PDA

View Full Version : 3 string box dulcimer



terrgy
08-26-2015, 05:28 AM
Hi,
I have a 3 string (only 3 tuners) cigar box dulcimer. I'm thinking I want to attempt to change "sort of" a uke. All of my ukes are tuned to GCEA. Is it possible to tune this instrument to a uke tuning with only three strings, and if so what tuning would I use?

While this may not be possible, I am just wondering.

Thanks
Terry

k0k0peli
08-26-2015, 05:47 AM
I have a 3 string (only 3 tuners) cigar box dulcimer. I'm thinking I want to attempt to change "sort of" a uke. All of my ukes are tuned to GCEA. Is it possible to tune this instrument to a uke tuning with only three strings, and if so what tuning would I use? I have read of and plan to build a 3-string 'uke. Yes, they exist. Forget the bottom string (which only gets in the way!) and tune CEA, no hu-hu, no hi-G vs lo-G controversies, no complications. Enjoy!

terrgy
08-26-2015, 06:36 AM
So if I understand correctly, using GCEA, just drop the G, the one close to my navel. Seems like this thing is backwards, the A should be considered the bottom string. Dulcimer is the same way, sitting the instrument on your lap, the one close to is the bottom string. That makes since, but on uke or guitar, it don't make since. Anyways, as long as we know.

Thanks for your reply, I'm gonna give it a go.

70sSanO
08-26-2015, 09:15 AM
I have read of and plan to build a 3-string 'uke. Yes, they exist. Forget the bottom string (which only gets in the way!) and tune CEA, no hu-hu, no hi-G vs lo-G controversies, no complications. Enjoy!

I bought a 3 string soprano ukulele a few weeks ago and I am going to pick up a 3 string tenor this Saturday. It is tuned CEA.

John

terrgy
08-26-2015, 10:47 AM
I bought a 3 string soprano ukulele a few weeks ago and I am going to pick up a 3 string tenor this Saturday. It is tuned CEA.

John


John
What about chords? For example: F chord
Is there a chart?

I've decided against turning this dulcimer into a uke. Back of the fret
Board is way to thick.

Terry

TaoCat
08-26-2015, 10:51 AM
Does the dulcimer have the standard diatonic fret layout? It would seem to limit your ability to play it as an uke.

terrgy
08-26-2015, 11:00 AM
Does the dulcimer have the standard diatonic fret layout? It would seem to limit your ability to play it as an uke.

Nope. Decided this dulcimer would not make a uke.


Side note to John. Do you have a link to where you are buying the 3 string tenor? Out of curiosty, I googled 3 three string uke, with no success.

Thanks
Terry

70sSanO
08-26-2015, 11:56 AM
I started a thread a few weeks ago on a 3 string uke that went off in an odd direction.

If you google youtube. Then search Fred Shields ukulele on youtube you'll find one where he is playing falling in love with you.

He is playing a concert, but he made a tenor for me.

The chording is the same except there is no 4th (G) string. Playing an F chord is done by playing 1st fret on the 2nd string. This is no different than dropping 2 strings from a guitar and playing the chords without the 5th ant 6th string. Might be easier to visualize with baritone "G" tuning.

The one thing lacking will be some chord nuances that may change the shape. For instance... A and A7. Without the 4th string you lose the 7th "G". It may be better to pick up the G on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string or play a G7 shape on the 4th.

For a number of years I have been playing instrumentals and have drifted away from just chords and strumming. I see the 3 string as a easy way to play in a group which is something I haven't really done very much. When there are 20-25 people strumming it is somewhat academic if I am playing 3 or 4 strings. It is also a good way for my wife to finally start playing.

Finally, there is a little bit lost with only 3 strings, especially re-entrant tuning, and I see it as a fun alternative but not as a replacement for a traditional ukulele.

John

terrgy
08-26-2015, 01:03 PM
John, how do you get in touch with Mr. Shields for pricing? Is there a website"? I did type in his name and saw a face book page, but no website. Believe it or not, I am not on facebook.

Phone number perhaps?

70sSanO
08-26-2015, 04:20 PM
My understanding is that Fred is retired and he does this as a hobby. I got his number from Moze Guitars in La Mesa, CA.

I don't think he will have a problem if I post his number on UU, but I will ask him on Saturday.

I sent you a PM with his number.

John

k0k0peli
08-26-2015, 06:46 PM
Nope. Decided this dulcimer would not make a uke. If the fretboard is diatonic and not chromatic then that's a good decision. But one way to experiment with a 3-course 'uke-like-object would be to acquire a cheap mandolin (like the Rogue RM-100A for US$46 shipped in USA by Musician's Friend) and cut a new nut and bridge for the fewer, more widely spaced strings. Such could be strung and tuned as an 'uke or chromatic dulcimer or balalaika or whatever. See here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stringed_instrument_tunings) for many extant tunings.

PhilUSAFRet
08-27-2015, 12:35 AM
I'm wondering if the extra frets could be added to the diatonic fret board?