Added some half frets....now what?

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
one month ago
1,809 posts

Dusty Turtle: The other option I've seen much less often would be to put position dots on the diatonic frets to help differentiate them from the chromatic frets.

That's what I chose to do for my (chromatically fretted) langspil.  I had fret markers for all the diatonic frets so it feels familiar, like a dulcimer layout.  I found this to be kind to my brain. :)




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,769 posts

When asked about dulcimer with “extra frets, Jean Ritchie replied “In a strict sense it has a different finger board, it’s not quite a dulcimer anymore.”

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
one month ago
252 posts

I built a full chromatic dulcimer a few years ago and placed position dots same as guitar. Assuming You already play guitar you might try stringing the same as a guitar so your chord shapes remain the same. Personally I did not like chromatic dulcimer and replaced the Fingerboard  back to diatonic... Robert

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
one month ago
1,289 posts

Hello Mr. BuildsToys.  You should start by joining the Chromatic Dulcimers Group here at FOTMD.  There you'll find a smaller number of people who actively play and build chromatic dulcimers.  Out here in the general forums you mostly find blowhards like myself who answer questions even when we don't really know the answers. whistle

I"m sure there is a learning curve if you've been playing a diatonic dulcimer and switch to chromatic. Just adding the 1.5 fret took me a while.

I know Erin Mae Lewis regularly teaches online workshops for chromatic dulcimer and I think she has a book out as well.  But the folks in the Chromatic Group will have more suggestions for resources, I'm sure.

As for position dots, I think there are two options.  The first would be to put position dots in the same spots as you would for a diatonic dulcimer, meaning 3, 5, 7, and 10.  The other option I've seen much less often would be to put position dots on the diatonic frets to help differentiate them from the chromatic frets.  I would express my preference, but since I don't actually play a chromatic dulcimer, I would just be guessing anyway.




--
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
NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@natebuildstoys
one month ago
33 posts

Hello all I have been playing dulcimer for about a year on diatonic dulcimers. I added  .5,  1.5, 4.5, and 7.5 frets to my fretboard, because I kept finding people say that certain chords I was looking for werent possible without. I have to admit it is daunting to look at with all the gaps I relied on to know where I was on the board suddenly full of frets. (don't tell anyone but I sharpied the non diatonic frets black so theyre easier to filter out of my mind when im playing diatonic tabs)I am not educated in music theory and am worried maybe im in over my head. What resources are available for learning chromatic dulcimer? Also where can I find chromatic tabs? Finally where would one put the fretboard markers on a chromatic dulcimer? same places as a guitar? 

Stay safe y'all