Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

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Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by Musicmaker » Tue May 01, 2018 5:16 am

Hi guys.
I really hate being predominant here but I am excited about learning to play the Zither, have just bought one and am practicing the scale of C major with correct fingering.
The thing that comes to my mind is that that the strings on my Framus Griffbrett are really hard to depress.
It REALLY hurts my fingers.
I am a violinist, guitarist and instrument maker ( hobby wise ).
I have noticed that the frets on the Framus descend from 5.7mm high at the nut to 3mm at the last and highest fret.
Is this normal for Zither fretting to gradually descend as the notes go Higher?
If does not make sense .....
This means that every higher note one plays it becomes progressively harder to fret the Strings!
Are all Zithers fretted this way Please?
I would really like some answers on this please and especially from expert Zitherists if you are There?
I would have thought that the Zither would have been fretted like a chromatic guitar with all frets the same Height?
Please input.

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Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by NutmegCT » Tue May 01, 2018 6:03 am

Pete - we all experience that. Your fret heights are similar to mine.

If the "high note" frets weren't "lower" in height, they'd buzz against the strings when you play the notes back closer to the nut.

Something to check: what's the actual distance between the strings and the frets at fret #1? I wonder if your strings are too high (or the frets are too low) all 'round? Hopefully you didn't sand or grind down the frets when you were doing your work.

You need to develop RH and LH fingertip calluses. Calluses are your friends! That's one of the things the books never seem to mention, and why having a human teacher at the beginning is so important. You're a violinist and guitarist, so you must have calluses already. Just don't overdo it on the zither until the calluses are well developed.

You might want to take your zither and make a flight to see Ilse.

Tom M.

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Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by kenbloom » Tue May 01, 2018 7:49 am

HI Pete,
One thing that might help. The zither is hard on the left hand fingers but I have found that if I keep my wrists up the weight of my hand helps the fingers do their work. It does mean that you don't have as good a view of the fingerboard and have to do things more by feel, but that is a good thing. I do find that if I am playing a lot of zither that my calluses are almost bulletproof for the guitar.

Ken Bloom

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