Playing in a Jam....

Stephen Seifert
@stephen-seifert
6 months ago
15 posts

Love my TMBs. Love Bruce and Don playing together! 

Strumelia
@strumelia
6 months ago
1,764 posts

Hi Stephen!  Yeah that's like fiddle cross tuning for key of A.

Don may have learned this from fiddler Bruce Green, they play together a lot as you know (aren't they both terrific?).  Here, Bruce is likely in that A cross tuning on his fiddle: https://youtu.be/aJL2DeQZutw 

 

Hey are you still playing your great TMB box dulcimer much?  I just watched your lesson video on it the other day, again.

hi




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Stephen Seifert
@stephen-seifert
6 months ago
15 posts

Maybe someone mentioned this already, but I learned from Don Pedi to tune EAE. The A is on the melody string at the 3rd fret.

Strumelia
@strumelia
6 years ago
1,764 posts

I actually went to a concert of Aubrey and Elwood's a couple of weeks ago (very fortunate that they were playing only 30 minutes away!) and I bought yet another limberjack from her for my limberjack 'collection' of about a dozen.

They are such fun... especially when everyone at the jam is playing in a key that you don't want to touch with a ten foot pole!....lol! Just take out yer little dancing man and watch the fun begin.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Benjamin W Barr Jr
@benjamin-w-barr-jr
6 years ago
64 posts

Thanks Wayne. I have seen Aubrey Atwater play one a couple of times, but didn't know what it was called.

BenSmile.gif

Benjamin W Barr Jr
@benjamin-w-barr-jr
6 years ago
64 posts

Once again, thanks to all of your replies...it really helps, although, it's going to take this musically challenged dulcimer player a while to learn some of the valuable information that you have provided.

I have discovered that part of my problem is that I am playing in a country jam and they tend to play in a particular rhythm that throws me totally off. I go up to take my turn and even though I know my song well, I hear their rhythm and I can't shake it out of my head.

I did have the good fortune to play this past week and it did happen yet once again. But a gentleman who has often encountered the same thing recognized that it was happening to me while I was playing "Blowin' in the Wind" and he came to within earshot of me and got me into the right rhythm with his mandolin.

I will have to display my ignorance here Strumelia as I haven't heard of a "limberjack".

Smile.gif

Strumelia
@strumelia
6 years ago
1,764 posts

Ben, it's challenging to play in a large group with lots of different instruments, especially when there are singer-songwriter guitar players singing songs in different keys every time. Diane had some particularly useful advice I think.

I play more often in old-time fiddle jams with banjos and that makes a big difference- they stay in one key for a good half hour or an hour or sometimes even longer. That gives plenty of time to retune when a key change is announced. Even then, i like to bring two dulcimers- one for C and D, the other for G and A. They fit in a double dulcimer gigbag.

Occasionally we go to places where I know it's going to be really difficult for me to play along, for one reason or another. That's when I bring a limberjack and it's always fun to 'play' ...and just about everyone likes limberjacks.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
6 years ago
872 posts

Benjamin,

If you happen to have a dulcimer with a 6-1/2 fret, you can tune the strings all to D-- either Ddd or go with all light strings and tune ddd-- and you're set for the key of D (tonic open) and the key of G (tonic at 3) without re-tuning.

Some tuners that clip on work well in a noisy setting.




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Benjamin W Barr Jr
@benjamin-w-barr-jr
6 years ago
64 posts

Perhaps the one thing that I failed to mention is that in this particular setting, it would be nigh impossible for me to change my tuning as there is too much noise (well, music and sound is probably a better description) going on and my tuner won't know what to tune the strings to.

Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
6 years ago
872 posts

Benjamin,

My main dulcimer has no 6-1/2 fret. I use DAA as my home base tuning. For A tunes, I put a false nut under the bass string at the first fret-- a quick way to change tuning to EAA. For G tunes, I go to DGG. Some tunes won't lay-out right in these tunings, so I can either sit them out or just play some basic back-up rhythms.




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Benjamin W Barr Jr
@benjamin-w-barr-jr
6 years ago
64 posts

Thanks to all of you who have responded to my question. It is helpful. The particular dulcimer that I have been bringing to the jam doesn't have the 6 1/2 fret. I bring this one for two reasons: It is the one that I seem to play the most (my first one) and it has a case. I like your responses and will have to see if I can improve my playing in the jam while experimenting with your suggestions. Thanks again. Ben

Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
6 years ago
872 posts

Benjamin,

You can play rhythm when playing back-up. I love to do this in a jam! And it's fun to get creative with rhythms. Since the dulcimer isn't loud, you can experiment. . .




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Strumelia
@strumelia
6 years ago
1,764 posts

Yes Dana, but you would also be in different modes by using a capo- you'd be in E minor with the capo on 1, and you'd be in A Dorian (another minor-sounding mode) if you capo on 4. So if the jam is playing in the 'normal' key of A (not in A minor for example), you can't just slap a capo on the 4th fret and play along in A- you'd sound too minor, your fret pattern would be laid out for Dorian mode there at the 4th fret. Same thing happens when you put the capo on fret 1 for key of E- it will be E aeolian, a minor sound. That may clash badly with (chromatic) guitar players capoed to E and playing in a major sound.

The capo solution works well for going to G by capoing DAd on the 3rd fret- only because you were likely playing in ionian from DAd anyway, by using the 6.5 fret for most tunes. Placing the capo on 3 again produces the ionian mode, for G. So there is no noticeable mode change in that instance.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
6 years ago
191 posts

That is if you are tuned to Dad

Dana R. McCall
@dana-r-mccall
6 years ago
191 posts

You can use a capo and capo on the 3rd fret and you would be playing in the key of G capo on 4th fret and you are playing in A. capo on the 1st fret and your in the key of E If i'm wrong someone correct me please. Grin.gif

Benjamin W Barr Jr
@benjamin-w-barr-jr
6 years ago
64 posts

I have been playing in a jam session which happens on an every other week venue. Most of the participants play the guitar, a couple may play a harmonica, one plays drums, maybe a mandolin and a fiddle or two. All play and one at a time each one gets to the microphone to do his or her song while the group plays back up.

The question is always, "what key are you playing in?" Responses will vary, but Key of G, D or A, etc. Seldom is the title of the song given, but sometimes it is.

I take my turn and say what key (usually D) and tell them the song.

I guess, the question that I have is how does one play the Key of A, for example, and often not even know the song until it is started by the performer?

And what do I do or play when I'm playing back up? Not that I'm heard over 20-30 instruments....


updated by @benjamin-w-barr-jr: 01/17/16 07:19:42AM