Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Ashokan Farewell: Music/Tabs for Stick Dulcimer/Merlin Seagull M4/Strums...

Ashokan Farewell: Music/Tabs for Stick Dulcimer/Merlin Seagull M4/Strumstick: 

This is a piece I am learning to play recently, mostly by jamming along with videos on Youtube of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. This beautiful fiddle tune in the Key of D fits the fretboard compass on my D-a-d-tuned Stick Dulcimer. My work in progress/tab notes can be found as a free download on the Stick Dulcimer pages of my website:

I am playing a Dad Tuned Cigar Box Style stick Dulcimer in this video, Cedar top and Tulip Poplar sides. played acoustically.
Plans for these instruments:

for education only, no infringement intended.
The tune ASHOKAN FAREWELL is by Jay Ungar
©1983 by Swinging Door Music

recorded on iPhone 13 mini and movie #shotoniphone #stickdulcimer #dulcimer 
#appalachian #ashokanfarewell #ashokan #cigarbox #cigarboxguitar #cigarboxstickdulcimer #merlin #strumstick 

Monday, 19 September 2022

Nearer, My God to Thee: Music/Tabs for Stick Dulcimer/Merlin Seagull M4/...

Traditional Hymn, set to D-a-d-tuned instrument for easy playing. PDF/tabs can be found as a free download on the Stick Dulcimer pages of my website: I am playing a Dad Tuned Cigar Box Style stick Dulcimer in this video, Cedar top and Tulip Poplar sides. played acoustically. Plans for these instruments: etsy for Instruments and other accessories: Lastest work at Instagram: website: facebook Blog Twitter Main Website: 00:00 Nearer, My God, to Thee with Tabs filmed on an iPhone 13 mini and edited in movie #shotoniphone

Friday, 9 September 2022

Cigar Box Stick Dulcimer in recycled Cedar&Poplar wood

These are my plans for my Cigar Box Stick Dulcimer, which will be featured in a Youtube Series in 2023. This is a 20" D-A-d tuned instrument, easier to build than my standard model, shorter scale a joy to play. 

Download Version Includes:
  • Plans for the front, back, sides, bracings and Mould pattern in PDF format
  • A4 and USA Letter-sized versions to print off easily on your home computer
  • PDF Large plans in A1 format if you want to get a poster made.
  • Photos of one of my instruments
  • Copies of my Video short series for sound samples
  • PDf notes: comprehensive, including Cutting lists construction notes and fret scales
If you purchase this and sign up for updates, I can later send you Pdf copies of the book when the Youtube series is released (and any plan updates.)  
Please feel free to message me if you have any questions at all.  I am revising the notes for book format and planning to film a making guide, and any feedback will be useful,

Friday, 10 June 2022

Podcast interview

Podcast now up on YouTube.

Had a lovely chat with Imelda Almqvist about instruments and music, lyres and kanteles. full video here: #almqvistimelda Imelda's website for information aout her books and courses are here: #anglosaxonlyre #kalevala #kantele #vikings #lyre #kraviklyra

Friday, 25 February 2022

Video sound samples to listen to.

Which Kantele model to choose: 

Here is a list of some models I build and examples of sounds you can produce to give you choices when deciding what instrument to make or buy.

The 5 string kanteles are the earliest type for runic songs, historically this is the starting point and the diatonic "D e f g a" notes are found in the middle of the 10 or 11 string instruments.
5 string kanteles are used in schools for early learning like the recorder for young children in Finland and other Baltic countries,   
With 5 strings you can play the early Runic song repertoire,  simple rhymic tunes,  basic chords,  mixed melody and chordal playing

More strings have greater melodic opportunities,    10 strings were very popular for playing chordal styles,  11 strings add the missing top C sharp and good if you are mixing chords and melodies.
This is my most popular model   Tutor book available by Arja Kastinen

15 string diatonic for harp-like playing,   
15 String Drone (11 melody and 4 drones) for Solo drone style of playing.  

5 String Kantele

10 String Kantele
10 string Bronze:  (smaller instrument so its the same pitch as a steel-strung instrument)
Book/sheet music for 10 and 5 string:

11 string Kantele

Book tutor for 11 string: 

11 string electric

15 String Drone kantele

15 string diatonic kantele

5 String Piccolo/Sopranino travel kantele

Please note that I played the kantele for 4 or 5 years at one point but with all the instruments I make only play when doing sound demos or setting up a new instrument so please see some of these links at the bottom for professional players to give you a full understanding of what is possible.

Professional Kantele/Kankle/Kannel/Kokle playing for inspiration

I hope this gives you some interesting starting points for discovery!

Please feel to leave questions here or on my Youtube channel or videos

Best wishes

Michael J King 
Febuary 2022

Plans to make kanteles:
Instruments available to order:

Saturday, 12 February 2022

7 String Lyres plans available (including Viking and travel lyre designs)

7 String Lyre plans available

This is a hybrid model that combines the scale length and playability of the Kravik Lyre model with the 9th/10th Century model, comes with 42-page construction guide plus extra plans(see below)
Can be built as a 6 or 7 string lyre.

Included in Download: 

7 String Hybrid Viking/Kravik model in A C DE F G A tuning 

6 String Viking in G-A, B or C tuning depending on strings 
7 String travel lyre, sized to fit in carry-on luggage on Ryan Air! 
42-page construction guide 

 I am still taking orders for these 7 string models for 2022/3,  5-6 months for this model only.
 see my etsy shop for ordering these

Friday, 11 February 2022

Lyre Fluorocarbon String sets: more options

Ideally, you would choose your lyre based on the pitch you wanted to play or to match your voice for accompaniment but if you already have the lyre then there is still some range of flexibility depending on the thickness and placement of the string, this is why I have a wide range of string sets available.

My new "Viking" set for the Anglo-Saxon Lyre 6 string model is thicker than my standard set and allows the shorter scale model I offer to tune to G pitch if required.

Tuning examples depending on the length of the lyre:

Standard Lyre strings:

Sutton Hoo G / Trossingen E / Viking Lyre B pitch

Trossingen G Set:

Sutton Hoo A / Trossingen G /Viking Lyre C pitch

Viking Set

Sutton Hoo D / Trossingen C / Viking Lyre G Pitch

String sets are available from my etsy shop

Etsy Shop

Plans for the small Viking Lyre are included with the 7 String Lyre plans here: