Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
I do have three dulcimers with only a 6+. All tuned DAAA.
I love both the relaxation of my diatonic dulcimers and the challenge of my dulcimers with extra frets.
Everyone enjoys this wonderful instrument differently.
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,048 posts

Don, a chromatic scale has 12 notes.  A diatonic scale has 7 notes.

You can see that visually on a diatonic fretboard.  All the fat or wide frets are places where the fretboard skips a chromatic note.  If you want to make a fully chromatic fretboard, therefore, you'd add the 0+, 1+, 3+, 4+, and 6+ frets.

You can also see this visually on a piano.  If you only use the white keys, you are playing a diatonic scale.  There are seven in an octave.  But there are 5 black keys there as well, making the 12 of the chromatic scale.

A while back I posted a little essay entitled "What are Half Frets and Do I Need Any?"  Although some of it might be too "beginnery" for you, there might still be something of interest if you care to give it a read.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 10/25/18 09:23:40PM
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Strumelia, if those frets are added how many are missing for it to be chromatic?
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
In fact I do enjoy exploring playing across the strings. Thank you!
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,048 posts

Don, I've never seen any kind of instructional material for the 0+ or 7+ fret, though there is similar material for chromatic fretboards.

If you play across the strings (as opposed to only on the melody string), then the 0+ and 1+ frets give you a chromatic scale beginning on the bass string and moving up to the third fret on the middle string.  The same is true an octave above with the 7+ and 8+ strings. So those two extra strings will allow you to play any melody. When Ron Ewing convinced me to get the 0+ fret, he mentioned a whole bunch of chords that I'd be able to get. I have to admit that I don't use that fret nearly as much as I use the 1+ fret, but I haven't really explored very much to see what it has to offer.  




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Strumelia, thanks. At 71 I don’t plan to sell any of my dulcimers. They are just for the joy of it.
I find a real connection.
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,875 posts

Once you've got three pairs of 'extra frets' (including the most common 6.5 & 13.5 pair), pretty much at a tossup of whether or not you want to just add the remaining 'missing' fret pairs and go fully chromatic.  Some folks would say you'd have more success selling a full chromatic dulcimer than one with 'almost' all the frets... like you'd have if you now add the 0+ and 8+ frets to complete the octave 'pairs' with their matching 7+ and 1+ (that you already have now).

You are not going to find much in the way of tab books utilizing the 0+ fret.  Or the 7+ fret.  You'd just have to start playing and use those frets if/when you need to.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 10/25/18 03:18:31PM
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Soooo.....1+ seems to have tabs/books and instruction. What about 0+?
I admit; playing by ear I suddenly find I’m using a + fret without knowing it.
I’m not disciplined....I do explore....and if my 70+ brain remembers it’s exciting!
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,048 posts

Don Grundy: Do the 7+ and 0+ go together like 6+ and 13+?

Yes.  It is the same interval but in a different octave.

0+ = 7+

1+ = 8+

6+ = 13+




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Picture
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Yes, now the dulcimer has 1+, 6+ 7+, 13+
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,875 posts
When you first asked him for extra frets, did you ask for a 1.5 to be a pair with the 8.5? And... did he already put in the 1.5?


--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts
Do the 7+ and 0+ go together like 6+ and 13+?
Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
3 weeks ago
1,048 posts

I would keep it, too, but perhaps add the 0+ fret so you have the same possibilities in both octaves.

I bought a dulcimer from Ron Ewing a few years back and asked for the 1+ fret.  He convinced me to get the 0+ fret as well. I find it only occasionally useful, but I haven't really explored the possibilities.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Skip
Skip
@skip
3 weeks ago
246 posts

I'd keep it. Removing it leaves a slot/mark and it does give you a Bb on the middle string [4+ on the melody string] and Eb [bass string] at the higher octave [same a 3+ on the middle string]  [DAd].

Don Grundy
Don Grundy
@don-grundy
3 weeks ago
72 posts

I took a dulcimer to a luthier used by all of the local music stores.  He has added frets for me on several occasions.

Oops!  Instead of an 8+ fret I have a 7+ fret.

He’s very upset!  

Do I keep the 7+ fret?

Do I have him remove the 7+ fret?