It seemed like a nice introduction to a fret-board and more. 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. You will need to loosen the tension of the melody string to lower the pitch. The Mixolydian Mode scale begins on open melody string (also called the "zero fret") and runs through the seventh fret. Note that the Aeolian Mode is also called the "natural minor" mode. Notice the half steps between the F# and G and again between the B and C. Keep in mind, it is the relationship between the notes of the open strings that define the mode, not the actual note. How do I tune in the most common key? Unlike a guitar, dulcimers are diatonic, so it is like counting along the white notes of a keyboard. Merlin Mountain Dulcimer Rules! 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. The tonality changes and the feel is different, different songs suggest themselves, and you have to learn a whole new set of scales and chords! DAG (Dorian): DAG has the bass string(s) tuned to D, the middle string tuned to A, and the melody string(s) tuned to G. The minor scale begins on the 4th fret. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. This step and the step prior to it are the essentially same no matter which tuning method you use. When you are tuning your dulcimer to itself (without an outside reference tone), you can find the right note for the next string down by counting along the frets. The lower knob on the right is usually the bass, and the upper knob on the right is usually your melody. There are many different tuning options for dulcimers. There are additional notes on the dulcimer below the octave and a few above it. I picked it up and started making music right away. How is a fret also a string? That actually means that you can press the other string on the third fret and tune the string you want to tune to the same tone. The tuning you use with your dulcimer can change a lot about how you play it and what you can play on it. The Dorian Mode scale begins on the fourth fret and runs through the eleventh fret. It has a tendency to "weep" and "wail," and it works well with many traditional Scottish and Irish songs. A three-string dulcimer has one bass string, one middle string, and one melody 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. For those of you new to the Mountain Dulcimer, an explanation of the tuning process is included. This sound is the A note, and it is also the same sound produced when you pluck the bass string after pressing the bass string down to the left of the fourth fret. The results may not be quite as precise, though. The Dorian mode is more minor than the Mixolydian Mode but less so than the Aeolian Mode. Because these open strings are vital to the sound of the instrument, it is extremely important for a dulcimer to be in tune. Also, some dulcimer players use G tuning so you may not have to change anything. Note that the Ionian Mode is the most standard and can also be called the "natural major" mode. Hum a note that feels as natural and comfortable as possible and tune the string to that sound. Usually, though, you can tune your dulcimer at home without any professional help. The major scales available on most dulcimers with the traditional tuning are D, G, C, F, and sometimes A and E. B minor, E minor, and other modes associated with those major scales can also be found. The fact that there are multiple diatonic scales available means that each scale also has some chromatic notes, which it borrows from other scales. The Ionian Mode scale begins on the third fret and runs through the tenth fret. For the more experienced, who need only to hear the notes, select the “quick-tune” option. On newer dulcimers, there is an "extra" fret after the third fret. 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. If you do not have a pitch pipe, guitar, or piano, you can tune this bass string using your voice. When the front of the dulcimer faces you, the knob or knobs on the left are usually your middle strings. 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. This high D is one octave above the open bass string. 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. Here, you’ll find out about some of the most popular dulcimer tunings for 3, 4, and 5 string dulcimers. Then tune the melody string to that same note. A dulcimer is a fretted, plucked musical instrument. Dulcimers are usually tuned in a pattern( Gddd, Daaa, Aeee) etc., but not necessarily in a standard key. The open fourth string on a guitar will produce the correct D note. What's a dulcimer?. This is because the bass string is the furthest from you and the melody string is the closest to you. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. The Aeolian Mode scale begins at the first fret and runs through the eighth fret. Chords for DGD Tuning Plays in the KEY of G 47 Notes on the Fretboard. If the string tunes well to A, it might not like D. So if you wanted to play in the key of G, for example, instead of making the tuning GDG, you might choose to make the bass the D, and the middle string the G for the DGD tuning. DAA quick … They are pretty easy to retune and some dulcimer …