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: 489
Latest Activity: Sep 15

Jean Ritchie playing Shady Grove

Discussion Forum

String tunings for playing modal tunes... 15 Replies

Just tossing this out.I have a noter/drone dulcimer with staple frets and two fixed drone strings close together.  I need suggestions for string tunings for playing modal tunes.  Tune suggestions…Continue

Started by Gary Urick. Last reply by Gary Urick Aug 31.

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.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Patty from Virginia on July 16, 2014 at 6:09pm

Okay, some hawk deposited a feather on my patio today. It definitely was a molted feather. It looked a bit ragged. Should I call zoning and turn the hawk in for littering in my yard? LOL

Comment by Ellen Rice on July 15, 2014 at 9:42pm

Oh, I know that one! Apparently young aristocratic Englishmen would spend a season in Italy being educated in art (and romance) - they would pick up Italian styles and preferences for Italian food -- so a young dandy who had just returned from Italy was called "A Macaroni" -- and his snide American cousins just had to have fun with that . . . 

Comment by Patty from Virginia on July 15, 2014 at 8:40pm

Dusty, lol, "and called it macaroni" 

Comment by Dusty Turtle on July 15, 2014 at 7:47pm

Quills had been used for writing for centuries before anyone envisioned a dulcimer, so it was a more obvious choice than it might seem today. And of course, they couldn't buy skinless, boneless chicken breast the way we can today. They had to slaughter and deplume their dinner everyday. "Alouette, gentille alouette/Alouette, je te plumerai . . . " So they wrote with feathers, played music with feathers, and more than one dapper guy might have "stuck a feather in his hat . . . "

Comment by Ken Backer on July 15, 2014 at 7:42pm

Although I have nothing constructive to add, I have been enjoying this discussion on feathers.  Goose, turkey, parrot, seagull, duck - with or without lice.  I do wonder who first started using a turkey feather as a dulcimer pick.  Was it just because it was lying around?  The person could have just as easily picked up a turkey foot and used the long toenail.  Then this would be a totally different discussion   The idea of strumming with a turkey foot isn't very appealing, although you would get three picks at a time.

Comment by Dusty Turtle on July 15, 2014 at 7:40pm

About a dozen wild turkeys (which included a single but obviously overworked Tom) were hanging out across the street today. The babies almost looked like California quails.  I couldn't help but wonder how many good picking quills were in the lot.  Don't worry; I let them be. I'm happy with my plastic, fake turtle shell plectrum.

Comment by RavenMadd Garcia on July 15, 2014 at 7:33pm

we have turkeys in local park ,,,,,a friend sent me a raven feather from tower of london I never used cool......and I have a nesting pair of golden eagles near me ......

Comment by Patty from Virginia on July 15, 2014 at 6:55pm

FF, I've had plenty of experience with turkey feathers. Oh yes I have, LOL. If your way of obtaining feathers is through a local craft store, that's great!!! I'm just giving information for others who may want to try other options. As far as feathers go, do what you all please and use some common sense

Comment by folkfan on July 15, 2014 at 5:16pm

Patty, I've never had to pluck a turkey or goose, so couldn't say about the proper technique for do so.  I don't know any one who hunts except those who look for bargains for them at the local grocery around Thanksgiving.

  When it comes to feathers, I simply head over to the nearest Michael's or Hobby Lobby and pick up a pack.  The last time I got turkey quills was at a Walmart, something like 24 for about $2.00.  The stores are closer than any farms around here, too.  

Comment by Patty from Virginia on July 15, 2014 at 4:10pm

Okay, I understand the cautions some people have with using feathers. I will say that my husband has hunted turkeys in the past. I've personally cleaned two wild turkeys and have not had a problem with mites. I used the scalding technique to remove the feathers. We still have some feathers and no mites. Mites need blood not feathers. You may know of someone who hunts turkey and/or geese. They probably would be more than willing to give you some feathers. Also, you can check with local farms as well. Just use some common sense and you'll be fine


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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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