You can play additional notes both below and above this scale on your dulcimer. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. I bought this Merlin G-tuning Dulcimer as a gift. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 47,005 times. Hum a note that feels as natural and comfortable as possible and tune the string to that sound. Electronic tuners are cheap and easily available. 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. 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. The open fourth string on a guitar will produce the correct D note. The Dorian Mode scale begins on the fourth fret and runs through the eleventh fret. If you don’t understand, don’t worry, it will soon become clear. Match the string to the note you hum. These tunings work for 3, 4, and 5 string instruments. Typically, this mode is heard most often in Neo-Celtic music and songs written for the Irish fiddle. 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. Now it … The Ionian Mode is the method most commonly used, but there are a few other options, as well. Merlin Mountain Dulcimer Rules! Unlike a guitar, dulcimers are diatonic, so it is like counting along the white notes of a keyboard. So, if the strings were tuned to EBE, it would still be a mixolydian tuning but in a different key. Dulcimers are usually tuned in a pattern( Gddd, Daaa, Aeee) etc., but not necessarily in a standard key. If you do not have a pitch pipe, guitar, or piano, you can tune this bass string using your voice. Dulcimers are diatonic instruments meaning they can't play sharps and flats. Pluck a string and turn one of the tuning pegs to see if it is the one that you want to tune. This is an important distinction. Modal Tunings on the Mountain Dulcimer. This dulcimer guitar from Seagull has a scale designed to be used in G tuning (usually DGD). A three-string dulcimer has one bass string, one middle string, and one melody string. Is this true? To be more specific: if you tune a string and press the same tone on another string that you already have tuned, you can simply tune the other string using exactly the same tone. This high D is one octave above the open bass string. You will usually have to loosen the melody string a little when making this adjustment. DAA tune. 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. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. 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. If you add strings differently tension-ed strings, you will change the tuning. This browser cannot play the embedded audio file. The article says, "Tune the third fret or bass string." There is not really a set standard tuning. Sometimes the gauge of a dulcimer's strings limits which notes can be used on a particular string. With a gorgeous mahogany top and rock maple neck and body, the G Mountain Merlin is a … On a guitar, the D below Middle C is the same note as the open fourth string. There are no notes below the octave on your dulcimer, but there are notes above it. Tune the third fret or bass string to the D below middle C on the piano (or to the open fourth string of a guitar). wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. There is one additional note on the dulcimer below this octave and many additional notes above it. 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. DAC follows the same pattern until you get to the melody string, when you count three along the middle string (A -> B -> C) and tune from there. Note that the Ionian Mode is the most standard and can also be called the "natural major" mode. Note: Tunings are given in the order bass-middle-melody. This article has been viewed 47,005 times. If you do not have an instrument to tune the bass string to, hum a note with your voice that feels as natural and comfortable as possible. I picked it up and started making music right away. If you've never tuned a dulcimer before, you might think that only a professional can do it. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Most people use DAA, DAD, or DGD tunings on their dulcimers. 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.
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