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?



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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.


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