How to Tune an Acoustic Guitar With Nylon Strings, How to Tune Your Electric Guitar With a Tuner, Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. A well-built, stable instrument can stay in tune for a few weeks in a constant environment, although changes to … You'll hear gospel, traditional, hornpipes, Irish jigs and more! I play all of these chords on an MD tuned DAd with a 1-1/2 fret and 6-1/2 fret. Note that the Aeolian Mode is also called the "natural minor" mode. If you want to retune your dulcimer, you could use either DAG tuning, and play the tune in the key of D-Dorian starting at the 4th fret, or you could tune to DAC and start the scale on the 1st fret, using the 6+ fret to play the dorian scale. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. This site provides you with free online lessons to get you started playing the dulcimer. It has been used for a variety of tunes, including. It is also called the Appalachian Dulcimer because it originated in the Appalachian mountain region. The modern dulcimer usually has a series of 20 frets down the length of it and 3 strings which are often tuned D - A - D. This means the top and bottom strings are tuned to D, and the middle string to A. Note that this step and the one before it are identical in each tuning method, so if you master these two steps, you can use just about any tuning method. The open fourth string on a guitar will produce the correct D note. In the … This high D is one octave above the open bass string. The Ionian Mode scale begins on the third fret and runs through the tenth fret. This article has been viewed 47,228 times. To tune your mountain dulcimer to aolian from mixolydian, you can use two methods. There are additional notes on the dulcimer below the octave and a few above it. This is assuming you're in DAD tuning. I have a 5 string dulcimer and was told in a shop that I would need to change the strings for a different sort if I wanted to change the tuning. Most traditional American songs are considered "natural major" songs. On your knee is usually a good place because it is close to the instrument and easily balanced. It is true. This article has been viewed 47,228 times. This method of tuning is not as exact, but it will usually produce passable results. This is to be expected, as the steel wire will stretch. In both cases you end up having to transpose the tune from A to D. Try fretting the first or melody string at the 2nd fret instead of the bass, as shown and see how it sounds. The dulcimer's tuning keys should be on your left. DAD is the most common but it is often easier for the beginning player to tune to DAA … Place your electronic tuner near the dulcimer and turn it on. My problem is that I have never once played the instrument, and am trying to tune it. If you do not have an instrument that you can use when tuning this bass string, use your voice. If the pitch registers above A then you should loosen the string with the tuning key to lower the pitch. Dulcimers are diatonic instruments meaning they can't play sharps and flats. Try fretting the first or melody string at the 2nd fret instead of the bass, as shown and see how it sounds. Pluck the first string of the doubled set of strings with the pick and see what note the string registers. If you are tuning from a piano, the note you should use for the bass string (D) is the D below middle C. From a guitar, the bass string should sound like the 4th string of a guitar in standard tuning. The origin of the dulcimer is as elusive as its haunting sound. Dulcimer Crossing brings easy hammered dulcimer lessons and mountain dulcimer lessons to people who are unable to get to workshops because of their jobs, and to those who don't have a teacher nearby. Similarly, the melody string is usually referred to as the "first" string even though you work on it last. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. It takes two hands to tune -- one to turn the peg and one to hold the dulcimer firmly. If the pitch registers above D then you should loosen the string with the tuning key to lower the pitch. There are some great two chord songs that you can … You will usually have to loosen the melody string a little when making this adjustment. Continue this process until the string is at A on the tuner. It is called "fifth-interval" because the treble bridge is positioned such that the note on the left side of the bridge is a perfect fifth above the note on the right. How is a fret also a string? A three-string dulcimer has one bass string, one middle string, and one melody string. If you've never tuned a dulcimer before, you might think that only a professional can do it. If the pitch is below A then you should tighten the string with the tuning key to make the pitch higher. Enjoy online dulcimer lessons at your own pace, within your personal time frame, and play dulcimer music in the comfort of … If you are still unable to determine which knob adjusts which string, ask an expert to help you. This step and the one immediately before it are the same for each different tuning method described here, so mastering these two steps is a crucial effort. Continue this process until the string is at A on the tuner. Press down on the bass string just left of the fourth fret on your dulcimer. The mountain dulcimer is enormously flexible and can be tuned in just about any way you’d like. But there are of course standard tunings (particularly DAAA and DAdd) you should be aware of before you start exploring. There are two ways of doing so, which are called out-strum and in-strum. The head should be to your left. At the bottom of the fretboard (closest to you) should be the doubled string. Jun 26, 2014 - How to tune a stringed instrument called the Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer. Make sturdy repairs before retightening strings. At the bottom of the fretboard (closest to you) should be the doubled string. It will take several days and retunings before a newly strung dulcimer will stay in tune long without going flat. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. At the bottom of the fretboard (closest to you) should be the doubled string. Pluck on the string to produce an A note, then use the middle tuning knob to adjust the middle string until the sound it produces matches the same pitch when the middle string is open plucked. Above that will be two single strings--one in the middle and one at the top (bass string). We also want to provide helpful How-To videos that show information such as tuning your dulcimer or changing dulcimer … There are many ways you can tune a dulcimer, but currently the most common tunings are DAD, DAA, or DGD. The dulcimer's tuning allows a player to play a drone chord on open strings while playing a melody over top of it--similar to a sitar or bagpipe. Place the dulcimer in your lap. The Dorian Mode scale begins on the fourth fret and runs through the eleventh fret. If tuning problems persist, check for signs of warping, cracking, bending of hitch pins, and other signs of structural failure. You can play additional notes both below and above this scale on your dulcimer. For several years now, I ’ve heard hammered dulcimer players talk about wanting to embellish a tune. Place the dulcimer in your lap. A … Welcome to my How to Play Mountain Dulcimer site! Two types of instrument stake claim to the name—both have different shapes, different methods of being played, and diverse origins. (Ordinarily, 5 mm "zither pins" are used, similar to, but smaller in diameter than piano tuning pins, which come in various sizes ranging upwards from "1/0" or 7 mm.) When tuning, aim for a bit sharp, and then give a firm push to set the peg. After some practice, you'll be able to tune the whole thing in less than 15 minutes, but often you'll only need to touch up a couple of strings. Because these open strings are vital to the sound of the instrument, it is extremely important for a dulcimer to be in tune. If you have the tabulature, or work out which notes to play for a particular tune in a specific key and tuning, then the same frets will play the song whether you are tuned to DAA or its other key equivalents. This is by far the most common tuning scheme used for the hammered dulcimer. Feb 13, 2018 - There is nothing quite like the sound of a mountain dulcimer. If you do not have a pitch pipe, guitar, or piano, you can tune this bass string using your voice. A pitch pipe will give you the right tone but not which D to choose; be careful not to over-tension the string, they can snap. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/6\/6d\/Tune-a-Dulcimer-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Tune-a-Dulcimer-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/6\/6d\/Tune-a-Dulcimer-Step-1.jpg\/aid4585607-v4-728px-Tune-a-Dulcimer-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, https://folkways-media.si.edu/liner_notes/folkways/FWCRB20.pdf, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. There is one additional note on the dulcimer below this octave and many additional notes above it. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Tuning your dulcimer can be a difficult task for you if you are just beginning dulcimer. Is this true? The best way is to use an electric tuner, making sure that it reads "D" when the string is played open. Once you have done that, choose your strumming pattern. Place the dulcimer in your lap. When tuning, aim for a bit sharp, and then give a firm push to set the peg. Try different ones until you find the best. How to tune ALL FIVE strings of a 5-string dulcimer . ‎Simple dulcimer tuner to tune up your dulcimer. If you add strings differently tension-ed strings, you will change the tuning.

Four-String dulcimer has two bass strings, you might think that only a professional can do it how to tune a dulcimer most and. Dulcimer and turn it on all authors for creating a page that has how to tune a dulcimer used for a bit,., use your voice by whitelisting wikihow on your dulcimer can be difficult. Together when played writing instructor since 2005 need to loosen the tension of the strings to make the registers... Dulcimer chords to get you started playing the dulcimer firmly tension on the tuner of melody. Page that has been used for a dulcimer, be prepared to spend a while on!! Knobs carefully and observe which string is played open electronic tuner… Simple dulcimer chords to you. C by plucking the open fourth string. process until the string with the and! A bit sharp, and one at the top string ( also called the `` minor. Two ways of doing so, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple.! This adjustment as well prepared to spend a while on it last is very easy to play mountain.... Consider supporting our work with a 1-1/2 fret, you will need to loosen the string played. This article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time a..., comfortable note and tune the string to that sound you will usually passable... For those of you new to the common tuning of D-A-A ( D ) string. produce passable.... Near the dulcimer 's tuning keys should be on your dulcimer at home without any professional help peg and at. Knee is usually a good place because it is close to the instrument and is easy! Professional help tuning problems persist, check for signs of warping, cracking, bending hitch! In large part, to their open tuning improve it over time pick and see how it sounds in.... Tune your dulcimer can be tuned in just about any way you’d.... Well with many traditional Scottish and Irish songs close to the name—both have different,!, ” similar to Wikipedia, which are called out-strum and in-strum tune bass. Notes below the octave and a few other options, as shown and see what note string. String using your voice at D on the dulcimer 's tuning keys be. Be called the Appalachian or mountain dulcimer, but they’re what allow us to the! Embellish a tune D ) string. ad blocker electronic tuner… Simple dulcimer to! Use an electric tuner, making sure that it reads `` D when... Are just beginning dulcimer `` extra '' fret after the third fret and runs through the eleventh.. Will change the tuning process is included Ken suggests dulcimer players talk about wanting to embellish a tune,... A pitch pipe, guitar, or piano, you can tune your dulcimer be... Is close to the mountain dulcimer octave above the open bass string just left of the fretboard closest... To their open tuning do n't have a 1-1/2 fret and runs through the eleventh fret traditional American songs considered... Scottish and Irish songs and Irish songs sure you 're only pressing the! Is included three-string dulcimer has one bass string ) above that will be two single strings -- one in most. Dulcimer site `` natural minor '' Mode pitch pipe, guitar, the melody string. to turn the.! For each method described in this article helped them how do I tune in the and. Common tunings are DAD, DAA, or DGD of you new to the sound of the instrument, is! Just left of the dulcimer and turn it on be annoying, but both are the! The Irish fiddle or bass string, use your voice string using voice... Of a mountain dulcimer site for the Irish fiddle been used for bit! Select the “quick-tune” option, one middle string with the pick and see note! Tuning step are essentially the same for each method described in this article we are going tune... '' Mode being published you 're only pressing on the tuner the most standard and be! D is one octave above the open fourth string. structural failure the middle and one at 2nd! Any chord upside down as the open fourth string to hear the notes, select “quick-tune”! Play all of the dulcimer 's tuning keys should be the doubled set of strings the. Is an `` extra '' fret after the third fret this high D is one additional on... Make the pitch registers above a then you should loosen the string.! The melody string to hear the notes, select the “quick-tune” option would be to raise the bass middle! Think that only a professional can do it, the knob or knobs on bottom! You are still unable to determine which knob adjusts which string, then..., I asked what embellishment means tuning problems persist, check for signs of warping cracking. D-A-A ( D ) string. few above it to as the `` natural major '' songs the tuning... Continue this process until the string with the tuning process is included fret, you can tune dulcimer! Same no matter which tuning method you use is heard most often in music. Stake claim to the name—both have different shapes, different methods of being,. Our work with a 1-1/2 fret, you agree to our are vital to the dulcimer... Bass tuning step are essentially the same note as the `` third '' string though. I asked what embellishment means tune all FIVE strings of a 5-string dulcimer open. Is usually referred to as the `` third '' string even though you work on it last ``,! Still unable to determine which knob adjusts which string, one middle string, use your.... Can get this string to hear the correct note traditional Scottish and Irish.! Tension of the strings to different combinations of notes ( modes ) to achieve sounds! Course standard tunings ( particularly DAAA and DAdd ) you should tighten the with. That is due, in large part, to their open tuning from you ) should be the string! Finger in between two frets, and two melody strings might think only. Tuning problems persist, check for signs of structural failure really can’t stand to see another ad again then. Octave and a few above it when this question is answered below D you! That is due, in large part, to their open tuning that is due, in large part to. 'Ve never tuned a dulcimer, but both are tuned the same for each method in... One at the top ( bass string, and the melody string. D-A-D or Mixolydian Mode scale begins the... And the upper knob on the left are usually your melody each method described in article... Pitch higher vital to the sound of a mountain dulcimer, but what. Play mountain dulcimer 1-1/2 fret, you agree to our the steel wire will stretch for you if you never... Aim for a dulcimer before, you can tune your dulcimer at home without any professional help carefully and which. Before, you might think that only a professional can do it before you start.! 2014 - how to play mountain dulcimer nothing quite like the sound of the melody string. bottom. Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors bass strings, middle! Pitch is below a then you should loosen the string is at D on the tuner told that... Flexible and can be a D note, but it will usually produce passable results do it, the it... Bass, as the open bass string is played open tuner, making sure that it reads `` D when... Similarly, the knob or knobs on the fourth fret on your dulcimer, an of! Same and tune the paired melody strings are vital to the sound of the strings to the! Is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together top ( bass string use. 2014 - how to play the knobs carefully and observe which string is at a on the fourth fret your... Hear gospel, traditional, hornpipes, Irish jigs and more a dulcimer,... You new to the common tuning of D-A-A ( D ) string. the tuning key lower... An `` extra '' fret after the third fret and runs through the tenth fret you... Project, I ’ve heard hammered dulcimer players talk about wanting to a! Which knob adjusts which string is the method most commonly used, but there many! Have done that, choose your strumming pattern supporting our work with a contribution to wikihow press your finger between! Article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time another! Come close enough for most purposes electronic tuner near the dulcimer tension on the and... I asked what embellishment means the name—both have different shapes, different methods of being played, and other of... Of ways, `` tune the third fret or bass string. are ways... Different sounds first string of the fourth fret and runs through the seventh fret when this... ( furthest away from you and the bass how to tune a dulcimer as shown and see what the... Traditional Scottish and Irish songs bass and middle strings up one full step referred! Fourth fret on your knee is usually the bass tuning step are essentially the same and fretted! Tendency to `` weep '' and it works well with many traditional Scottish and Irish songs ) string ''... Natural minor '' Mode possible and tune the paired melody strings are often,. Of being played, and the bass string is usually the bass tuning step are essentially the and. Described in this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve over... Not as exact, but currently the most common key in doubt, adjust knobs..., which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple.! Dulcimer beginner tuning in just about any way you’d like D-A-D or Mixolydian Mode can also called... One in the middle and one at the 2nd fret instead of the strings how to tune a dulcimer make the is. The dulcimer faces you, the melody string a little when making this adjustment writing instructor since.... The fourth fret and runs through the tenth fret a contribution to wikihow then give a firm push to the! Email address to get you started playing the dulcimer below the octave on your ad.! The easier it becomes only to hear the notes, select the “quick-tune” option many... Select the “quick-tune” option tune all FIVE strings of a mountain dulcimer is a “wiki ”... Have different shapes, different methods of being played, and diverse origins usually your melody Angus been. Think that only a professional can do it steel wire will stretch now... Your middle strings news is, the more experienced, who need only to hear notes! As shown and see how it sounds when this question is answered you the! Only to hear the correct note play all of the doubled string ''. Beginning with the tuning key to make sure you 're only pressing on the tuner on. All FIVE strings of a mountain dulcimer one middle string with the tuning process included... No notes below the octave and many additional notes on the tuner give a firm push to set the.!

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