Howdy folks,

I have a request from a friend to make a one-string CBG that will serve as a Diddley-Bow.

(I have yet to make a Diddley-bow, but plan on making myself a traditional broom handle one next.)

I have noticed that on some one-stringers, the fret markers don't seem to follow the normal pattern of 'fretting-on-a-guitar'.  The Fret markers on the Diddley-bow seems to have some erratically spaced Fret Markers.

Where can I go to find out where I am supposed to mark these Fret-markers on my one-stringer?



Views: 1498

Replies to This Discussion


Depends on your scale length, and whether you want to fret diatonically, like a dulcimer (which may be the ones you refer to as having "erratic" fret spacing), or chromatically, like a normal guitar. There is a Group here on CBN for discussions of scale length, fretting and fret marking. Decide on your scale length you wanna build (scale length is the distance from the nut to the 12th fret, which should be the same as 12th fret to the bridge, or more simply, the distance from the nut to the bridge. Common commercial guitar scale lengths are 24 3/4" to 25". You can use several freely available fret calculators, such as the one on the Stewart MacDonald luthiers' supply website, or Dan Sleep just posted here on CBN a day or two ago a zip file of printable fret scales ( use the Search, Luke;-) ).For a one string diddley, another way of determining fret position is to get a cheapy electronic tuner and a slide, and determine the true tone position "by ear," moving the slide until the tuner registers the proper whole note. You can also dig through the Discussion here, as I suspect your problem has come up before. Good luck with your build!

Some links to Wes Carl's and Dan Sleep's fret calculators / templates:

And the link to the Stew-Mac online calculator:

Thanks for the reply, "Oily". That is exactly the info that I needed. After I looked up your location, I figured out what you do and where you got the nickname. <grin>

Be well,  my friend....


I'd suggest using markings comparable to the diatonic fret pattern common to dulcimers..



Hey, Amigo! I have the same question. From what I understand, now that I have completed my first build, is that you want to mark the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets. Repeat for the 2nd octave, if desired. I understand about using online fret calculators, or a piece of string to find these measurements. But.....what about using a digital tuner to find them? Just a thought. I'm no musician, but it seems feasible to me.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Discussion Forum

Diddley Bow Tabs #5

Started by BrianQ. Apr 22. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #4

Started by BrianQ. Jan 25. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs #3

Started by BrianQ. Nov 28, 2018. 0 Replies

1 String Tab

Started by BrianQ.. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 15, 2018. 1 Reply

Diddley Bow Tabs #2

Started by BrianQ. Nov 8, 2018. 0 Replies

Diddley Bow Tabs

Started by BrianQ. Nov 5, 2018. 0 Replies

Dead Flowers Diatonic Tab for Rolling Stones fans

Started by Jeff Powers. Last reply by Jeff Powers Oct 5, 2017. 2 Replies

Cookie Tin Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene May 12, 2017. 0 Replies

First stringed instrument build!

Started by Bob. Last reply by Bob Apr 30, 2017. 3 Replies

My first Diddley-Bow!

Started by Boris Timofeenko. Last reply by Dano Schultz Apr 23, 2017. 2 Replies

String For My First Diddley Bow

Started by Jeffrey Greene Apr 11, 2017. 0 Replies

Showing off my first Diddley Bow.

Started by Andrew Cooper. Last reply by Andrew Cooper Mar 11, 2017. 2 Replies

Harmonica tab to Diddley bow/Canjo

Started by James Conder. Last reply by Gordon Cooper Dec 6, 2016. 1 Reply

My double stringer

Started by Craig Simpson Nov 14, 2016. 0 Replies

One Thumb

Started by Gordon Cooper Jan 30, 2016. 0 Replies

Where to mark the Neck?

Started by Keith Stanford. Last reply by Bob Taylor Jan 27, 2016. 5 Replies

Diddley Bows from art students

Started by Wade. Last reply by Wade Jun 4, 2015. 2 Replies

First built

Started by Scruggy. Last reply by Scruggy Mar 26, 2015. 4 Replies

Build questions

Started by Mike. Last reply by Phil Thomas Mar 11, 2015. 6 Replies

First build

Started by Scruggy Oct 9, 2014. 0 Replies

Latest Activity

AGP # liked Dave Lynas's photo
1 minute ago
AGP # liked Dave Lynas's photo
1 minute ago
AGP # liked Dave Lynas's photo
1 minute ago
AGP # commented on Dave Lynas's photo

Big Box Cheroots Cello Bass is Born

"Looks Great Dave, same can't be said about that white stuff on the ground :-D"
1 minute ago
AGP # liked Dave Lynas's photo
3 minutes ago
AGP # liked Grandpa Mikey's photo
4 minutes ago
Paul Craig liked BUGGY (C)'s video
8 minutes ago
BrianQ. liked Shane Speal's discussion PDF Download: Woodshop Certificate
9 minutes ago
BrianQ. replied to Shane Speal's discussion PDF Download: Woodshop Certificate
"That’s kool Shane, a feeling of accomplishment goes a long way!!! "
9 minutes ago
Paul Craig replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"That's why I put my scarf joint right under the first 3 frets of the fretboard. That gives me…"
10 minutes ago
AGP # liked Andries D. EKER's video
15 minutes ago
BrianQ. replied to sid's discussion fret scale measurement?
"You should be good if you’re not using an Apple/iOS format? "
16 minutes ago



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->