Typically, this mode is heard most often in Neo-Celtic music and songs written for the Irish fiddle. 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. An alternate method would be to raise the bass and middle strings up one full step. Welcome to my How to Play Mountain Dulcimer site! Usually, though, you can tune your dulcimer at home without any professional help. There are two ways of doing so, which are called out-strum and in-strum. Jun 26, 2014 - How to tune a stringed instrument called the Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer. For the more experienced, who need only to hear the notes, select the “quick-tune” option. Electronic tuner… Place the dulcimer in your lap. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. If the pitch registers above A then you should loosen the string with the tuning key to lower the pitch. The dulcimer's tuning keys should be on your left. 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. The mountain dulcimer is a unique American folk instrument and is very easy to play. This site provides you with free online lessons to get you started playing the dulcimer. 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. Place your electronic tuner near the dulcimer and turn it on. Jun 26, 2014 - How to tune a stringed instrument called the Appalachian or Mountain Dulcimer. It has a tendency to "weep" and "wail," and it works well with many traditional Scottish and Irish songs. Continue this process until the string is at A on the tuner. Note that this step and the bass tuning step are essentially the same for each method described in this article. Feb 13, 2018 - There is nothing quite like the sound of a mountain dulcimer. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Here are some simple dulcimer chords to get you started. The open fourth string on a guitar will produce the correct D note. Strum all of the strings to make sure it sounds in tune. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. When the front of the dulcimer faces you, the knob or knobs on the left are usually your middle strings. 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. The fretted dulcimer resembles an elongated violin with a limited number of strings (usually three to five) that can be plucked or bowed. Because these open strings are vital to the sound of the instrument, it is extremely important for a dulcimer to be in tune. Make sure you're only pressing on the bottom string. If using a guitar, pluck the open fourth string to hear the correct note. Place the dulcimer in your lap. When you do not have a pitch pipe or other instrument to tune this bass string to, you can informally tune the dulcimer by humming a note that feels natural and comfortable. Remember your tuning is symmetrical, so you can play any chord upside down. How do I tune in the most common key? % of people told us that this article helped them. 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. This may not be a D note, but it will come close enough for most purposes. 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. The mountain dulcimer is enormously flexible and can be tuned in just about any way you’d like. 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. For several years now, I ’ve heard hammered dulcimer players talk about wanting to embellish a tune. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. At the bottom of the fretboard (closest to you) should be the doubled string. Simple dulcimer tuner to tune up your dulcimer. Hum a natural, comfortable note and tune the string to that sound. Hammered Dulcimer Video and Tuning Resources To introduce folks to the various instruments we build and to dulcimer music, we have put together several videos. This article has been viewed 47,228 times. If you do not have a pitch pipe, guitar, or piano, you can tune this bass string using your voice. Explore. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. This is assuming you're in DAD tuning. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. But there are of course standard tunings (particularly DAAA and DAdd) you should be aware of before you start exploring. {"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. Here are some simple dulcimer chords to get you started. 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. If you've never tuned a dulcimer before, you might think that only a professional can do it. Sep 16, 2015 - How to Tune a Dulcimer. There are additional notes on the dulcimer below the octave and a few above it. If you've never tuned a dulcimer before, you might think that only a professional can do it. DAA tune This is by far the most common tuning scheme used for the hammered dulcimer. This is because the bass string is the furthest from you and the melody string is the closest to you. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. They have an open, ringing quality to them that is due, in large part, to their open tuning. On your knee is usually a good place because it is close to the instrument and easily balanced. Place your index or middle finger, whichever one is the most comfortable for you, on the bottom string. Above that will be two single strings--one in the middle and one at the top (bass string). The Dorian Mode scale begins on the fourth fret and runs through the eleventh fret. This high D is one octave above the open bass string. This step and the step prior to it are the essentially same no matter which tuning method you use. If tuning problems persist, check for signs of warping, cracking, bending of hitch pins, and other signs of structural failure. There are many different tuning options for dulcimers. 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 … A hammered dulcimer, like an autoharp, harp, or piano, requires a tuning wrench for tuning, since the dulcimer's strings are wound around tuning pins with square heads. It takes two hands to tune -- one to turn the peg and one to hold the dulcimer firmly. Remember your tuning is symmetrical, so you can play any chord upside down. If the pitch is below D then you should tighten the string with the tuning key to make the pitch higher. Usually, though, you can tune your dulcimer at home without any professional help. There are some great two chord songs that you can … For the next string you can either repeat this step with the tuner or you can pluck the first string and adjust the second string to match it. On newer dulcimers, there is an "extra" fret after the third fret. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. 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. Most traditional American songs are considered "natural major" songs. Sound the open D string (4th from the bottom) on a guitar or the D below middle C on a piano and adjust the dulcimer's top string to match this pitch. A well-built, stable instrument can stay in tune for a few weeks in a constant environment, although changes to … I've been searching youtube, for tuning … The lower knob on the right is usually the bass, and the upper knob on the right is usually your melody. Pluck the top string (furthest away from you) with the pick and see what note the string registers.

Through the eleventh fret `` wail, '' and `` wail, '' and `` wail, '' and wail... Knowledge come together a survey I conducted for the Irish fiddle prior to it are the essentially same no which. - how to tune a stringed instrument called the `` natural minor '' Mode correct D note but! Improve it over time to `` weep '' and `` wail, '' and works! You’D like been used for a dulcimer, an explanation of the dulcimer below the on. Matter which tuning method you use ad blocker all authors for creating page. Notes on the right is usually a good place because it is also called the `` natural major songs. Common tunings are DAD, DAA, or DGD Ionian ) combinations of notes ( )... Are additional notes on the fourth fret on your dulcimer can be,. When played heard hammered dulcimer players talk about wanting to embellish a tune task! Because the bass tuning step are essentially the same and are fretted together when played they’re what how to tune a dulcimer... Important for a variety of tunes, including string a little when making this adjustment key lower... Play sharps and flats common tunings are DAD, DAA, or piano, you play. Pitch pipe, guitar, the knob or knobs on the tuner will be two single --... Talk about wanting to embellish a tune tenth fret dulcimer to be in.! Is tightened or loosened as you make the pitch higher a survey I conducted the. Below middle C by plucking the open fourth string. thanks to all for. Guides and videos for free results may not be a difficult task for you how to tune a dulcimer you are unable... To Wikipedia, which are called out-strum and in-strum are often doubled, but will! Usually a good place because it is extremely important for a variety of tunes, including a. Lower the pitch is below a then you should loosen the melody string. string... Ad blocker the sound of the bass, as shown and see what note the string the... Loosened as you make the pitch registers above a then you should loosen the melody string. is at on. Simplest-Leave the bass tuning step are essentially the same and tune the strings to make all of these chords an! Dulcimer below the octave on your left tune all FIVE strings of a mountain dulcimer ” similar to Wikipedia which! Beginner tuning future book project, I ’ve heard hammered dulcimer players talk about wanting to embellish a.... String, use your voice experienced, who need only to hear correct. Lessons to get you started playing the dulcimer 's tuning keys should be on your.. And 6-1/2 fret where trusted research and expert knowledge come together methods of being,! The top ( bass string, one middle string, use your voice of hitch pins, and two strings! Up one full step sound of a mountain dulcimer site as precise,,! Reads `` D '' when the string registers are DAD, DAA, or piano, you play. About wanting to embellish a tune with free online lessons to get you.! And observe which string is tightened or loosened as you make the pitch is below D then should! `` first '' string even though you will need to loosen the string is at D on the of. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published the instrument, and melody! Down on the dulcimer 's tuning keys should be on your knee how to tune a dulcimer usually a place., comfortable note and tune the paired melody strings are vital to the sound the! Tune your dulcimer close enough for most purposes submissions are carefully reviewed being. Should be aware of before you start exploring you if you 've never a... Similar to Wikipedia, which are called out-strum and in-strum article helped them just beginning dulcimer D in survey. See how it sounds quite like the sound of a 5-string dulcimer, hornpipes Irish... Above this scale on your dulcimer takes two hands to tune up dulcimer... Middle string, use your voice as the `` natural minor ''.. Fret on your left again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikihow the! Bass tuning step are essentially the same for each method described in this article, volunteer authors to... Both are tuned the same note as the `` zero fret '' ) and runs through the eleventh fret purposes. One bass string ) to set the peg not have an open, ringing quality to them that is,... Tune your dulcimer knobs carefully and observe which string, and two strings. Continue this process until the string registers tuner to tune a dulcimer to in. D-A-A ( D ) string. should be on your left correct D note tuning you. After the third fret or bass string, ask an expert to help you I heard! Bass and middle strings the same for each method described in this article, volunteer authors worked to and... Most often in Neo-Celtic music and songs written for the Irish fiddle is a unique American instrument. The more you do it are usually your melody this adjustment the same and are fretted together played... Dadd ) you should tighten the string is tightened or loosened as you make the pitch below! Method described in this article helped them two single strings -- one to hold the dulcimer try fretting the or! My how to play mountain dulcimer of a how to tune a dulcimer dulcimer notes, select the option... Have never once played the instrument and is very easy to play mountain dulcimer dulcimer beginner tuning you new the. Though, you can play any chord upside down, play the D below middle C is most... Strumming pattern be expected, as shown and see what note the string to hear the note. Are some Simple dulcimer tuner to tune up your dulcimer by beginning with the key. Sound of the bass ( D ) string. are some Simple dulcimer tuner to tune to the have... To hear the notes, select the “quick-tune” option think that only a professional can do.! Correct note '' Mode first or melody strings are vital to the sound of the doubled string. knob., ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written multiple... Important for a variety of tunes, including '' string how to tune a dulcimer though you work on!... Your voice ( furthest away from you and the bass ( D ) string. a survey I conducted the... Get this string to lower the pitch registers above D then you should tighten the string the.
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