Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Appalachian mountain dulcimer players- make friends, share, learn to play- Free!

This might sound elementary but I'm new at this. Where can I find a list of the intervals for frets for a standard mountain dulcimer?

Views: 649

Replies to This Discussion

This is probably the least scientific method, but I just looked at all the pictures of dulcimers on here and based my first attempt on others accomplishments. I used the same scale length as a guitar 24.75" so the fret spacing is the same, you're just leaving a few of the frets out. Hope this makes sense...

http://www.harpkit.com/category/fretcalc.html

Julian there are many fret calculators on the web.  This one looks like what you need.

Stay in tune,  Jon

One of the best is the old version of Wfret, which is/was freeware from MIMF.  It lets you specify a diatonic dulcimer fretboard, and print out a template that you can paste on the wood and cut along the dotted lines.  If you want I can email it to you.

WFret  is a good program and if you print out a chromatic and you want diatonic then these are the frets to use:

2,4,5,7,9,10,12,14,16,17,19,21,22,24,26,28,29

That should give you plenty of frets :)

Ben Seymour

www.kudzupatch.net

I use Stew-Mac's calculator, found at:

http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator

Usual length between nut and bridge, called VSL (vibrating string length) on a dulcimer is around 27 inches.

jim

Just what the world needs ... another fret calculator

FretList v1.2

This is one I wrote myself, it started life hundreds of years ago as a guitar calculator for a mate.
I've extended it to cover Dulcimers, but retained all the old features that made it good for workshop use.
I've dropped 1/64th measuring and gone over to 3 places of decimals. If anyone would like to see a Ready Reckoner incorporated for old timers I'll take a look at adding it. Though I prefer to keep everything as simple as poss.

The main things I've concentrated on are :
Good clear hardcopy, not everyone wants to take a laptop into the workshop.
If you do use a computer then it can be run from a thumbdrive and doesn't need the internet.
Proper fret numbering, this is where so many get things confused. You can have dulcimer style(with half frets) or guitar style for a fully chromatic.
Help close by.

Give it a try, let me know what you think.

Uses a standard runtime file (OCX) so your anti virus may give a warning and do a check.

There's a Read-Me First file to get you started.

john p

Attachments:
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. There's a lot to learn and you've made this part of dulcimer building much clearer. Now, back to glueing and measuring ........
Julian

John, Hope you are well.

I have been making dulcimer sticks now for quite a while.

I have itchy fingers and love to just banjo pick this 3 string dulcimer.

2 questions:

1.

The fret calculators...can they be used for a 4 string dulcimer?

2.

Not your typical 4 string dulcimer. where the 3 and 4 string are close to each other but like 4 string banjo...but i would like the fret spacing to be the same as 3 string dulcimer ?

 

Thanks

David Powell-new member

 

 

 

 

 



john p said:

Just what the world needs ... another fret calculator

FretList v1.2

This is one I wrote myself, it started life hundreds of years ago as a guitar calculator for a mate.
I've extended it to cover Dulcimers, but retained all the old features that made it good for workshop use.
I've dropped 1/64th measuring and gone over to 3 places of decimals. If anyone would like to see a Ready Reckoner incorporated for old timers I'll take a look at adding it. Though I prefer to keep everything as simple as poss.

The main things I've concentrated on are :
Good clear hardcopy, not everyone wants to take a laptop into the workshop.
If you do use a computer then it can be run from a thumbdrive and doesn't need the internet.
Proper fret numbering, this is where so many get things confused. You can have dulcimer style(with half frets) or guitar style for a fully chromatic.
Help close by.

Give it a try, let me know what you think.

Uses a standard runtime file (OCX) so your anti virus may give a warning and do a check.

There's a Read-Me First file to get you started.

john p

Hi David,

The fret calculators...can they be used for a 4 string dulcimer?

Yes, fret calcuators are based solely on the length of the string.
It has nothing to do with how many strings you have, or how they get spaced out.

So ...
1) Decide on the VSL that you will use.
2) Decide what fret pattern you want, Dulcimer or Guitar style
3) If it's Dulcimer style, then add any extra frets you want.
4) Calculate.

5) The string spacing is determined solely by the grooves in the nut and bridge. Decide on that and cut accordingly. It's not unusual to have a nut and bridge that are grooved to accommodate both types of 4 string set up.

You might like to experiment with an existing instrument by repositioning the grooves in nut and bridge before going on to make something completely new. You might find the fretboard needs to be a bit wider for example.

john

What john p said!  Fret spacing has nothing to do with number of strings.

Thanks all very much...

Ken, being new to building dulcimers myself, I'm researching this very same thing.  If you'd be so kind, I'd love the fret calculator as well.  My email is:  dkhlra@sbcglobal.net   Actually, new isn't quite right.  I just want to build one, haven't actually started yet.  Thanks.  Keith Hodges
 
Ken Hulme said:

One of the best is the old version of Wfret, which is/was freeware from MIMF.  It lets you specify a diatonic dulcimer fretboard, and print out a template that you can paste on the wood and cut along the dotted lines.  If you want I can email it to you.

RSS

SINGLE INSTRUCTOR WORKSHOPS, Performances, Band Gigs & Special Club Event NOTICES

Offering some special workshops? Performing at a gig? A Dulcimer Club activity? List your SINGLE INSTRUCTOR Special Event or workshop- CLICK HERE!

The Inspired Volunteer FOTMD Welcoming Commitee of the month!

3 CHEERS to members

Jim Fawcett


Karen Keane

 

John Wood

 

R N Lacky

 

Louis Stivali

 

Kenneth Longfield

 

Benjamin Barr

John Keane
...For warmly greeting new members and making them feel welcome here on FOTMD!

 =============

Visit Strumelia's Beginner Noter-Drone dulcimer Blog

I have a main blog for Traditional style mountain dulcimer playing here: Mountain Dulcimer Noter-drone Blog This is an old style of playing where you only fret your notes on the melody string, while letting the drones strings ring open. In my blog, I express my personal views about playing, I offer free TAB and free beginner videos, and I try to help beginners understand in a very basic simple way the 'mysteries' of playing the mountain dulcimer in traditional modal noter/drone style.

© 2014   Created by Strumelia.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service