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Electric Lady
Mar 21, 2010

To be victorious
you must find glory
in the little things


I bought a tin-whistle a few years back because of this topic (I think I was under a different username back then). I'm not amazing at it but I still like to play it, and it's even spurred me this week to get some repairs done on an old trumpet I got a hold of a while back. I got a harmonica while I was at the shop, too. I guess I just like wind instruments.

Question about the tin whistle, though. It looks like there's a small crack in the top mouthpiece. I'm not intimate enough with the instrument to tell if it's affecting the playing, but it's rather unsightly. I have some plastic cement (Tamiya brand) from another hobby -- would it be safe to use this to repair the mouthpiece? Or would it be safer to just buy a new mouthpiece?

e: It's a Feadog tin whistle in D. It's black, but the mouthpiece appears to be made of plastic, which is why I ask.

Thanks in advance.

Electric Lady fucked around with this message at 20:30 on Jul 7, 2016

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TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Electric Lady posted:

Question about the tin whistle, though. It looks like there's a small crack in the top mouthpiece. I'm not intimate enough with the instrument to tell if it's affecting the playing, but it's rather unsightly. I have some plastic cement (Tamiya brand) from another hobby -- would it be safe to use this to repair the mouthpiece? Or would it be safer to just buy a new mouthpiece?

What make of tin whistle is it? Where is the crack in the mouthpiece? Is it actually on the peak that goes into your mouth, is it by the fipple edge/air window, or is it in the ring that the metal tube glues into?

If it's in your mouth you can glue it but make totally sure you're using food-safe glue. If it's cracking at the ring where the metal body glues in that's pretty normal, and you can google up threads on Chiff and Fipple that explain how to use sewing thread dipped in glue to repair that area (plus you'll look like you're a hardcore session player or something). If it's cracking on the blade or fipple it's hosed, so chuck the mouthpiece but keep the tube, and you can buy different custom mouthpieces for it if you ever care to.

quote:

I want to learn how to play Bowed Banjo.

Have you seen this clip from Tim Eriksen?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMTU9HW44Kc

A very similar instrument, but with much longer neck, is popular for classical Turkish music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUdt0OwHSgQ




My understanding is that most folks that play bowed banjo just have it set up pretty standard, so you end up bowing most all of the strings at the same time, so you're going to get a very droney effect. You can get basically any pawnshop/CL/eBay banjo as long as the neck isn't hosed and then just bow it, but you probably wouldn't want to regularly bow one you also fingerpick because the bow rosin will get the strings all gummy (which is necessary for them to play right). Or you can get a Turkish "yayli tanbur" for a few hundred bucks, but I'd at least try bowing a cheap banjo first to see if you like it. If you're getting it solely for bowing, either four or five string is fine, and don't feel obligated to string it in the "normal" way; if you seriously want to to do it ask the thread for suggestions on what strings to put on it and we can probably come up with a better tuning scheme. Do you play an instrument already?

Notorious H.R.T.
Jun 1, 2004



TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Is it a piano accordion (how many bass/piano keys), or what kind?

The accordion is a 41-key 120-bass key Spirito Cleveland. The strap has seen better days but thankfully the bellows is in great shape. This guy's playing the exact same model:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REB16lK2N24

My brother got it for $65, so it'd be a nice little project when I have some time to spare. I'll definitely document the process and the rig I'll have to set up to keep all those pieces organized. As far as musical experience, I mained saxophone (alto, bari, tenor) for the usual grade 5-12 stint with some oboe and bassoon mixed in. I've played virtually no keyboard (even though we had a Singer upright baby grand growing up), so I'm not sure if that's good or bad as far as habits are concerned. It's been 13 years since I've picked up a proper instrument and I've been getting the itch lately.

Notorious H.R.T. fucked around with this message at 01:11 on Jul 8, 2016

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




Shame Boner posted:

The accordion is a 41-key 120-bass key Spirito Cleveland. The strap has seen better days but thankfully the bellows is in great shape. This guy's playing the exact same model:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REB16lK2N24

My brother got it for $65, so it'd be a nice little project when I have some time to spare. I'll definitely document the process and the rig I'll have to set up to keep all those pieces organized. As far as musical experience, I mained saxophone (alto, bari, tenor) for the usual grade 5-12 stint with some oboe and bassoon mixed in. I've played virtually no keyboard (even though we had a Singer upright baby grand growing up), so I'm not sure if that's good or bad as far as habits are concerned. It's been 13 years since I've picked up a proper instrument and I've been getting the itch lately.

I'd like to jump in.

Bassoon: so good, right? But also so absurdly expensive for even a babby model, and they just don't feel much like a solo instrument.

Notorious H.R.T.
Jun 1, 2004



Pham Nuwen posted:

I'd like to jump in.

Bassoon: so good, right? But also so absurdly expensive for even a babby model, and they just don't feel much like a solo instrument.

It was definitely interesting as it was taller than I was when I started. I was fortunate to have an uncle who was classically trained and played in local orchestras at the time, and who encouraged my brother and I to pursue music in school. More importantly, he had a nice collection of woodwinds that unfortunately are long gone now.

Electric Lady
Mar 21, 2010

To be victorious
you must find glory
in the little things


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

What make of tin whistle is it? Where is the crack in the mouthpiece? Is it actually on the peak that goes into your mouth, is it by the fipple edge/air window, or is it in the ring that the metal tube glues into?

If it's in your mouth you can glue it but make totally sure you're using food-safe glue. If it's cracking at the ring where the metal body glues in that's pretty normal, and you can google up threads on Chiff and Fipple that explain how to use sewing thread dipped in glue to repair that area (plus you'll look like you're a hardcore session player or something). If it's cracking on the blade or fipple it's hosed, so chuck the mouthpiece but keep the tube, and you can buy different custom mouthpieces for it if you ever care to.

Bad news:



It's on the blade.

I'll look into custom mouthpieces, then. I really do like the sound of the tin whistle. Thanks for the heads up.

(Any idea where I could find a custom mouthpiece?)

djinndarc
Dec 20, 2012

"I'm Bender, baby, please insert liquor!"


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Let me know how cheap/easy it ended up being. If it's not particularly pricey, I might be interested in sending y'all a small 3/4 electric guitar for conversion to 8-string octave mandolin. I was debating doing it myself, but then I realize that I have a ton of things I should be focusing on right now, and that other than doing action jobs on dulcimers I don't have a great history of follow-through on luthiery projects and would be way more effective if I just teach more lessons and workshops and let defter people do craftsmanship for me.


Nothing wrong with piano, I myself intend to start taking piano lessons soon since it's a useful fundamental skill everywhere and good for understanding music theory.

Definitely try out a clavichord sometime using your piano skills, though I wouldn't say no to a Hohner Pianet either, which is not at all electronic, but rather plucks little metal tines and amplifies them:

Video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q0e6l05KTs





I have mainly played claw hammer banjo, old time fiddle, and ukulele, but I recently dug out my old Yamaha keyboard/digital piano. (I took piano lessons years ago and the Yamaha and pedal still work). Not in a position to do lessons right now, but are there any good resources for online lessons/self-teaching, free sheet music, or chords for pop songs or jazz?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Electric Lady posted:

I'll look into custom mouthpieces, then. I really do like the sound of the tin whistle. Thanks for the heads up.

(Any idea where I could find a custom mouthpiece?)

You can certainly try gluing the mouthpiece still, as long as you're not putting anything toxic/offgassing near your mouth. Any crack on the blade itself though, if you glue it back together you'll need to take a file or similar and clean up any glue drips around it, unless you leave them and somehow it magically sounds better. EDIT: remove the head from the tube before you glue it, google up "remove tin whistle head" if unsure how, personally I just make a kettle of hot water and pour it onto the metal part but not the plastic, then wait a sec for the glue to soften and then pull. Having the head loose makes it tuneable, so a lot of folks automatically do this with new cheap whistles.

Cheapest option is just to get a new whistle, but if you want to use this misfortune as an opportunity to up your game, Mack Hoover is the main guy famous for making custom heads, his basic ones are $35, you just need to tell him the exact model you're putting it on. I have one of his for my Bb after I broke a head, and though I don't play in Bb much, I do like his whenever I play it. Whistles are *very* subjective, but it plays pretty smoothly and sounds mellow: http://praisewhistlers.org/mackhooverwhistles/MackHooverWhistles.html

Either a new ~$10 whistle and keep this spare body in case you do ever want to splurge on a custom head, or get a custom head now and enjoy it.

Barnes And Body Works
Mar 2, 2016




TapTheForwardAssist posted:

What make of tin whistle is it? Where is the crack in the mouthpiece? Is it actually on the peak that goes into your mouth, is it by the fipple edge/air window, or is it in the ring that the metal tube glues into?

If it's in your mouth you can glue it but make totally sure you're using food-safe glue. If it's cracking at the ring where the metal body glues in that's pretty normal, and you can google up threads on Chiff and Fipple that explain how to use sewing thread dipped in glue to repair that area (plus you'll look like you're a hardcore session player or something). If it's cracking on the blade or fipple it's hosed, so chuck the mouthpiece but keep the tube, and you can buy different custom mouthpieces for it if you ever care to.


Have you seen this clip from Tim Eriksen?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMTU9HW44Kc

A very similar instrument, but with much longer neck, is popular for classical Turkish music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUdt0OwHSgQ




My understanding is that most folks that play bowed banjo just have it set up pretty standard, so you end up bowing most all of the strings at the same time, so you're going to get a very droney effect. You can get basically any pawnshop/CL/eBay banjo as long as the neck isn't hosed and then just bow it, but you probably wouldn't want to regularly bow one you also fingerpick because the bow rosin will get the strings all gummy (which is necessary for them to play right). Or you can get a Turkish "yayli tanbur" for a few hundred bucks, but I'd at least try bowing a cheap banjo first to see if you like it. If you're getting it solely for bowing, either four or five string is fine, and don't feel obligated to string it in the "normal" way; if you seriously want to to do it ask the thread for suggestions on what strings to put on it and we can probably come up with a better tuning scheme. Do you play an instrument already?

I play guitar, piano, keytar, have played flute and clarinet.

One of the main reasons of wanting to learn bowed banjo was because of how incredible Julian Koster is with it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtkJm2U8k64

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCHb_LQF7s

SeldomSeen
Apr 26, 2003

True Story...



Alright TapTheForwardAssist, I was just thinking of this thread a couple of weeks ago when I found an Appalachian dulcimer at a thrift store a few weeks ago. I didn't get it at the time because I tried to tune it by ear and it never sounded right, and they wouldn't come down from the $75 price. I've looked in my local Craig's list every once in a while for them but have never seen anything below $150, and it's always somewhere inconveniently far away. I'd love some help finding something decent with a budget of around $100.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

quote:

One of the main reasons of wanting to learn bowed banjo was because of how incredible Julian Koster is with it!

If you want to try bowed banjo, I would just buy the cheapest 5-string you can with an unwarped neck (at least around here most pawnshops will have a cheapie for under $100) and get an inexpensive small used violin bow and some rosin, and go to town trying it out. To the degree you can, I'd aim for banjos with smaller heads so you can angle the bow more easily; if they have resonators (I'd favor open-back) see if you can detach the resonator to make the head less bulky.

On the Tim Eriksen clip I posted he explains in the comments what tuning he's using, and if you look at some Banjo Hangout threads you can probably get some ideas. It's a pretty niche method so you really have to learn by doing, but I would suggest reading up a little bit on how to get new strings rosined up for the first time, as the strings will be very "slippery" to the bow at first until they start getting some light rosin coating them. Definitely report back to us and let us know how it works.

SeldomSeen posted:

Alright TapTheForwardAssist, I was just thinking of this thread a couple of weeks ago when I found an Appalachian dulcimer at a thrift store a few weeks ago. I didn't get it at the time because I tried to tune it by ear and it never sounded right, and they wouldn't come down from the $75 price. I've looked in my local Craig's list every once in a while for them but have never seen anything below $150, and it's always somewhere inconveniently far away. I'd love some help finding something decent with a budget of around $100.

If you can get photos of the $75 one (and brand name inside the holes or on the back of the head or tailpiece?), and also explain a little what didn't sound "right" that'd help. Is the bridge movable, it could be placed wrong and easily nudged back? Are the tuning pegs slipping and not holding tune, are they plain wooden pegs or metal geared pegs? I'd be curious to see if we can make that one work for you.

Here are a few cheapies that jumped out at me this week, as always suggested max price is including shipping:

- Up to $80 on this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dulcimer-ho...NYAAOSwZ1BXfALU
- Black Mountain is a simple but good make, I'd go $100 on this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Black-Mountain-Dulcimer-NICE-/222177824830?hash=item33bad4903e:g:k24AAOSwbYZXfDax
- This one has silly rosettes (added later?) but structurally looks a good strong build, and the adjustable bridge is easy to muck with, I'd do $100 again though I'm never sure how they do shipping for Goodwill: http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Wood-Dulcimer-31238713.html


EDIT: Tico over in Porto (used to hang in his shop when I lived there) tells me my Portuguese guitarra could be ready to ship as soon as next week! This should do me for all acoustic mando-type needs for now, only possible exception would be if I somehow end up in an electric group again I could see getting an electric mandola as mentioned last page, but since I mostly do acoustic stuff this'll be great.

These days I'm overall trying to stick with the instruments I already have and play, though making an exception for the guitarra because this one is replacing the one I had living in Portugal that I gifted away when I left for Africa. For now in Austin, I mostly just want to try to attend some jam sessions or do some collaboration with myself on guitarra or concertina, keep playing tinwhistle for kicks, I have a kanjira drum for anything that needs rhythm, and for the clavichord I want to take some keyboard lessons and also learn some stuff online since I seriously think learning keyboard will improve my overall grasp of theory and I've put it off for decades. So trying to avoid going too crazy on stuff, though I do have some spare dulcimers so I can teach lessons or whatever. So I currently have a non-absurd number of instruments and should attempt to keep it that way, same with guns, and stick with just one motorbike.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 02:27 on Jul 10, 2016

SeldomSeen
Apr 26, 2003

True Story...



TapTheForwardAssist posted:



If you can get photos of the $75 one,

Here are a few cheapies that jumped out at me this week, as always suggested max price is including shipping:

- Up to $80 on this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dulcimer-ho...NYAAOSwZ1BXfALU
- Black Mountain is a simple but good make, I'd go $100 on this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Black-Mountain-Dulcimer-NICE-/222177824830?hash=item33bad4903e:g:k24AAOSwbYZXfDax
- This one has silly rosettes (added later?) but structurally looks a good strong build, and the adjustable bridge is easy to muck with, I'd do $100 again though I'm never sure how they do shipping for Goodwill: http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Wood-Dulcimer-31238713.html


Sadly the thrift shop one is gone. This just popped up on the local craigslist: http://sacramento.craigslist.org/msg/5660972154.html bargain or garbage? I will probably try to snag one of those you posted if this one is no good. Thanks for the help!

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

That one looks very much like Dulcimer Factory, a shop just down the road an hour from me. I've always found their stuff just okay, but for $45 it's totally fine for a starter. Maybe grab that then upgrade if you have the jones for finer after you learn the basics?

EDIT: CL description is pretty silly: "king Arthur era lap guitar". Not even remotely true, Appalachian dulcimer dates maybe to the late 1700s at earliest, very likely introduced to the Scots-Irish settlers by neighboring French and German settlers. Similar instruments are attested in Germany as early as the 1600s. King Arthur is an apocryphal figure roughly corresponding to the 600s AD and the Saxon invasion. This is why people think that a millennium from now WWII will be portrayed as fought by knights on horseback with laser guns. Just complete lack of awareness of period.

TapTheForwardAssist fucked around with this message at 04:51 on Jul 10, 2016

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

I want to emphasize that I'm not at all encouraging folks to own dozens of instruments; that's fine for a few crazies in the thread like me but for most folks I'd recommend learning just a couple instruments, and/or if you have a few main instruments now maybe add a weird one. Excessive collecting ends up being too much like hoarding and you can never give everything it's due time, so don't feel compelled to emulate my craziness.


Doing a quick inventory of the instruments I have in the house; bear in mind that I sold off a bunch of gear especially larger stuff (including a kora African harp and a huge square Chemnitzer concertina) before I moved to Colombia then Europe then Africa.

- Concertinas: got my main Morse Duet, my cheap Elise Duet as a backup, and a cheap plastic Anglo concertina to be a loaner. Currently planning to have a small durable Duet made for travel, and someday a MIDI concertina since several hobbyists are mucking around designing those
- Dulcimers: probably got seven in the house right now, two of which are keepers for me (one standard one baritone) and the rest are for teaching workshops and all once I get off my rear end. I need to take a dulcimer family photo again
- Yamaha classical guitar I bought on a base in Afghanistan; for the same $100 you could get one of a dozen new Chinese cheapies they had... or a vintage 1960s Japan-made Yamaha. It plays great, and I keep it in DADGAD
- Selling off a cheap lute and a Malagasy kabosy, have a music coop in Nova Scotia interested in the latter and maybe the former
- Zuckerman 54-key single-strung clavichord; going to start keyboard lessons soon and if I get any good at all will sell this off and get a smaller triple-fretted
- One nice bellows-blown mesquite wood Swedish sackpipa, and one durable plastic one for travel
- A one-row accordion (melodeon) in D for Irish music, unsure if I'm going to keep or sell it but will try taking it to some slow sessions; also a toy accordion re-reeded to D that's surprisingly good and probably would be enough for my limited melodeon needs.
- various small percussion and noisemakers and shakers, including a Siberian mouth-bow I haven't figured out what to do with
- Eight-string tenor Mainland ukulele, it cost me $200 and it's 90% as good as a $1k Kamaka, but someday I'll upgrade
- Irish Low D tinwhistle (huge metal monster) and a small Hi D Irish polymer fife from Sweetheart
- South Indian kanjira drum; I'm avoiding buying any more drums until I use this one enough that I can justify needing more, need to get my friend to return my DVD tutor so I can figure out how best to use this.
- two small child-sized authoharps, will probably keep the rarer one and sell the other, though the one I keep I'm going to re-felt it to more useful chords for what I play
- tiny KMI durable travel synthesizer keyboard that I play through my phone; really haven't gotten much use out of it but might after I get better at keyboard
- Coming in the mail in a week or so I have a Portuguese guitarra that will be my main plucked-string, gonna keep it in DADGAD too and take it to sessions
- got a whole small box full on tinwhistles of various keys and quality, probably enough to hold me for now


So that's what I have these days, and this should mostly be enough to hold me for now. The main things I used to have that I miss having are an Anglo-Saxon lyre and the udu drum and I might eventually replace those. I also have a sinking feeling that I might eventually get a qanbus (long narrow ancestor of the Arabic oud) since there's a workshop in Burkina Faso that makes them pretty affordably and I don't currently have any fretless instruments.

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Tap, does an eight-string ukulele have a bigger compass than a six-string, or does it just have multiple-string courses?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Arsenic Lupin posted:

Tap, does an eight-string ukulele have a bigger compass than a six-string, or does it just have multiple-string courses?

It's the usual four uke courses, each one doubled, half of them doubled in octaves. There's also a six-string uke which just doubles two courses (in octaves) so you get a mix of single and double courses; not to be confused with the guitalele, which is like a small guitar if it were capo'ed up a fourth.

I went to the Sunday evening Irish session at Fiddler's Green in Austin and it was pretty relaxed, was able to keep up okay on some tunes on tinwhistle despite not having been in a session in forever. Interesting mix, they had one guy on piano accordion and DADGAD guitar, one guy on two-row C#/D buttonbox, one on mandolin, and a woman who played English concertina for Irish (which is far less common than Anglo). I brought the tinwhistle and also the 1-row melodeon which I'm not amazing at but could do basic tunes, but mainly waiting for my Portuguese guitarra to come and then I'll just use that as my main session instrument.

stillvisions
Oct 15, 2014

I really should have come up with something better before spending five bucks on this.


Good use of banner ad - sucked me right in because random relatively cheap instruments are a thing for me. Was eventually looking at a mandolin because I have small hands and years of playing guitar.

Other things I've already got at home, maybe some new suggestions for people:

Appalachian Dulcimer: Picked up an Apple Creek, one day will upgrade. It's my go-to idle hands strum and sing instrument.

Acoustic slide guitar/Weissenborn guitar: I was interested and started shopping around - once I realized there was a bunch of "hand crafted" weissenborn guitar sites that all looked awfully similar in specs and appearance only different luthier names, I went to aliexpress and found the source was a company called Aiersi that was making them. Sadly there's only a few left listed on aliexpress but I picked mine up there and it sounds great. Maybe with some more hunting online in China you can find them again; the "hand crafted" ones here go for at least twice the price (though the tipoff is still it's only $400) and are the same.

Shakuhachi: I picked up a $30 bamboo root one on ebay - you're not gonna get super tuning or range at that price, but it's good to play around with on your own; real ones cost a lot.

Shamisen: I found one on ebay years ago - hard to find with intact skins, and reskinning is pricy, but I have it now. Really need to play more on it, but it's a straightforward tuning process, just a matter of fretless playing. Can be tuned in a way for easy messing around (root-fifth-octave for instance).

There was a guy in Kensington market, Toronto who hoarded musical instruments under the guise of selling them. Seriously, he had them stacked up on top of one another in a shop you had to squeeze through to see. He had a selection of cheap Chinese instruments that I didn't worry about the shop condition (he didn't heat it either, those poor guitars), so I picked a up few below:

Xiao: Chinese flute, kinda like a shakuhachi, but a smaller opening for blowing into. Finicky technique for tone but simple and cheap. Was like 25 bucks at the time.

Dizi: Chinese transverse flute with a resonator. I taped over the resonator with painters tape for now because holy hell that thing is loud with it in. Around 30 bucks. Uses bamboo paper over the resonator hole, just make sure you have some of that too.

Erhu Chinese two stringed fiddle. Fretless but easy to tune since it's just the top two notes on a violin. Gotta use ears because fretless and it'll take a while to get it sounding not scratchy, but nice sound when it works. Can be acquired for 50-100 bucks as a starter. There's no fretboard so one less thing to worry about being warped on a cheap one as well.

Nowadays I reside with modular synths, which compared to the above, is like going from a drink now and then to full meth addiction.

LordAdakos
Aug 31, 2009


Thanks, TapTheForwardAssist.

Picked up a Tin Whistle on suggestion from you a few years back and my odd musical instrument collection has grown. I never was very musical (read: never played an instrument seriously) but I put some time in learning to read music instead of just loving around making noise and now I've been playing the violin for 7 months. I have no intention of stopping! You rock! Your suggestions are like the gateway drugs of the musical world.

If anyone is hesitating picking up something fun to play -- just do it!

LordAdakos fucked around with this message at 11:23 on Jul 16, 2016

Afgad
Dec 23, 2006

Ask me about delicious soy products.

I clicked the advertisement and found my way here. I'll take the bait, let's do this:

I want cheap instruments that are portable and have a smooth learning curve. The challenge is that I want to make learning the instrument a group activity with my wife.

Can you find me two different instruments that are affordable ($50 range), portable, and sound good together?

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Afgad posted:

I want cheap instruments that are portable and have a smooth learning curve. The challenge is that I want to make learning the instrument a group activity with my wife.

Can you find me two different instruments that are affordable ($50 range), portable, and sound good together?

Huh, interesting puzzle. The $50 range really counts out most strings, and I presume you want two melodic instruments instead of one melodic and one drum.

How much musical background, or none, do y'all have? Any particular genre of music you'd really like to play together?

My easiest and cheap suggestion would be to get two recorders: one soprano for her and one tenor for you. You can buy good basic Aulos, Yamaha, etc recorders cheaply on eBay, and there's a ton of free instructional materials online for recorder, and a huge body of written sheet music for recorder duets and ensembles. Good synthetic ones are very portable and durable, and you can get under $50/ea for them. These would be great for playing classical music, film and art music, etc. and wouldn't be too loud for practicing at home, and recorders really go well with each other. Having two different sizes gives you two distinct instruments with different voices, but the mechanics of playing them are about identical (the tenor is an octave below the soprano). If you get the basics down, it's also reasonably easy to find other recorder players to ensemble with, find a couple friends and get some sheet music for a four-part composition and learn that.



I'd go with a soprano and tenor for contrast, and because since tenor is fingered the same as soprano you can both use the exact same learning materials, and/or if you find music written for two sopranos you can play the soprano part on your tenor and it'll just be a lot lower but the same notes.

- Here's a duet of two alto recorders (same size): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyLo7-wbZjY
- Duet of soprano and alto recorders doing a film soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDnRox7kKWs
- here's a 4-part ensemble of seriously pro players: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z_KEGfEa-I


How does this idea strike you? Meet your interests, or looking for something else?

withak
Jan 15, 2003


Fun Shoe

Definition of a quarter-tone: two tinwhistles playing in unison.

Afgad
Dec 23, 2006

Ask me about delicious soy products.

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

How does this idea strike you? Meet your interests, or looking for something else?

Neither of us really have any musical experience at all beyond listening to music (her). I don't like listening to music and prefer silence to the radio, etc. I like learning instruments though, I messed with keyboards when I was in middle school and had a swell time. I never got serious about it though. That plus being forced to buy and play a plastic recorder in elementary school is the full extent of my interaction with music. I don't possess a single music track. I am most likely the biggest music newb you will ever encounter in your life.

Personally, I've never liked the sound of recorders, because all the ones I've ever played and heard have been extremely grainy. That 4-part ensemble you posted sounds just fine though. Is the quality of the sound a function of extreme skill on their part or do they just have better instruments than the plastic junk they made us buy in school? (Note that the duet alto recorder link you shared sounds unbearably bad to me.)

If it is any help, when I considered learning an instrument before I thought long and hard about learning the Chinese flute (笛子) but they can be kind of shrill.

If you can think of instruments that match what I want but are a little more expensive, I'm open to that, but portable is a must. We're moving soon and it has to fit into luggage or a box, and survive being shipped across the Pacific. I just prefer cheap because in all honesty I don't know if I'll be able to keep at it. I want to try though, I like trying new things.

Oh oh, I just remembered! I have a pair of Tibetan tingsha cymbals that I ring once or twice before/after meditating. Do those count as learnable instruments? It hadn't even occurred to me until just now.

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

Ah, okay, I think I'm getting a better picture of what you're looking for. Rather than playing popular or art music, would you be interested in meditational music in particular?

If so, the shakuhachi could be a good option that (in its simpler forms) is inexpensive and durable and a great meditational instrument. You could either do duets with one person playing shakuhachi and the other playing the cymbals or improvised percussion.

How do you feel about building a really, really basic instrument? One potentially really cool option would be to make an ichigenkin, a one-string Japanese instrument used for various Buddhist musics. You can pretty much build one out of a 2x4 and some really crude carpentry work and a scrap tuner and bridge from any music guy's spare parts box.

- Here's a solo ichigenkin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi8rn6FIRVE
- kind of a weird clip but here's an ichigenkin duet with a shakuhachi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi8rn6FIRVE

An alternate take on this would be to get one inexpensive shakuhachi ($25 or so) and one simple kankara (like a hilbilly shamisen) for $65 as a kit to assemble. Here's a duet of shamisen and shakuhachi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeKihWVL2T4


If you like that general idea of meditational instruments, but want something more American to take overseas, you can get a Native American flute (really very similar to the shakuhacki except easier to blow since the mouthpiece directs your air), and then combine that with a fretless cigar box guitar kit, you can come out under $100 total for that, and easy to travel with. That would also make a really good meditative duo.

In your price-range and requirement for portability you're mainly looking at woodwind instruments, but I understand you want to avoid shrill, and shakuhachi and NAF are both very low wind instruments due to their large bores. And if you don't want to just pair two wind instruments, getting a simple primitive string instrument (either a kankara or a cigar box guitar) would make for a good combination, and you can do some really free-form meditational stuff with those two.

Lavender Philtrum
May 16, 2011


Does anyone here know how to tune the Korean Gayaggeum? 12 string.

Asking for a friend. Whatever the standard tuning is.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.


Lavender Philtrum posted:

Does anyone here know how to tune the Korean Gayaggeum? 12 string.

Asking for a friend. Whatever the standard tuning is.

From asking a buddy who does Korean traditional stuff, I think there's a variety of tunings. One that he recommended is Eb Ab Bb Eb F Ab Bb C Eb F Ab Bb, low to high.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




If anyone else in here is playing around with bowed instruments, I cannot stress enough how important it is to rosin your poo poo.

I've never felt like I was getting a very good tone out of my jouhikko. The luthier said he rosined the bow before sending it, so I had sort of discounted that as a possibility. But, as I found my tone getting even weaker and weaker until I could barely coax a note from the thing, I ordered a $3 stick of rosin.

Holy poo poo! Once I'd applied it, even a slightly touch of bow to string brings sound! It's amazing.

So yeah, don't be a dumbass like me, just order some rosin (I got https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002OP0WC/) and use it!

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





Yeah, bows don't grip without rosin. Bonus: it smells nice.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

Help me identify this instrument:



3 steel strings, triangular body, two of the strings seem to be identical and the third is thinner. The strings are about 44 cm from nut to saddle. The neck is about 26 cm and has frets.


Edit: Figured it out, it's a balalaika.
The label inside the body is written in Cyrillic too.

nielsm fucked around with this message at 08:53 on Sep 20, 2016

Flipperwaldt
Nov 11, 2011

Won't somebody think of the starving hamsters in China?



Balalaika?

Yoshi Jjang
Oct 5, 2011

renard renard renarnd renrard

renard




BALALAIKA!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JqeSU7lSLE

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

Pretty Little Lyres

nielsm posted:

Help me identify this instrument:



Cool, ID was easy, and it's cheap and easy to buy strings for it, and not hard to re-string it.

My only caveat would be that you need to make sure your bridge is in the right place, but basically any online tutorial about "place banjo bridge" or "place mandolin bridge" will show you the basic principles of how to check your harmonics to make sure your bridge is in just the right spot.

Once you have it re-strung, you have two basic options:

- Look at balalaika tutorials online and learn some basic technique
- Ignore all that, look up some basic chord charts, and just strum it as though it were a ukulele or mandolin and build up from there

Neither answer is wrong, just depends what you're looking for.

I will say that there are a lot of cheap balalaikas floating around, so even once you put new strings on yours and tune it up it might not be a diamond or anything, but if you got it cheap/free it's not a huge problem. You can also just try tuning it up and wiggling the bridge into the right place with the current (almost assuredly grotty and corroded but probably usable) strings and see how it plays before you spring $5 or $10 on a new set. Once you get it strung up and the bridge wiggled into place, that would be the time to measure the height between the strings and the frets and see if it's anything huge indicating a warped neck or whatever. Easiest option is to get it tuned up, bridge wiggled into the right spot, and then stack some coins on top of the 12th fret and let us know how many coins (of what denominations) fit and we can judge from there.

How did you come by this one? Was it cheap/free? Can definitely be potential fun in whatever case.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

I got it for free from my brother, he was about to trash it anyway so it's not a huge loss if it's unsalvageable.

I've managed to tune it, but the tuning mechanisms were difficult to turn, would it be bad to give them a bit of WD40? I'll check the frets again when I get back home.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

Seems the frets aren't properly aligned/flatness is wrong, or something like that.

The 6th fret is too tall in the middle, so playing middle string on 5th fret gives same tone as 6th fret. The outer strings are fine on the 5th fret. There may be more that are wrong, I haven't checked everything yet.

There seems to be a slight difference in timbre between the two identical strings, after tuning to an electric piano. (Actually, how do you number the strings, from which side?)

I can fit two Danish 1 kr coins betwen the 12th fret and strings, those are 1.6 mm thick according to my caliper.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


nielsm posted:

Seems the frets aren't properly aligned/flatness is wrong, or something like that.

The 6th fret is too tall in the middle, so playing middle string on 5th fret gives same tone as 6th fret. The outer strings are fine on the 5th fret. There may be more that are wrong, I haven't checked everything yet.

There seems to be a slight difference in timbre between the two identical strings, after tuning to an electric piano. (Actually, how do you number the strings, from which side?)

I can fit two Danish 1 kr coins betwen the 12th fret and strings, those are 1.6 mm thick according to my caliper.

Hmm, you're from Denmark and appreciate a balalaika. Have you checked out Manges Nargilé and Sunes Teké? If not, you should!

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




nielsm posted:

I got it for free from my brother, he was about to trash it anyway so it's not a huge loss if it's unsalvageable.

I've managed to tune it, but the tuning mechanisms were difficult to turn, would it be bad to give them a bit of WD40? I'll check the frets again when I get back home.

WD40 is a cleaner, not a lubricant. Don't put it on wood. If the tuner has metal gears I'd recommend using PB Blaster to clean followed by maybe some 3-in-1 oil or silicone lube to lubricate.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

Pham Nuwen posted:

WD40 is a cleaner, not a lubricant. Don't put it on wood. If the tuner has metal gears I'd recommend using PB Blaster to clean followed by maybe some 3-in-1 oil or silicone lube to lubricate.

Yes metal tuning mechanisms.
I've never heard of PB Blaster before, looks like it's marketed as an automotive product? I'm not entirely sure what the equivalent would be, since I don't think it's sold over here.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




nielsm posted:

Yes metal tuning mechanisms.
I've never heard of PB Blaster before, looks like it's marketed as an automotive product? I'm not entirely sure what the equivalent would be, since I don't think it's sold over here.

Basically, WD-40 is a terrible lubricant and it's not a very good cleaning product either. You can use it to clean if you must, I guess... just spray some into a bottle cap and dab with a q-tip. PB Blaster is a great penetrating cleaning agent but when I think about it, it might be a little too aggressive to use around nice finished wood like an instrument.

A light dab of 3-in-1 oil would probably do wonders for the gears.

aricoarena
Aug 7, 2006
citizenh8 bought me this account because he is a total qt.


nielsm posted:

Help me identify this instrument:



3 steel strings, triangular body, two of the strings seem to be identical and the third is thinner. The strings are about 44 cm from nut to saddle. The neck is about 26 cm and has frets.


Edit: Figured it out, it's a balalaika.
The label inside the body is written in Cyrillic too.

You call that a balalaika? This is a balalaika!



I'm actually not sure if it's a bass version or an entirely different instrument.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

aricoarena posted:

You call that a balalaika? This is a balalaika!



I'm actually not sure if it's a bass version or an entirely different instrument.

Yeah I think that's a bass-lalaika.

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Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




aricoarena posted:

You call that a balalaika? This is a balalaika!



I'm actually not sure if it's a bass version or an entirely different instrument.

The Red Elvises use one too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q8A-bvQLP8

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