Hey folks,

So I am about to start work on my 1st CBG! Ordering parts now and will start in early Dec when back from a vacation. I have 4 that I want to build right off. That would be: Non-Fretted slide, Fretted, License Plate and a Resonator.  Already planning building for family and friends. 

As I watch vids and look at online pics of awesome instruments, I am seeing that fretted generally sit above the top of the box lid by about 1/4 in. I definitely want to move into my own fretting quickly but bought a pre-made neck 35 " -  25.5" scale - 20 frets Fender scale,  on ebay just to get one out of the gate quickly that I can learn to play. 

Biggest questions as I pull the trigger to start these projects:

1) Chromatic or Dulcimer scale? I've only just started with a bit of electric 6 string, so the Chromatic would mirror that. But is Dulcimer that much easier to play?  Are the teaching videos more for Chromatic or Dulcimer?  

2) Scale Length?  I'm seeing 22" or so to 25.5" at most common.  I read one post here that said that 22" scale was his pref for slide and offered more control. For fingering the frets then would 25.5 be best?

I'm sure there will be many more questions as I get going. Thanks in advance for tips and advice. 

Jim aka Codog

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jim, I'll focus on one of your questions re scale length. The scale length I use is often governed by the size [length] of the box. If buying a premade neck might be good to know what size box you are going to use.

  If I'm looking at acoustic qualities I plot the bridge in the best position on the top, then lay out the scale length and see where the neck sits. Sometimes it has frets over the top and sometimes they stop at the body.


Jim,  most videos and articles teach how to play or build a GDG three string tuning, chrono if building a guitar (typically).

btw many cbg use 1x2”, plus fretboard, maybe even some layers of hardwood in the neck.  Where as the fender is much thinner and wider, to accommodate 6 strings.  I use both necks in my builds but I like the more narrow (cbg) neck for playing.

I was told to have fun and that there are no rules.   

Ok...sounds like staying with Chromatic is one less new idea to add to the mix and will aslo go along with my basic 6 string training. 

Ya for my fretted neck I see that I will need to build it up.  

Diatonic (dulcimer) tuning is great on a dulcimer or strumstick but obviously limits the songs you can play. I'd stick with chromatic for a guitar but as always, no rules. My main suggestion is to build one at a time while you are learning what works best for you, it would be a shame to have multiple gits in process and then learn you need to do something different. Scale length - make it fit your box as mentioned before, but aside from that make it a comfortable scale for you or the intended player. A longer scale fretted instrument requires longer fingers to play well and vice versa. If you have instruments you're comfortable playing today use those as a reference.

Yes MadGomer, I will build em 1 at a time. Makes sense and now I have a buddy, that is a very good guitar player, hooked after send him a Mike Snowden 3 String Thursday video. He is ordering a super nice Resonator. I expect he will be able to find the weak spots of my builds in person, then I i will come here for the recommended fixes. 


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