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Favorite Instruments ? ? ?

Gene E 12 Dec 97 - 08:49 PM
Helen 13 Dec 97 - 05:08 PM
Steve from Wisconsin 13 Dec 97 - 11:13 PM
rastrelnikov 13 Dec 97 - 11:20 PM
Jack mostly folk 13 Dec 97 - 11:22 PM
Jen 13 Dec 97 - 11:38 PM
Jack mostly folk 13 Dec 97 - 11:41 PM
JMike 14 Dec 97 - 12:58 AM
Barry 14 Dec 97 - 02:02 PM
Country Bob 14 Dec 97 - 04:02 PM
Gene E 14 Dec 97 - 04:59 PM
Helen 14 Dec 97 - 06:17 PM
dulcimer 14 Dec 97 - 07:34 PM
judy 14 Dec 97 - 07:42 PM
Cliff Mcgann 14 Dec 97 - 08:31 PM
dwditty 14 Dec 97 - 09:21 PM
rosebrook 14 Dec 97 - 09:50 PM
rastrelnikov 15 Dec 97 - 01:01 AM
judy 15 Dec 97 - 01:43 AM
Johnny 15 Dec 97 - 09:04 AM
Bert 15 Dec 97 - 10:27 AM
Jon W. 15 Dec 97 - 10:36 AM
Old Timer 15 Dec 97 - 12:42 PM
Lidi 15 Dec 97 - 01:35 PM
judy 15 Dec 97 - 01:46 PM
Earl 15 Dec 97 - 04:35 PM
Jon W. 15 Dec 97 - 04:40 PM
Bill D 15 Dec 97 - 05:01 PM
Benjamin Bodhra/nai 15 Dec 97 - 05:42 PM
Petra A. Cosgrove 15 Dec 97 - 06:06 PM
Sir 15 Dec 97 - 07:00 PM
Bill D 15 Dec 97 - 07:31 PM
Jen 15 Dec 97 - 08:35 PM
chet w 15 Dec 97 - 08:45 PM
Gene E 15 Dec 97 - 11:33 PM
rastrelnikov 16 Dec 97 - 12:29 AM
Whippoorwill 16 Dec 97 - 10:52 AM
judy 16 Dec 97 - 12:03 PM
Nonie Rider 16 Dec 97 - 06:49 PM
Don from Ontario 16 Dec 97 - 10:04 PM
Bill D 16 Dec 97 - 11:05 PM
Jen 16 Dec 97 - 11:21 PM
Country Bob 17 Dec 97 - 01:32 PM
DrWord 17 Dec 97 - 03:43 PM
Gene E 17 Dec 97 - 08:27 PM
Bob Taylor 18 Dec 97 - 11:22 AM
Alice 18 Dec 97 - 04:44 PM
Helen 18 Dec 97 - 06:32 PM
Gene E 18 Dec 97 - 09:25 PM
Jen 18 Dec 97 - 09:57 PM
Earl 19 Dec 97 - 12:17 PM
Frank in the swamps 19 Dec 97 - 12:27 PM
Bill D 19 Dec 97 - 01:05 PM
Jon W. 19 Dec 97 - 01:34 PM
Jen 19 Dec 97 - 02:36 PM
Alice 20 Dec 97 - 11:24 AM
Jen 20 Dec 97 - 11:27 PM
Jen 20 Dec 97 - 11:28 PM
Gene E 21 Dec 97 - 12:24 AM
Jen 21 Dec 97 - 12:39 PM
chet w 22 Dec 97 - 09:21 AM
Jon W. 22 Dec 97 - 12:12 PM
Bill D 22 Dec 97 - 01:42 PM
Bill D 22 Dec 97 - 02:12 PM
Alice 22 Dec 97 - 03:20 PM
Alice 22 Dec 97 - 03:28 PM
Sharon 22 Dec 97 - 03:49 PM
Sharon 22 Dec 97 - 03:52 PM
Sharon 22 Dec 97 - 03:57 PM
Gene E 22 Dec 97 - 08:52 PM
Helen 22 Dec 97 - 10:03 PM
Bert 23 Dec 97 - 09:56 AM
judy 29 Dec 97 - 11:29 PM
Songster Bob 30 Dec 97 - 04:26 PM
Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 30 Dec 97 - 09:57 PM
Gene E 31 Dec 97 - 12:10 AM
Earl 31 Dec 97 - 08:02 AM
Ferrara 02 Jan 98 - 09:18 AM
Jen 02 Jan 98 - 07:05 PM
Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 02 Jan 98 - 08:25 PM
Barry 02 Jan 98 - 08:27 PM
Gene E 03 Jan 98 - 01:27 AM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 98 - 04:05 AM
Alice 03 Jan 98 - 12:08 PM
Earl 03 Jan 98 - 05:05 PM
Jen 03 Jan 98 - 05:32 PM
judy 03 Jan 98 - 09:49 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Jan 98 - 10:15 PM
Alice 06 Nov 98 - 10:06 PM
Snookums 07 Nov 98 - 12:09 AM
BSeed 07 Nov 98 - 01:26 AM
The Shambles 07 Nov 98 - 07:27 AM
Snookums 07 Nov 98 - 07:37 AM
Jon W. 09 Nov 98 - 06:14 PM
Mike the bass man 09 Nov 98 - 06:32 PM
Jo Taylor 09 Nov 98 - 07:30 PM
Ralph 10 Nov 98 - 05:11 PM
Big Mick 10 Nov 98 - 11:54 PM
Alice 11 Nov 98 - 10:33 AM
Bert 11 Nov 98 - 10:56 AM
Jo Taylor 11 Nov 98 - 07:43 PM
Alice 17 Apr 02 - 11:07 AM
53 17 Apr 02 - 05:52 PM
53 17 Apr 02 - 09:35 PM
JeZeBeL 17 Apr 02 - 09:41 PM
Celtic Soul 17 Apr 02 - 09:44 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 05 - 08:23 AM
Mark Ross 21 Oct 12 - 10:48 PM
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Subject: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Gene E
Date: 12 Dec 97 - 08:49 PM

Howdy to all, I'm as much a fan of musical instruments as I am of music. I guess that's a good thing since they go together:} I thought it might be interesting to discuss favorite axes and / or the stuff of dreams.

I'll start, since I'm deep into the blues my first "bluEs" axe was a Hohner Blues Harp, key of A. I've still got it and only rarely play it. My all time favorite is my Dobro F60, wood body. It's such a great blues box I have to play it every day. I want a National Delphi for Christmas but I haven't saved enough beens to get it just yet.

What about your "I'll never sell it" favorite?

Gene E (formerly Elwooddelta) thenk goodness!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Helen
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 05:08 PM

Hi Gene

My current collection of instruments includes my Markwood Celtic lever harp, a flute, a couple of tin whistles, an electronic keyboard (very rarely use it), a bodhran, an aluminium Egyptian drum, a ceramic drum (similar to the Egyptian one, it might be Egyptian as well) an African thumb piano, and an old red plastic whistle called a Musette, with teethmarks in the mouthpiece.

Of all of these I could never sell the harp, of course, for all the obvious reasons, and because it is my current instrument, but the Musette is right up there at the top as well. That's because it is my first ever instrument that I learnt to play in a class band at primary (grade?) school - well not counting a tin xylophone which I played in the kindergarten class.

The teacher taught us how to read music, and then he got us playing in unison, and then we started some elementary harmonies and parts. I know that singing at school helped me get started with music, and later in high school I sang in the choir, but that plastic whistle which cost a couple of dollars has taken me further in my musical life than any other instrument I have.

I played the flute (self taught) for a few years, and now I'm pretty much teaching myself the harp, but the Musette gets the prize.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Steve from Wisconsin
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 11:13 PM

Hi All- I'm a guitarist and my Mossman has served me well for over twenty years. However, what I wanted to contribute here is also a bit of a puzzle. I am a great fan of Claudia Schmidt and on her early recordings and in her early concerts, she used an instrument caled a pianolin. I have not been able to find out much about this intrument, much less find one. It has a beautiful, haunting sound. Has anyone lese of heard of it? Know where I can find one?

Acoustically,

Steve


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: rastrelnikov
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 11:20 PM

I play guitar. I got into it, mainly as a crutch to assure myself that I was singing on key among the improvised harmonies I'd often encounter. Gradually, though, (seven and a half years now) I've come to appreciate that it can make me sound a lot better on most songs.

I'm more curious about what instruments people like to hear others playing. For example:

I once played with a harmonica player who had big harmonicas, each 7-8 inches, which he claimed cost $40 - $50 US each, and which he could play so mellowly that they didn't interfere with the singing, the way most harmonicas do if they are used continuously. Does anyone know why the harmonicas would be so expensive? Natural reeds instead of metal?

The same guy also had what looked like a barber's brush to play his bodhran. I was so used to cringing when someone picked up a bodhran, but this guy could not only play well, he could play softer than the guitars if he wanted to.

The most interesting instrument I've seen was a bowed saw. It's IMPOSSIBLE to sing with, but incredible to sit back and listen to for one or two songs.

My favourite instrument to see in a crowd is a mandolin. A player with a light, thoughtful touch can add a bright sound to most folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 11:22 PM


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 11:38 PM

My current collection consists of

3 harps a bowl-backed mandolin a full zither a baby zither 2 violins an autoharp Lots of Ocarinas various fifes, whistles, and flutes a uke-lin (a cross between a ukelele and a violin) and an interesting sort of mouth organ(?) I just bought, it looks like double panpipes with a mouthpiece in the middle. Sounds real neat.

My favorite right now would have to be the panpipe/organ instrument (to play)

for looks, my absolutely beautiful Mandolin, Cerise.

Of course the harps are pretty too, but I think Cerise is prettiest.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jack mostly folk
Date: 13 Dec 97 - 11:41 PM

Hello Gene and Mudcatters NEVER say NEVER.I have owned four different Martin guitars that I said I would NEVER let go. They're gone and my weapon of choice is a hand built guitar that I will NE--- let go. I have some banjos that I'm partial to but really have no sentimental value.They have little resale value, those I'll probably keep forever. My Wildwood Autoharp is a keeper and the fiddle will always be there to look back at me daring me to play it and make a fool out of myself. My wife and I have finally come to an agreement. I have less instruments now than ever.I'm down to less than half of what I once had.I no longer collect instruments, I now collect songs. Much more affordable and life with the wife must go on.I still have more gear than I can ever use. So can NEVER say NEVER. Favorite Instruments.... great topic, thanks Gene and Mudcatters.............Jack mostly folk..... My first message dissappeared into cyberspace ....


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: JMike
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 12:58 AM

My favorite is a Daion guitar. I have taken it in to shops with the idea of trading up, but I have never been able to part with it. At least three pros have picked it up and commented on how beautifully it plays. For those who have never heard of the brand, Daion was a mid-range label that only lasted for a couple of years. The instruments were considered good but not great. However just like "Casablanca" started out to be a "B" movie starring Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan, but accidentally became a classic, well I got lucky...

I also have a nylon string Giannini with sentimental associations and an old label-less banjo, both of which have great sounds for inexpensive instruments (pawn shop refugees, the both of them). There has always seemed to be something a little off about folk singers playing expensive guitars. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Martins, Gibsons, Taylors, etc. or saying they aren't worth the money, it's just that singing, say, a Joe Hill tune while playing a $3,000 vintage Gibson...

Great thread, I appreciate the chance to brag on three of my loves


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Barry
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 02:02 PM

I've been at the bodhran over 15 yrs & about 2 yrs back bought another Grady drum 20" with a slide bar on the brace & tunable, I passed the old drum onto the kids (in part, I couldn't bare to see it leave the house), for some of the songs I sing it's all I want for accompanyment (yes, I sing a good bit with just the drum). But my fav is the voice, it's portable, parts don't fail (maybe with age,,alittle), it's good for any condition or occasion....play, work, birth, death, marriage, school, party & alone, it accompanys almost any thing or instrument, it's great in the fog, rain, outdoors or inside, I'd say it has to be one of the oldest instruments going (great plug for traditionalists), & in the mouth of a master or a skilled or a semi pro or an amateur or even a beginner, the sound can be breath taking. Best, it doesn't cost & it's available to all. Barry


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Country Bob
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 04:02 PM

My favorite instrument? It's still my Martin, Fred. My old roommate Mike had a 1962 D-28 that I tried for 20 years to buy from him, but he was too smart to sell it. So I ordered one like it about six or seven years ago, a D-28 Custom 15 (with the old style V-neck, diamonds and squares, herringbone and scalloped braces) and then had Don Teeter put a compensated bridge on it. Recently Mike & I got together again, and he liked mine better than his; I thought about trading, but decided I liked Fred better after all. Mike sings tenor, and does most of his playing on the top four strings above the fifth fret: his old Martin has the hottest treble I've ever played so it matches his vocal range. I'm more of a bass singer, love hammering on the bottom strings and listening to them ring out; Fred has a bottom end that won't quit, so I guess that's what I like. Good wine, friends and guitars improve with age so I guess while I like playing other people's instruments, I'll keep Fred.

Country Bob


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Gene E
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 04:59 PM

Man that's a wide range of instruments out there, Great! I think I''m behind, gotta go shopping!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Helen
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 06:17 PM

Hi again

Country Bob was talking about guitars improving with age. I read/heard/heard-in-cyberspace recently (I think it was on the harp mailing list) that wooden instruments sound better when they are being played often and they need some time to get back into thatr condition if they have been left unplayed. An interesting theory caught my attention and that is that the structure of the wood can be compared to animal muscle and without "exercise" it becomes stiff and unresponsive but the vibrations from constant playing "tone up" these "muscles" and improve the instrument's sound quality.

What do you think? I like the idea of it, but is it plausible?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: dulcimer
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 07:34 PM

Obviously, I play a dulcimer, mountain or appalachian or lap, however, you want to call it. But lately, I've dappled into tin whistles, and medieval bagpipes. As of late I've gotten in the spoons and the saw. Yes, bowing a saw purchased straight off the hardware shelf. It is pretty effect on most tunes except fast fiddle tunes.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: judy
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 07:42 PM

You asked so here goes:

Besides collecting songs, I also collect instruments. I usually buy them at thrift shops and swap meets. I used to buy many of them at The Akron and Cost Plus. The majority of them are displayed on the wall of my living room, under the endtables and on top of the wall unit. There are others hidden away as well. Seeing my love of instruments people have urged me to adopt theirs, extracted from attics and closets: a bouzouki (which died in one of the earthquakes), a melodica (small keyboard-type which you blow into), a banjo-lin (so I now have two), and a piano (sister-in-law's response to my son taking lessons on a keyboard) I traded a borhan (sp?) for a button accordion and gave away a pump organ.

Ordinary instruments: a hammer dulcimer, 3 button accordions, a regular accordion, an electric piano, a mandolin, a Yamaha guitar (bought in the 60's for $15), a child's guitar, a regular ocarina, 7-8 animal shaped ocarinas, a ceramic water bird whiste (and innumerable plastic ones), small xylophones (wooden and metal), a soprano and alto recorder, 5-6 pans pipes, castanets, maracas, clackers, 2 graggers, wooden and metal spoons, a bowed psaltry, 2 small zithers, a bagpipe chanter, a slide whistle, an autoharp, 2 xylodrums, a Native American drum, a concertina, an organetta and lots of children's instruments.

Unusual instruments: a yang chin (chinese hammered dulcimer), a mandolin guitarophone (I call it an auto-hammered dulcimer), a violin-uke (I've heard it called a ukelin), 5 or 6 ang-klungs in various keys, a South East Asian mouth organ which sounds like a bunch of car horns, two thumb pianos made of gourds, a chistu (Spanish flute), a Shaku Hachi (Japanese flute), a Yugoslavian bowed thing(?), a Yugoslavian double flute, and a drum with a stick in the middle of it that you pull with a wet cloth.

I usually answer that I can make noise on all of them and music on most. Like Barry my favorite one has always been voice. Never needs practice, can go anywhere, always available. But before children, when I had more time, I liked the button accordion, the hammer dulcimer and the bowed psaltery. My best played instrument is the recorder. I used to sit for hours on end playing through each song in library songbooks. Then I'd copy the ones I liked into my notebook(until xerox came along). I once kept a job I didn't like very much because they allowed me to use their xerox machine (on my own time and I bought the paper and a toner cartridge)

judy


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Cliff Mcgann
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 08:31 PM

This is a fun one. I have a thing for instrument makers. I am hoping to publish a book someday on musical instrument makers although I had to stop researching because I was running out of money. It seem that every maker I worked with I end up with one of their instruments. There is something special about an instruments history. My guitar was made by Otis Tomas a luthier in Cape Breton (he also composes some nice tunes) and it is hands down the best guitar I have ever played. While living in Newfoundland I met a Uillean Pipe maker by the name of Neil O'Grady who I did some research on and ended up with a practice set of pipes. While living in British Columbia I met a Bouzouki maker by the name of Neil Russell and keeping in tradition I left there with one of his bouzouki's. All my instruments were individually crafted at a price far less that you would pay for even an inferior guitar from a more "prestigious" maker. I also own an old german fiddle which I had restored and a bunch of various whistles including my favorite Low D Howard. It is all relative I have a friend who has one of the nicest sounding sets of Scottish Smallpipes which he made himself out of various sizes of plumbing pipe. Its amazing.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: dwditty
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 09:21 PM

Ah, if only I hadn't traded away instruments over the years. I have owned a 1917 Gibson L1, a 1970's Dobro 36, a Martin HD28, a Gibson J-45, a 1927 Martin O-18K. All great instruments. I have a theory that instruments generally wind up where they are supposed to be in order to play the music they want to play. Also, I think it's a transitional thing, and as either their preferences or those of their player's change, they simply find a way to move on. While I have fond memories of all the above, I don't regret their(?) decision to seek other hands. I now play a 1970 Guild F50R that was formerly Jonathan Edwards' stage guitar. I am pleased that it has selected me as it's current owner.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: rosebrook
Date: 14 Dec 97 - 09:50 PM

This has been such a fun thread to read! I definately want to go play at Judy's!!

dwditty, I appreciate your sentiments about instruments finding their way to where need to be. I have to accept that theory for all the sheet music, tapes, records, etc. that have (sob, sniffle...) passed through my hands, as well. How exciting to hear someone mention Jonathan Edwards' name (aside from in reference to the song Sunshine)!

As for me, I mainly enjoy the company of my silver flute and family of recorders (from sopranino to tenor) in the context of playing celtic music and sea shanties.

Rosebrook


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: rastrelnikov
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 01:01 AM

Further to Helen's comments on toning up instruments.

If you don't play your accoustic guitar (or many other instruments, I imagine) for a month, it will sound kind of dead. One trick I've heard: place your guitar in front of a speaker and play recorded accoustic guitar music. This should help to vibrate the wood and keep it ready for the next time YOU get a chance to play.

Yes, guitars get heaps better, especially in the first two years of playing. They also stabilize a bit. Watch to see how your guitar changes shape over it's first winter before getting it set up with a really low action.

Guitars, like harps, don't tend to age gracefully. There's 125 pounds total of tension at standard tuning on a light guage six string. 185 pounds for medium strings. Easy to handle, except that guitar makers MUST trade off strength for good sound characteristics. Most steel string guitars that I've seen which have been continuously played for over 25 years are starting to sound second rate. Then again, I don't know anyone who baby's their guitar the way a luthier would recommend.

My Yamaha? It's one of the best light string guitars I've heard, bright and loud when I want loud. Though I often whistfully yearn for a nice medium string guitar, I smile every time my Yammy falls over knowing I'd be having a fit if it were a $10,000 Laskin.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: judy
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 01:43 AM

Rosebrook: Come over any time and bring your flutes with you, (that's one instrument I DON'T have) and your recorders.

You all come over. Boy! what a jam. Sounds good already

judy


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Johnny
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 09:04 AM

Very nice subject today!!

As an old metal head I have went throug a number of electric guitars, witch there were a couple that I swore would never leave my possession. But a sudden change in musicstyle ( from death metal to Irish folkmusic ) made my Jackson King V seem a bit missplaced. Sold it and bought a Takamine NP- 15 instead, And now I have the gratest steel string guitar ever. I also have to add a bunch of tin whistles and a mandoline to my stable. Sad to say , but hard touring starting to take it's toll on the Takamine, hopefully it will last a few more years still.

I totally agree with Judy! what a jam !! Slainte J.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 10:27 AM

Country Bob,
I'm glad I'm not the only one with a guitar named Fred. It's a Yamaha Folk Guitar that I bought in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia in 1979. It has taken a lot of abuse but still sounds good. I would leave it out on the sofa and all the kids down the street would take turns at it.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 10:36 AM

What a fun thread. I'm a cheapskate by nature and by necessity so I may have the cheapest instruments so far. First I started out with a $70 brand new electric bass guitar, in the early '70's when I was in high school. I still have it but can't get to it. I went through a couple of other basses and wish I still had my second one. My main instrument is a Washburn D-12 six string, I got in 1983 for $165. I haven't had it appraised but like to think it's worth more now. I play mostly accoustic blues on it. My wife bought me a Generation "D" tin whistle when I got into Irish music, $6.50 and I love it. I've got a couple other whistles too. The latest is another Generation but in C. Amazing the difference in sound. Along the way I built a resonator mandolin as an experiment and also a plywood mountain dulcimer which theoretically belongs to my eight-year-old daughter. It's not great - took me three or four days to build just before Christmas two years ago - but it's playable. I got a $100 banjo at a pawn shop a while back, and would like to build a couple more banjos. The first one is inadequate for even my rudimentary skills. I've owned four Jew's harps, two currently which are recent additions. My latest pride and joy is a Russian Balalaika I got at a local thrift shop for $41.50. It was up on bid. Anyone know how to play one? And speaking of how to play thrift store instruments, I saw a Vio-Uke up on bid a couple of years ago but didn't win the highest bid on it - it looked sort of like a bowed psaltery but with a bunch of extra strings and maybe a fretboard(?). Judy and Jen, is this what you have and how are they played?

Oh yeah, I've got my dad's guitar - an old arch top Kay. It's not playable - warped neck, cracked face, several bad repairs, tuners shot - but a lot of sentimental value. And another guitar - a small plywood faced Stella that needs a new bridge. I want to use it for camping if I ever get around to fixing it.

I've got in mind to build a two-string canjolin for my extended family's annual gag gift exchange on New Year's day. That's a banjo-mandolin with a tin can resonator. I've got the hardwood, the two tuners (left over from the dulcimer), some fret wire, and a nice tin can. I've also got three rooms, a hall and some stairwells to paint and two hardwood floors to install in my house. Oh well.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Old Timer
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 12:42 PM

Great Thread!

I was an aspiring guitar player, starting in the '50s with a old Harmony nylon-string model. I later decided I wanted the steel-string sound, so I swapped for an import (can't remember the name). During the mid '70s I was given a Yamaha FG-170, which was a great step up! I still have it and would never (apologies to Jack) part with it. I had also been noodling around for several years on one of the old Harmony banjos, the one with a plastic pot. Suddenly, the banjo just jumped up and bit me in the butt! It bit me hard and I have submitted to it's madness. I presently have a collection of banjos, but my favorite is a Gibson Mastertone. I have found that the only antidote to banjo madness is to play as much as possible every day! I still enjoy playing guitar too, and the Yamaha keeps sounding better with age.

Regarding Helen (and rastrelnikov) thoughts about instruments sounding better if used frequently: I have heard that there are musicians who play the old Strats and other museum-bound instruments on a regular basis, to keep them vibrating properly.... Anyone have more info on this?

OT


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Lidi
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 01:35 PM

Fun stuff to read on this thread...I play the guitar myself, and I have a small collection of 3 guitars. In addition to that, I inherited a banjo from my grandfather, who actually made it himself. I also have a mandolin, but unfortunately I can´t play neither the banjo nor the mandolin, so that will be my next project....

sláinte

Lidi


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: judy
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 01:46 PM

Jon, As a thrift shopper, garage sailor and swap meeter you KNOW I know the word cheapskate. I've mostly have never paid more than $35 for any of my instruments. The exceptions are $100 for Weiss (Helikon Harmonika) button accordion. And $400 to buy my hammer dulcimer which I earned by selling plastic bird whistles for 75 cents (I bought them for a nickle a piece).

The inside of my Violin-uke (which I bought at a swap meet for $35) says: VIOLIN-UKE patent applied for guaranteed 5 years $35 Marxochime Colony New Troy, Michigan

You can play melody and chords at the same time (and sing if you are very coordinated). To play a violin-uke you bow up one side and down the other like a bowed psaltery and you strum the middle strings which are arranged in chords. The chords from right to left are GBDG, F#DCD, GECC, and GECA#. Notes going up the right side are A,C,E,G,B,D,F,A and on the left are G,B,D,F,A,C,E,G. So you can see that to play a scale you'd alternate bowing one side with the other.

On a bowed psaltry the natural notes are all on the right side and the sharps and flats are all on the left. You can play a scale mostly by staying on the right side and not have to jump over to the left side too often. Perhaps this was the cause of the violin-uke's lack of popularity and longevity. Of course one could just retune the strings, but there aren't very many compared to a bowed psaltry because of the chord strings going up the middle.

I'm sure this is more than you ever wanted to know about a violin-uke. It would be a lot shorter if I could show it to you. But then again maybe it wouldn't because I DO like to talk about folky stuff.

judy


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Earl
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 04:35 PM

My main instruments are a Gibson L1 guitar (a recent reissue of the guitar Robert Johnson played), a steel Dobro, a Flatiron mandolin, and a Flatiron octave mandolin. I also have two Mandolin-banjos (aka banjolin), two autoharps, an old 5-string banjo, and a dulcimer. I've gotten some great bargains over the years: a $25 autoharp, a great Italian button accordion for $35, and my father got an old Rickenbacher lap steel at an auction for $25. We later sold for quite a bit more.

My wife has an upright bass and a Dobro acoustic bass guitar. She also plays washtub bass and jug. She favors a glass jug that comes free with a half-gallon of our local microbrewed beer.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for the description, Judy. That sounds like what I saw. I think I bid around $30 for it but as I said I didn't make the high bid. It's probably just as well, I'm not really good enough at any instrument to start learning another one - but I like to try anyway.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 05:01 PM

I dread starting typing this....*sigh*
but...
6 recorders..(even the biggest, temporarily)
8 tinwhistles
a 'melody flute'(tinwhistle with welded on mouthpiece played sideway like a flute)
5 ocarinas
a thumb piano
3 kazoos
one nose flute..*grin*
4 working autoharps (my major instrument)...including an original Zimmerman with the 'shifters'..(model 2 1/2)
1 mountain dulcimer..(made by Keith Young)
1 ukelin (working!)
1 melodian(Italian..works pretty good, but I am a beginner!
a broken Marxophone (you bang little hammers onto a zither-like body)
a couple of harmonicas which I never DID really try to play)

my wife has

2 guitars...a 'nice' Martin-- and a Gurian..(for sale)
a nice working zither which she is getting pretty good on....
a 'McArthur harp'..(a small folk-harp..)plays it pretty well, too..

I did not say a lot about most of them...I would be here all night...(and, no...I don't do justice to that many instruments...but they were crying and lonesome and I had to give them a home...)

I will answer questions about the weirder ones mentioned if anyone is really curious....


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Benjamin Bodhra/nai
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 05:42 PM

Strangely enough my bodhra/n is still my favourite instrument, as I like singing with just the rhythym, and also accompanying friends on flute and fiddle.

However, I recently stumbled over an old mandolin, flatback, Italian, and couldn't resist it for the price. So at the moment it tends to take up most of the practice time I allow myself. It has a much lighter sound than most mandolins I have heard and also is very light in construction. I also tend not to get rid of any of the first instruments that I buy, but then people say I'm a hoarder. I don't call having to rent a house to yourself at 27 just to fit everything in hoarding!!!

Sla/n a chairde

Benjamin


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Petra A. Cosgrove
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 06:06 PM

::Laughs:: My Gods!!! I thought that between my love and I we covered a large number of instruments.. (or rather.. he covers.. I agree with Barry about the voice being my favorite, with my violin coming in a very close second..) But reading these lists was impressive!!! I thought I knew musical instruments!!!

When that jam occurs- somebody let me know hmmm?? I'd love to come hear this one!!!! (as would Til!)

Pei


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Sir
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 07:00 PM

Hey, no one's mentioned a tuba! I have 2 (an EFlat and a BBFlat 4 valve), two trombones (a Conn and a Bach Stradivarius), a BoseyHawkes flugelhorn, an old Bflat trumpet with an a trigger, a civil war era trumpet, a chrome cornet that is old but I'm not sure how old, a fife reputed to be from the civil war era, a Yamaha 12 String, recorders from sopranino to tenor, a Hammer Dulcimer and a celtic harp (I made both made from kits), a violin, 2 clarinets, a McSpadden mountain dulcimer, a piano, an autoharp, a kalimba, and a steel drum. As with favorite types of music I'm not sure which instrument is my favorite. Probably the one I'm workin' on at the time.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 07:31 PM

Sir..I guess not too many of us are into 'folk tuba' *grin*...maybe if Pete Seeger played 'Jesu , Joy of Mans Desiring' on one, like he did on banjo..(the famous 'Goofing Off Suite')....anyway, I think it's neat to see that range of instruments represented...

(hmmm...we could all tune up & practice and do a 'different' half-time show at the Super Bowl...)**!!!**


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 08:35 PM

Bill D, you have the same kind of idea I have. I see all these instruments at auctions, fleamarkets, and such, and know that I can at least give them a good home.

It really surprises me how many ukelins there are out there; I just bought mine (and Judy, mine was made by the Marxochime Co, and has the price of 28.50 inside) It came with a cute little bow and a half-gone songbook.

Forgot a few instruments when I posted before:

1 trumpet

and yes, I have a nose flute too!

and my favorite kazoo, which I've had since I was 7.

Jen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: chet w
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 08:45 PM

Favorite instrument? Can there be only one? I like small old guitars, mostly Gibson, because they're better balanced than the larger (dreadnought) models, and are therefore, among other qualities, much easier to amplify and to record. My 1933 Gibson L-OO is, to my mind, the best-sounding guitar I've ever heard---good for any style of music that I've tried on it, which covers a lot of ground. Every note plays at the same volume (with good strings). To Steve from Wisconsin, good luck finding a pianolin. The most information I've ever seem about them is in the liner notes to the Washington Philips album on Yazoo Records. He was a preacher who recorded religious songs of his own composition, many of them gems, in the 20's and 30's. About the relative merits of old instruments, I can tell you this about the wood. As wood resin dries, which takes about fifty years give or take, to complete, you are left with thousands of hollow tubes (wood cells), each of which will resonate like an organ pipe. Regarding whether the instrument is played a lot or not, if that does make a difference (I believe it does), it probably has to do with the joints vibrating solidly into place on a well-made instrument, as well as the maturation of the wood and the finish (and the relationships therein), which is why you should never never refinish a fine instrument unless there is no way around it. Interesting subject. Of course there is no "best guitar" or any other instrument. It's good if you like the way it sounds, regardless of value. If you're trying to emulate the sound of some of the old blues and country players, though, it probably doesn't make sense to try to do it on an expensive instrument, since they generally didn't have them. Looking forward to more messages.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Gene E
Date: 15 Dec 97 - 11:33 PM

Wow the money or the lack of money invested in instruments in this thread is mind boggeling. I Started out with a few favorites but my inventory is: 27 Hohner Harminicas 1 Shure green bullit mic 4 Recorders I Ibenez steel string 1 Dobro F60 (Favorite, take to grave guitar) 1 Epiphone Les Paul 1 65 watt Crate amp.

As of Saturday I will finally take delivery of a new Dobro Model 90H Duolian, metal body. This thing is a true bottleneck guitar with a National resonator, flat fretboard, 14 fret neck, chrome plated bell brass body with Hawaiian etched motif on the back. It's the coolest thing I ever saved up to buy. I know it'll be a new favorite 'cause I've played it every month for the last 2 1/2 years in the guitar shop while it waited for me to get up enough beens to get it. I've nearly made it!!

BTW I have to trade in the Epiphone and the Crate amp to have enough to get the Duolian. I have the bluEs disease.

I'm in that Deep Delta Mood, gotta go play!!!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: rastrelnikov
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 12:29 AM

Very interesting stuff from chet w regarding the maturation of wood. However, regardless of any permanent change caused by playing the instrument, there is also a temporary change. For example, I think I remember the case of a Stradivarius violin that was kidnapped and held for ransom a few years ago. I believe it went unplayed for about five months and when the violin was recovered, the owner commented that it would be a while (a month?) before the violin recovered it's normal tonal quality.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Whippoorwill
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 10:52 AM

Whew! I was proud of my little collection, but after seeing these lists, I'm getting the urge to go looking again. My wife and I have , let's see,
Three pianos (one new baby grand - hers.)
an electric piano (NOT a synthesizer)
an organ
two string basses
an autoharp
a fiddle
a mountain dulcimer
a mandolin
a tenor banjo
three guitars - a six-string, a four-string tenor, and perhaps the only eight-string tenor in captivity (I've never seen or heard of another one)
three harmonicas
a soprano recorder
a penny whistle
a plastic flute-o-phone - like Helen's musette, my beginning instrument.
a trumpet
a button concertina
four or five kazoos
a tambourine
and yes, me too, a nose flute.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: judy
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 12:03 PM

What a hoot! we could start a museum: a usable one

judy


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Nonie Rider
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 06:49 PM

"an aluminium Egyptian drum, a ceramic drum (similar to the Egyptian one, it might be Egyptian as well)"

If those are the vaguely hourglass-shaped ones, I believe they're called doumbeks (or various spellings thereof).


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Don from Ontario
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 10:04 PM

What a great thread! amazing how "we" collect instruments. got two electric guitars...fender amp acoustic Yamaha "L" (love of my life) 6 string "guitar" banjo" 5 string banjo violin--taking lessons...on this one 6 harmonicas - play along with guitar. "presently eyeing a Mandolin" I thought I was alone with my fetish.... feel better already....think I'll get that Mandolin...


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 11:05 PM

regarding the pianolin

....Andy Cohen, a fine guitarist and player of many genres of music from blues to gospel, has, and plays a pianolin like the one on the Washington Phillips album....I was fortunate enough to watch him close up...and after the concert, my wife played it too. It is a funny, tiny little thing..about the size of a small hammered dulcimer, but with a small piano keyboard.. It must be terribly hard to build one and maintain one...lots of little moving parts...so, if you ever get a chance to hear Andy Cohen...perhaps he will bring it...


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 16 Dec 97 - 11:21 PM

That's the eventual idea, Judy!

Jen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Country Bob
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 01:32 PM

Helen's question (and rastrelnikov's comments) about how instruments change with age is a fountainhead of folk wisdom and endless debate. Twenty five years ago, a friend of mine was importing Goya guitars from Sweden, and he found out setting up a big Kustom electric guitar amp in the storeroom and blasting it 24 hours a day for several weeks definitely helped the tone. When Fred (my Martin) was just a few months old, he sounded OK, but that fall I took him to his first Winfield festival. After three days of trying to play over banjos, hammered dulcimers, (as many as 8 at once) and the kind of volume large groups of string pickers make, I couldn't believe the difference when I got home. I went through three sets of medium strings that weekend, (none broken but by morning the sound was just dead on them) and used a heavy flat pick. Barefinger picking Fred at home, the volume increase was surprising. When I sent my 1935 Dobro to Don Teeter for a fretboard sanding and new frets, he didn't think much of it - I had slacked the strings off for shipping. He strung it up to pitch and left it lay for a week, and when he started work on it, he called me and said it was the loudest damn Dobro he'd ever played. So I guess it was getting the wood and metal stretched into tension. For the same reason, he wouldn't compensate Fred's bridge until he had weathered a couple of years, because he said guitars actually shrink a little the first few years, throwing the intonation off. When guitars are built lightly enough to sound good, you can feel the vibrations in your left hand and through your chest - really good ones almost give me an upset stomach.

Country Bob


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: DrWord
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 03:43 PM

At our house you'll find a piano, a sitar, a pigsnout psaltery, a ten-string bowlback mandolin, 2|4 and 3|4 fiddles, and my 1997 Perry guitar. I'd bring the mando and the guitar to the jam. I'll have a hard time keeping drool off the toy Santa has brought for my son--a Korg "Pandora's Box" --which I would *highly reommend* to anyone looking for an effects processor. Merry Christmas to all you mudders C ya @ the jam Dennis


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Gene E
Date: 17 Dec 97 - 08:27 PM

Three days and counting until I bring home my new Doulian! @#$%$@$$^%&%^&**( :}:}:}:}


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bob Taylor
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 11:22 AM

How come nobody admits to having an accordion? I took lessons years ago (that's another thread possiblity - music teachers). I still play an occasional Christmas song on the old squeeze box. I know some of you out there have one, you're just afraid to come out of the closet.

I have to admit that the guitar is the love of my musical life at the moment, with keyboards a close second.

Happy Holidays!!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Alice
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 04:44 PM

I'm with Barry, judy, and Petra, my voice is my favorite. The only instrument I know that most people play in the shower. ooops... that came out a little double entendre, sorry, didn't entendre to. Well, my first instrument was the one on which I had the most years of lessons. When I was about two or three, my parents bought a used Gulbranson player piano that had old cracked rubber tubing in it so that the "player" action never worked. That was OK, because the piano itself was in great shape, and when I was older, I also figured out that I could reach inside with a rubber band and pull down a device that created a "honky tonk" sound. I still have that piano. Next comes a Yamaha classical guitar that I got in about 1968. I also have accumulated tin whistle, harmonica, Peruvian whistle and pan pipes, a black plastic whistle stamped with the words "song flute" (free), jews harp, kazoos, ukulele (fifty cents), autoharp, Italian concertina (free), my grandfather's fiddle, a bodhran (made my own tipper with bucksin on the ends, but prefer to play softly with thumb and pinkie), a small Yamaha keyboard that I found for $7.50 at the Salvation Army (just needed batteries), bongos (free) and most recently, a used 3/4 size China-made fiddle that my son plays in 5th grade orchestra. I am saving to buy a harmonium. I have my eye on a web site of instruments made in India that will give a 50% discount if you link to their page from your page.... now I just need to get the time to finish designing my web page... gee, if I only spent less time on the Mudcat forum...

I know a whistle/bodhran/bones player here who made a beautiful set of bones from elk ribs. He also made his bodhran, dying the head with onion skins, which created a really interesting mottled/tie dyed brown pattern. My next home-made project may be making bones. That clicking staccato sound really adds interesting spice in the appropriate places. When is the Mudcat jam? Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Helen
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 06:32 PM

Nonie, You're right, they are dumbeks. I was having a mental block and couldn't think of the name at the time.

Helen

"an aluminium Egyptian drum, a ceramic drum (similar to the Egyptian one, it might be Egyptian as well)"

If those are the vaguely hourglass-shaped ones, I believe they're called doumbeks (or various spellings thereof).


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Gene E
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 09:25 PM

Two days until I bring my Duolian home. I'll be bottleneckin' non-stop!


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 18 Dec 97 - 09:57 PM

OOPS! I knew I forgot one. My accordion, DRAT. Thanks for reminding me, its been bugging me. And while I'm thinking of it, I have a wooden xylophone type instrument too. Somewhere in the archaeology dig that is my room.

Jen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Earl
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 12:17 PM

Alice,

What's the address of the web page of Indian instruments?


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 12:27 PM

I'm a guitarist, and I have some really nice guitars, but for much of the folk music I love it just doesn't feel like an apprpriate instrument. I absolutely love the recorder, especially for Scots & Irish tunes. I can't play the recorder to save my life. Sigh.

Frank I.T.S.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 01:05 PM

Frank...you need to go back to the 6th grade and start on the clarinet, like I did...the recorder came easy after years of fingering practice...

Jen....I forgot too...my wife has 2! accordions!!(she was pretty good on them at one time!) and 2 fiddles....and a Maybelle brand tenor banjo that her father played..


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 01:34 PM

Frank - try tin whistle (sometimes called penny whistle). Similar sound to recorder but easier to play - only six holes and no thumb hole. Even I can do it.


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 19 Dec 97 - 02:36 PM

Oh, yes, tin whistles are fun and really easy. You can get one practically anywhere.

Jen


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Alice
Date: 20 Dec 97 - 11:24 AM

OK, everyone, here is the instrument manufacturer that I referred to above. They have a showroom in Florida, for anyone down there who would like to check it out. I don't know the html yet to do a "click here", so here it is: http://www.mid-east.com/index.html They have harps, bagpipes, drums, lots of interesting instruments. Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
From: Jen
Date: 20 Dec 97 - 11:27 PM

Good Site! That's where I bought my wire-strung harp!

I think I know how to do a link, let's see if this works.

  • Mid East Manufacturing Co.

    Jen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jen
    Date: 20 Dec 97 - 11:28 PM

    It worked! I can do HTML!! Wow.

    Jen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Gene E
    Date: 21 Dec 97 - 12:24 AM

    Well I've done it! I brought home my Duolian, traded my Les Paul and a small amp and paid some $$ and she's mine, all mine. I've been eyeing and playing this '95 model for 2 1/5 years and I finally liberated it from the guitar shop!

    My new all time favorite is my Duolian (what else)

    Gene E @ bottleneck.dobro


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jen
    Date: 21 Dec 97 - 12:39 PM

    Congrats! Hope you enjoy her!

    Jen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: chet w
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 09:21 AM

    Interesting trivia about Stradivari's fiddles. After much high-level research a couple of interesting things were determined: His varnish was made of arthropod (insect or shrimp, perhaps) shells dissolved in some kind of spirits; his wood had an unusually high salt content, and it was found that the place where he bought his wood was by the waterfront in or near Cremona, Italia. How this affected the tone of his instruments is not understood.

    Science Teacher Chet W.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jon W.
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 12:12 PM

    Gene E, congratulations, I'm salivating. For those who want to salivate along with me, here's a link to what I think Gene is talking about. Right, Gene?

    Chet - I read something about that stuff on Stradivari also. Something about the wood being seasoned in the salt water of the sea opening the pores or something. Also that another ingredient of his varnish was ground up gemstones. The conclusion was that not only was he a superior craftsman, but he also got lucky to have on hand the right materials.

    All - I was at a store in Salt Lake called "Accoustic Music" picking up a chromatic tuner for my daughters and they have several unusual instruments hanging on the wall. One was a Dulceola, which looked like Bill D's description of a pianolin (hammered dulcimer with tiny keyboard). They had about three things the owner called pianolins but more like what Judy and Jen here have called Vio-Ukes or Ukelins. Cool old stuff. I don't think they were for sale.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Bill D
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 01:42 PM

    Jon..yes!! Dulceola,...I knew there was a better word!! Thats what Washington Phillips played!! I knew that...(*sigh*...once your memory goes....forget it!!! I think I've got 'whatisnames' disease...starts with an 'A')


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Bill D
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 02:12 PM

    oh....and for you guitar player who want to drool on an instrument that you wont hurt by drooling...lots of pictures

    I was temporary custodian of an old National Steel during the settling of the estate of a friend ...what a sound!!


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 03:20 PM

    Did anyone else watch on tv news the recovery of large old logs from the bottom of one of the Great Lakes? They were showing the amazing grain of the wood, and mentioned that it would be marketed for instrument making, among other fine things. Alice in MT


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 03:28 PM

    I just got email from Steve at the above mentioned web site (mid-east) for buying instruments. I had given him notice that I was posting his web address here. He asked to be listed as "Ethnic Musical Instruments Co." Alice in MT


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Sharon
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 03:49 PM

    I'm like Judy and Jon and others - a collector of unusual, antique and other instruments. Judy, where are those 2 stores located where you said you've purchased many? I consider it a rare find to acquire something different. My current collection includes: hammered dulcimer (favorite - I've played about 5 yrs.) mountain dulcimer autoharp guitar a vintage tenor (4 string) guitar mandolin ukelele, and a baritone uke balalaika omnichord accordion concertina harmonica fife, recorders, tin whistles Hawaiian tremeloa ( my weirdest instrument) bowed psaltry - which I love to play midi keyboard

    I think that's all. I keep my eyes peeled at antique shops, flea markets, estate sales.

    I envy Judy. I'd love to find a chinese yang chin and also the persian hammered dulcimer - what's it called.?


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Sharon
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 03:52 PM

    sorry about the above message. Sure needed some commas. I typed them in a vertical list. They didn't come out that way.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Sharon
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 03:57 PM

    Oh, and I forgot my recently acquired harp, which I purchased this summer. I think I need some lessons to get me really going. I did go to Kentucky Music Week last July and got some wonderful begiinners advice. I also forgot my guitar-zithers.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Gene E
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 08:52 PM

    John W and Jen

    Thanks, that baby has a sound that goes to your bones!

    John, the link is cool and you're exactly right that's the one! Mine is an OMI product which is cool because I've got the warranty card but OMI is closed.

    Gene@ Bottleneck.Dobro


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Helen
    Date: 22 Dec 97 - 10:03 PM

    Sharon

    Check out Sylvia Woods' harp site for books & videos etc on Celtic or wire harp playing for beginners.

    http://www.harpcenter.com/

    There are other books available but I can recommend her Teach Yourself the Folk Harp book & video.

    And you do know about the harp mailing list, don't you? Send to harp-admin@zendo.com with the message "subscribe" and tell them if you want digest or single emails (approx 20 per day) then post messages to the list through harp@zendo.com.

    We are in the throes of transmuting at present, possibly to a BBS site. I haven't had a chance to find out the latest news on that yet, but the list will continue one way or another, and there is an archives site to look up previous threads as well.

    You can get to that through the Harp Page http://www.tns.lcs.mit.edu/harp/

    Also, I'm wondering why the only person who forgets he/she plays an accordion is the accordion player him/herself. The quiet instruments *never* forget that there is an accordion in the room. ;->

    (I actually like accordion music, especially the good dance tunes with an interesting rhythm)

    Helen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Bert
    Date: 23 Dec 97 - 09:56 AM

    Sharon,
    A Persian Hammered Dulcimer is called a "Santur", I have one that I bought in Shiraz in 1975. The tuning is weird; the bridges split the string so that one side is the octave of the other. They also use quarter notes which are way beyond me. So I tuned mine American style. It has 4 strings per course which give it a very delicate tinkley sound.

    The construction is very crude with hand made tuners which look as if they are filed down nails. You just whack them in the wood a little deeper if they get loose. The tuning key handle is a crude hammer which is made for that purpose.

    Bert.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: judy
    Date: 29 Dec 97 - 11:29 PM

    Instruments:

    Chet: For our honeymoon my husband and I went to Europe and started out at a festival of instrument makers at St. Chartier. There were lots of Hurdy Gurdy, Bombarde, and button accordion makers there. You'd have loved it. With the amount of money you could have spent, you could easily have spend your ticket home money. It was a terrific music festival besides. Music, concerts and dancing all night. It was great! I left a button accordion behind by accident that I'd picked up cheap in a flea market in Germany.

    Jon: Don't let lack of expertise on any one instrument prevent you from getting another. I have attained mediocrity on many of my instruments. I am an expert-amateur on the recorder, medium-expert on the bowed psaltery (within my repertoire) and intermediate on the Hammer dulcimer and button accordion. I've always known I'll never be a great player, but I sure do enjoy learning and fooling around. I've been a member of what we call around here Closet Musician's Jam. We sit on the outer edges of the jam circle and hold our ears close to our instruments to see if we can play a note or two while the speed demons on the inside are whaling away. When we get together, we play all those "old standards" (that are sure to be played at least once at every jam) at 33rpm whereas the expert jammers will zip along at 78rpm. I HAVE found a way to play at those zippy jams, though: I play the first note of every measure. (or every 4th or 5th measure). Or I play the root note of the chord. By training, I play by reading the music, but I've trained my ear to hear too. But singing is SO much EASIER!!

    Sharon: The Akron was a store in the 60's with items from around the world: paisely Indian dresses, incense holders, and often real and tourist instruments. They went out of business and Circuit City came into their stores. Cost Plus is the same sort of store, only larger. I believe they used to only have a store in SF on the warf but now I think they are a West Coast chain. They have furniture, food, and international goods. Their instruments, when they have any, are pretty pricey because the store has caught on with the eclectic tastes of the upscale baby boomers. Email me at bc031@lafn.org about the possibility of buying my Chinese Hammer dulcimer. I've seen someone playing the Yang Chin while reading music!! What a feat, to play without looking.

    play away!
    judy


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Songster Bob
    Date: 30 Dec 97 - 04:26 PM

    Interesting thread. I recently got the inventory bug (the rec.music.makers.guitar talk had turned to insurance and losses and I decided to completely inventory my instruments), and I have some 25 instruments (not counting harmonicas and jews' harps. And I had to think of how I use those instruments and whether I NEED 'em all, and here's what I decided.

    I have a genuine use for everything I have, instrumentally, right up to the five five-string banjos (one each fretted and fretless, strung with either nylon or steel strings, plus one mountain-style handmade banjo which has either steel or nylon strings at need). I have a dreadnaught steel-string guitar and a parlor-sized one, a classical, a blues-toned parlor-size guitar, a dobro, two mandolins (admittedly a "duplication," but the tone of the Harmony is different enough from the 1923 Gibson), a banjo-mandolin which I bought on my honeymoon, a fiddle, a banjo-guitar, a lap steel guitar, a stratocaster copy, two small amps (one is solid-state, the other uses tubes, so the tones are different), a tenor banjo, and an electronic MIDI keyboard. Actually, I think this totals 24 items, if you include the autoharp(s) -- they count at most for one 'cause I'm not sure I have a totally-working one at the moment. I had two Appalachian dulcimers, but gave one to my sister, visiting at Christmas, who reminded me of a 20-year-old promise to make her one.

    So what do I use 'em for? Accompaniment, mostly. I don't much like instrumental music for itself. Dance music? To accompany dancing! Without the dancers, it's boring. Accompany singers? You bet. I love enhancing the singing of others as well as myself, and, if there's a group of players and singers, my ability to switch to another instrument avoids duplication and sameness, which I hate. So I HATE jam sessions but LOVE song sessions. In general.

    The song's the thing, and the instrument's just to help the song along.

    Enough said!


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
    Date: 30 Dec 97 - 09:57 PM

    The Krumhorn, I have always thought, is one of the strangest musical instruments I have ever encountered. A horn that looks like a walking stick. The Whos themselves would not have had such a bizarre instrument in the Whoville Band.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Gene E
    Date: 31 Dec 97 - 12:10 AM

    My Duolian sounds great in open G!

    I just thought you all ought to know.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Earl
    Date: 31 Dec 97 - 08:02 AM

    I agree with Judy and Songster Bob. Someimes I feel lazy that I haven't learned to play as fast as the bluegrass instrumentalists, but it's the songs that move me and I think the songs get lost in those competitive jams.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Ferrara
    Date: 02 Jan 98 - 09:18 AM

    Fantastic thread. I've put myself on a Mudcat diet in order to get anything else done, so threads tend to be quite long by the time I read them.

    Well it's time to come out of the closet and admit that Bill D's my husband [or I'm his wife, how does it work?], because he had the audacity to describe MY collection of instruments in this thread. He did forget two kalimbas, a necklace ocarina, the old piano, a limberjack, two violins that I can no longer play, and an excellent piano accordion (a necessity for every Italian family, when I was growing up.)

    I'm considering selling my Gurian guitar so I can buy a concertina. However, I'm not sure I can stand to be that practical. It's an awfully nice guitar. But what with work, family and the lure of a lovely zither that I have played for the last 7 or 8 years, it doesn't get used.

    Jen, Judy and/or Sharon, do you ever play any of your zithers? Do you know of any books on playing the zither? A friend of my mother's found my zither in her attic and decided I should have it. I fell in love the first time I ran a fingernail over the strings. It's fantastic. Yes, it loses some of its lovely tone if it isn't played. Also if it's too hot, too cold or too dry. And if I tune it to standard pitch, the back begins to bulge which scares me. So I keep it tuned to about A-minus. I dream of having Keith Young build me one that can be kept at standard pitch.

    It's not so surprising that there are so many instruments in this group. If you really love music, of course you want to own and try every single instrument you can get your hands on. It's part of the genetic pattern or something, like squirrels burying acorns, but more fun.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jen
    Date: 02 Jan 98 - 07:05 PM

    I have never seen a book on how to play the zither, but I play mine sometimes, only picking out songs, though. I'm not that good.

    Jen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Timothy Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
    Date: 02 Jan 98 - 08:25 PM

    Is a Limberjack on of those puppets on a stick that you make dance on a board on your leg to keep time to the music?


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Barry
    Date: 02 Jan 98 - 08:27 PM

    Yup, that's a Limberjack. Barry


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Gene E
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 01:27 AM

    Ain't it funny how making music is so much a part of life for those that have talent? The instruments that make it possible are some of the most special things we have.

    Sappy in Texas . . . Gene


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Joe Offer
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 04:05 AM

    Well, I've avaided this thread because the only "instrument" I play is the CD player (well, I sing constantly, but that's not the same). I've learned a lot here by just reading, though. Now I have to ask - WHAT is a nose flute?
    -Joe Offer-


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 12:08 PM

    I had to resist buying a nose flute in the toy store the other day and bought a red plastic ocarina instead (made in Ohio, not China). I was actually looking for a made in China childs accordion like the one I played Christmas day at dinner at a friend's house. They said it was from a toy store in town, but they were sold out when I checked. The ocarina was a purchase to soothe my disappointment. Alice in MT


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Earl
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 05:05 PM

    Joe, a nose flute is a piece of plastic that fits over your nose and mouth. Air from the nostrils blows a whistle over the mouth hole. Changing the shape of the mouth and tongue changes the pitch. It takes about 30 seconds to learn and a lifetime to master.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jen
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 05:32 PM

    And they're really fun to play, too. About as easy as a kazoo.

    jen


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: judy
    Date: 03 Jan 98 - 09:49 PM

    Ferrara, My zithers are children's ones and I only played them to show the kids how. I've made cardboard "cheat sheets" to go under the strings. It sort of ends up looking like a stock market chart. I don't know how to play a "real" zither but I would guess it's like strumming an autoharp without the bars. I think people pluck the melody out and chords

    judy


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
    Date: 04 Jan 98 - 10:15 PM

    The nose flute must be a nasty bit of business when you have a cold or the allergies are acting up. I'll bet there isn't much of a trade in second-hand nose flutes.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 06 Nov 98 - 10:06 PM

    I'm refreshing this thread from a year ago for the enjoyment of new Mudcatters. Since last year, I bought my harmonium as well as a Pakistan lute harp, and a shruti drone box from Ethnic Musical Instruments (50% off for linking to their website). You can see them at this page:
    http://www.mcn.net/~acflynn/harmon.html

    alice in montana


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Snookums
    Date: 07 Nov 98 - 12:09 AM

    Suddenly I don't feel so weird because I have an obsession with musical instruments. My collection includes: Harmony Mandolin (cheap, sounds bad, but it is the one I learned to play on), 1973 Epiphone A style mandolin (my father's and still my favorite), New Montanna A style mandolin. Celebrity Deluxe 6 string, Yamaha plain accoustic 6 string, Univox electric guitar, Peavey bass, No name banjo, 2 fiddles (4/4 and 3/4), a ukelin, 2 ocarinas, 1933 Wurlitzer piano, 2 keyboards, 1 midi keyboard, clarinet, saxophone, 2 tin whistles, flute, 1 Pipa (chinese ukulele), 3 harmonicas (G,A and C). I think that's about it. Somewhere, it seems like there's a parody of the 12 days of Christmas in here. Snookums.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: BSeed
    Date: 07 Nov 98 - 01:26 AM

    Thanks, Alice, for the refreshment. Now I know I'm not alone, that the whole Mudcat population (except Joe Offe are instrument freaks. A bit of advice from one who knows--stay away from eBay (there's a line for a song--a blues about going broke). In the last month I've added five instruments, two of which haven't arrived, plus an amp that doesn't work. The first two instruments were (are) annoying as hell: tone bank keyboards. The third was a Chromaharp (an autoharp under an assumed name). Due to arrive soon, a banjerine from Michael Holmes with a neck by Fawley (later I may string it with nylon for classical banjo picking, but first I'll tune it to play in E with double C chords). In a week or so I should receive the amp and a mandolin--that's the real adventure; I've never played one). That'll make two banjos (the other a Wildwood Minstrel), four guitars: a Martin D-1, a Baby Taylor, a Celebrity 12-string, and an Epiphone I'll probably sell; a guitalele (a six string ukulele); at least twenty harmonicas, most of them Tombos (Lee Oskars: five Melody Makers, two blues, three natural minors; and five or six double reed Tombo Band 20 hole ones), assorted Hohners and a couple generic; four or five jaw harps, spoons, a tin flute, a recorder, an 1888 pump organ, an antique Irish shepherds horn (my parents at first considered getting me an Irish harp instead but decided it was too hard to carry back); a midi keyboard (for that matter, my computer is an instrument, itself, with ConcertWare software, I can play it either with the keyboard or the pointer), an Oscar Schmidt Appalachian 21 bar autoharp (what an awful design: the shroud is ugly as hell, the chord bars and pads are too narrow. I'm going to check to see if the 15 chord bars from the Chromaharp will fit the Appalachian... There are probably a few dozen I've missed. I try to keep them out of the way, but with a wife and two labradors in a very small house, there's not much room for me. --seed


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: The Shambles
    Date: 07 Nov 98 - 07:27 AM

    This thread got me so engrossed that I went and burnt the toast. (Start of another blues Seed?)

    I particulally liked DW Ditty's idea about the intruments finding their own home.

    It was a great consolation to find that I was not alone in this 'Part-Exchange' world. I find it difficult to part with most things but I find it totally impossible to part with any instruments. You never know when you might need it again and even if you never do play it again, I feel you own him/her a comfortable retirement.

    I still have my old Yamaha FG 140 which I have had for nearly 30 years now. It didn't go to Woodstock but it did go to The Isle of Wight. It now has 5 strings tuned to G and I use it for slide work. I have fairly recently replaced it with a Yamaha APX SPL electro-acoustic which does the job and I don't have to worry too much about it getting lost or damaged.

    My 'pride and joy' is my flat-backed bouzouki. It's a Pickard No 17-Bz, 84- 07-90 made by Pickard Acoustics, Binbrook, Linconshire. I don't know much about the maker as it eventually found it's way to me after being played and knocked about quite a bit. I love it and I would be grateful if there is anyone out there who could tell me more about the maker. I did hear that he unfortunatly fell ill and couldn't make any more but I'm not sure if that's true.

    A word of thanks here to all makers of instruments, where would we be without them?

    I graduated to the bouzouki from the mandolin, when I finally realised my fingers were too big for mandolin.... Hope you don't find that a problem, Seed? It is a round- back mandolin and of course I've still got still even though it's un-playable. But it's a good choice because you can play melodies and chords that 'ring', and with only 4 strings to worry about.

    Big river harps in about 6 keys, a cheap tenor banjo (used mainly for volume at sessions) and a 5 string banjo. Lots of smaller things, the triangle being the latest.

    'My old trouble and strife' plays bodhran and desparately and skillfully, tries to play fiddle, but her body won't let her.

    I have a problem deciding what to buy when entering music shops, I have decided that the only answer is to move in to one. Hey! Seed your place sounds like it might be well stocked enough soon for a store, can I move in?


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Snookums
    Date: 07 Nov 98 - 07:37 AM

    Bouzouki- now that's the way to go and probably the next thing to be added to my collection- not sure if I want greek or irish, so will probably need to get both. I also MUST have a hammered dulcimer and of course, an Octave Mandolin. PS- on my previous post, I forgot about my Dad's fiddle, making my fiddle count 3, as well as my Grandfather's bowl back mandolin and my McKinney Lap Steel- complete with matching amps.

    How 'bout a new thread- What I want for Christmas? Snookums


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jon W.
    Date: 09 Nov 98 - 06:14 PM

    Wow. Here's my update: I spent a couple of hours redoing the bridge on the old Stella last summer and took it camping. A friend who plays a Martin normally (which he is afraid to bring camping) borrowed it, and told me I ought to go down to the local acoustic music shop and pay them to set it up for me, it's got a great voice for a hunk of plywood.

    I never made the canjolin, I made a strumstick for my two year old for her August birthday. I had hopes she would play with that and leave me alone when I practice banjo - no such luck. A strumstick is a neck, tuners, a bridge, a nut, and not much of a body, with two strings tuned however you want, or not at all. Doesn't matter because you can't really hear it! Anyway, I'm currently about half done building a wooden topped five string banjo - coming along nicely. I built it with a short neck so I won't have to use a capo to play Irish tunes in D. I built it with wood head because I'm too cheap to buy the hardware to tension a plastic head, and I'm not sure how long a stretched skin head would last in our dry weather - I'm talking about a place where living trees have a lower moisture content than kiln dried lumber in most other areas. I can't wait to string it up and hear how it sounds - but I'll have to wait any way. Still lots of work to do on the house.

    Jon W.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Mike the bass man
    Date: 09 Nov 98 - 06:32 PM


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jo Taylor
    Date: 09 Nov 98 - 07:30 PM

    Has anyone else got a phonofiddle?


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Ralph
    Date: 10 Nov 98 - 05:11 PM

    Anglo Concertina, accordion, Anything with free reeds.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Big Mick
    Date: 10 Nov 98 - 11:54 PM

    My very favorite instrument, hands down, are the Uillean Pipes. Amazing sound. I am building a set this winter from a set of plans I purchased from a fellow in Wales. Pat Broaders, a Dublin Piper who is now out of Chicago, says I am too old to learn to play them. I will show him.

    All the best,

    Mick


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 11 Nov 98 - 10:33 AM

    Jo, what is a phonofiddle? description please


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Bert
    Date: 11 Nov 98 - 10:56 AM

    Big Mick,
    You might want to tell 'your fellow in Wales' about the Mudcat. He could talk to Max about advertizing his plans for Uillean Pipes.

    Bert.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Jo Taylor
    Date: 11 Nov 98 - 07:43 PM

    Thought someone might ask! The phonofiddle was invented in the earlier years of this century, made by the Strohviol company and others. They were available as four stringed, held like a normal fiddle, and with a similar neck; or one-string with a long neck and marks for the notes - not raised like frets, otherwise called Jap fiddles, which you hold between your knees. Played with a bow, the sound passes through a mica diaphragm into a long horn, on a 4 string version that I've seen you also have a smaller monitor horn. The idea was that the sound was directable (is that a word?) for the purpose of recording. They didn't remain in production very long owing to the advent of safe electricity, and more probably due to the fact that they sound absolutely terrible. We have three, one 'home' model, one 'concert' model (the very thought!) and one home made bass version with a huge neck and the horn from an old gramophone which sounds best (!) played with a cello bow. They have appeared on TV in the UK as a novelty trio - the bass and concert ones with a third person playing a musical saw. True violinists have been moved to tears!


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Alice
    Date: 17 Apr 02 - 11:07 AM

    Add to my previous list the Indian harmonium, a shruti box, Pakistani folk harp, another piano (new), a mandolin, another guitar - a sweet old Martin classical that was my brother's, and a larger collection of pennywhistles.

    Alice


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: 53
    Date: 17 Apr 02 - 05:52 PM

    I have 2, my Gibson J-40 and my Takamine LTD 90.


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: 53
    Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:35 PM

    Oh well I might as well mention my Takamine GS330S and my Taylor Big Baby, and my Yamaha CG-70 I just love them all. Bob


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: JeZeBeL
    Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:41 PM

    MY BABY....BERTY THE BODHRAN!! He's just wonderful!! I like the bodhran if played nicely and properly!!

    Emma


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Celtic Soul
    Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:44 PM

    Snookums??? Is that the Snookums from Florida I know so well???

    I tried to PM you, but it told me you don't exist! ;D

    Technology! One day, I am going to take a flying leap right into the 80's and learn how to work my answering machine too!


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: GUEST
    Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:23 AM

    Country Bob,

    I am interested in just about everything regarding Levin made Goyas, and the history of the distribution in US. As I recall, the distribution rights in the 70:s were owned by two companies in Chanute Kansas, first Kustom Electric, then Dude Inc.

    Is Your friend still around, I am particilarly interresten in how to date the guitars, as the serial numbers does not match the ones by Levin (who manufactured acoustic Goyas until they were bought by Martin around 1973/74).

    Please email me (magnus.hultin@mbox301.swipnet.se)

    Best regards..../Magnus - Gothenburg Sweden


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    Subject: RE: Favorite Instruments ? ? ?
    From: Mark Ross
    Date: 21 Oct 12 - 10:48 PM

    1 Leeds guitar, OOOO, custom made by Ivon Schmuckler,
    1 1927 Gibson archtop 5 string conversion. Repro neck by Providence Guitar & Banjo
    2 Mandolins; a 1951 Martin A and a 1974 Crow Peak blackface A (in need of repair)
    1 Morgan Monroe square neck resonator
    1 Orlando 12 string set up and tuned Lead Belly style (down to B)
    1 12 bar Autoharp, formerly owned by Utah Phillips
    1 Jews Harp
    1 Kazoo
    18 harmonicas

    Hoping to get a Gold Tone Long Neck Tubaphone soon. Anyone have one for sale?

    I would love to have a square neck National Tricone, but I don't have 4 grand on hand.

    Mark Ross


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