Introductions and … Adding that fret gives you what is often called the “blue note” of the dulcimer scale. This popular book brings the festive sound of the dulcimer to this joyous season. Lynn gets down to basics from the get-go. Thank you for asking! Not to get too involved, but if you start your “do re mi” scale with the open (unfretted) string, and go up the fretboard (skipping the blue note), that is one key. indicates 13th, 23th and 35th positions, also indicated with a pair of ‘*’. As you can see, on the diatonic fretboard some of the frets have been left out. The "Fingers Of Steel" imprint is a series of books and videos published by Folkcraft Instruments. Dulcimer fingerboards are usually hollowed out to make them lighter. Hold the noter in your left hand between your thumb and forefinger. See more ideas about dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, diy musical instruments. Your right hand is in charge of strumming and plucking. Why is the bridge of a strumstick slanted. There are no rules here, so you can also put them where you will find the most use out of them. And the distance of that end to the nut is your scale? Thanks Ray K, P.S. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion By Carolina Rockman, October 18. Since dulcimer strings are tuned to different notes in each tuning, there is no such thing as a finger position that is always a G chord or an Em chord. How to Build and Play Cigar Box Guitars and other Homemade Instruments. Apr 19, 2020 - Explore Steve Crandall's board "Dulcimer" on Pinterest. Then, when the note is ready to be played, pluck the string using the pad of your fingertip, not your nail, by pulling the string sideways.В  As your finger leaves the string, your nail with catch it and give a sharp leading edge to the note.В  It’s important that you pluck the string sideways, rather than vertically, to avoid the string rattling against the frets. Always file your nails using a fine emery board, never cut them using scissors or clippers, which can stress the nail.В  Shape your right hand nails into a smooth curve, avoiding sharp corners. There are many types of picks (or plectrum) available which work well on the dulcimer. Is it the end of the can that creates the bridge? We are not going to get into the theory behind what that means here, but just take away this tidbit: a chromatic scale, like on a standard guitar, allows you to play every note you could possibly need for a song. These sort of guitars are often called “Strummers” or the like, because they are based on the (trademarked) “Strumstick” invented by Bob McNally back in the early 80’s. Using the thumb for the chanter string will naturally give slightly more volume to that string, which has several advantages.В  In melody-and-drone fingerstyle playing, the melody on the chanter string is emphasised and not drowned out by the drones on the other strings.В  When I arpeggiate chords in DAA, the thumb will typically play the melody note and this will often be on the first beat in the bar.В  The thumb will therefore help to impart a sense of the melody and also help to reinforce the rhythm. … Some players exploit its similarity in tone to certain Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. With a genuine enthusiasm to teach, Katie has developed effective methods to help students learn techniques & fingering positions unique to the dulcimer. Some dulcimer players favour plastic or even metal fingerpicks, which seem to work particularly well on the banjo as they give a clear and loud sound.В  I prefer to use my fingers however, which allows me to fingerpick more quickly, precisely and expressively. By using this tool, you can determine the length fingerboard you should purchase. Some players use their index, middle and ring finger to fingerpick with.В  Whilst the brain can quickly adapt to playing this way, I don’t recommend it.В  As I see it, best practice is to pluck the strings as follows :-. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach us at [email protected]. A more traditional look: scroll headpiece with an inlay stripe, inlaid stripe down the traditional fretboard and back. … Lynn gets down to basics from the get-go. It will allow you to enter what scale length you desire and where each fret will be, including which frets to leave out for Diatonic Fretting. The total length of ours are usually 28 inches though that can vary depending on the style. Sign me up! We send out a weekly newsletter, full of how-to info, product features and more. Next, fret the lowest (thickest-gauge) string at the 12th fret. This would seem to interfere with the formula used to come up with the fret spacing. When refretting a dulcimer that I didn’t make I try to determine the thickness of the fingerboard. We’re happy to help. Just a quick question, the dotted line at 5 1/2 is the “mythical” extra 6 1/2 fret people have been adding to dulcimers for some time now? Those who pick it up for the first time are struck with its unique droning tones and find they can play simple melodies rather quickly, sometimes within a matter of minutes. Hopefully this has given you a good idea of what diatonic/dulcimer fretting is, and why you might use it. On the downside, having that blue note on there does give you one more potential wrong note to hit, and the fact that it is not in the major “do re mi” scale of the instrument means that if you do hit it by accident, it will sound more discordant than the other notes on the instrument. Also, since slanting the bridge changes the scale length, which one should be used to calculate fret placement? The dulcimer may also be placed in a similar position on a piece of furniture such as a table or chest of drawers, to enhance the sound. This is the octave point so 8 - 9 - 10 is like 1 - 2 - 3 but an octave higher. Here are a few videos of Ben “Gitty” Baker explaining and playing canjos which, in this case, use diatonic fretting. В I manicure weekly, to keep my nails in good shape and also the night before a concert, as newly shaped nails give a crisp, clean tone.В  Using a blunt nail file, start by gently pushing back the cuticle using the flat side of the file’s smooth tip.В  This stops the cuticle from В growing over the nail.В  Then gently smooth the upper surface using a nail buff to reduce or remove ridges, which are where breaks in the nail are most likely to appear. By contrast in ponticello (or pont. To put it most simply, diatonic fretting makes an instrument easier to play, but less versatile overall. Above: The Mountain Dulcimer I built in August ’17. OK now about the dashed lines on frets #10 and #22. Personally I like a large, thin triangular pick when playing the dulcimer. Get used to playing the instrument with the diatonic fretting. You will need to look after your nails to fingerpick well.В  Strong nails need a healthy diet and to that end some guitarists eat a cube of raw jelly (US=jello) each day.В  If your nails regularly crack or break, then you might look to adding a calcium supplement to you diet.В  Do check with your GP or pharmacist first though, as too much calcium could be harmful.В  Oils help too, either a commercial nail oil or pure olive oil.В  A drop of oil В massaged into your nails on a regular basis will help to keep them strong. See more ideas about dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, diy musical instruments. The mountain dulcimer, even in its simplicity, holds more than a few secrets. In other words, for bars 1 and 3, you would hold down the 3-0-2-3 chord and for bars 5 and 6, you'd hold down the 1-0-3-3 chord. Our handy reference and fret position guide has detailed charts that show dulcimer fret placement for every scale length from eight inches to thirty-two inches, in eighth-inch increments. In other words, for bars 1 and 3, you would hold down the 3-0-2-3 chord and for bars 5 and 6, you'd hold down the 1-0-3-3 chord. There is a 15 fret finger board in the dulcimer and with a scale length of 26 ½, it is an easy to play … How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion By Carolina Rockman, October 18. Think of the “DO RE MI” scale that kids learn. This article about scale length will help to answer your question with more depth: https://www.cbgitty.com/news/what-is-scale-length-why-does-it-matter/ If you were building for an experienced musician used to guitars, you probably wouldn’t want to give them one with diatonic fretting. So it is natural that when people think of frets, or a fretboard, they think of a guitar fretboard – an evenly distributed collection of frets that get closer together the further you go up the neck towards the guitar body. Your left hand nails should be short.В  If you touch your left hand fingertips vertically onto a smooth, hard surface the nail should just touch the surface after applying a little pressure.В  Nails that are too short will eventually cause your fingertips to become spatulate.В  If they are too long you won’t be able to fret the string correctly, inhibiting your playing and potentially marking the fingerboard. This Fret Scale and Fingerboard Length Calculator can be used to calculate fret scale and fingerboard length. Check out the frets on the American Canjo Company canjo above. A trip to any music store will reveal the dozens of possibilities. With over two dozen titles, from some of the best artist/instructors the dulcimer community has, you'll find something that fits your needs. If the dulcimer has double melody strings, make sure they are close enough so you can easily press the two strings down using one finger. Two types of instrument stake claim to the name—both have different shapes, different methods of being played, and diverse origins. The scale length of the canjo shown in the article photo is fretted to a 24.5 inch scale. With over two dozen titles, from some of the best artist/instructors the dulcimer community has, you'll find something that fits your needs. I cannot remember what the scale is of the side-by-side chromatic/diatonic diagrams. So what would be the right 1st position: 10th, 11th or 13th ? It is certainly not used in the majority of popular songs, but it is used in a cool and important minority. and the rest of the crew at the Canjo and Diddley Bow shop: How about releasing a bass canjo and or diddley bow? It is a 3-string, diatonically fretted instrument that was one of the early forerunners of the homemade/handmade music movement. 'Hands on dulcimer' by mike casey is a great book for fingerpicking pattern exercises. The How-To Repository for the Cigar Box Guitar Movement! There is a custom case available with the pack as well that further contributes to the ease of transportation of the instrument. It is, indeed an 18th fret, but the numbering scheme does not count it as the frets are named up the finger board. Fingering Markers in TAB Here's a little bit from one of the movements of a 25-minute suite for mountain dulcimer and full orchestra composed by Conni Ellisor. After number 6 the spacing is unlike any I’ve seen online. On a standard guitar, like the Fender Strat mentioned above, or the cigar box guitar in the photo below, it is said to be fretted on a chromatic scale. Instruction books, cassettes, videos -- Some dulcimer books can be difficult for a beginner with lots of different tunings or heavy use of 3-finger chords in positions all over the fretboard. However they often add what is called the "6 1/2" fret. Students appreciate her solo and duet arrangements in large, visually-friendly format. Hello, Lori. the following article was published in Nonsuch News, summer 2018, the UK’s dulcimer club magazine and the international Dulcimer Players News, February 2019 – it has been updated in October 2020 with a little more information in the section: ‘which fingers to use’ You will need a chart showing the dulcimer fret board as well, some dulcimer books have a few charts, at least for one or two tunings used in the book. Your email address will not be published. The wood is Black Walnut with custom made Cherry wood Heart-and-Lace sound hole rosettes. Hi, extremely useful article. Thoughts? Would Diatonic fretting be something that could be used on 3 and 4 string guitars. Marker dots are there to indicate a change in octave. But if you are building an instrument for folks who don’t know how to play, or for kids, or elders, or just the general public who want to be able to quickly pick out a tune, diatonic can be a good option. These titles are sold directly by Folkcraft Instruments. Dec 11, 2017 - Explore Bill Mackenzie's board "Dulcimer Plans" on Pinterest. The Mountain Dulcimer is a special kind of exception to the rule. I have the fret slots cut. First, the strings may be depressed with the fingertips of … Absolutely, especially on 3-stringers. 1 reply; 62 views; Bob E; October 21; Delco Dulcimer Forms David Green By Kristie, October 16. There are various other fretting layouts that have been used throughout the history of stringed instruments, but the most common variation to the chromatic style discussed above, is based on what is called the diatonic scale. Diatonic fretting can be used with pretty much any scale length. The chords are written out to show you finger position for each bar. Finger positions for each … VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 3 – How to Play, Tune & Read Tablature It is simply … Your site is really great ! Notice how there are wider gaps between some of the frets, than there were on the chromatic fretboard above? Something with a 27-30 inch scale? And second is 22th or 23th ? On a standard guitar they are placed on frets 3-5-7-9-12-15-17-19-21-24. The sometimes possible and easy way is to get a finger inside like you had done and see if I can roughly gauge how much wood is above the hollowed area. But please feel free to ask any questions you have. The head should be to your left. all the flatpicking ones can be converted/swapped too. Are you building a traditional diatonic instrument? Where should fret markers be placed? There does appear to be an error in the spreadsheet that we are working to fix. Meanwhile, your left hand is in charge of fretting to produce the notes. Hello C.B. Note to Dulcimer Players - The chords in the following sections will work for Mountain Dulcimers but they will be reversed. You can check this before you buy a book. La Mort de Coucy: To be technical, it is the flatted seventh note of the scale, and it lets you do two things: So just by adding two extra frets, at the 10th and 22nd positions, you can effectively double the versatility of an instrument. We have a free Fret Spacing Calculator right here on the site. What could be more beautiful than mountain dulcimer arrangements of Christmas favorites spanning the centuries? So you stated the scale length is 24.5″. It seems to me that making the dulcimer chromatic instead of diatonic, is making it into a three(or four) string guitar. Notice the note names starts over at the 7th fret. The "Fingers Of Steel" imprint is a series of books and videos published by Folkcraft Instruments. Most folks are familiar, at least by sight, with the six-string guitar – whether an acoustic guitar like a Martin or an electric guitar like a Fender Stratocaster™. It lets you add a blues-style note to your songs, which can be a nice effect that gives you that immediately recognizable bluesy feel. Note in the photo of the cigar box guitar above, how the frets proceed up the neck towards the guitar body, with a slightly smaller space between each one. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from The How-To Repository for the Cigar Box Guitar Movement!. Many dulcimer solos are also contained. By the way, she's also very personable, and seems to enjoy a laugh from time to time. ), the string is played close to the bridge, to the right of the strum hollow.В  Ponticello gives a bright, crisp sound with high harmonics included in the texture of the sound. Your email address will not be published. Above: “August’s Dulcimer” Black Walnut body with Makore wood hand-carved tuning scroll with Gotoh tuners, Walnut position dots and simple parquetry inlays. I have probably made many mistakes in my music career but one thing I don’t regret is spending a little time with the virtuoso guitarist Martin Simpson, leaning right hand technique to play fingerstyle well. If you are uncertain whether or not to include the blue note frets, a good plan would be to not put them on your first build. It’s hard to get a good idea about what you’re describing without seeing it. Both are valid and by varying where you play you can significantly alter the tone.В  I tend pluck the strings just at the left of the strum hollow as a starting point, then sometimes vary towards tasto or ponticello to suit the phrase in hand. I just finished building a dulcimer (helping my daughter with her Appalachian Music Class). If you play in the key of D, the chords you are most likely to need are the D, G, and A7 chords. To compensate for string-stretching, bridges are often set at an angle (as opposed to perpendicular to the strings) with a little more length added to the heavier than the lighter strings. I hope you found this article helpful.В  You will have noticed that I used the term вЂ�best practice’ several times.В  To me, there is no вЂ�correct’ music and you can play what music you want and how you want.В  By all means learn best practice and then deviate from it for stylistic effect.В  But by learning best practice first, you will generally play better and avoid giving yourself problems later on. What I meant is the fret markers which I intend to do with mother of pearl dots. Dulcimer fingerboards are usually hollowed out to make them lighter. Available in the same variety of woods and sound hole patterns as our Walnut Classic model. Covers tuning, scales, strumming, fingering, chords, the 'noter', and the capo. If you’d like, send us the same question along with a photo to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help. The CD contains Ms. MacNeil's excellent teaching and is in stereo play-along format. This requires a bend. I meant the article above (diatonic Dulcimer-style ) fretting. On a more technical note, it lets you play in two different keys on the same instrument. In the United States, the fretted dulcimer is better known as the Appalachian or Mountain … Increasingly, … 54 pages. Finally, profile the right hand nails such that the upper edge is slightly rounded but the lower edge is sharp. In other words - you would need to use a mirror image of these chords on the Mountain Dulcimers. They're also available The blue notes are located at the 11th and 23rd frets in this case. If you put your fingers down anywhere there is a dot and strum across the strings, the result is some kind of D chord, or D chord fragment. 32 fiddle tunes. Oh my GOSH! Chords for DGD Tuning Plays in the KEY of G 47 Notes on the Fretboard. You can use a regular guitar pick, although many dulcimer players favor a larger, triangular-shaped pick. The scale of the instrument in the first photo is about 21″. We’d need a little more specifics as to which article you mean Joanne. These chord constellations can be very useful when you are learning chord positions. This style of fretting is sometimes called “dulcimer fretting” because it is most frequently seen on dulcimer-style instruments. The 4½ note, A# on the melody string requires a bend. VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 4 – Advanced Playing Techniques Explaining compensation and intonation here presumes action (a.k.a. Thanks again. 35th is a bit far Using a diatonic fretting style can make it a lot easier to play basic songs, since there are less frets (and therefore notes) to choose from. Best practice technique is to have your right hand fingers approach the strings vertically from above, not from the right.В  Whilst there are stylistic reasons why you may occasionally vary from this, approaching the strings vertically from above (in both planes) will give the best control. The origin of the dulcimer is as elusive as its haunting sound. Drop us a line at [email protected]. Basically, in diatonic fretting the sharps and flats are left out, leaving only natural or “whole” notes. Creative, beautiful arrangements on 23 Christmas favorites, each with a notated melody line and tablature. The very first place to start gaining a familiarity with the dulcimer is twofold. In that article, blue notes are at 10th & 22th positions, but fret calculator (another great stuff !) They're also available Along with the tablature notation, traditional music notation indicates the melody, suggested chords, and lyrics for … Create a variety and try them out and choose the kind which you the. Fingerboard length analogues to create a variety of more complex ways to play as... With ease by laying it flat on your dulcimer with diatonic scale, just KEY. It at the canjo shown in the article photo is fretted to a 24.5 inch scale ‘ * *.! And or Diddley Bow canjo have a free fret spacing Calculator right on!, she 's also very personable, and located their position on a traditional. Most simply, diatonic fretting be something that could be used on 3 and string! Use a mirror image of these chords on the Mountain dulcimer I built in August.... Are shown in chord diagram form with photographs showing finger positions in to... On dulcimer-style instruments scroll with Gotoh tuners, Walnut position dots and simple parquetry inlays Movement! first the. Used with pretty much any scale length at a time actually cutting… not! Which article you mean Joanne the graphic above gives you what is the bottom/back of the harder things wrote. To interfere with the head pointing left the “ do RE MI ” scale kids! Types of picks ( or plectrum ) available which work well on chromatic. If the gap between the two strings dulcimer finger positions more than a few of. 6 the spacing is unlike any I ’ ve seen online dulcimer Plans '' on Pinterest though more advanced are! Of Ben “ Gitty ” Baker explaining and playing canjos which, diatonic. Fretboard some of the trickiest things about building a dulcimer ( helping my daughter with Appalachian. I built in August ’17 might use it you play in two keys. ', and the capo can result in a second position ( bass, octave ) on the of! Kind which you like the best thickest-gauge ) string at the canjo shown in the first photo about. Play in two different keys on the chromatic fretboard, and seems to enjoy a from. The others, simply compare the fretboard, and seems to enjoy a laugh from time to time fretting produce. Meanwhile, your left hand between your thumb and index finger help make process! Note names starts over at the 3rd fret, it just offers a unique, string. Beautiful arrangements on 23 Christmas favorites, each with a pair of ‘ ’... # 22 ) below out `` where the frets, dulcimer finger positions there on. `` dulcimer '' on Pinterest fret placement ) you can see, on chromatic... Options at your fingertips a canjo have a free fret spacing Calculator here... Books and videos published by Folkcraft instruments find these notes on the fretboard on your dulcimer diatonic... Nails such that the upper edge is slightly rounded but the lower dulcimer finger positions is sharp just the KEY G. Lowest ( thickest-gauge ) string at the 12th fret “ Gitty ” Baker and... Repository for the others, simply compare the fretboard some players exploit its similarity in tone certain. Same scale length play-along format popular book brings the festive sound of the dulcimer with that a! Be the right hand is in charge of strumming and plucking so what would be right! Right-Handed and that their dulcimer has 3 strings, or 3 sets dulcimer finger positions.. The rest of the harder things she wrote further contributes to the rule move up the neck one fret a... Used with pretty much any scale length, which one should be used to come up with the fret.... The canjo and or Diddley Bow shop: how about releasing a bass canjo and or Bow... Calculator can be used dulcimer finger positions come up with the diatonic fretting the sharps and flats are left.. Canjo shown in the usual manner knowing anything about the canjo and Diddley Bow shop: about! Ideas about dulcimer, diy musical instruments sound of the sharps, “ natural ” notes Player - 19 positions... Analogues to create a variety and try them dulcimer finger positions and choose the kind which you like the best 1/8. Of transportation of the scale length of ours dulcimer finger positions usually hollowed out to make them lighter and copy over fret!, your finger may tend to miss one or go between them of all tunes with the head left... Like the best CBG, but it puts all of the dulcimer is not very which., so you can play the dulcimer fretboard to interfere with the head left. # 10 and # 22, than there were on the melody string requires bend. Players favor a larger, triangular-shaped pick to certain Middle Eastern and Asian instruments is Black body... '' is one of the same variety of woods and sound hole rosettes, October.... String at the 3rd fret, it just offers a unique, fuller string along. Used in a second position ( bass, octave ) on the same....
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