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. How do I tune in the most common key? Usually, though, you can tune your dulcimer at home without any professional help. The dulcimer's tuning keys should be on your left. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 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. Ryan Angus has been a college writing instructor since 2005. Tune This Dulcimer - The World's Most Annoying Musical Game 1.1 download - Annoy your friends and family and also have fun learning to tune a… Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 47,228 times. The head should be to your left. A four-string dulcimer has one bass string, one middle string, and two melody strings. Dulcimers are diatonic instruments meaning they can't play sharps and flats. DAA tune This is for the standard DAA dulcimer beginner tuning. Sound the A note (2nd fret, 3rd string from bottom--open G string) on a guitar or the A below middle C on a piano and adjust the dulcimer's lower set of strings to match this pitch. DIY and Crafts. Subject: RE: How to tune a 3 string dulcimer From: JohnInKansas Date: 24 Jun 08 - 02:45 PM For most people, one would say that you tune a three-string dulcimer exactly like a four-string dulcimer, since a four-string dulcimer is a three-string dulcimer but with the first (nearest to you in normal playing position) string … 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. Place your electronic tuner near the dulcimer and turn it on. Strum all of the strings to make sure it sounds in tune. Match the string to the note you hum. This will also be the thinnest string. amomipais82 Hi, Well, as far as I know, a five-string dulcimer is played with a doubled first string, a single middle and a doubled bass string, sometimes tuned an octave apart. When there is a set of strings (two bass strings or two melody strings), all strings in that set should be tuned in the same manner. Press down on the bass string just left of the fourth fret on your dulcimer. When tuning, aim for a bit sharp, and then give a firm push to set the peg. Sep 16, 2015 - How to Tune a Dulcimer. Here are some simple dulcimer chords to get you started. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. You can play the dulcimer with ease by laying it flat on your lap in a comfortable position. 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. Jun 26, 2014 - How to tune a stringed instrument called the Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer. A nicely tuned dulcimer can make your music sound a lot better and … If the pitch registers above A then you should loosen the string with the tuning key to lower the pitch. You are going to learn how to use an electronic tuner and--for those without a tuner--a piano or guitar to tune the dulcimer. It has a tendency to "weep" and "wail," and it works well with many traditional Scottish and Irish songs. They have an open, ringing quality to them that is due, in large part, to their open tuning. A nicely tuned dulcimer can make your music s… When using a guitar, play the D below middle C by plucking the open fourth string. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. It takes two hands to tune -- one to turn the peg and one to hold the dulcimer firmly. If using a guitar, pluck the open fourth string to hear the correct note. You'll hear gospel, traditional, hornpipes, Irish jigs and more! wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. The results may not be quite as precise, though. You will need to loosen the tension of the melody string to lower the pitch. The Dorian Mode scale begins on the fourth fret and runs through the eleventh fret. This site provides you with free online lessons to get you started playing the dulcimer. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. This is by far the most common tuning scheme used for the hammered dulcimer. There are many ways you can tune a dulcimer, but currently the most common tunings are DAD, DAA, or DGD. Your right hand is in … The Mixolydian Mode can also be called the "slightly minor" mode. When tuning, aim for a bit sharp, and then give a firm push to set the peg. At the bottom of the fretboard (closest to you) should be the doubled string. If you have a dulcimer with more than five strings, you should take it to a professional to have it tuned since there are too many variations in string placement and sound. You can select any guitar pick for the dulcimer, as they are used by many professionals too. Currently, Angus is pursuing a Ph.D. at Purdue University and his research will focus on improving the ways that writing and language are taught in schools. This high D is one octave above the open bass string. 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. For those of you new to the Mountain Dulcimer, an explanation of the tuning process is included. Sound the A note (2nd fret, 3rd string from bottom--open G string) on a guitar or the A below middle C on a piano and adjust the dulcimer's middle string to match this pitch. % of people told us that this article helped them. An alternate method would be to raise the bass and middle strings up one full step. Continue this process until the string is at D on the tuner. If the pitch registers above D then you should loosen the string with the tuning key to lower the pitch. Make sure you're only pressing on the bottom string. On newer dulcimers, there is an "extra" fret after the third fret. 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. If the pitch is below D then you should tighten the string with the tuning key to make the pitch higher. Note that this step and the bass tuning step are essentially the same for each method described in this article. Typically, this mode is heard most often in Neo-Celtic music and songs written for the Irish fiddle. My problem is that I have never once played the instrument, and am trying to tune it. This article has been viewed 47,228 times. 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. If the pitch is below A then you should tighten the string with the tuning key to make the pitch higher. The bottom or melody strings are often doubled, but both are tuned the same and are fretted together when played. Place the dulcimer in your lap. Notes on the right is usually the bass tuning step are essentially the same and tune the string registers in... Being played, and other signs of warping, cracking, bending of hitch pins, and diverse origins strings! 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