I prefer using a swifer pad over an ostrich feather duster. Gets in the edges better and keeps your dulcimer shiny clean No, wait a minute, were talking about feathers for picks... it's been one of those days....
She also mentions using a turkey feather (or feather from a large bird). It seems someone she knew had started using ostrich feathers from a feather duster.
Very nicely played. Enjoyed your version. Great sound.
Just a bit of info for those of you who are using a feather, Jean does give instructions on the type of feather she normally uses and how to make a feather pick in "The Dulcimer Book" and there is a picture of a trimmed feather pick as she makes them. For those of you who don't have access to this book, here is basically what she says: Goose wing feather with the shaft shaved off. Using a knife shave off about an 1 and a half inches of the flat inside tapering to a point at the end. The top of the feather is also cut away so it doesn't get in the way.
I don't go out and grab a goose, but go to a hobby shop and buy a package of goose feathers there. Geese can get nasty about being grabbed!!!
That goose busyness happened in Rome once. After the geese were disturbed, the Romans chased the Vandals away. It really hapened!
I don't have a YouTube account. I even think it is not wise to publish dancers on the net, special YouTube, without permission. I think I have to skip such a video.
I can make a sound clip though...
Great job again, like that quill pleckie.
I keep meaning to try this myself, it's something I never quite got round to.
We get Canada geese up on the common, but last time I tried to grab some feathers I was chased off and accused of 'Goose Bothering'. Still a capital offense if Stephen Fry is to be believed.
Wout, where is your video ?
If it's on youtube I can explain how to embed it.
Amasterful job, Steve. Really enjoyed the way you and the goose make the MD sound!
How can I add a video?
I use tail feathers, which are stronger and longer. And, ofcourse, they are stolen from a (Egyptian) Nile goose, which are summer guests in The Netherlands. I find many at the border of our own Nile: the Dutch ditches.
Trimming the quill is a personal job: to long is sloppy, to short is hard and stiff. And I am still wondering how performers like Jean Ritchie use the body side of the quill. Even writing is impossibe with such a thing
About the ethos of the Appalachian dulcimer. I play in a Folk dance orchestra, mainly the double bass and bass guitar, and I have my moments with the dulcimer/hommel. Normally the dancers will talk and dance through the music, but when the dulcimer plays solo a blanket drops on the dance floor. Just the instrument and the soft sound of slippering shoes. Pure goose bumps! (and the circle is closed on the subject )
Comment by Wout Blommers just now Delete Comment
Noel, Steve wrote about it four post below...
Steve, what kind of bird? I use goose feathers which last more than three years and I am not very nice to them.
You certainly know how to use the quill, which are much more sensitive to play and are able to make very fast and little strums which make the music more lively, as you demonstate so well.
This is what an Appalachiandulcimer should sound. A song like this played like this can silence a crowdy room
This works very well for noter/drone playing. It's a perfect fit for those open drones. Well done!
Thanks Helen. I really liked the tuning too and had never used it before.
Having listened to quite a few vocal renditions of MOCS just seemed a good tuned let the noter have a good old slide. I nearly had a go singing myself but there's enough sorrow in the world already for that!
I'm using a goose quill as a pick. They're easy to use now I've got the hang of them (well using the thin end anyway) but they don't last very long -Not in my hands anyway!
Marion, Ken, Brian thanks for your comments also. The 'haunting/eerie' sound came about sliding the noter a lot as I was tried to find the tune by ear from different versions but I really liked it and it also suited being played slowly I thought.
Marion I think you may be right about being one or the other but at least its something I'm more conscious of so I can experiment with it.
Thanks for listening
A very nice piece of playing Steve and beautifully eerie. I love the tuning. Is that a cable tie you are usingas a strummer or something different?
nicely done. I saw the thread on 'in-strumming'. i was always an in-strummer from the off without realising it. I think its the same as being left or right handed - there is no choice! you just do what comes naturally.
Very pretty, Steve. I agree with Brian, it has a lovely haunting sound to it.
Nice Steve. Haunting and quite pretty. Thanks for sharing. :)