Are there fretless dulcimers?

NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@natebuildstoys
3 weeks ago
48 posts

WOW. That is seriously cool. That slide dulcimer has mountain banjo vibes as well as lap steel! Thanks for sharing I have a new rabbit hole to fall down!

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 weeks ago
1,738 posts

Randy is "da bomb" when it comes to fretless dulcimers.  I don' think you can call the sound "sweeter"... just different.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 weeks ago
1,055 posts

I'm partial to this tune from Randy :) 




--
Robin T
one of the Moderators here :)
Keep a song in your heart!
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 weeks ago
653 posts

I'll second Strumelia's post. Randy Adams is a national dulcimer treasure and I'm happy to own an instrument he made which uses toothpicks for frets.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
3 weeks ago
1,769 posts

Nate, check out our member @Randy-Adams.  He is well known for building and playing fretless dulcimers . Most of the dulcimers he's made are rectangular boxes, some from cigar boxes.

He has his own unique playing style.  Note that some of his videos include playing on fretted dulcimers too... but particularly check out the fretless videos- they're pretty amazing.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
NateBuildsToys
NateBuildsToys
@natebuildstoys
3 weeks ago
48 posts

A topic I have heard several times among both players and builders is the pros and cons of various temperaments, with no consensus ever being reached. It does occur to me that a fretless instrument such as a violin avoids this problem entirely since the fretting hand determines how flat or sharp the note is by it's placement. Are there dulcimers made fretless, in order to achieve any microtonality the player might desire? Obviously it would be MUCH harder to play and also take a lot of knowledge to use correctly, but if it gives a sweeter sound, why not?

Stay well!