your McSpadden coming soon. I got an hourglass all-walnut McSpadden as my first dulcimer, and it had a voice like an angel!  My daughter has it now. You will be pleased.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 months ago
2,255 posts

 @matthewlyon , that dulcimer in your profile photo looks like a lovely instrument- is that the one your wife gave you as a surprise present?
With tall action and a traditional diatonic fret layout, it was smart of you to decide to play it in noter style! I hope you are enjoying it, both when playing with others and playing alone.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
4 months ago
1,729 posts

Nice to hear from @Doug-Jones and @Jeannie-in-Paradise. l consider both of you local friends.  And Jeannie, you are the reason I am here. You found me at the original Everything Dulcimer site and encouraged me to join here. I will be forever grateful. flower




--
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
Randy Adams
Randy Adams
@randy-adams
4 months ago
115 posts

Glad you checked in Jeannie. Remember you had a couple rough times. Hope you find the inspiration to play some tunes. 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 months ago
2,126 posts

Jeannie who?   Just kidding!  Of course I remember you!  As we're still (more than a year later) recovering a bit from Hurricane Ian last year, I'm all too familiar with the PTSD attached to natural disasters.  Ian brought back some of mine from 'Nam... 

Hope to see you here more often!!

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 months ago
1,089 posts

Jeannie, welcome back to FOTMD. Yes, I remember you and have wondered what happened to you after the fire. I hope you will start playing again.Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you here from time-to-time. Best wishes.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Jeannie in Paradise
Jeannie in Paradise
@jeannie-in-paradise
4 months ago
11 posts

I decided to post a 'hello' after not logging on to the group in a few years. I lost three gorgeous, chromatic mountain dulcimers in the Paradise "Camp Fire," and in the stress and chaos and recovery afterwards, I stopped playing, even though I did purchase a beautiful koa chromatic Modern Mountain dulcimer.  Life has continued to move along, and I haven't played in a long time, but I did want to say hello and see if any of my old friends here remember me!

Doug Jones
Doug Jones
@doug-jones
4 months ago
6 posts

I just realized that I haven't been on here a lot lately, although a few people on here do know me personally. I joined this site back in December of 2011 right after I got my first dulcimer for Christmas and I was surfing around for resources. I'd been playing off and on over the subsequent years and finally got serious about it in 2020 when I joined the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra which was forced to go online after only two rehearsals. I would say that's when my journey really began. Since then, I have acquired more dulcimers as a result of joining the Albany Dulcimer Quartet (soon to be a quintet) and wanting to be a "utility" player. As a result, I have a standard, baritone, bass, ginger, and banjammer. I truck most of these with me when I go to rehearsals and have a fun time playing with others. I have just recently discovered 1-3-5 tuning and am having a lot of fun exploring that doing solos, which I recently shared in church. I'm still a low to medium intermediate but am enjoying my journey.

Nightingale
Nightingale
@nightingale
4 months ago
6 posts

Just an update as I haven't posted here in awhile.  My banjo and guitar have been languishing since I picked up dulcimer.  I ordered a new one from McSpadden and got a cherry with spruce top.  It sounds wonderful!  I thought I would go for walnut, which to me has a wonderful, almost flute like tone to it, but every time I heard the cherry/spruce combo on youtube it reached out to me.  My self-taught learning is coming along and I am enjoying both fingerstyle and drone type playing.  I really like the Aeolian and bagpipe tunings.  So, its a learning curve, but fingerstyle for softer songs like Scarborough Fair and the strum/drone/bagpipe sound for more celtic and scottish tunes.  Something about that drone tuning I really love.

Great job on the Cigar box!  Also, Buckeye67, that's a beautiful walnut dulcimer you have.  I'm a Buckeye too.  Go Bucks!

MontyCraig
MontyCraig
@montycraig
5 months ago
1 posts

Hi folks, I joined some weeks ago, and don’t remember if I ever introduced myself. I was kind of waiting until I got a dulcimer before getting too involved. Well, I finally ordered one from McSpadden. After talking with Duane Porterfield, I have a 26” walnut/walnut hourglass that should be ready sometime in Jan. So, let the new adventure begin!!

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
5 months ago
389 posts

Hi, Matthew!  It's good to have you here on this site.  Lots of info and music to be learned.  If at some future date you'd like to try your hand at playing a historic reproduction of early noter-drone dulcimers (some of us call them "dulcimores"), there are a few builders of them on the site.  Have fun!

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
5 months ago
1,729 posts

Hi @matthewlyon and welcome to FOTMD.  Glad to hear you've come back to the mountain dulcimer again.  And certainly, playing a dulcimer with really high action would be more comfortable in a noter style.




--
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
MatthewLyon
MatthewLyon
@matthewlyon
5 months ago
1 posts

Hello all, thought I'd post an introduction here... I realized that my earlier attempt was on my own personal profile page! 

I'm recently returning to playing dulcimer; I played back in the late 1970's as a teenager and play several other instruments (guitar, banjo, uke, fiddle, Celtic harp, tin whistle, etc) and currently lead a community ukulele group with my wife.

I'm playing noter/drone style pretty exclusively with an interest in traditional diatonic music from a variety of sources from Appalachian old-time to bagpipe music and European folk of various types. My wife surprised me with a dulcimer earlier this month and it's very well suited to noter style... 29.25" VSL, pretty high action and no "extra" frets, it's purely diatonic. It's kind of a mystery as to how old it is and who built it. Very folksy craftsmanship, but the frets are accurate and it sounds good, so noter style it is!

We live in western Montana where dulcimer players are few and far between but I'm a childhood transplant here from Southern Illinois with many generations of folks from Kentucky... perhaps there's a dulcimer player not too far back in my family tree. Really enjoying browsing the forum, it's a great resource and so much knowledge here! Cheers, ML

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
6 months ago
1,729 posts

@lily-pad, I just responded to this question in the other forum you posted in.  I would suggest you start a new discussion in the Specific Features, Luthiers, Instruments Forum .




--
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
Lilley Pad
Lilley Pad
@lilley-pad
6 months ago
11 posts

Just Jon here.  Don't know if this is the right forum site.  But here goes first Howdy all.  Any one have experience with a McCafferty dulcimer I know that they're beautiful and I like his adjustable nut design very innovative. But what about tone play ability sound?

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty
6 months ago
1,729 posts

Hi @austinpmckenzie and welcome to FOTMD. Make sure you get in touch with the Southern California Dulcimer Heritage Folks .  In fact, they are running a series of concerts, jams, and workshops this month.




--
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
austinpmckenzie
@austinpmckenzie
6 months ago
4 posts

Hi everyone! My name is Austin and I live in LA! Lived here for about 10 years and have been trying to sink my teeth into every instrument i can! Come from a big family of musicians. 

Nightingale
Nightingale
@nightingale
8 months ago
6 posts

Thank you for your kind words everyone.  I think this would make a great noter dulcimer and will look more into that style.  Right now I am going through Patterns and Patchwork fingerpicking.  I really like this book, as besides the picking she starts out simply using simple songs getting used to the I, IV, and V chords going up and down the fretboard with the IIm and VIm thrown in.  I feel like I'm getting basic building blocks for the future.  I will say, the 28.5 is a bit of a stretch for me.  I see a 26 VSL in my future and that's a good thing!

Richard Streib
Richard Streib
@richard-streib
8 months ago
234 posts

What a beautiful dulcimer Nightingale. I know it must be special to you. I like a long scale dulcimer for playing noter drone.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
8 months ago
1,089 posts

Nightingale, that's a nice looking dulcimer. It certainly cleaned up well. Those long scales (28.5") make for nice noter style playing. Have fun making that dulcimer sing again.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Nightingale
Nightingale
@nightingale
8 months ago
6 posts

Ken, I have downloaded you article and will read shortly - Strumelia, thanks for pointing it out to me.

Nate, it was great reburbing it.  After 51 years in the basement it was dusty, dried out, grimy, etc.  I'll post some pics of it cleaned and ready to go.  Since its a 70 or 71 or so I have no idea who made it.  Once it was cleaned up and oiled and I strung it up - I held my breath - will it sound good or no?  Well it sounds lovely.  Action is high, no 6.5 fret but I'll have the action fixed, I'm still having fun with it.

Here are a couple of pics all cleaned up with a new lustrous finish.

I have a feeling this won't be my only one as time goes on!

IMG_4364.jpg
IMG_4364.jpg  •  661KB

IMG_4358.jpg
IMG_4358.jpg  •  253KB


updated by @nightingale: 08/27/23 11:47:16AM
NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@nate
8 months ago
247 posts

I am guessing the satisfaction of restoring your instrument only added to the joy of playing it!

Welcome

-Nate

Nightingale
Nightingale
@nightingale
8 months ago
6 posts

Hello everyone, I am new here and happy to be here.  I've played stringed instruments for decades (guitar, acoustic and banjo - clawhammer and two-finger thumb lead style) and after seeing some amazing videos on Youtube, thought - that is one of the most lovely instruments I've ever heard, I must learn how to play it.  My mother, back in '71 gave me a lovely mountain dulcimer out of the blue.  Me and my friends were, well, that's cool, why did she give it to you and what do you do with it?  So I recently pulled it out of the basement, reburbished it (I used to refinish wood many years ago) and its beautiful.  One piece walnut back and sides, 28.5 scale, and I am loving it.

I look forward to learning from all of you, so, thanks for putting up with a newbie!

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,255 posts

@ StudentofRhythm it's so wonderful that you gave your little daughter a penny whistle. I hope she figures out a simple couple of tunes on it and that it sparks the joy of making music in her!  flute music heartbeat  
Maybe the two of you will work out a simple tune duet on whistle and dulcimer!  (I found "Bear Dance" to be a great choice of tune for total beginners of various instruments to work on. You almost 'can't go wrong' with that tune.)




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
2,255 posts

Welcome @Buckeye67 !  My very first mtn dulcimer was a new walnut hourglass McSpadden exactly like yours, which I think i got somewhere around 1995-96... so it may be a sister/sibling to yours. 😸  It has a voice like an angel, i gave it to my younger daughter years ago. Enjoy it!  McSpaddens are a great choice, and they retain their value over time.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
10 months ago
2,126 posts

Welcome Buckeye67 and Student!  I'm a primarily Celtic music (Child Ballads) player on the MD, although I also play a little tin whistle and mirliton flute.  

I'll recommend to you both the booklet I wrote years ago for new dulcimer players, called   I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What?  It's an illustrated glossary of dulcimer terms (so we all speak the same jargon) plus answers to many beginner questions about the tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new friend.  You can find it here:

Ken Hulme's "I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What?" Article - Strumelia | fotmd.com    

part way down the discussion.  Thanks to Lisa and Dusty for fixing the link...


StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
10 months ago
19 posts

Can't go wrong with Irish music.  I gave my daughter a whistle for Christmas (she's eight) and maybe I should borrow it from her more, but she has succeeded in playing a scale on it so I can't keep it away from her too much.

Buckeye67
Buckeye67
@buckeye67
11 months ago
5 posts

I suppose this is a reintroduction... I registered some time ago, but haven't participated much on the forum.

I'm an Irish traditional music guy, I play whistle and Irish flute. I have wanted a dulcimer for years, but moving around and having children kind of got in the way of all that.

However, I am happy to report I have finally gotten my very own Mountain Dulcimer. I bought a cardboard kit from Folkcraft, not long ago (which I still need to put together), and not long after that I saw an ad on Facebook marketplace for a like new McSpadden.

The seller was nearby, so I jumped on it immediately. Although it was manufactured in 1996, it is like new. It still had tags attached to the base string. Of course, since Murphy is never lurking far away, I almost immediately broke the base string. So, I bought new strings and thanks to YouTube re-strung it (as a three string) and got it tuned up. Thanks to my venerable Korg CA-10 tuner that I've had for years.

Anyway, I now look forward to participating more because I know nothing about things with strings, 🤪 but am keen to learn everything about this beautiful instrument.


updated by @buckeye67: 06/11/23 04:01:55PM
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,255 posts

Nice to read about you David!  Welcome to FOTMD.  howdy




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Bvmaestro
Bvmaestro
@bvmaestro
last year
3 posts

Now that I have been a member for a couple of months, I better introduce myself.  I am David Wheeler and I currently live in Bainville, Montana (hence the BVmaestro user name).  I am the K-12 music teacher for the local school.  I teach all elementary music, JHS and HS bands and choirs.

I have heard of the dulcimer throughout my lifetime, but never took a nibble at the hook...until recently.  I am at a point at which I need to foster my own music making activities to continue being useful in my job.  I got so busy preparing and helping students make music, I was neglecting my need to do the same.  So I bought a banjo, mandolin, and new guitar so I could study bluegrass and learn to play it.  I reread about dulcimers and decided to rent both the mountain and the hammered dulcimer.  Needless to say, the banjo, mandolin, and guitar are sitting safely in their cases whileI have been focusing on both dulcimers.

Since starting I have already accompanied a student on a folk song using the mountain dulcimer, and at the upcoming Spring Concert, I will be using the mountain dulcimer to accompany 2nd graders singing Shenandoah.  I fell in love with the instrument.  As soon as I am able, I will be purchasing my own mountain dulcimer from June Apple Dulcimers (my deposit and rental fees go towards the puchase).  As I have been preparing for starting my Doctorate degree in music education, I also decided to include dulcimers in my music program.

I grew up a brass player, expanded out to other instrument, and began playing with guitars, bass, and keyboard when I started implementing Little Kids Rock into my program.  I love the sound of bluegrass and folk music.  Dulcimers are the next step and I love them.

I also teach Drivers Education during the summer (this is my last summer), and I enjoy camping, hiking, photography, and music composition.

If there is anyone who is in Northeast Montana or Northwest North Dakota, I would be interested in connecting.

shootrj2003
@shootrj2003
last year
20 posts

 Pardon all these pics,I’m working on image quality and format and also I need to find the edit feature on the comment box here( it seems to elude me!)here is another pic of my guitar full length and whole finally!

shootrj2003
@shootrj2003
last year
20 posts

shootrj2003:

Working on loading photos to here,I think I have it licked -maybe editing too!

shootrj2003
@shootrj2003
last year
20 posts

Working on loading photos to here,I think I have it licked

shootrj2003
@shootrj2003
last year
20 posts

Sorry,my acronym caused so many problems,in the Cigarbox guitar world ,it does make the handle easier to use,and I grew up and served in the Armed Forces where acronyms are king but I do agree online people seem to make them quicker than you can learn them.At least in the Marines they are made official and formally listed as soon as the General says so!

shootrj2003
@shootrj2003
last year
20 posts

Hi all,I want thank all of you for your responses,CGB is Cigar Box Guitar ,sorry I guess I am a CBGuitar guy,not to mislead you ,I am not a knowledgeable musician,but since I decided to build a guitar,I guess that makes me some kind of a musician,maybe! I am hoping it will help me,the build has taught me much,I believe the guitar will play as I’ve payed attention and learned a lot as I’ve built,as I said I have metal and wood skills and my other hobbies left me with tools,and hardware scraps to use,I have NO musical theory and music is still largely a mystery,but I know now what a scale length is,mine is 24”,and will be tuned in open G,GDG ,this guitar is actually MY teacher ,I also know frets are more than just wire and lines,as I told others,this is a new trail for me,I kind of wish I had some of my old friends who were and are musicians nearby to help .

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
last year
2,126 posts

Shootrj2003 -- If you want a "true" dulcimer dating to 1840s there are a bare handful of photos of originals.  "True" in this case means having a central raised fretboard -- a major distinguishing characteristic which separates dulcimers from the ancestral Fretted Zithers of the Pennsylvania "Dutch" -- Germans --  who were there in PA long before 1800. 

The fretted zither plays basically the same as a dulcimer, but has a very low "staple board" on the straight near side of the body.  The photo shows a replica of one which I built from dimensions and photos supplied by the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA.  The instrument I replicated was made by a man named Jacob Gross, who built it sometime before 1865.  It has a traditional diatonic fret spacing, three strings, the VSL is 24", overall dimensions 4" wide and 37" long and a maximum of 3.5" high.  John and several other of our Traditional builders saw and played my replica at a Traditional Dulcemore Gathering we held in Kentucky a few years ago.

Fretted Zither.JPG

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
last year
1,089 posts

I think the original poster meant Cigar Box Guitar, CBG and just transposed the B and G. I'll be interest to see his new cigar box creation when he finishes it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,255 posts

There are two diff ways to add pix to a post- you can try either 'attaching' one, or 'embedding' one. Check out the little buttons available in the editing box when you are typing your post- there is one for embedding pix or media.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Alathea
Alathea
@alathea
last year
11 posts

Sometimes those size estimates for uploads are 'off' . At work I can only upload 50mb or less, I often have to split pdfs and unless I split into less than 45-46mb increments they still trigger the upload cap. 

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
last year
389 posts

Several of the members here (including me) specialize in reproducing old dulcimers.  They are very different than the ones you see and hear today.  Some make replicas of certain historic builder's dulcimers, while others make replicas of other builders' work.  And some now make dulcimers inspired by the old ones, but with original twists to the designs.

Pondoro
Pondoro
@pondoro
last year
34 posts

shootrj2003:

I’m a new CGB guy,so new I haven’t finished building my instrument to learn to play on.I do have wood and metalwork skills ,previously having built flintlock,percussion rifles of traditional style1830’s and 1840 ish.I was wish to insert a pic of 1.8 mb but it’s not allowing me even though it’s under 2.0 mb?sorry.

Some 1840's Black Powder rifle shooters are very interested in matching all of their accouterments to a specific era - thus rifle, kit, clothing, instrument must all be historically consistent. This can be difficult with instruments. I have dozens of pictures of homemade guitars and mandolins and fiddles but they all date much later than 1840. You cannot argue the existence because the photos prove that they existed. But they mostly date to 1900 or later based on the other stuff in the photo. The Museum of Appalachia has an amazing room full of homemade instruments, but, again, way newer than the 1840's.

I made a 1920's cigar box ukulele using the oldest cigar box I could find (~1964) and all American-grown wood. I even carved tuning pegs of maple from a 100-year old floor. But I cheated and used commercial frets to make it playable. It was too much work to be an ornament, and I doubted my ability to make good frets.


updated by @pondoro: 01/30/23 10:52:04AM
jp
@jp
last year
42 posts

i am confused 🫤 i hate acronyms.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
2,255 posts

CGB = cigar guitar box?  smile




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Site Owner

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