So I am thinking of making a batch of dulcimers later in the month, and have just hit on the idea of using only the blues notes, so including only these frets:

3
5
7
10
12-octave

Anyone ever done this and how was it to play? I ain't no bluesman, but I thought playing on this would train my ear and then the transition to slide would be nice and easy. Like training wheels.

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Replies to This Discussion

Diane,
Very nice!!!!!!!. What are the scale lengths, tuning, frets? Do they do the blues?
I like the strumstick setup, and how the tailpiece matches.
Those stands look great too!!!.
I think one was 15" and one was 17". The strummer aspect makes playing blues a breeze. Frets are as described in the opening of this thread: 3 5 7 10 12, etc. The small one was EBe and the larger one DAd.

Go make one, just for fun!
Hi Diane, it's looking great ! :D
Please excuse my english but I'm not sure I understood everything so please correct me if I'm wrong.
If I try to build one like yours, I use a dulcimer diatonic scale and I set only the 3 5 7 10 12 frets,
but when I look at your photos, below the nutt there is six frets, what is this one compared to
the usual diatonic scale ?
No, you use the regular chromatic scale and set only the 3 5 7 10 12 frets. That gets you the first octave. You can add a second octave by including chromatic frets 15 17 19 22 24, etc.

They are great fun to play, make one!

LittleBigOne said:
Hi Diane, it's looking great ! :D
Please excuse my english but I'm not sure I understood everything so please correct me if I'm wrong.
If I try to build one like yours, I use a dulcimer diatonic scale and I set only the 3 5 7 10 12 frets,
but when I look at your photos, below the nutt there is six frets, what is this one compared to
the usual diatonic scale ?
Hi Diane and all, so on a dulcimer-stick we had great result at playing the frets 1 2 4 5 7 9 11 and I had a few questions.
They are easy to teach to kids, one can place little blue stickers on the neck on theses frets and that will change the
dulcitar into a blues-guitar :D

I've built a lot of 2 strings, do you have some examples on how we could mix the use of the two strings for this scale, or maybe you have some tabs ?

You were right it was a great idea, are there some other simple "scales" like these to learn to kids ?
I'm sorry for asking maybe dumb questions because I'm not so good at music theory :-S
I remember someone, and maybe it was Shane, explaining something about using two or three strings and
demonstrating some great sounding music scale, but without tabs (and good english knowledge of typical accents) it's difficult to understand :D
but ok, I will improve my english and one day I will bring your music to my people ! :-)
...I just discovered that Wichita Sam have made a great video demonstration :D
Here is the link in case someone comes after me...
on youtube


Sam also made an older one, maybe I did not understand everything but
fortunately he plays not too fast :-) on youtube


and I also noticed in another forum that Diane use .032 .024 .014 strings in EBe or DAd

Thanks so much everyone :-)
When you say you're going to make a batch of dulcimers in a month, Diane, it sounds like "Oh, I think I'll bake a batch of cookies this week! Is it that easy - or do you have a manufacturing facility? Fretting and everything? What's the secret? I'd like to whip up two - or uh, maybe one.
There are folks who build in large quantities all the time, and I ain't one of them! Darren "Big Daddy" Dukes and Tinyguitars are two that come to mind. The most I've made is a batch of 8, but for me it kind of took a lot of the fun out of it. I'm back to singletons!

They've got jigs and whatnot to make producing lots of the same parts easy and quick. But when I made the batch I cut all the heads one day, and cut all the frets another day and so on -- batching up the work.

ChiBob said:
When you say you're going to make a batch of dulcimers in a month, Diane, it sounds like "Oh, I think I'll bake a batch of cookies this week! Is it that easy - or do you have a manufacturing facility? Fretting and everything? What's the secret? I'd like to whip up two - or uh, maybe one.

Saw this post a couple of days ago built one with 1,3,5,6,7,10,12 ext. Boy is this fun!

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