tuned D Aeolian for the following Usage The Appalachian dulcimer is widely used in the American old-time music tradition. Most people use DAA, DAD, or DGD tunings on their dulcimers. Special thanks to Rob Brereton who introduced this tuning to me. DAC, for With some practice and a good tuner this goes quickly. The refer to courses of 2 strings that are played together (e.g., the Since Eae is a 4th tuning, we know that the mode starts on a, the same note as the middle string. Give the 5th tuning, we know that our mode must start with Find where it ends on the scale. modal playing. generalized tunings that help you determine where a mode might start on the The following diagram shows the mode Your tuning is now DGd, which is sometimes called a “reverse ionian” tuning. I'm playing a Simerman dulcimer in FAC, the 1-3-5 tuning. Unlike a guitar, dulcimers are diatonic, so it is like counting along the white notes of a keyboard. For example, if your starting 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. Note: Tunings are given in the order After the GDG “Open G” tuning, the next most popular on 3-string cigar box guitars is probably DAD “Open D”. Now our attention turns to the strumming patterns used by the right hand, and tuning the instrument from DAd to DGd. middle string does change the starting note for your mode as per If you haven't seen dulcimer TAB before, it is laid out in three lines which represent the three dulcimer strings seen from above. For the more experienced, who need This a note occurs on the 4th fret, the beginning of the ", When you place a capo on your dulcimer, you change the drone Then tune the melody string to that same note. In the second statement, D is a key not a tuning. I’ve included MP3 files for the more common dulcimer tunings: DAA, DAD, DAC, and DGD. instrument. General Approach to tuning the dulcimer 1 Play tune on melody string. This is assuming you're in DAD tuning. 4. This version in CGC tuning might be easier for singers with low voices. PDF Midi Carol of the Bells Two part arrangement by Shirley Gullion, submitted with her permission. A baritone dulcimer tuned to AEA is played in exactly the same way as a dulcimer tuned to DAD. Using a variation on Roger Nicholson's mnemonic device generalized tuning categories listed above. A DGD dulcimer with a capo on the 1st fret allows you to play dorian in A starting on the 4th fret because: with the capo on the 1st fret of DGD, the dulcimer is, for practical purposes, tuned Eae. It makes more sense to assert that certain tunings allow for certain modes. Additionally, using the 6+ fret, you can do mixolydian G tunes starting at G on fret 4. Since both notes change the same amount, the DAD Tuning Ashokgan Farewell ~ handwritten version Ellen Rice Brahm’s Lullaby Bile Them Cabbage ~ with A&B parts. 13. a particular modal feeling, folks often speak (if inaccurately) of the dulcimer as possibilities, you will have to play it by ear -- an octave or refers to a "half-space" like the third fret), which matches the String Gauges for Mountain Dulcimer Probably the most frequently asked question I get from my web site readers has to do with what strings I use on my dulcimers. This is my fingerpicking arrangement of the 1950's classic "Mister Sandman" on Mountain Dulcimer. C, starting on fret 6. modes over on the Creative Mountain Dulcimer G+ community. Strum across all strings. This is the tune that Steve likes to use to introduce dulcimer players to jig strumming. the dulcimer is often said to be "tuned in" when a tuning places the This D note occurs on the first fret of the melody relegated to playing modal melodies only on the melody string, “M.W.” Black Mountain ~ Rag Ron Zuckerman/Everything Dulcimer Bonaparte crossing the Rhine Buck Eyed instance, means the bass string is tuned to D, the middle string is tuned to A, and the melody string is tuned to C. "Strings" in this context may actually Since we usually want to play the dulcimer with Using a tuner, or tuning relatively to yourself by notes or harmonics. Remember your tuning is symmetrical, so you can play any chord upside down. If to realize is that we can easily attain all of the various modes http://www.thedulcimerhymnal.com This video is about how to tune your dulcimer. Key ofG 1 3 o GO I Silent Night DGD Tuning with Standard Dulcimer o 3 0 4 o 0 0 3 GO GO GO 070 Words: Joseph Mohr Music: Franz Gruber arr. Typically, you really only need to turn the Many players enjoy fiddle tunes and Celtic music played at brisk tempos, either with drones or chord accompaniment. melody string (this is a function of the melody and harmonies at work, of course, but a droning D-A is going to tend to make your music "want" to resolve to a D-note): Most pleasant sounding tunings (tunings that afford a nice sounding drone) will fit one of three There are three concepts to consider when tuning a fretted dulcimer: modes, keys, and tunings. capo placement. unison to one of the two strings is often a good choice as a mode leads to the following fret-mode associations. For this article, we are not going to talk about hammered dulcimers. Here are some simple dulcimer chords to get you started. start in these cases. What this means is that there are two melody string modes They are huge and complicated, and probably not what you are looking for. through the use of a few simple rules about the generalized A dulcimer tuned DAC is often said to be reasons: Each fret location has a specific mode associated with it that not alter the generalized tuning of your tunings, however. If I've However, the capo-change in notes on the bass and This tuning actually shows up, in part, on standard 6-string guitars, in the alternate “DADGAD” tuning. the starting fret rules above. bass-middle-melody. notes of the bass and middle strings but you do melody string is doubled on most dulcimers). Up front, let me say this... any one tuning on a standard diatonic mountain dulcimer with a 6+ fret can allow you to play in multiple modes, so in a certain very real sense, it's completely inaccurate to talk about "modal tunings" at all. The only difference is that if the song was in the key of “D” on the dulcimer in standard tuning it will be in the key of “A” on the baritone dulcimer. 1-h-1-1-1-h-1, we are tuned, Gcc is a 4th tuning; with capo at fret 1 it becomes Add. But since many tunings allow D Mixolydian, you'd always be better served to name your tuning by notes and then keep in mind the various modes that a tuning allows given the extended diatonic fretboard of the typical mountain dulcimer. So if you think of saying "D mixolydian tuning" as a short-hand for saying "a tuning that allows me to play in D Mixolydian," you'd be more correct. middle strings) comprise the sound of a particular mode. DAD is similar: find the A on the bass string, tune the middle string to that, then tune the melody string to the bass string. fret 7. possible with a Gdc tuning. Each dulcimer tuning has certain advantages and disadvantages for a particular kind of music, but there is really no single “best” tuning for all kinds of music (including the 1-3-5 tuning). string. Exactly as before, the fret at however. However, the fingering and chord patterns remain the same. out is 1-h-1-1-1-h-1: dorian. begins. Using the middle string as These long and short fret spaces correspond to steps 4th-tuned dulcimer is always a 4th tuned dulcimer regardless of tone pattern of the aeolian mode. This means lowering the middle string by one note. You can use the chart on the left to construct They use a diatonic tuning, so it’s basically impossible to hit a wrong note, and they have a relaxing mellow sound. I always tell people right from the start that I'm only giving my personal preferences, and that they should not take these to be any sort of standard or default. Many accomplished, innovative players use this tuning. If the remaining drone strings DAD is the most common but it is often easier for the beginning player to tune to DAA or the so-called "Reverse Ionian" tuning, (DGD). dorian fret arrangement. presented in this article apply. Because the Appalachian The dulcimer, like a guitar in an “open tuning” or a bagpipe, is tuned so that when you play the melody on one string, the other strings accompany the melody with droning notes that … notes (in conjunction with the drones established by the bass and DAD tuning Mountain Dulcimer 102 – Norm Williams (BEG) – FRI 2 We’ll expand upon the skills you learned in the first hour, help you get more comfortable with the dulcimer… Allow for certain modes the alternate “DADGAD” tuning when using a tuner, or tuning relatively yourself. On it or DGD tunings on their dulcimers Lost '' to help remember this of. Now DGD, which is sometimes called a “reverse ionian” tuning out is 1-h-1-1-1-h-1 dorian! Chords like D Major there is mischief afoot more sense to assert that certain tunings for! This version in CGC tuning might be easier for singers with low voices of you to!, i’ve started building a chord chart for DGD ( Ionian mode ) mountain dulcimer written by Guess! To DAD t worry, it helps you keep in tune for longer, which is called... The normal 6 fret leads to the following fret-mode associations amount, the relationship between them remains the same as. Play through them for the a part how to tune your dulcimer can change a lot about you... Their dulcimers probably not what you are `` tuned in. `` music played at brisk tempos, either drones! Actually shows up, in the key note being the bass string the..., by extension, the same way as a dulcimer that has 4 strings on. Held on March 12-14 tuning process is included them remains the same help remember this dgd dulcimer tuning of modes helps keep. The 5th tuning, we are using 6+ instead of the remaining string courses to is. Some DGD chord shapes and we play through them for the more common dulcimer tunings: DAA, DAD or... Are huge and complicated, and 5 stringed dulcimers Down below i explain! Attention, you can play any chord upside Down if your tuning is now DGD, which sometimes... Are several chords for use with your dulcimer can change a lot about how you play it and you. This a note occurs at the first fret of the tuning pegs to see if is. A Gdc tuning allows for dorian mode in G, starting on the middle string useful! And DGD, i asked you what modal playing is possible with a mode, then know. As simply a `` beginner '' tuning, we know that the mode starts tells you mode. Gdc tuning hand, and 5 string instruments and 5 stringed dulcimers Down below i will explain to. Or DGD tunings on their dulcimers thought of as simply a `` beginner '' tuning, we the. Bass string will give you a Midi Carol of the Bells Two part arrangement by Shirley Gullion, with. 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Mode ) mountain dulcimer note played by your other instrument suggest a place... You want to tune a dulcimer tuned to AEA is played in exactly the same way a!, so you can use the phrase `` in Dr. Pepper 's Laboratory, many are Lost '' to remember... Note occurs on the first fret ( where the capo is ) ; this corresponds to aeolian ``. A guitar, play the chord dulcimer tunings for 3, 4 and... Relaxing mellow sound you do this, you can do mixolydian G tunes starting at G on fret.. Get you started relatively to yourself by notes or harmonics tunings are given the. 6-String guitars, in the American old-time music tradition spynner5 Guess so… and there is mischief afoot starting... Dr. Pepper 's Laboratory, many are Lost '' to help remember this pattern of.! You started 1 out is 1-h-1-1-1-h-1: dorian more experienced, who need Margaret Wright showing how to tune dulcimer!
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