Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

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

B. Ross Ashley
  • Male
  • Toronto, ON
  • Canada

B. Ross Ashley's Friends

  • Gary Major
  • Alyssa Bruijns
  • Maggie Arnold
  • James Phillips
  • Ron Calef
  • Guy Hilliard
  • Yaya
  • Lois Sprengnether Keel
  • Syd Turner
  • RavenMadd Garcia
  • Terry Wilson
  • Skip
  • Jim Cumberland
  • CeCelia Bowden
  • Vicki Shadlock

B. Ross Ashley's Groups

B. Ross Ashley's Discussions

Finding ball-end strings
3 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bobby Ratliff Nov 18, 2009.

Any other ocarinists around?
10 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dennis F. Lowe Jan 4, 2011.


B. Ross Ashley's Page

What everyone's up to!...

B. Ross Ashley replied to Brenda Joyce Rivers's discussion 'I can't print tablature' in the group Beginner players
"Sounds like you are missing a few fonts. The easiest way to print stuff is to get it as a PDF and print that, if it is available. Do you have Adobe Reader on your 'puter? It's a free download, can open pdf, and you can print from it. Other…"
B. Ross Ashley replied to Ken Hulme's discussion 'Tribute Album Announcement' in the group fans of Jean Ritchie
"I saw that last night and was going to post here today ... you beat me to it! Have you listened to the four tracks in preview yet? Great stuff."
Gary Major and B. Ross Ashley are now friends
B. Ross Ashley replied to Gary Major's discussion 'Hello from Windsor Ontario' in the group North of the Lakes
"Hiya, Gary! Toronto is a little bit far from Windsor (not as  far as our buddy in Hearst, though!) so jamming is probably out of the question in person. I've been learning to play noter-and-drone style since I got my cherry Folkcraft. What…"
Gary Major joined B. Ross Ashley's group

North of the Lakes

for any MD players in Upper Canada (aka Ontario) and the Great West
Jul 22
B. Ross Ashley replied to Lana Pugh's discussion 'Finally got my new to me dulcimer!' in the group OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players
"Yes indeed! Have fun with it, that's the key."
Jul 15
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"Jud, I have found other suppliers who may ship over the border. "
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"On Weber Reeds' website, 'Please note: This product cannot be shipped to Canada." "
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"Thanks, Jud! "
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"Somewhere around two or three millimetres wide is stiff enough, but the tip does not flex enough. Quills have a nice tapering shaft that gives good control over the strum, but allows enough flex in the tip to stroke the string instead of just…"
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"Christine, which oboe supply place? Quick search shows me turkey feathers and pheasant feathers ... the turkey feathers don't look like flight feathers. Maybe they are tail feathers, those would do. I've been slowly using up a half-dozen…"
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"I've used various thicknesses of cable tie, thin enough is not stiff enough ... harder to control. I prefer the sound of a quill too, I do notice a difference. Your mileage may vary. (Besides, you can't cut the butt end off a cable tie to…"
Jul 13
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"That works for Jean's style of play, and yours I am sure, Christine. I'm trying for the fast fiddle-tune effect. "
Jul 12
B. Ross Ashley commented on Strumelia's group 'OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players'
"Good play there, Wilfried, and I love the look and sound of the restored instrument too."
Jul 11
B. Ross Ashley replied to Parker Buckley's discussion 'Staple Fret Design' in the group OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players
"Reminds me of my own wooden matchstick reverse capo!"
Jul 9
B. Ross Ashley replied to David Temple's discussion 'When we go marching through Georga' in the group OLD STYLE Drone & Noter players
"Here's one in "Mixolydian" CFF, for the key of Bflat, from the Digital Tradition Mirror's tab generator: Marching Through Georgia in Bflat ... you could modulate your tuning up and down to get what you can sing with. Please note…"
Jul 8

Profile Information

My interests in music and in mountain dulcimers:
Retired hospital worker, union activist, choral folk singer, ocarina player, old folkie and dulcimer newbie. Also cyclist, cook, socialist politician, and science fiction and fantasy fan.
My website (if I have one):

B. Ross Ashley's Blog

Song of the Wandering Aengus II

I finally got this song tabbed to my own satisfaction. (I really ought to get the paid version of Tabledit, but I will be switching to a Linux box in a few weeks, and I don't know whether Tabledit will run in Wine. Alternatively I'd like to get lilypond to do the job but I'm not good enough at that yet.)

Anyhow, I got Dan to put it up in the ED tab age, and thought I'd put a copy here too, but we don't have a tab page ... so here it is.…


Posted on January 14, 2010 at 11:00pm — 1 Comment

Song of the Wandering Aengus

Just uploaded another video, my own arrangement of the old Irish tune as set for the William Butler Yeats poem. As I noted in the video section, I first heard this on a Dave Van Ronk record back around 1965.

I thought it's gentle wistful melancholy would fit the MD, and it's coming out pretty well. Gotta get a better camera and rehearse myself a little better too ...

Posted on December 30, 2009 at 2:27am

My chorus

I had to move this over here because the song is still copyright. Thanks, Strumelia, I would not want to get you in trouble with the DMCA.

This is us performing "Everything Possible" in our annual concert, 6 months ago. I love this song. That's me two faces above and slightly to your right of Isabel, our conductor.…


Posted on December 1, 2009 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

Learn something new ...

I just got a look at Don Pedi's website, and discovered I had been doing something backwards. I tabbed out a version of the "Diggers' Song" from the English Civil War period, that I transcribed from Chumbawamba's English Rebel Songs CD, and put it up in the Tabs section of Everything Dulcimer a few weeks ago; I tabbed it in what I fondly thought was Dorian, DAC (1-5-4). According to Pedi, Dorian is DGC! I guess I got a reverse Dorian there. Anyhow, I just tried it in DGC and it sounds even… Continue

Posted on November 21, 2009 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Song circle etc.

Last night after the SEC game on TV (my Gators beat the Gamecocks, yay!) I went down to Riverdale to Dan W.'s place for song circle. First one I've been to this year.

About a dozen of us showed up, enough to make Clio, Dan's cat, hide under the bed. Four of us active Common Thread choristers, three who are taking a year off, the rest fans or on the waiting list. I was hoping Bob B would show up with his Tam Kearney dulcimer, but I was the only MD player there, with 4 guitarists, 2… Continue

Posted on November 15, 2009 at 11:03am — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (24 comments)

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At 10:57pm on April 14, 2014, Gordon Hardy said…

Hi Ross, thanks for the welcome. I'm not exactly north of the lakes, quite a bit more north and west but real pleased with the Canadian viewpoint.

At 8:44pm on September 16, 2013, Alyssa Bruijns said…

For sure! I've always loved all of the sounds coming out of the Franco-Canadian tradition, and I'm curious to hear some dulcimer versions.

At 8:21pm on September 16, 2013, Alyssa Bruijns said…

Hi Ross, thanks for the welcome! I'm originally from London and just moved to Montreal. It's definitely nice to see some Canadian representation in the community.

At 1:06pm on May 30, 2013, Maggie Arnold said…

I live up in the Collingwood, Ontario area.

At 11:24am on January 14, 2013, Ron Calef said…

Ross, thanks for the heads up on the on-line guide - it's great.

At 9:57pm on December 27, 2012, Guy Hilliard said…


My dulcimer was made by Hugh Hunter at "MidnightSpecial Instruments".  He runs a custom musical instrument store in Rockwood -

At 9:11am on October 15, 2012, Syd Turner said…

Fort William born and raised!

At 10:09pm on June 24, 2012, RavenMadd Garcia said…

thanks buddy

At 9:15pm on January 3, 2012, Andy Robinson said…
Excellent! Hope you like the CD. Happy New Year!     Hey, is there any way I can hear you play occarina?
At 7:08pm on October 23, 2011, Anna Vulpe said…
Thanks for the welcome 

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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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