I am new to Dulcimer building and looking for a Dulcimer Fret Calculator

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I am new to Dulcimer building and looking for a Dulcimer Fret Calculator

Postby Roy Haney » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:31 am

What length do you normally build a dulcimer to?
Which frets do I remove?
I build other stuff , Signs Games and such but want to try a Dulcimer since I have most very type wood available (I own the Sawmill) and found a guitar scale calculator but am confused.
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Re: I am new to Dulcimer building and looking for a Dulcimer Fret Calculator

Postby Jim McConkey » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:55 pm

I build most of mine to 25.75" (655 mm), but I have built them at long as 27.25" and there are some who like them even longer. I find longer scales require too much stretch, at least for my hands, to play the fast stuff I normally do, but they suit other playing styles. You would do best to play a few dulcimers and see which you like best first.

The standard frets are 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 12. These days 11 (the "6 1/2 fret") is almost so common as to be standard. But you can get dulcimers fully chromatic too. I recently did an "upgrade" for a friend who wanted a fully chromatic instrument from an existing standard layout. The extra frets just got in my way and confused me, but my friend was really happy. I would not recommend a chromatic dulcimer for a beginner.
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