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

If it's not a guitar or a bass guitar discussion, and it's got strings, put it here.
Post Reply
Roy Haney
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:01 am

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

Post by Roy Haney »

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.

User avatar
Jim McConkey
Posts: 893
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:00 pm
Location: Way north of Baltimore, MD

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

Post by Jim McConkey »

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.
MIMForum Staff - Way North of Baltimore

Post Reply