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I so far get the idea, but I am wondering how do I know which Frets I need or don't need. Could you advice me on that? I am going to start work on the guitar this weekend. Also, when I play, the purpose of the frets are to make a certain note and know where it is right? If it is fretless, you pretty much have to guess where the notes are? Am i right to say that? So I would press down at the fret (or near the fret?) and play the strings? Also you mentioned run the melody up the thinnest string. How does that work? Are'nt the strings around same thickness? I am still waiting on my guitar strings order. How do i also tune them to DAD? or GAG? from a regular set of guitar strings? I am pretty sure I need to buy a tuner or something right? Thanks.
Diane in Chicago said:Yes with a 3 string diatonic, you pretty much have a nice chord wherever you play. If you run the melody up the thinnest string, you get a nice drone on the other two strings. If you play the melody over all three strings, you get lots of different chords from the two two strings you are not fretting at the time. There is a dulcimer chord chart floating around here, I'll steer you there when your instrument is done.
Meanwhile, as far as number of frets: I put in a silly number into the calculator and then just use the ones I need. I rarely play up the neck on this, those frets are mostly for visuals. So put in 24 frets, and just start measuring until you run out of fingerboard.
Also, always measure nut-to-fret, not fret-to-fret so you don''t compound small measuring errors and have it completely off further up the neck -- where errors are particularly grating.
thanks for the reply. So technically it is the key that I play and the fretting. So should I build a 21 inch one, with 16 frets? I tried to put this in the fret calculator. I should not be having 18 frets for a diatonic fretting right? You mentioned 8 is my halfway point. So my 8th fret will be 10.5 inches from the nut? I also looked at mcnally strumstick page and he said that the other two strings harmonizes with whatever played on the fretted string to make a chord. Thanks everyone so far for making so much effort to respond to me, I already feel like I am part of a helpful community :)
Diane in Chicago said:I agree, 25" is pretty long. I'd go with something shorter. Also keeps the neck from warping if it is shorter and looks better with the small soundbox.
Mungo Park said:The first CBG I built had a 25ish length neck, with hind sight it was wayyy to long for the box, try thinking about something in the 19-22" scale, like maybe 21 which has been a good length and sound for me. Easier to reach, easier to hold better balanced, still sounds great. Just something to think about since it is a CBG not a strat, but hey, no rules so you might like the longer neck and I don't.
Search for the diatonic scale some good threads on it. 3 strings is a good middle of the road place to start
Should be a few answerers in this somewhere: