Introduction: Make a Dulcitar From a Cheap Guitar at No Cost
A Dulcitar is a Guitar that has frets like a Dulcimer. This means that it is easy to play simple melodies with just a little practice, since only the whole notes can be played.
Step 1: Get a Cheap Guitar
I bought this cheap kid's guitar at Wal-Mart. It would not intonate very well and was very quiet. I have also seen cheap guitars at the local Mexican market for under $20. I decided to make mine into a Dulcitar.
Step 2: Get Ready to Remove Some Frets
You will need to pull off some frets to give the Dulcitar the diatonic scale. I used a pocket knife to score along the sides of the frets I was going to remove to make them easier to pull off. You will be removing the following frets, starting with the first fret closest to the nut being number 1.
1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20
Step 3: Remove the Unnecessary Frets
Use a needle nose pliers to remove the frets from the last step. You might have to wiggle them a little, but they should pull straight out of the neck.
Step 4: Here's What the Neck Looks Like
After you've removed the extra frets, you may need to use the knife to smooth out any glue or rough spots from where the frets had been. Don't worry about the grooves that are left, they won't affect the playability of the instrument.
Step 5: Stringing the Dulcitar
The easiest way to string the Dulcitar is using the I-V-I method. I strung mine C-G-C. The low string was done by using the regular D guitar string and tuning it down to C. For the middle string I used a regular G string tuned to G. The high C string was a B string tuned up to C.
I spray painted my Dulcitar gloss black so it wouldn't look so hokey. Then I added a cow tie as a strap so it would look even hokier.
Play melodies on the high string while strumming the other two as drone strings. It's easy to play simple folk tunes and Celtic-style melodies with just a little practice.
There are lots of examples of dulcitar players on You-Tube if you'd like to hear what one sounds like.