Tag: music-making

September 11, 2015

In other news, I have also managed to pick up a nearly new Roland GR-S V-Guitar Space, at a bargain price. More toys for this boy. I’ve had a GR-33 Guitar Synth for some years, which I use with my Godin Synth Access guitars. The…

September 11, 2015

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve been shopping again for toys. I’m going through a fairly creative time at the moment, and have both been writing some new material and arranging other folk’s material. I’ve recently bought some new instruments that are challenging…

July 13, 2015
November 27, 2014

A few weeks back, I spent a very pleasant Sunday afternoon attending a Harmony Singing Workshop at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln. The workshop had been arranged by my friend Annie, and apart from her, her husband, Tim, and their daughter; it was going to…

November 17, 2014

Something like 8 years ago, I bought an AXL ThinAmp DSP10 – a portable battery-powered amplifier. At the time I was making a lot of use of my guitar-synth; which works, of course, if you can plug it into something. As most of the places…

September 12, 2014

Returning to my “cheapest” stick dulcimer, I had a surprise tonight. As long as I have played guitar I have used standard-style hard plastic picks, either in light or medium – although I sometimes use extra light on the 12-string. When I got my first…

August 20, 2014

In January, I treated myself to a stick dulcimer from HiGuitarsUK.

A stick dulcimer, aka a Strum Stick or Strumstick, is a 3 stringed instrument, based on the mountain or Appalachian dulcimer, but made to be held and played like a guitar, rather than a lap instrument. They come in all different qualities and price ranges, but this was my birthday present to myself, so I went for a luthier-crafted high-end model, costing me 170 quid.

I’ve had a lot of pleasure out of it, and it’s turned into a minor obsession with me. So last week when I noticed a couple of other stick dulcimers on eBay, I decided to float a minimum bid. To my surprise, I got both.

So I am now the owner of 3 stick dulcimers, of varying quality. So I thought it would be a nice idea to compare them. These are the three instruments, from left to right: My birthday dulcimer from HiGuitarUK (£170); Smokey Mountain Dulcimer (£51); Strumstick by D G Clemson (£49).

August 10, 2014

I’ve had a Tenori-On for a couple of years, now: the cheap “Orange” one, made of plastic; not the metal framed “White” version. After an initial period when I couldn’t put it down, I soon found myself disappointed that the volume of the device was…

December 12, 2013

I’ve written about Justin Sandercoe before, who has several hundred excellent guitar tutorials up on Youtube. To my delight, he has now started a series of ukulele lessons as well. And by the looks of things, he can really play the uke, too. So if…

June 13, 2013
April 29, 2013
March 20, 2013

Sometimes it is nice to have a semi-random source of phrases to draw from when writing lyrics. I have been known to use magnetic poetry, and even wrote a song – Lodestone – to celebrate this method. But today I found something new – using…