Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What notes do I tune my strings to?....

Are you totally lost as to how to tune your dulcimer strings to begin learning to play?

Most players these days start learning in the key of D, choosing either DAA tuning or DAd tuning. But you also must be in the right octave or you may break your strings by tightening them too high.
Click on THIS LINK to find a very handy online tuning aid. See the piano keyboard pictured? Click on the key marked "D3". That's a low sounding note of D that you can tune your heaviest bass string to.
Next... click on the key marked "A3" and tune your middle string to that note.
Lastly, you can tune your single or double melody string(s) to either A3 A3 as well (for a DAA tuning), or to D4 D4 if you want to tune to DAd (also known as DAdd if you have 2 melody strings).
Your melody string or pair of melody strings are closest to you when the dulcimer is in your lap. The bass string is furthest away from you with the dulcimer in your lap.
Notice the open heavy bass string has the lowest sounding note on your dulcimer, D3. Also notice on the piano keyboard how D4 sounds a whole octave higher than D3. And notice how A3 sounds somewhere in the middle between those two d's.
Click HERE to access Susan Trump's very helpful online tuning demos as well- they're great!
There is also a nice clear Youtube demonstration HERE showing  step by step how to tune your dulcimer to DAA.
Now you can start playing your dulcimer in either DAA or DAd!

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