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Limberjack dancing

musician/member name: Music
Duration: 00:02:03
Playing my limberjack at the farmer's market Sept 2009. Brian is fiddling. :) This limber jack is named Clyde after fiddler Clyde Davenport. Clyde was made from scrap walnut wood by the late great Keith Young of Virginia, who also made one of my mountain dulcimers.
Gayle Maurer
10/05/12 12:56:56AM @gayle-maurer:

I need that much energy. He just keeps going!

Bob Davidson
10/04/12 12:59:18AM @bob-davidson:

Very good moves there Clyde, now I need to make me one of the limber jacks.

09/29/12 08:52:15AM @strumelia:

ditto what Ran-Man said.

except that I think Jean's n/d playing is probably as 'smooth' as it gets...but jeez she has played many times as long as any of us have.

Randy Adams
09/29/12 01:26:08AM @randy-adams:

"I'm just scanning for the ones that will fit my style of playing without too much effort."

That's funny Robin! Wouldn't kill you to put in a little effort ever so often though!... : )....

You've got the smoothest n/d style I ever heard. I understand your tune selection process. Your melody line and drones are articulated so delicately. You are a wonderful ambassador for the n/d style of play.

Thx for the tips on recording.

john p
09/28/12 01:21:02PM @john-p:

Fair enough Smile.gif

I don't have an SD socket, so have to use a USB cable for the transfer anyway, like you would with a camera.
The SD card is poorly placed and I don't find it so easy to 'whip out' if I've got a mic handle fitted(I generally use a boom).

The advantage I find is not having to bother with batteries and filling up the card.


09/28/12 12:57:52PM @strumelia:

This is turning out to be a great discussion!

Rob N Lackey
09/28/12 12:49:30PM @rob-n-lackey:


A few years ago I recorded 2 cd's: one vocal & guitar and the other guitar instrumentals. For the one with vocals I used a Zoom PS-02 with 2 external mics. Did just like you; took the card to the computer, added a little compression and/or reverb with Audacity and, voila it was done. The instrumental one I recorded direct to the computer and it turned out very well, too. However, 2 computers down the line, this one is horrible for direct recording! I have to turn everything up and I'm not my usual plesant self when I'm trying to record. I've thought about getting a new Zoom since the old ones (like mine) use the big Smart Media cards which you almost can't buy any more. Nice to know that's what you're using. I've also thought about getting an external usb sound interface where I plug directly in like a board or use mics. Haven't decided yet how to go, but again glad to know there is another satisfied Zoom user out there.

Robin Clark
09/28/12 12:41:14PM @robin-clark:

Hi John,

I've talked with a few folks in the music industry about this. Whether by design or accident the Zoom Handy Recorders have some sort of digital pre-amp modelling that just seems to work really well, and the files are very, very clean. Most laptop soundcards are not great and very noisy in comparison. My good friend Michael Messer has won awards for his production on albums. He has just done his most recent blues band project on two Zoom H4Ns and GarageBandand he said he'd have to pay alot of moneyto get a better sound.

You can use the Zoom H2 ashigh quality USB mic, via its pre-amps, and record straight to your laptop missing out the soundcard. But I find it just as easy to have the freedom to place the Zoom wherever I want and just whip out the SD card and put it in my laptop like I do with my camera.

Elaine - Yes, that's the recorder. It is a newer version of the one I have and they have made it simpler to use as well as adding more features. You should be able to figure one out - if not, you could always read the very good manual that comes with it 3.gif There are probably quite a few YouTube videos explaining the recorder too.

john p
09/28/12 12:03:56PM @john-p:

Robin - have you considered recording direct to your laptop ?

Probably not what you would want down the pub, but has benefits if you're at home.


Robin Clark
09/28/12 11:59:19AM @robin-clark:

Oh that will be fantastic Lisa!!! I'll really look forward to hearing tunes from you both Grin.gif

I find the hardest part is maintaining relaxed concentration while recording - as soon as I think about the tune too consciously I blow the recording Frown.gif I find it all too easy to get a bit nervous as soon as I switch on the Zoom and trip myself up 102.gif Now was that once or twice through Part B? What's the next phrase? Here comes the hard part? AAAAAGGGGgggggg!!!!!!! 109.gif109.gif109.gif Still, I've not come across anyone yet who doesn't have the same trouble, so I don't worry about it - I just get on with it. Nick and Iwere as bad as each other when we recorded the Cadair Idris Sessions. Luckly, we would just end up in fits of laughter when one or the other of us cracked. But when we both were 'in flow' it was sweet Smile.gif I'm off over to his cottage shortly as we are starting work on the next CD - old songs this time.

09/28/12 11:16:34AM @strumelia:

Robin thanks so much for detailing your home recording method. I think next year may finally be when I start trying to record a little at home of Brian and myself playing together and separately...and I so much need all the tips I can get, since I haven't much of a clue when it comes to recording or editing. Thank you.

Robin Clark
09/28/12 09:04:28AM @robin-clark:

Ahh John - It took me hours the first time I tried to record anything!!!!! And each time I come up against a new problem it can take hours towork outthe solution. Luckly the Zoom products have a forum like this one, as does Audacity- so a quick search through those usually brings up a solution, coz someone has no doubt asked the question before youSmile.gif And I was given onegreat tip for recording from a friend who has won awards for his CD production:Basically the 'trick' is to get best possible sound you can in the first place. So I focus on getting the sound I want from my dulcimer first ( a crap sounding dulcimer will sound crap in the end recording!!!) - then I position the mic' to capture that sound as a strong signal. Normally my Zoomends up being about the same distance from the instrument as my ears are when I'm playing, because that's the sound I want to capture! And I'm quite careful about getting my levels right for the initial recording - I want a singnal that is very full but doesn't peak. The less you need to do toa soundfile in Audacity after recording it on a Zoom the better it will sound.

09/28/12 06:55:17AM @sam:

I look forward to Clyde's debut on DWTS. As always, I enjoyed Brian's fiddle. I've seen this video before, but it was good (fun) to watch (and listen) again.

Love Clyde

John Henry
09/28/12 05:05:56AM @john-henry:

Robin I'm jealous ! You make that recording process sound so simple! ! have dulcimers, I have drums , I have a computer, I even have one of them there Zoom thing'ys, but it would take me hours, and then the only drumming to be heard would be me bashing my head against the table!


Robin Clark
09/28/12 02:59:44AM @robin-clark:

Hey Randy what I should have said is: "There are hundreds of Appalachian fiddle tunes - but not many that I can make a good fit in noter drone". You are more than capable of taking on tunes that I wouldn't know where to start with - and you have a far, fardeeper background in the music of Appalachia than I do. I'm just scanning for the ones that will fit my style of playing without too much effort.

For recording, I just use a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder - sitting on a towel on my kitchen table in this case. It is pretty simple, switch on, set the recording level, play the tune, put the SD card from the Zoom into my laptop, open the sound file in Audacity (free software), top and tail it, save it as a .mp3, post it! To multi-track this recording I played the dulcimer file on my laptop through headphones thenswitched on the Zoom H2 and recorded the bohdran sitting at my kitchen table. When I uploaded the bodhran file to Audacity I just dragged the second track around until it lined up with the first using the 'time shift' tool. I put a bit of compression on to the drum file to iron out the peaks and troughs(3 mouse clicks in Audacity). And saved off the mix as a .mp3 which I uploaded to Kiwi6 then posted here. So I have a $150 recording studio with the tracks mastered onmylaptopGrin.gif

Randy Adams
09/27/12 10:29:05PM @randy-adams:

I sure like Brians fiddling here Lisa. John & Karen Keane gave me a real nice limberjack dude a couple years ago @ Dulcimerville...but I can't make it work!...might take more practice than I am willing to devote to it.....but then again I'm not a very good dancer either!,... : )...

Nice observations about the role and the strengths and capabilities of the three instruments Lisa & Robin. I have never liked to go thru the left hand contortions involved with playing all the notes of fiddle tunes on the banjo and have always been perfectly content with a back up role making the fiddle sound good. And if I was going to listen to solo banjo music, which I don't do very much of, I'd prefer a simpler playing style.

Likewise, Robin, it's so enjoyable listening to your sweet and simple solo dulcimer arrangements of the tunes you post, like here with Pretty Little Shoes. You have a good recording set up and your skillful strum sets off the drones so nicely.

I can certainly understand your frustration with learning the fiddle tunes! Some of them are hard to play. I would respectfully disagree with your statement here. "There are hunderds of Appalachian fiddle tunes - but not that many that are a good fit for dulcimer in noter drone."

I've played the banjo all my life and played the fretless dulcimer for a few years. They are both limited styles of play. There is a lot of 'fudging' involved to play some melody lines.I'm rather new at this noter/drone style of playing the dulcimer but I am finding I can play the tunes I have always wanted to play but couldn't because of the stylistic limitations. I have a compulsion to play all the notes.

I suspect there may be a difference between what is pleasing to listen to and what I want to play!... : ).... & I'm ok with that!

Patty from Virginia
09/27/12 05:37:31PM @patty-from-virginia:

I love ClydeSmile.gif And yes, I did do a search for Limberjacks on this site. There's some pretty awesome pictures of some incredible looking LimberjacksSmile.gif

09/27/12 05:21:34PM @phil:

seeing Clyde dancing there reminds me I need to finish the little limber jack I started making sometime ago. Love the video.

Robin Clark
09/27/12 05:03:04PM @robin-clark:

Thanks Lisa - I agree; a clogging accompanyment or boneswould be perfect Grin.gif

09/27/12 04:47:49PM @strumelia:

Robin, I knew it would only take you barely a few minutes to come up with a perfect version for dulcimer.

Well done my friend !!!!

You've captured the entire essence of the tune, while not feeling the necessity of copying every fiddle move exactly, using some noter slides instead. Fiddlers have bows, we have noters. They work a little differently!

Now to make it even more sublime it would have to have a woman clogger's feet doing the pretty little shoes of course! Now THAT would really be somethin' !!!

I think an accompaniment on the bones would be equally yummy. :D