On this video the guy plays an instruments called Dvina. I'm currently making my version of it. My question is about its fret marks which looks and sounds like a minor pentatonic with a lowered 7th degree. Why it can be useful?

  • 1
    Please post an image of the fret board. This will keep the question relevant even if the video is removed.
    – Aaron
    May 14, 2022 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


The fingerboard markers are at 3,2,2,2,3 half steps up to the octave. At that point they repeat. This is very common and is the same as fret markers on guitars and basses (frets 3,5,7,9,12). This makes the open string and markers at notes A,C,D,E,F#,A. The scale made by playing the open string and dots could be called a minor pentatonic with a diminished 7th. The term lowered 7th implies m7 not dim7 so it’s important to make that distinction.

Another interpretation of the dots is a minor pentatonic scale with a M6, instead of a m7, which can be thought of as kind of a Dorian pentatonic scale.

Keep in mind that the dots are used for positions, not for marking any key or scale. He is playing in Dm and the string he plays melody on is tuned to an A. The open string is the 5th of the key and the tonic is the 2nd dot. He is not playing the F# marker but rather the F and G on either side of it in order to play in D minor.

This picture shows him playing an octave A on the high string (large dot):

enter image description here

  • Yes, I understand what he's playing, I asked about instrument itself and why it's designed this way with a diminished 7th marked. My guess is the inventor's intention was to simplify visual assistance while playing some specific modes. I've seen other modifications and none of them have chromatic or pure diatonic or even guitar like marks. So I should've asked a more general question, why you may want to have this kind of a scale marked on your fretboard
    – e_asphyx
    May 14, 2022 at 19:02
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    @e_asphyx please see my edit May 14, 2022 at 19:04
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    @e_asphyx I just went by your video and the markings are actually guitar style markings on this particular instrument like I said. It’s possible other Dvinas use different markings. Using the markings shown is very Western friendly as other Western string instruments use them but they are strictly for position and not for actually marking scales and modes. May 14, 2022 at 19:12
  • You're right. I just realised that it's really a guitar marking
    – e_asphyx
    May 14, 2022 at 19:21
  • @e_asphyx I also added a video grab photo to my answer that shows the fingerboard pretty clearly. May 14, 2022 at 19:22

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