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Thread: Tips on a fun instrument that you like to improvise on?

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    Chilling Out Zambaku's Avatar
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    Tips on a fun instrument that you like to improvise on?

    I've played a range of instruments and I really didn't like many of them, most of them felt like a chore to play on. I've tried and disliked: Guitarr, ocarina, didgeridoo, udu, recorder and keyboard. The only one I enjoyed and play on from time to time still is the Dan Moi. I would love a hangdrum but they are so costly.
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    Oh, I made a few canjo's too. But I have no talent for stringed instruments and all and even 1 string was too hard for me XD
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    Originally Posted by Zambaku
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    I have no talent for stringed instruments and all and even 1 string was too hard for me
    You wouldn't like what I've been building then: Nearly 40 strings.
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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Dirty Uncle Bertie... julianthegypsy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    You wouldn't like what I've been building then: Nearly 40 strings.
    Spill the beans then!
    Yawn I'm so tired with this big bag of coal on my head...

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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by julianthegypsy
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    Spill the beans then!
    36 string harp or zither ?
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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Ive got a few instruments,my favorites are my tin whistle and appalachian dulcimer and persian santoor...and when im feeling noisey ive got a djembe to bash.I should really sell the stuff as i struggle with arthritis in my joints so they rarely come.out of storage.
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    Heavenly Creature Editor aman's Avatar
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    I play sax and that is not that difficult to learn to play initially. Bit loud for living in a van though so that is why I also play the ukulele.

    paul
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    I would recommend a melody Harp
    They only have 15 strings and then made out of metal the hardest thing is getting into staying tune when you first get them but once we learn the positioning of the strings are staying tune quite well
    Tighten the strings really slowly because they break really easily
    You can pick one up for about £45
    I was given one and have bought two
    It is a small Zither but because there aren't too many strings on it is not too difficult to get your head round and there is no frets
    It's flat and the strings are strung across the frame
    I also play the normal heart but just a bit smaller than the ones you see in history
    I have a 29 nylon string and a 34 Gut with the steel coal string
    Thankfully the lap ones are a lot easier to transport and move around in the normal freestanding ones they wanna town
    They're really heavy
    The advantage to the lap ones is that they're very light
    Hope this helps
    Are you could always branch out into flutes
    I have lots of advice on that or even a low whistle
    They're fun to
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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    36 string harp or zither ?
    Bullseye.


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    As this is an "improvised instrument" thread, I should point out that the combined tension on that many long strings can approach 1000Kg, which could seriously ruin your day if it failed. There is carbon fibre reinforcement in that harp - don't try it with wood from B&Q.
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    Heavenly Creature Rainbomama's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    Bullseye.


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    wow!you made that?thats brill..iv dabbled with a few instruments,mastered none really..but i do like my recorders,iv an old fife id like to do up,and my drum..and iv just reminded myself id buy another penny whistle when i had the cash,so il be looking into that for the summer xx

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    It's a prototype I'm working on with a local company. They build stunning harps, and have done for many years, but this is an evolution using carbon fibre and internal pocketing of the woodwork to save weight and allow longer bass end strings.

    In keeping with the "improvised" theme: The note produced by a string depends on three factors, the length, tension, and weight. The problem with some harps is that in order to get the bass notes the strings have to be under lower tension than is optimal - compromising the tone quality and volume. Harpists sometimes call the note "Flabby". By having a longer bass string at higher tension we get the same note as the shorter, slacker string, but it resonates better and louder.

    The downside is that the increased tension can destroy a traditionally built harp or cause it to go out of tune, so we've used carbon fibre inside the woodwork to keep it stable.

    By happy, and as yet unexplained, coincidence - it sounds great. We're not entirely sure why yet, but when a professional harp player was asked to rate it out of 10 she asked if she could give it 12.
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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    A beautiful job youve made of it despite the technical complexities...superb.
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    I noticed this problem with playing different tensions Harps in the past
    Putting carbon fibre inside will not only make the week of the instrument later but it might also affect the sound of me to travel more what have you made the wood the framework and of what what is it
    Correction would
    Have you tried using non-gates folk strings that's what my 34 string one has that's a mahogany frame with a spruce soundboard but the downside was that is mahogany is really heavy and really difficult to move about
    I have a 29 nylon string rosewood one which is a bit lighter but not by much
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    Originally Posted by NomadicRT
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    A beautiful job youve made of it despite the technical complexities...superb.
    Actually most of my work can't be seen - the internals. The neck and column I designed and made, the soundbox was someone else.

    I'll try to get some close-ups of a finished harp, the guys who do the hand finishing and fitting are true craftsmen of the old school. I like to think I'm pretty good, but these guys take it to another level.

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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Collaboration or not its still lovely instrument.
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    I'm looking for a 24 string if possible
    What sort of prices are we looking at
    Does it come with a case
    You could have a customer
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    Originally Posted by maddy harper
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    I'm looking for a 24 string if possible
    What sort of prices are we looking at
    Does it come with a case
    You could have a customer
    I won't be setting prices, not my business.

    Regarding the case - that's something I'm working on right now, there's a real need for one. A couple of companies sell fairly ordinary fibreglass cases for £1000+, I'm aiming to sell the same for much less.

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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    I'm basically looking for a 22 string flat lap harp is that way I would have some bass strings because the little 15 string ones I have don't have any bass in them
    I do love them though would just be nice to have some bass
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    My 34 string has a bay strings my 29 string is more travelling high-end and my little 15 strings are just high-end
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    The 29 string and the 34 string camera cases but none of my 15 string ones did
    Which makes no sense to me
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    Musical hippy dreadhead maddy harper's Avatar
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    I would love a zither with some bass strings
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    Transcending gophangover's Avatar
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    I need to work on my Pedal Steel....

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