How often do you use frets above 10?

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How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby Don Grundy » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:01 am

I’m only a beginner but it seems to me that the tabs I use most often go from 0 to 7.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby KenH » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:11 am

It all depends on which tuning(s) you use and where on the fretboard a particular song fits. I play some songs that I start on fret 5 or 6, because I choose to start them there rather than down low on fret 0 or 1.

I use Ionian, Mixolydian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Bagpipe tunings and change tunings often. I quite commonly play up to frets 12 and 13. Some people also play two octaves of a song -- 0-7 and 7-14 -- for variation in the instrumental breaks of a song.

Many players who are stuck in club-mandated DAd never get out of that comfort zone. The more experience you get and the more you explore the instrument, the more you'll find uses for the upper frets rather than being 'stuck' in the lower register.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby kwl » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Like my brother Ken, I sometimes go up to 14, but seldom if ever do I get higher than that.

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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby strumelia » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:50 pm

very often.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby GrantOlson » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:53 pm

kwl wrote:Like my brother Ken, I sometimes go up to 14, but seldom if ever do I get higher than that.

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Same here.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby Robin the Busker » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:57 pm

Hi Don,

It may be an idea to ask folks to clarify the style of playing they prefer as it could have an impact on how they answer this question.

I expect that noter drone players (myself included) are more likely to play the higher frets for two reasons: Firstly, as Ken H says, the different tunings we use can push the root note of the scale (and hence the whole tune) further up the fretboard than is the case when playing chord/melody style from DAd. And secondly, it is usually easier to get those higher frets sounding cleanly with a noter than it is with your fingers, so playing higher up the fretboard is not so much of an issue.

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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby danc9 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:05 pm

What Robin said......

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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby asterhunter » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:52 pm

About the only time I remember using above fret 10 is playing in A major, DAd with the capo on the fourth fret. The frets get really cramped up there.

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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby bret » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:42 pm

I'm new to the dulcimer so I don't play really complicated pieces. I pretty much always play on DAd in D Major.

There's a couple songs that get up to the 11th or 12th fret, but mostly it's the 10th and under. A lot of things I play are only up to the 7th.

I imagine it varies a lot depending on the tuning and the piece that's being played though.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby Robin T » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:43 pm

I'm a noter player and my noter spends time in the real estate above fret 10. :)
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby Banjimer » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:52 pm

As others have said, it depends upon the tuning and where the desired scale falls on the melody string. If we consider only the major scale/Ionian mode the following statements are applicable.

In D-A-d tuning the first octave of the major scale begins at the open or zero fret and continues up to the 7th fret (skipping the 6th fret, but requiring the addition of the 6 1/2 fret). If a few notes below the initial scale are needed, the dulcimer player must play them on the middle or bass string. If a few notes above the initial scale are need, the player will find them at frets 8, 9, 10, etc.

In D-A-A tuning the first octave of the major scale begins at the 3rd fret and continues up to the 10th fret (no 6 1/2 fret is needed). If a few notes below the initial scale are needed, the dulcimer player can find them on the melody string at the open/zero fret, 1st fret, and 2nd fret. If the musician needs to go above the first octave, notes at the 11th fret, 12th fret , 13th fret , and beyond may be needed.

So if you are playing in D-A-A tuning, you are more likely to go beyond the 10th fret and less likely to need notes on the middle or bass string. Conversely, if you are playing in D-A-d tuning you are more likely to need notes found on the middle or bass string, but less likely to require notes above the 10th fret.
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Re: How often do you use frets above 10?

Postby waldensis » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:30 am

I use those frets quite a bit. It is as much the tune I'm playing as it is the tuning I'm using. Sometimes, for variation, I want to play on the upper frets, particularly on the instruments which go up pretty high. That being said, playing up "there" is something new for me as I used to try to keep it below 7 or 10 at the highest. Now with instruments whose intonation is good all the way up it's fun to try to play there.
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