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About Extra Frets

Dulcimers are often made with "extra" frets - additional frets for notes that are not in the G major scale.  Most common is an extra fret between the 6th and 7th frets.  This fret is notated as the "6+" or "6-1/2" fret.  With the melody strings tuned to D, the note at the 6-1/2 fret is C# - the one note otherwise missing from the D major scale.  With the extra 6-1/2 fret, you can play in D Ionian, as well as in D Mixolydian modes.  Since you would then have all the notes of the D major scale, you could play all the modes of the D major scale, including:

D Ionian mode

E Dorian mode

A Mixolydian mode

B Aeolian mode

in addition to the 4 common modes: G Ionian, A Dorian, D Mixolydian, and E Aeolian.

So what's the downside?  The simplicity of the diatonic fretboard is that it doesn't have any wrong notes.

Dark Hollow Dulcimers  256 Durham Road,  Ottsville,  Pennsylvania  18942