The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #21364   Message #228900
Posted By: black walnut
16-May-00 - 02:18 PM
Thread Name: Four Equidistant String Dulcimer?
Subject: RE: Four Equidistant String Dulcimer?
yes, chuck, it is such a very verstatile instrument. frustrating at times, but then you find another way around it. the two most frustrating things for me at the moment are not being able to capo quickly and smartly like the guitars i am surrounded with, and having my arms go numb and cold while and after playing.

so, dulc', my fretboard it normal???? whew.... whatdoyouknow? you can just never tell when you're only looking at your own instrument!
i don't often follow tabs. for quite a while at the beginning i learned some of lorraine's arrangements to songs, especially from her very good book (for either setup) called 'The Magic Dulcimer'. these days i'm drawn to the jazzier chords and slide effects i can get with the 4 string. i need to do more composing.... i might be wrong about this, but i think that DDAD on a 4 string is different even cross-picked because you get that higher drone D on the second string. i know what you're saying about getting the melody to be heard in that situation i usually do melody on strings 1 and 4 simultaneously, or just on 4. it's not as complicated, but it's a lot of fun.

squirrel, i thought the Simerman's looked good on the web. getting squirrel soundholes is cool. my bearmeadow dulcimer has magnolia blossom soundholes. my next one (in my head, not on order) will have celtic inlaid soundholes.

a year ago i had the privilege of co-leading a dulcimer workshop with Kathy Reid-Naiman. this is a list of the different tunings i used at that workshop:

EBG#E (with this tuning i played slide dulcimer to Amazing Grace)
DBbGC (minor melody goes to the bass string)
BbCGD(which is CDAD retuned lower....which actually affects the way the strings play, so i consider it a different tuning, in a way)
CCGC (a retuning of DDAD)
EbEbBbEb (a retuning of DDAD)

i'd be interested in knowing other configurations that work, too.

i use lightweight strings, quite a bit lighter than the ones that come in those 'dulcimer sets'.

jigger, please 'hi and hug' lorraine for me. tell her it's that crazy dulcimer player from 'the woods', and she'll know who you mean! we still write on occasion....

~black walnut