A couple of weeks ago I went to the Montana Folk Festival. There was the
usual bluegrass, cajun, Acadian, and so forth but there was also
international music. There were five venues and as I walk from one to
the other I heard something interesting, a Chinese string ensemble. A
woman was doing a solo on a pipa and it was fantastic. Then she was
joined by the other two members and they did 'Horse Race' and another
I could tell she was using picks but was was also striking down across
the strings for emphasis. I use steel finger picks sometimes with a
guitar and trying to do that usually means the picks go flying off.
After they were done she walked to the front of the stage to talk to
someone and I saw the picks and the strips of adhesive tape holding them
on. Sneaky Chinese!
Actually most of the technique is flicking down with the nail rather
than plucking up.
I don't use the metal finger picks very often but they help quite a bit
with a 12 string. Sometimes I'll use a thumb pick alone to accentuate
the bass. Other times I'll use a flat pick. Depends on my mood.
I had a set of aLaska Piks but lost them someplace along the way. I
should get another set. They're very close to using your own nails
rather than the steel picks so it's a mellower sound.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
It's been so long since I've played it feels like almost a lifetime ago.
I kind of miss it. My dream was to have a 12-string some day, but I
never found the right one. I have small hands and short fingers, so I
can't really play bar chords very well. There just wasn't enough of my
hand to stretch across the frets, but the few times I did play a
12-string I loved the sound and ease of how it played. In college I
played on a classical guitar ensemble and we picked the strings a
particular way which was a bit odd compared to how I'd pick them when
playing contemporary pieces.
Do you play a lot now?
I'd messed around with them but most were pricey for someone who just
plays to amuse himself. Then I saw the Epiphone DR-212 and figured for
$200 I could try it. I've been impressed with the newer Epiphones and
also have a Les Paul by them. That's another guitar I could never
justify buying with 'Gibson' on the headstock. They do good work in
Qingdao or DaeWon. I've got a real Gibson from the '60s when Gibson was
churning out guitars for the folk music fad and it's not the greatest.
XXXL paws, so I have the opposite problem. I started mostly with blue
and folk so other than the E pattern I don't do many bars. With big, fat
fingers I can't play an A barred without muting something.
I never played classical. I played on nylon a couple of times and never
really cared for the sound. Like a banjo, it always sounds better if
someone else is playing it.
Not as much as I should. For whatever reason, I got interested in the
tin whistle and have been spending more time on it but then I'll take
the tin whistle tunes to the guitar. Unlike harmonicas no way are you
going to do both at once. If I get real ambitious I might lay down the
guitar track and then try to play the whistle over it.
I also played piano and the short fingers made it a bit difficult to
stretch to the full octave when playing, but I did have stacked
keyboards for about 10 yrs. and they were much easier to play because
the keys were smaller.
You having XXXL paws probably makes it easier in some ways, but I've
heard other people say they had difficulty playing because of big, fat
finger, too. OH well ... LOL It's fun to at least try. These days
I've resorted to playing my harmonicas.
I had a great-uncle who played banjo and when I was a teen he loaned it
to me for about a week, so I've played a banjo for a short few days.
They aren't so hard to play with the smaller neck and closer strings.
I had to look up 'tin whistle'. It looks similar to a recorder. I've
got one of those that I play occasionally. Are they anything alike in
I never did anything with keyboards. The city has a thing where pianos
are placed at random locations so I should try (when nobody is around).
I've got a few Marine Bands laying around. It's handy since tin whistles
are diatonic too and most tunes work on both.
I bought one about 30 years ago. It was a resonator since that was all I
could find. I never thought it sounded right and eventually gave it to a
woman who wanted to learn banjo. I've thought about trying again sometime.
They are both fipple flutes but the recorder is chromatic and has a more
complex fingering arrangement. I've got an alto but I haven't done
anything with it lately. Going back and forth is a little more than I
That's about as simple as it gets with only C natural being odd. Even
where that shows an open hole for the 2nd octave D, you really can play
it closed and there are other alternative fingerings. Usually there is a
lot of ornamentation. The fingering is completely different from a
bagpipe but a lot of the technique is borrowed from bagpipes. You can
tongue a tin whistle but pipers don't have a way to break a two notes of
the same pitch up so they'll quickly tap a lower note or do a cut, which
is sounding a higher notes. A roll is a combination of the two. It's
really fast and hardly is even a grace note.
The most common key is D because they're often used with fiddles and
fiddlers love D but like harmonics you collect various keys. I've got a
B flat Susato that's plastic and is the closest in sound to a recorder.
The Clarke's are real tin and sound quite different.
That's got some strings but it's a slow air and there are some closeups
where you can see him doing cuts and taps. He's doing quite a bit of
There's a little less ornamentation there in the intro but when Caitlín
Maude starts to sing you can see where the whistle sort of follows the
There are a lot of jigs and reels you can play on the whistle and any
good Irish bar band needs one.
No whistle in this version but the tune works really well:
There's a reel also called 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' that's a
whole other thing.
Those are very typical of a lot of Irish music. The whistle is there if
you listen for it. They're like harmonicas; you can spend money on some
of the fancier type but a lot of music has been made with a $10 Clarke.
Like recorders there are also low whistles and the Irish flute both of
which use the same fingering and technique so you can get some variety.
I don't have a low whistle but some people have trouble with the
spacings. I did make a flute to hack around with and am still working on
my embouchure. I played a regular flute when I was in 7th grade but I
haven't improved with age.
On 07/21/2015 10:03 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
iirc Eastman Kodak sold it. There's a company that stumbled over its own
feet more than once.
That's my tactic most of the time. The CA glues like Hot Stuff that you
can find in hobby shops seem to last longer. I'm not the biggest safety
guy but if you're using a lot of it like to reinforce the wing root on
an R/C model you definitely want good ventilation. It's pretty fierce.
Probably. That would be the late '60s before it was called 'super glue'
and hit the commercial market. I was able to lure my girlfriend into the
old 'touch you finger to your thumb' trick. Obviously she was gullible;
she eventually married me.
We also used a lot of pourable RTV silicone to make high voltage
capacitors. That was just starting to become widely available too. I
still call it RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) which throws some people.
On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 9:28:34 PM UTC-4, rbowman wrote:
We used a lot of RTV (white, right?) when I was in the Coast Guard for sealing cable connectors that were going to be exposed to the elements, as well as for sealing other stuff. It was pretty versatile.
My favorite sealant now is Dow 732, Clear. Waterproof, food safe certified, easy to remove if desired.
Thanks for reminding me...I just ordered a few more tubes.
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