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Help music for lap dulcimore

kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 20 Mar 01 - 09:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 01 - 09:26 PM
wysiwyg 20 Mar 01 - 07:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 01 - 05:25 PM
Ma-K 19 Mar 01 - 10:13 PM
wysiwyg 19 Mar 01 - 09:08 PM
Ma-K 19 Mar 01 - 09:02 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 19 Mar 01 - 08:06 PM
wysiwyg 19 Mar 01 - 07:01 PM
Hardiman the Fiddler 21 Feb 00 - 09:40 PM
catspaw49 20 Feb 00 - 07:43 PM
Hardiman the Fiddler 20 Feb 00 - 07:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 00 - 06:00 PM
wysiwyg 19 Feb 00 - 11:47 AM
wysiwyg 18 Feb 00 - 04:54 PM
Ma-K 18 Feb 00 - 04:51 PM
wysiwyg 18 Feb 00 - 04:44 PM
Ma-K 18 Feb 00 - 04:41 PM
wysiwyg 18 Feb 00 - 04:34 PM
Ma-K 18 Feb 00 - 03:12 PM
wysiwyg 18 Feb 00 - 09:04 AM
Sorcha 13 Feb 00 - 02:12 PM
Margmac 13 Feb 00 - 02:11 PM
Pinetop Slim 13 Feb 00 - 08:55 AM
Sorcha 12 Feb 00 - 03:23 PM
Ma-K 12 Feb 00 - 02:40 PM
Sorcha 12 Feb 00 - 02:09 PM
Ma-K 12 Feb 00 - 12:54 PM
wysiwyg 12 Feb 00 - 08:21 AM
Pinetop Slim 12 Feb 00 - 08:02 AM
wysiwyg 10 Feb 00 - 12:26 AM
Ma-K 09 Feb 00 - 09:36 PM
catspaw49 09 Feb 00 - 09:13 PM
Ma-K 09 Feb 00 - 08:57 PM
wysiwyg 09 Feb 00 - 08:08 PM
Ma-K 09 Feb 00 - 07:35 PM
wysiwyg 09 Feb 00 - 05:57 PM
catspaw49 09 Feb 00 - 03:43 PM
Ma-K 09 Feb 00 - 01:00 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 00 - 12:24 PM
catspaw49 09 Feb 00 - 11:54 AM
Ma-K 09 Feb 00 - 11:35 AM
wysiwyg 09 Feb 00 - 09:31 AM
sophocleese 08 Feb 00 - 11:39 PM
catspaw49 08 Feb 00 - 10:27 PM
catspaw49 08 Feb 00 - 09:58 PM
Ma-K 08 Feb 00 - 03:13 PM
wysiwyg 08 Feb 00 - 02:43 PM
wysiwyg 08 Feb 00 - 02:43 PM
selby 08 Feb 00 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 09:36 PM

Ma-K, one more little remembrance, following the discussion back-along in the thread, about letting kids handle the dulcimer/dulcimore... Several teachers have told me they do this, but one was outstanding. She worked with autistic and otherwise-disturbed children, and so did very, very simple games and songs with them; even so, she could get only about half of them to take part in any activity. One day she brought her new dulcimer in for the first time, played for them for awhile, then left it lying on a bench against the wall while she got the kids on the floor for a game. As the game went on, she noticed a little boy, the least cooperative of the whole group, bent over the dulcimer with ear down close to the strings, strumming softly and smiling. She continued the game, and in a little while the boy, eyes shining, walked over and got into the ring!

She wondered at this, and every day repeated her routine of playing the dulcimer, then leaving it on the bench. And one by one, each of the kids who never wanted to take part in anything, day by day each slipped over to the instrument and had his/her turn... they all reacted differently, of course, but she was sure that for most of them, that experience and success with strumming the dulcimer (maybe playing a tune that only that child knew!)was an important turning point in their lives.

I guess any instrument would work this wonder, but I think that we'd be less happy about leaving an expensive guitar or violin or cello on that bench; also, it's so easy to make a recognizable tune on the dulcimer- that's what thrilled these children- "I-I--I PLAYED A TUNE!" Jean


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 09:26 PM

Wasn't Huddie, but he was a hard lad in his time - used to be a professional Rugby League player (a bit like American Football, but without all that body armour) before he became a boss Social Worker. And the word processor was even better than I said - his first name is Mike, and the wonder machine came up with Macho for that. So "Macho Wildebeest." That is a name to conjure with. (I came out as Coffin Mattress, which has a certain resonant quality...)


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 07:15 PM

Oh yeh Huddie Wildebeest, neotrad group.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 01 - 05:25 PM

"dulcimore" - I really like that way of spelling it. You know, that could be a way of getting away from the confusion of "dulcimer" meaning two completely different instruments, the Appalachian variety and they hammered variety.

The hammered ones are such heavy creatures to lift that the term "dulcimore" would really suit them. And it's a pretty word for all that, which fits them as well.

(Incidentally my spell checker didn't recognise either "dulcimore" or "dulcimer" - suggested I really means "parsimony"...It gets like that sometimes. I tell it to lie down in the dark and rest. I once worked for a man called Leadbetter, and when I typed in his name one day it suggested I really meant Wildebeest. That was a different spellchecker - but they are all pretty weird at times.)


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 10:13 PM

Jean ... You are the MA MA I can't thank you enough for what you have given us. The ducimer has given me a whole new life. I am doing things I never would have done. I am a very shy person but when I play I am a different person.....Thank you.....Mary


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 09:08 PM

We love you too, Mary.

Jean-- wow!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 09:02 PM

I am still feasting on all the help you all gave me here. I did a little better with the fiddlers last summer. Haven't been near any of them lately. Maybe they are hideing? We will have a class tomorrow nite at Mt. Plesant Iowa. I think at the moment they are more interested in the tin whistle. Had another attack of DAS last week. Now I have courting dulcimer. I am running out of room to put them. Love you all.Really I do..Mary


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 08:06 PM

Hello! I'm "tunin in" after a bit of an absence...well, I didn't know that you-all knew so much about dulcimers- or were even interested. I won't offer to teach you anything, as it sounds like you all know more'n I do. I was tickled about the "canjo," and am reminded that my friend in Winchester, KY, Homer Ledford, makes and plays a "dulcitar." And Howie Mitchell once showed a lot of kids at Fox Hollow how to make a dulcimer with a cardboard box as a soundbox- and he called THAT a "dulci-less." Ahead of it's time I guess.

Anyway, having just been designated, "The Mother of the Dulcimer" by the Kentucky Senate, needless to say I'm thrilled with this thread (more than with that name!). Jean


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 07:01 PM

This is still one of my alltime favorite Mudcat threads. I had JUST found Mudcat and could not believe Okiemockbird's generosity, everyone's welcome, and Spaw knowing how to make what I had seen as a Canjo. And even Hardi, who was brand new to the net, fell in love with the chance to be part of people helping one another move forward in music.

I was called Praise back then... it all seems so long ago.

Kat, we had a LONG talk here about the plucked psalteries. Some of the links T/Okie found still work.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 09:40 PM

I hear you man!

Hardiman


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 07:43 PM

coming of age in the 60's, I remember playing amidst groups of people revolting AND revolting people. Both have significant disadvantages.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Hardiman the Fiddler
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 07:03 PM

McGrath of Harlow,

Did I say revolving? It may have been that I meant revolting.....


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 06:00 PM

I like that about playing withn a revolving group of people. Now would that be set dancing or circle dancing?


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 11:47 AM

Ma-K--

Here's a poem that turned up in another thread, and a word from my husband the jammin' fiddler:

DULCIMER

The dulcimer sings from fretted maple throat Of the doe's swift poise, the fox's fleeting step And music of hounds upon the outward slope Stirring the night, drumming the ridge-strewn way, The anvil's strength... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and the silence after That aches and cries unhushed into the day.

From the dulcimer's breast sound hunting horns Strong as clenched hands upon the edge of death, The creak of saddle-bags, of oxen yoke and thongs, Wild turkey's treble, dark sudden flight of crows, Of unshod hoofs... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and the stillness after, Bitter as salt drenching the tongue of pain:

And of the lambs crying, breath of the lark, Long drinks from piggins hard against the lips; And with hoarse singing, raw as hickory shagbark, The foal's anxiety is woven with the straining wedge And the wasp's anger... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and the quiet after For the carver of maple on a keen blade's edge

---------------------------------------------

I'm married to Praise, and some call me Hardiman, after the old slip-jig: Hardiman the Fiddler. Personally, I think it's great that you have the opportunity to play with some fiddlers---it sounds exciting. I have to admit that I've never played with a dulcimer player. Mostly Praise plays autoharp, and I take the melody line or a harmony part when we play together.

I think she told you that most fiddle tunes are in the keys of D, A, or G; D minor and E minor are also frequent enough. Is your instrument tuned to an open chord? If so, you can easily adjust the key you're in by barre-ing across the frets with a noter. Or, if you are drone-tuned, in a key compatible with the tune being fiddled, a lot of fiddle tunes are improved with a drone tone in the background. (In fact a lot of fiddlers re-tune a string to provide a drone tone, such as G becomes E, or up to A.) So if you are able to supply that for your group, you are adding a lot.

Praise and I play with a revolving group of people, and we're blessed because we're always happy to work with one another and show each other what we know. If I were fidddling with you, I'd be delighted to take an afternoon just to play together, so we'd both (as those jazz muscicans say) "get in the groove." I guess most fiddlers read music, but you don't really have to do that to play with us. All you gotta do is follow along on the chords. Maybe the music your friends are using has chords printed above the musical score. How we do it---Praise usually strums the beat, and I try to play according to the beat she's set. She's educated me---instead of her trying to follow me, I try to keep what I'm doing in the context of the rhythm she's set. It works better that way, because then the other instruments don't have to try to count all those hemiolas, (fast fiddle notes) and that's a good thing because most of us can't count worth a damn, and we have bad fiddler habits like jumping the beat every now and then just cause it sounds cool.

Keep it up, but don't turn it into work. Music is supposed to be a thing of joy.

--HTF


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:54 PM

Ma-K-- Do drop in! 1/2 day drive, directions available!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:51 PM

Praise......20 miles east of Pittsburgh.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:44 PM

?? Greensburg??

I'm in N central PA, where is your son?


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:41 PM

Praise.. We have a son and daughter-in-law in Greensburg. Hope to make that direction someday..We always seem to head west every summer.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:34 PM

I think you are going to find that the slowwwllyyyy all of a suddent takes off at a certain point-- if you just keep dumping the info in, the brain will sort. A day will come when suddenly you are reading. I'm glad you're going at it!!! I wish you could jam with us!!

My husband is now interested in learning more about lap dulcimers so you may hear from him on that too.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 03:12 PM

I also use yet another digital tradition. I can read the music if it has one or two sharps. I am learning veryyyyy slowlyyyy I sometimes put minis in Noteworthy Player so I can see and hear the notes as they are being played. That way I can see the notes I might not have heard. Were there is a will.....


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 09:04 AM

Ma-K!!!!!

Would you like to learn Carolan tunes by ear, and use them to also learnhow to read notes???

Tunes are at: Francis J. Child Ballads http://www.childballads.com

It has Carolan stuff too-- I found it in our own LINKS!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 02:12 PM

"MacPherson's Farewell" is available in several formats at "Yet Another Digital Traditon" which is being discussed in the current thread of the same title. Check out the thread and see if you can get there with any of the links---I have it bookmarked and never have any trouble.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Margmac
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 02:11 PM

I just recieved a bunch of letters from 4th graders in Bellows Falls VT, and their top favorite song that I sang was Central Vermont Railroad Tragedy, which is an accident that happened near where they live a hundred years ago, involving a boy of their age. I recommend a local song or 2 for both kids and adults. Tickled me to read that Susan AR sings On the Mountains High. Have always thought keeping the old ballads to be one of my functions in life Best to all of you mudcatters

margmac


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 08:55 AM

Three different ways for dulcimer player to make relatively quick changes from D to G: (1) If you've got two or more dulcimers, string one with light-gauge strings -- I use two 9 or 10 gauge and one 12-13 gauge. Tune the heaviest one to G, others to D and you've got yourself a more-treble-than usual dulcimer tuned GDD or G Ionian. To retune this one for your DAD tunes, just tighten the heaviest string up to A. (2) Use a capo. A chopstick or pencil and a rubber band will do; commercial models are available. Whether you started in DAA or DAD, capo at third fret and you'll be in G major. (experiment with capo at 1st fret for E minor and fourth fret for A). (3) from DAD, tune your middle string down to G and you'll shift from Mixolydian D to Ionian G.
Sorcha, I'd like to learn the tunes for Cat, Farm and McPhersons, but don't know if I can read abc. Any chance you could type them down by fret numbers?


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 03:23 PM

Not sure what you mean about chords--but yes, most of the time they will be the same. In D, use standard D progression, just like a guitar does--D, D7,D,etc. I usually try to tune to D too. Mixolydian is so high that G is almost impossible, even with Mix. gauge strings. However, even if you are tuned DAA, you don't have to stay with D prog. chords--lots of notes are on the fret board if you use the right finger chords.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 02:40 PM

Sorcha..I have not heard the three jolly chaps or I had a cat. I can tune to D, G is to high for me. found some midis fiddle tunes that had chords you could hear plainly. Only one tune I've heard before. The chords would be almost the same most of time wouldn't they? I can hear the differance but don't have a name to put on them. Thank you


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 02:09 PM

markf--"McPhersons" is in the DT, I'll put lyrics to the others in new threads. Do you need tunes? I am not great with abc, but I can try, think I've got the rudiments.....
Ma-K--I am both a fiddler and MD'er. I play MD trad style, with a noter and strum. I TRY to tune to a "real" key, ie. D or G, but someimes it isn't possible. When I play melody on the MD, I expect the fiddles/guitars to find my key. Instead of telling them I'm in D or whatever, I just give them the Tonic fret (3rd in Ionian, etc.) and let them decide. The other fiddler often follows me on the melody very softly or muted.
I have also played with MD players who play with the group using left hand finger chords and right hand strum. I can't do this but I have the mode/key tab progressions if you want them.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 12:54 PM

markf I have a friend that is spending the winter in Texas. She is playing MD with fiddlers. I plan to drain her brain when she gets home. I won't be around any fiddlers until the last of May so I think I will record some fiddle tunes from the net to get started.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 08:21 AM

Markf-- On my autoharp, I play chords accompanying my husband who plays fiddel or mandolin and sometimes banjo. A frequent source, altho neither of us play lap dulcimer, is the book of O'Carolan's tunes for mountain dulcimer, and we play most of those. All the usual ones that get recorded, since we first found him on a hammered dulcimer tape and learned first the ones w could hear. Now his rhythms and various conventions are woven into our heads and we can play out of the big book of all his tunes.

I often go to songbooks for other instruments because chords are chords and what works well for one instrument may be fun on autoharp. There never seems to be enough variety in the autoharp books for me. (If I had the chords for Bach's B minor mass, and a bunch of folkies to play the choral parts, I'd try it!) Also this book came with a tape so I could hear not only how the tune went but also how it had been arranged. Only the dulcimer part is in the book, but we get a lot of good ideas from the arrangements and then can adapt them to other instruments. Sometimes we use the tapes as practice tapes too, and I think that has enhanced our jams because we've already tried various embellishments at home and can play as actively or as minimally as the session seems to need.

Another book I like a lot is a book of songs for pennywhistle, which has provided many good pieces for my husband to fiddle. It also has chords and gave a nice history on the songs, many of which we didn't have in our collection yet. And we don't play whistles but I do whistle and once I've learned the tune I can have a good time with the old kisser and the autoharp cranked up full blast. Mine doesn't tinkle, it roars and whines and twinkles, because I play it upside down and pull the strum down and toward me. Suffice to say that when we have no guitars in the mix it's actually way too much.

So we just don't pay any attention anymore to what instrument the book is for-- we use just about anything that has good material and is well put together.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 08:02 AM

Great thread you started, Ma-K, thanks. Am anxious to hear about your progress playing with fiddlers. Is there a player on Mudcat who has made the mountain dulcimer part of a string band who could give tips? Praise: I bet those Carolan tunes sound pretty on your lap or autoharp. Which ones do you play? Sorcha: Sure would like to learn "Three Jolly Chaps,""I Had a Cat" and "McPherson's Lament." Later today I hope to start a thread -- MD tab --with a tune represented by fret numbers and /'s for held notes. It's not as much fun as learning by ear or from sheet music, but it would be an easy way to swap songs.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 12:26 AM

You guys are sooo cute. Spaw, put me down for a case of sticks. Do you deliver or shall I thrpow my hubby and all the gear in the car and pick up?

We will expect not only a quantity discount but also a semi-discount for semi-profesional musicians, and of course the church discount as well.

However we can supply all the cans you want. I myself have a rather large one I would like to be rid of.

My husband also can bless them. I cannot guarantee this will improve the product.

We also can slay and give last rites to any rejects. Reject instruments I mean. I mean if you call them instruments.

I got the radio working!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:36 PM

Spaw It's my frist dulci-less. I have three ducimers. What do they call it ? DAS? They are almost as bad as potato chips.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:13 PM

WELL HEY MA-K!!!!! CONGRATS!! You now have a "Dulci-Less!"

Hope it all worked out well for you and you have some fun with it. I used to sell them at street fairs, painted and stenciled for $12.00. When I get back into that again, I'm going to sell "kits" too. Pre-drilled and stapled....You paint it and string it up...and supply your own can! BTW, I'll get back with some measurements for a basic one if you don't have a dulcimer.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:57 PM

Very useful. I got a small very good tape recorder for Christmas. It will be eazy to stick it in my pocket and record the fiddlers. I have trouble hearing what I am playing when all of us are playing I think I will try useing our sons old pocket hearing aid and see if that helps. We wear cloths of the 1850s so there many places I can hide the aids and recorder.I hope nothing squeeks. Goodness it sounds like I shoud be working for the FBI.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:08 PM

Ma-K, You can play with the good fiddlers either by insisting they go your way and help you learn by ear or you can learn to read, or anywhere in between.

To work with them, and stay with your ear method, I would just tote along a tape recorder and tape them, then go home and get started. The next time you meet, ask for those same tunes and play as much of them as you can and just drop out when they go too fast or you aren't sure where to go, and come back in when you can. Your dulcimer should not be loud enough to disturb them and I bet they will love seeing you go for it. It sounds like they love learning from you and a fair trade is a fair trade.

To learn note reading, have you tried stealing the Suzuki method? They focus on learning thematerial first by ear, without seeing the book, and plays the song by ear at first till they can reproduce it. At some point the book is picked up and the student reads along, and later still plays by the notes. To do this in your situation, there are some good fiddle tune songbooks that come with CD's!!!! And this is how I would start learning to read or improve your reading skills. Read along with the CD as it plays. You will be surprised how much you absorb not only of the tunes themselves but of their construction and musical notation. You will find that in between sessions your head will sort out what you've absorbd and it will be there for you to build upon. Tunes you could not fathom one day, you can read the next. Tunes in major keys seem to come first.

The Wee Sing series of children's music (tape and book) is another good way to do this, with tunes you already know well.

Another tip-- A lot of the fiddle tunes seem to be in the keys of A or D or sometimes G (correct me please fiddlers my hubby is out of town with the book) and their relative minors. Start learning what note positions you are using that are in the scales of those keys. Then when the fiddlers play a tune in that key, you can improvise stuff to play with it that will fit well and you will sound like a million bucks. If you practice the scales and then just play around with them looking for nice-sounding intervals, on your own, then when you play with them all you need to know is what is the position for the first note of the scale of the tune, and start playing from there.

What you have as an ear-player cannot be imagined or replaced by more classically trained people. I had to work hard for awhile to persuade myself and those of that theoretical background that my way was valid too. Once we got past that (mostly me), we started to really have a "whole" approach. The note readers that play well actually just use the notes for a starting point, I think, and their ears take over once they know how a piece goes. You start from that place, which is awesome. Ear people frequently are good natural arrangers, too, and if you get your ear hooked to their note reading you will be benefiting them.

Is any of this useful? Go for it!!!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:35 PM

Thanks again Spaw. We made one this afternoon.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 05:57 PM

I would pay Spaw to make a video demonstrating this, wouldn't you? especially with all of the running commentary that would come with it.

Then I would pay to see one of us trying to make it according to the instrux in the postings.

But then I like comedy. Think of the money we could raise with a kit!!!! Think of the happy parents all over the world!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 03:43 PM

Sorry, Mark the "NUT" and "BRIDGE" positions and also then mark the positions of the first twelve frets (or so). You can usedrywall screws laid across the flat for the nut and bridge and you don't need to glue them in palce. That way if your "frets" (staples) are a bit off you can still get decent(?) intonation. Whang the staples in so they are under the melody string only and read the rest of my other two postings...have anymore ?'s let me know.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 01:00 PM

Me again Spaw, You said mark the nut a bridge position. Then what ? I guess it is obvious but my brain is alittle old


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 12:24 PM

Here and here are some more pictures of psalteries and zithers and whatnot.

I agree with Ely that good fiddle tunes are also good dulcimer tunes. My personal preference also includes shape-note hymns and some medieval melodies, such as "Como poden per sas culpas" from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, and a dance-tune, "Tristan's Lament."

T.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:54 AM

LOL....BTW, I stick a can on the end of the stick for a "resonator".....Then you can also hang it an the wall as a planter!!

You can use cheap pine for the sticks BTW, but be sure its reasonably straight stuff. Banjo first strings work well and are long enough if you have no #4 laying around. Also be sure to set your eye screws in wall anchors so they don't slip and take some pliers and close any gap in the "eye."

BTW...I was thinking one day (rare) and got to laughing over the idea that if you can have a "Courtin'Dulcimer"...Why not a "Courtin' Stick?" So I made one out of a 2x4 and 2 coffee cans and gave it to the friends that I was making the Courting Dulcimer for....It gets lots of laughs at gatherings...They get it out after they play the real one.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:35 AM

Spaw, Thanks,we are going to have alot of fun with this progect. Do you have a canjo? We can't get to the shop today. The other half wants to know if we change to a strait can will it change the sound? We have a pop can on it now. I think the canjo would make a good torch. Pardon me maybe its just my ears.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:31 AM

Really liking this thread and all of you in it. Back tonight or early tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: sophocleese
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 11:39 PM

Thanks Spaw for writing that in. I'll see if I can make one or two in the next couple of weeks. As I don't have a dulcimer, and don't actually know anybody nearby who does, do you happen to have the length measurements for it. Thanks. Again.

Our neighbour bought one the musicmakers for her sons for Christmas this year. They had fun with it for a while until it went out of tune, so I retuned it for her and showed her how to do it. While I was doing that she asked if I had any medieval music as the class she's teaching is studying medieval life at the moment. She was delighted to discover that she had a medieval instrument in her possession!


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 10:27 PM

Sorry..hit the Enter by accident.......

Use one long string threaded thru the 2 small holes and inch and a half drywall screws work for the nut and bridge. Be sure when you're done that each fret sounds and if it doesn't tap in the next fret up as its a bit too high......This is dead easy, I swear to you.

Also, probably still the BEST stuff on Appalchian Dulcimer is in Jean Ritchie's books and although there are a lot of fancier players, Jean is still true to the origins of the instrument. AND...I keep plugging this album...One of Jean's sisters, Edna, was recorded by Sandy Paton, a legendary old folkie, owner of Folk-Legacy Records with his wonderful wife Caroline, and a Mudcatter. "Edna Ritchie, of Viper, Kentucky" is available only on their Custom Cassettes and to me is essential listening. It is the most tasteful use of an Appalachian Dulcimer I've ever heard. It truly accompanies her. There are a lot of excellent mountain and trad songs and she does them as they were sung in the Settlement Schools.

And then...just to be pedantic.....I'm always amazed at the things we call a harp! Autoharps are "board zithers," but who the hell would buy an Autozither? The lap harp is a psaltery which is also a board zither, as is the Hammered Dulcimer. The Appalachian dulcimer is a "long zither." Of course we refer to harmonicas as "harps" from mouth harp, not to be confused with a jaw harp (a form of mouth bow) we call a Jew's harp. If you don't like the sound of the word, but like the sound of the instrument, call it a harp!!! Ah well..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 09:58 PM

Hi Ma-K..........First, I'm sorry I don't have anything laying around right now, but tell your husband to take 15 minutes in his shop and he can cut you 6 pieces of 1x2. Take your dulcimer for a length and cut the wood as the same length as the fretboard and peghead. Have him drill 2 small holes in one end about an inch up and 3/4" apart. Drill 2 holes at the other end for your "tuners" (use eye screws set in drywall anchors, so drill the holes to fit the drywall anchors) one hole slightly above the other and again, 3/4 inch apart. Mark the nut and bridge position and the first 12 frets. Take his T-50 stapler and whang in a staple at each fret position offset so that they are only under the melody string.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: Ma-K
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 03:13 PM

Praise, I had a few piano lessons when I was a child. Didn't practice. When I get my first Dulcimor I found If I could find the first 4 notes of a song the rest was there too. I thought that since we don't think of where the next note is when we sing a song we have sung before why can't we play the same way. It works for me. I am stuck in a major tuneing but can play almost anything I want in that tuneing. I have found many chords. My main proublem is I would like to play with the fiddlers too. I play with a small group at a liveing history spot. The others are very good , I think they keep me around because I know so many old songs. We have a great time together,could play all night, you know what I mean. I do small shows at nurseing homes and a few dinners. Small stuff.


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 02:43 PM

Ma-K--

I was entirely by ear but now can read quite a bit. There are lots of ways to do it, it doesn't have to be hard or boring or even very technical. Can I help you go where you want to go in learning?

How do you learn pieces now? For dulcimer, are you playing melody or chords or both? How would you like to be learning them? Do you play with other people?


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 02:43 PM

Ma-K--

I was entirely by ear but now can read quite a bit. There are lots of ways to do it, it doesn't have to be hard or boring or even very technical. Can I help you go where you want to go in learning?

How do you learn pieces now? For dulcimer, are you playing melody or chords or both? How would you like to be learning them? Do you play with other people?


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Subject: RE: Help music for lap dulcimore
From: selby
Date: 08 Feb 00 - 02:18 PM

although not a song nonsuch and variations on the tune work well on the hammer dulcimer keith


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