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Glad to be back here!

Flyer 26 Nov 08 - 09:34 PM
Amos 26 Nov 08 - 10:01 PM
catspaw49 26 Nov 08 - 10:15 PM
Rapparee 26 Nov 08 - 10:34 PM
katlaughing 26 Nov 08 - 10:56 PM
Flyer 26 Nov 08 - 11:38 PM
Alice 27 Nov 08 - 01:10 AM
Flyer 26 Dec 08 - 08:23 PM
Sorcha 26 Dec 08 - 09:22 PM
katlaughing 26 Dec 08 - 09:57 PM
Will Fly 27 Dec 08 - 04:56 AM
foggers 12 Apr 09 - 02:35 PM
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Subject: Glad to be back here!
From: Flyer
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 09:34 PM

Hello!
Several years ago I had a desire to learn an instrument, any traditional instrument. I have always had the gift of being able to memorize long stories, poems, and ballads, real long ones,15 min, half hour no problem. I have always believed that Poems were invented to put stories to a rhythm to make them easier to remember tell to future generations, music was invented to put put the poems to a rhythm to make them even easier to remember for future generations, Folk Music (IMHO) is the basis of all music in its purest form. Long story past, I tried to learn to pick the Banjo, bought one just good enough to take lessons on, but I grew frustrated as the instructor I hired had no interested in understanding my learning style (or lack of it). After a couple of years of trying to teach myself the banjo collected more dust than fingerprints.

I happened to glance at the TV the other day and I saw John-Boy Walton picking a curios looking instrument, with a pure clean sound. I grabbed the remote and turned it up just in time to hear him say it was a Mountain Dulcimer the so-and-so down the road built. Grabbing my laptop I was thrilled to find so much information on this instrument. With the basic string arrangement, and looking down on the fretboard I am confident I can bring my love of traditional folk music to a usable level.

I ordered a starter instrument from the folks in Connecticut a few days ago. If I manage to get any level of competency at all I will have a used banjo to trade for a Mountain Dulcimer!

I used to hang out here at the Mudcat Cafe looking for Banjo Tabs, chords and lyrics way back when, I am very excited to find this community with so much Dulcimer support. I have spent a few hours over the last few days reading posts here and I am clearly in the midst of a good group of folks who's love for music is only exceeded by their wiliness to share.

Thank you all for the inspiration and support you had no idea you were offering.


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Amos
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 10:01 PM

Welcome back, Flyer!



A


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 10:15 PM

If I say "Hi Flyer" is that just too fruimpy a joke? Glad to see you back.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 10:34 PM

Well, it's good you're back. The place has changed some, with some fresh paint and all, but the jello pit is still in the tavern and the giant squid is also around (you oughta see HIM/HER on mountain dulcimer). Before you go on though, please define "folk music" for everyone.....


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 10:56 PM

Welcome back and have fun with that dulci! They are the best!


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Flyer
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 11:38 PM

Thanks all,
Rapaire,
The Definition of Folk Music? Ask a hundred people and you will get 150 different definitions! :-)

I like most all Bluegrass, but Folk Music (my definition) is traditional music that tells of stories or events, music in which the lyrics are as important as the tune, maybe more so.

In my world Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Pete Seegar, Bill Monroe, Leadbelly, Tom Paxton, Josh White, Lee Hayes, and many others, including the Kingston Trio and even a few modern folks like Slaid Cleaves. If you have not heard Slaid you need to. He is a contemporary that I think our Grandchildren will be talking about some day. I even like the tune "Muddy Water" by Nick Cave.

I realize that my definition is a bit narrow, and deeply fostered in American Roots.
But then again, so am I!

I also enjoy traditional Irish and Scotts-Irish tunes like The Beggerman and Whisky in the Jar.


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Alice
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 01:10 AM

Flyer, defining folk music is kind of a joke around here.
(see Threads on the Meaning of Folk and tons of others)

Welcome back!!

Alice


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Flyer
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 08:23 PM

Sooo,
We ordered the Dulcimer Kit from Backyard Music in CT. My Wife ordered it for me for a Christmas present. Wouldn't give it to me even a day early. She's like that you know… :-( ...She ordered it with the 6 1/2 fret and 4th string. I would like to point out that the folks at Backyard Music were excellent to deal with. My wife communicated with them a few times reagarding the order and we even made a change to the order after I decided that I wanted the 6 1/2 fret. They shipped in less than 10 days and everything was exactly as promised.

Anyway I opened it up on Thursday and after the kids went off to enjoy their new acquisitions, I assembled it, it went together real nice. The instructions are for the most part very good. There are one or two minor issues that I will send a note to the folks at Backyard Music about. I elected to make a couple of minor changes to make the box a little more solid as well. But it only took a couple of hours to assemble it and I think it sounds quite good. I tuned it DAA and within a few minutes was picking out several recognizable tunes in a few different styles. I can qualify saying recognizable because my Wife began to sing along with me…She is like that you know… :-)

One thing I did to help me was to place a piece of tape along the fretboard and numbered the frets. I have some experience with Tabs and the Dulcimer tabs are easy to follow, but the lack of inlay spots to use as reference points cause me to keep stopping to count frets then I loose my place in the tabs.

I find it to be a magnitude easier than the Banjo. I look forward to learning it well enough to do a little entertaining with it in the future. I will defiantly be playing Christmas Carols next year.

Any tips or suggestions from those of you with experience will be welcome...


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:22 PM

Yea, you gotta have that 6 1/2 fret. Otherwise, NO minor stuff.


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 09:57 PM

It's a lot of fun and instant gratification, eh?! Larkin's book and Jean Ritchie's book are both highly recommended. Otherwise just keep playing, trying out different things and have fun!

My grandson, at the time 4.5 years old, and I built one for him as he liked playing my Black Mountain one. We had fun putting it together, painting it and all. It sounds pretty good and he enjoys the heck out of it.


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Dec 08 - 04:56 AM

Hi, Flyer - enjoy that dulcimer. A buddy of mine in Baltimore made one for me some months ago - a teardrop shape made from English Walnut and Purple Heart wood - and sent it across the pond. I'd always wanted one since seeing John Pearse, Jean Ritchie in the 60s, and Roger Nicholson in the 70s. They're lovely instruments- have a great time with yours!

Will


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Subject: RE: Glad to be back here!
From: foggers
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 02:35 PM

Coming late to the party on this old thread (I was just fishing around for anything on dulcimers here on Mudcat).

Flyer ,if you have not already found it there is a terrific dulcimer forum called "Everything Dulcimer".


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