As I struggle to play C as a bar chord on the 6th fret, my Mountain Dulcimer teacher took a moment to mention to me, that my life might be easier if I have a 1 1/2 fret added to my dulcimer. What's that you might ask? It's an extra fret between the 1st and 2nd fret. This would enable me to play a C chord as an easy transition from Em, AND play an F chord, which does not exist on my lovely diatonic dulcimer tuned to D A D. I told you it was more than you wanted to know. Why do I love obscure zither instruments anyway? Why couldn't I have just tried taking up the guitar...again.
The instrument pictured above has both a 1 1/2 and 8 1/2 fret.
Also, an instrument doesn't have to be hard to learn to play to make beautiful music. The mountain dulcimer provides that, and as it turns out, allows for a little more customization in order to play it the way you want it. My first custom change was to remove the second melody string, turning my four string into a three string, it simplifies chording and allows equal play on all three strings for the melody. Now I want to add an extra fret. Technically, I already have 2 extras, the 6 1/2 and the 13 1/2 which are very common on modern mountain dulcimers. Heck, you can even get a fully chromatic one these days, which is kind of like taking up a guitar.
So, I will check with Hoffman Guitars, and see how much they would charge to add an additional fret...or two.