Noter and metal finger picks on a Galax dulcimer -- request for comments.

Flint Hill
05/13/10 10:08:28PM
I'm attaching a ~50-second clip of Wayfaring Stranger and would love to know your reaction. I have practiced it so much that I can barely hear it anymore. My quality detector burned out a couple of days ago and I badly need a fresh opinion.

The instrument is a double-back, cherry Ben Seymour Galax with with generic 0.010 plain steel strings straight across, tuned ddcc which starts a D aeolian scale on the first fret of the paired melody strings.

The noter is a goose's flight feather . On the right hand, I'm using Jim Dunlop nickel silver fingerpicks ..

I'm picking it very delicately, so the shring-shring-shring sound of the metal picks is quite audible. Likewise the tamp-tamp-tamp sound that the pick let-off conducts to the soundboard. I could easily pick it much much louder, which would put the shring-shring-shring noise more in the background, but I like the sound that it makes when the strings are plucked delicately

So what do you think? Does all the pick noise bother you or does it add something to the sound? Should I play more loudly? Is this a sound that can convey emotion in playing old-time songs, or is it too cold and clanky.

And if it makes your ears bleed, please let me know. Don't hold back ;

Many thanks.