Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Appalachian mountain dulcimer players- make friends, share, learn to play- Free!

OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players


OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players

If you are an avid fan of the older traditional mountain dulcimer playing styles and music, declare your old fashion passion here amongst kindred souls similarly addicted! ;D

Members: 572
Latest Activity: Aug 4

Jean Ritchie playing Shady Grove

Discussion Forum

Dance of the Little Dog - for OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players 16 Replies

Friends,Mark and I put this little tune together several weeks ago-- it is named to honor our old & goofy little dog.   NOTES:  I am strumming with a plastic pick cut from the lid of a can of…Continue

Tags: original, tune, guitar, duet, drone

Started by Robin Thompson. Last reply by Robin Thompson Aug 3.

Finally got my new to me dulcimer! 11 Replies

I finally got my dulcimer in the mail yesterday!  It took me a little bit to tune it last night, thank goodness I finally sprung for a nice tuner because I don't know if I would have ever gotten it…Continue

Started by Lana Pugh. Last reply by Maryann Lang Aug 3.

Staple Fret Design 25 Replies

I'm really curious about the width of the staple frets in pre-revival dulcimers and what that might imply, if anything, about how these early instruments were played.  L. Allen Smith often described…Continue

Started by Parker Buckley. Last reply by Parker Buckley Aug 2.

REWIRING ; Man of Constant Sorrow 4 Replies

It was suggested to me recently that I tried in-strummingI admit that I had never given a lot of thought to strumming and think of myself as bit instinctive        ( Although not without need of…Continue

Tags: 'noter, drone', sorrow', constant, 'man

Started by Steve Battarbee. Last reply by Steve Battarbee Jul 24.

Can you help me find my keys? 11 Replies

I was lucky enough to join a session with a band called The Whiskey Dogs recentlyWhen I asked about the key in which a number of tracks on their CD were played in the reply was as follows:-"Keys –…Continue

Tags: Keys

Started by Steve Battarbee. Last reply by Susan B. McNeely Jul 24.

The Wild Colonial Boy - Walnut McSpadden staple fret 3 string 34 Replies

This evening I finally finished…Continue

Started by Robin Clark. Last reply by Robin Clark Jul 24.

My first song- Hot Cross Buns 6 Replies kind! Outside tonight taking advantage of the unseasonably mild weather here is Mississippi. Hope everyone is having a great…Continue

Started by Lana Pugh. Last reply by Lana Pugh Jul 22.

West Virginia Hills - A W Jeffreys Dulcimer 13 Replies

I was looking for a tune to…Continue

Started by Robin Clark. Last reply by Jim Strickland Jul 15.

When we go marching through Georga 3 Replies

I would like to find tabs for this old tune that can be played D&N. When I was young it was a very popular tune at the local dance halls. The verses were altered to make it a square dance tune,…Continue

Started by David Temple. Last reply by john p Jul 8.

Why Homer Ledford Placed his Frets where he did (And he was Right!!!!) 71 Replies

I got an…Continue

Started by Robin Clark. Last reply by pristine2 Jul 7.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players to add comments!

Comment by Ellen Rice on July 15, 2014 at 3:19pm

And please, please don't use Bald Eagle feathers - that can get you tangled up with federal wildlife laws. Sometimes hobby stores sell turkey feathers that have been dyed to look like Bald Eagle feathers - so one can honor the national bird without "trading in parts of endangered species".  This can sound awfully picky (hmm, picky is what we do) - but trade in animal parts is a big, ugly business. 

Virtually all wild birds have lice to some degree - that's one of the reasons they preen and self clean. Bird lice are not the same lice that your kid brings home from preschool. Folkfan may have had an allergic reaction to the mite poop. That can happen and it isn't pleasant! (But one isn't being bitten by the bird lice). 

Comment by Wout Blommers on July 15, 2014 at 2:06pm

These Asian parrots live in Amsterdam since 1970...

They came here by natural migration.

Comment by folkfan on July 15, 2014 at 2:06pm

For those of you who do use wild bird feathers, just please be aware of bird lice.  The eggs are laid on the shaft of the feathers and after a few days will hatch.  So if you've picked them up in the mean time and they hatch, though the lice can't live on humans, they do bite.   I learned this by cleaning out a bird house and was scratching for days.  The lice can infect indoor birds by having the untreated feathers brought indoors or through wild birds getting into roof spaces.  Lice may be the problem with the post office being unwilling to take them.  

Comment by Christine Loff on July 15, 2014 at 11:35am

Wow! Who would have thought... 

Comment by john p on July 15, 2014 at 11:02am

The ones we see are the small green ones from Indonesia, too small for a dulcimer.

Those big, red, yellow and blue, attack parrots you get in Central America would probably work though.

Comment by Robin Thompson on July 15, 2014 at 10:32am
Wow, parrots!?! I never would've thought. . .
Comment by john p on July 15, 2014 at 10:29am

Found a parrot feather yesterday, very pretty. but not thick enough for dulcimer use.

The sparrow was always the typical London bird, but they've all packed up and left for the country nowadays. Seems they're being replaced by more exotic spicies, flocks of parrots are becoming a common sight.

Comment by Robin Clark on July 14, 2014 at 12:49pm

I use seagull feathers that I collect from my local beach - usually the flight feathers from black-backed gulls.  The larger ones will work for both Galax style and vertical quill techniques.

Comment by Christine Loff on July 14, 2014 at 12:35pm

I live near a large lake and I've found seagull feathers there that are almost as good as goose feathers, at least from the larger gulls. Another idea to try?

Comment by Barbara Patterson on July 14, 2014 at 11:33am

My beach is full of geese, but I never seem to be able to find decent feathers. I think the tides wash them out to the Sound before I can find them. I do have a couple, though, but haven't used them yet.


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3 CHEERS to members

Jim Fawcett

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Benjamin Barr

John Keane
...For warmly greeting new members and making them feel welcome here on FOTMD!


Visit Strumelia's Beginner Noter-Drone dulcimer Blog

I have a main blog for Traditional style mountain dulcimer playing here: Mountain Dulcimer Noter-drone Blog This is an old style of playing where you only fret your notes on the melody string, while letting the drones strings ring open. In my blog, I express my personal views about playing, I offer free TAB and free beginner videos, and I try to help beginners understand in a very basic simple way the 'mysteries' of playing the mountain dulcimer in traditional modal noter/drone style.

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