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Almost finished my first 3 String CBG and I have fretted it like a dulcimer. I purchased a set of skull stickers so I am wondering where the best place to install them to help me learn how to play. I have never played before. I get a little confused between regular and dulcimer, I gues I need to print out a chart that compares the two side by side.
Thanks as Always...Pictures to follow..
I only put markers at the octaves. The other frets positions are pretty obvious because of the wonky spacing.
Looking forward to the pictures!
I used a friends mountain dulcimer to make a template. Just wondering if I need all the frets to the box for a simple 3 string strummer. The neck I made is a little short but I can put the bridge in the right place, just missing the 3 frets closest to the box. just don't think I need the highest frets for a good diatonic tuning. In stead of putting the melody string at the top I would like to put it as the highest string starting at the 1st string. My first dulcimer and want some good advice.
Most "strummers" (aka stick dulcimers, strum sticks, pick' sticks, etc., etc.) provide only 11 or 12 frets. So, on a mountain dulcimer, which usually will have 16 for a full 2 octaves on the melody string (plus optional frets 6.5 and 13.5), skipping the last several frets shouldn't make much difference. These last few frets are not used as much anyways. When you use a cigar box for a strummer, you don't get as much "real estate" on the neck or fretboard unless your design extends the fretboard over the soundboard. Most builders end the fretboard where the neck meets the cigar box, and the resulting instrument is usually very playable.
In regard to melody string placement, on most "strummers" (call 'em what you like), the melody string is placed in the same position as it would be on guitars (i.e. closest to the floor). This is just the opposite position as on a mountain dulcimer. Some folks can hear the difference between a stick dulcimer and a mountain dulcimer as when you play with a down (out) stroke on a MD, the melody string is struck before the drone strings, making it sound out a bit clearer than on a strummer, where the drone strings are struck first and kind of muddle the sound of the melody string. However, the melody string plays much more naturally on a strummer when it is placed in the same location as string 1 is on the guitar. If you put the melody string on your strummer in the same location as it is on a mountain dulcimer, then you have to reach your fingers up and over the drone strings when you fret the melody string and this can be a bit cumbersome, especially if you have a very wide or thich neck. If you want to put the melody string up in the same place as on a MD, then I'd recommend making a narrow neck with no more depth than 1" including the fretboard to make reaching around the drone strings more easy.
I like 3, 5, 8 (the equivalent of a chromatic scale's 5, 9, 12). Diane's right, you don't really need anything but the octave (8), but I like the look.,