First, getting used to its shape. 35th is a bit far 😉 I recently purchased a 4 string kit dulcimer. Hello, Lori. 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. Some players exploit its similarity in tone to certain Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. Look at your CBG neck from the side. This style of fretting is sometimes called “dulcimer fretting” because it is most frequently seen on dulcimer-style instruments. 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. Sorry for the confusion! This is the octave point so 8 - 9 - 10 is like 1 - 2 - 3 but an octave higher. Is it the end of the can that creates the bridge? The scale length of the canjo shown in the article photo is fretted to a 24.5 inch scale. Contemporary players have also borrowed from chord theory and guitar analogues to create a variety of more complex ways to play the dulcimer. There are two predominant methods of fretting. I cannot remember what the scale is of the side-by-side chromatic/diatonic diagrams. 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’ So if your instrument had one string and that string was tuned to the key of “C”, starting at the third fret would be the key of “F”. Assuming you don’t have false nails or use nail varnish, which classical guitarists generally avoid, then a regular manicure routine is recommended. Note: This can be fixed by a luthier. 32 fiddle tunes. If I tried to pluck with just my nails, my fingers would dance haphazardly over the strings and the resulting music would lack assuredness.В  Likewise, there’s no need to вЂ�anchor’ the right hand by resting a finger on the woodwork.В  This limits what you can do expressively and puts your hand in a poor position.В  If you pluck the strings with the pads of your fingertips your fingers are already correctly positioned on the strings and your hand is then free to move around and deploy expressive techniques. I am assuming throughout that the reader is right-handed and that their dulcimer has 3 strings, or 3 sets of strings. 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. The Appalachian dulcimer is now a core instrument in the American old-time music tradition, but styles performed by modern dulcimer enthusiasts run the gamut from traditional folk music through popular and experimental forms. With a genuine enthusiasm to teach, Katie has developed effective methods to help students learn techniques & fingering positions unique to the dulcimer. We have a free Fret Spacing Calculator right here on the site. I just finished building a dulcimer (helping my daughter with her Appalachian Music Class). The Mountain Dulcimer is a special kind of exception to the rule. Apr 19, 2020 - Explore Steve Crandall's board "Dulcimer" on Pinterest. Hi, extremely useful article. Something with a 27-30 inch scale? Oh my GOSH! Thoughts? La Mort de Coucy: 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. The head should be to your left. The fretted dulcimer resembles an elongated violin with a limited number of strings (usually three to five) that can be plucked or bowed. All of the sharps, “natural” notes and flats. ), 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. How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion By Carolina Rockman, October 18. 1 reply; 62 views; Bob E; October 21; Delco Dulcimer Forms David Green By Kristie, October 16. Having this “blue note” in the scale is necessary to play a number of popular songs. Dec 11, 2017 - Explore Bill Mackenzie's board "Dulcimer Plans" on Pinterest. Don't miss out - sign up for the Gitty newsletter today! 1 reply; 62 views; Bob E; October 21; Delco Dulcimer Forms David Green By Kristie, October 16. Using this choice of fingers as your default will impart the most energy to the strings and so give the most volume for fingerstyle playing.В  Volume is important, especially on the inherently quiet dulcimer, and achieving the most volume allows for greater dynamics.В  Dynamics (the difference between the quietest and loudest sounds) are essential to giving emotion and form to the music.В  Imparting the most energy to the strings is also key to highlighting expressive techniques played by both the right and left hands.В  Indeed this is how the late, great dulcimerist Roger Nicholson made is wonderful music come to life.В  There are exceptions to every rule, but by consistently using the same fingers as your default configuration, you will quickly develop muscle memory and play more fluently. 35th is a bit far The "Fingers Of Steel" imprint is a series of books and videos published by Folkcraft Instruments. So what would be the right 1st position: 10th, 11th or 13th ? indicates 13th, 23th and 35th positions, also indicated with a pair of ‘*’. The CD contains Ms. MacNeil's excellent teaching and is in stereo play-along format. Where should fret markers be placed? Madeline MacNeil brings her considerable expertise in teaching the dulcimer to this fine beginning text. These chord constellations can be very useful when you are learning chord positions. 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. They're also available 54 pages. Lynn gets down to basics from the get-go. … Deciding whether to fret your cigar box guitar, Video: Creating your First Cigar Box Guitar Fretboard, Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain – Willie Nelson, Video: How To Install Fret Markers on your Cigar Box Guitar Fretboard, Zero Frets – How and Why to Use Them on Cigar Box Guitars, https://www.cbgitty.com/news/what-is-scale-length-why-does-it-matter/, VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 1 – Introduction, VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 2 – Anatomy of a Canjo, VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 3 – How to Play, Tune & Read Tablature, VIDEO: The Essential Canjo – Part 4 – Advanced Playing Techniques, 2015 Huntsville Cigar Box Guitar Festival, 2016 New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival, The Gang Performs The Eagles ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ [VIDEO], [VIDEO] Let It Be performed on Gitty Gang Show #44, One Neck For Multiple DIY Instruments [VIDEO], Gitty Gang Show #124 | Homemade Music Is Amazing [VIDEO], [VIDEO] Bob Seger’s Against The Wind Played On Gitty Gang Show #123, Green Grow The Rashes, O Played On The Gitty Gang Show [VIDEO], [VIDEO] The Gang Performs Red River Valley. In the United States, the fretted dulcimer is better known as the Appalachian or Mountain … Often the bridge is the bottom/back of the can, though more advanced methods are possible. 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. Starting with tuning and the correct way to hold the banjo, she progresses to proper finger positions and chord structure from fret to fret. We’re always happy to help! I triple checked the fretboard before actually cutting… Could not figure out why that one note was so flat. And second is 22th or 23th ? In other words - you would need to use a mirror image of these chords on the Mountain Dulcimers. It’s harder to play, but it puts all of the musical options at your fingertips. After number 6 the spacing is unlike any I’ve seen online. Complete arrangements of all tunes with the melody of most songs in a second position (bass, octave) on the dulcimer fretboard. Two types of instrument stake claim to the name—both have different shapes, different methods of being played, and diverse origins. Counter-intuitively, you do not actually pluck the strings with your nails.В  Just before you pluck, let the pad of your fingertip rest gently on the string.В  This dampens the string, stopping the previous note.В  Even if you are fingerpicking very quickly, every single note is stopped before the next one is played. The total length of ours are usually 28 inches though that can vary depending on the style. all the flatpicking ones can be converted/swapped too. Holding the Dulcimer – (how to play a dulcimer pt. With over two dozen titles, from some of the best artist/instructors the dulcimer community has, you'll find something that fits your needs. By the way, she's also very personable, and seems to enjoy a laugh from time to time. 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. Your site is really great ! On a more technical note, it lets you play in two different keys on the same instrument. When pressed to the fretboard, the string stretches. 11 finger exercises. And second is 22th or 23th ? All are arranged for the mountain dulcimer in 1-5-8 (Mixolydian tuning), except for one in 1-4-8 (Reversed Ionian tuning). The mountain dulcimer, even in its simplicity, holds more than a few secrets. What could be more beautiful than mountain dulcimer arrangements of Christmas favorites spanning the centuries? Above: “August’s Dulcimer” Black Walnut body with Makore wood hand-carved tuning scroll with Gotoh tuners, Walnut position dots and simple parquetry inlays. See more ideas about dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, diy musical instruments. Hi Gitty, If the gap between the two strings is more than 1/8", your finger may tend to miss one or go between them. 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. Marker dots are there to indicate a change in octave. Adding that fret gives you what is often called the “blue note” of the dulcimer scale. Introductions and … 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. 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. Hold a pick in your right hand between your thumb and index finger. If you were building for an experienced musician used to guitars, you probably wouldn’t want to give them one with diatonic fretting. By using this tool, you can determine the length fingerboard you should purchase. (You can unsubscribe anytime). The result is a fretboard that allows you to play DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI-DO as you move up the neck one fret at a time. Starting with tuning and the correct way to hold the banjo, she progresses to proper finger positions and chord structure from fret to fret. The How-To Repository for the Cigar Box Guitar Movement! Those of you who are familiar with my music will know that I play the dulcimer (and guitar) mostly finger-style.В  To me, fingerpicking is one of the prettiest ways of playing the dulcimer.В  This article outlines what I see as best practice fingerpicking technique and it should help you play fingerstyle too, should you wish to do so. Notice the note names starts over at the 7th fret. Next, fret the lowest (thickest-gauge) string at the 12th fret. The graphic above gives you a side-by-side comparison of chromatic and diatonic fretboards of the same scale length. string height, discussed later in this article) well-suited for fretted CBG play. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach us at [email protected]. Thanks again. As a preview from the article… Chords for DGD Tuning Plays in the KEY of G 47 Notes on the Fretboard. 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. You can use a regular guitar pick, although many dulcimer players favor a larger, triangular-shaped pick. 1) You can play the dulcimer with ease by laying it flat on your lap in a comfortable position. 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. Once you have identified the notes, and located their position on a dulcimer chart, mark them on a blank dulcimer Tab sheet. Students appreciate her solo and duet arrangements in large, visually-friendly format. 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. It’s all in there, and if you aren’t sure of what you are doing it is pretty easy to hit a sharp or a flat when you don’t mean to, causing potentially jarring discordance. Your right hand is in charge of strumming and plucking. 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’В. Would Diatonic fretting be something that could be used on 3 and 4 string guitars. It is, indeed an 18th fret, but the numbering scheme does not count it as the frets are named up the finger board. … This would seem to interfere with the formula used to come up with the fret spacing. The chords are written out to show you finger position for each bar. The bridge is slanted to accommodate the varying gauges of strings. But please feel free to ask any questions you have. indicates 13th, 23th and 35th positions, also indicated with a pair of ‘*’. But first ‘**’ is on 11th position. In that article, blue notes are at 10th & 22th positions, but fret calculator (another great stuff !) The very first place to start gaining a familiarity with the dulcimer is twofold. Dulcimer fingerboards are usually hollowed out to make them lighter. There is a 15 fret finger board in the dulcimer and with a scale length of 26 ½, it is an easy to play … This is SO helpful!! ABOUT DULCIMER PICKS. Notice how there are wider gaps between some of the frets, than there were on the chromatic fretboard above? If you’d like, send us the same question along with a photo to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help. By contrast in ponticello (or pont. Figuring out "where the frets go" is one of the trickiest things about building a lap dulcimer. That is because some of the frets have been left out – the frets that would have allowed the sharp and flat notes to be played. or what is the bridge on 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. If you play in the key of D, the chords you are most likely to need are the D, G, and A7 chords. The blue notes are located at the 11th and 23rd frets in this case. Second, deciding on a good way to hold it for playing. Note to Dulcimer Players - The chords in the following sections will work for Mountain Dulcimers but they will be reversed. Anyway go on with amazing site ! 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. For the others, simply compare the fretboard on your dulcimer with that of a chromatic instrument and copy over. The nail length on your right hand is more a matter of preference.В  As a general rule long nails give a sweet, soft sound, whereas short nails will give more volume and allow for greater speed and accuracy.В  I manicure my nails to be slightly longer for playing the dulcimer, than the guitar. So here it is in a nutshell: to create a diatonic (dulcimer) fretboard, just start with a chromatic fretting template and leave out these frets: 1, 3, 6, 8, (10), 13, 15, 18, 20, (22). “Compensation ... Chords are shown in chord diagram form with photographs showing finger positions in relationship to the fretboard. Note to Dulcimer Players - The chords in the following sections will work for Mountain Dulcimers but they will be reversed. The head should be to … OK now about the dashed lines on frets #10 and #22. 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. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from The How-To Repository for the Cigar Box Guitar Movement!. If you know the notes in a chord and want to find if you can play it on the dulcimer a fret board map can be useful. 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. However they often add what is called the "6 1/2" fret. This Fret Scale and Fingerboard Length Calculator can be used to calculate fret scale and fingerboard length. On a standard guitar they are placed on frets 3-5-7-9-12-15-17-19-21-24. Literally. Diatonic fretting can be used with pretty much any scale length. Hello, Nigel. The size of the dulcimer is not very large which makes it an easy to transport instrument. Sit and place the dulcimer in your lap with the head pointing left. 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. That stretching can result in a note with a sharper pitch than intended. Chords for DGD Tuning Plays in the KEY of G 47 Notes on the Fretboard. Get used to playing the instrument with the diatonic fretting. The downside is that you are pretty much playing in one or two keys, and if the song you are playing happens to include a sharp or flat note that is not in the basic scale, you just won’t find it on your fretboard. The trade-off is that a chromatically fretted instrument gives you the most options when playing – you can play any song in any key (as long as you know where to put your fingers). To put it most simply, diatonic fretting makes an instrument easier to play, but less versatile overall. What I meant is the fret markers which I intend to do with mother of pearl dots. The "Fingers Of Steel" imprint is a series of books and videos published by Folkcraft Instruments. In that article, blue notes are at 10th & 22th positions, but fret calculator (another great stuff !) If you do nbt have a 1½ fret on your dulcimer, you can play the F natural on the middle string, 5th fret. 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. You can check this before you buy a book. So you stated the scale length is 24.5″. Sign me up! The scale of the instrument in the first photo is about 21″. Instead, you build chords by learning what notes they are composed of and how to find these notes on the dulcimer. 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. It will not be possible to get them all, as one of the frets is omitted between Chromatic and Diatonic. It seems to me that making the dulcimer chromatic instead of diatonic, is making it into a three(or four) string guitar. So what would be the right 1st position: 10th, 11th or 13th ? How To Become A Better Dulcimer Player - 19 Finger Positions and Economy of Motion By Carolina Rockman, October 18. The early forerunners of the scale of the early forerunners of the scale of the instrument ’ m working a! One should be used on 3 and 4 string Guitars - sign up for the Gitty today. And guitar analogues to create a variety of woods and sound hole rosettes ; E! 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