FAQ: How To Tune A Mountain Dulcimer 4 Strings?

How is a mountain dulcimer tuned?

There are two common tunings for mountain dulcimer, DAA and DAD. In DAA, the bass string is tuned to D with the middle and paired melody strings tuned to A. In DAD, the bass string is tuned to D with the middle string tuned to A. That is, the unusual pattern of frets on a mountain dulcimer renders a seven-tone scale.

What are the strings on a 4 string dulcimer?

Many dulcimers have extra notches cut in the nut and bridge so that you can separate your strings into four individual strings, rather than just “melody,” “middle,” and “bass” strings.

How many strings are on a mountain dulcimer?

Number of strings: Dulcimers may have as few as two or as many as 12 strings (in up to six courses). Up to the 1960s most mountain dulcimers had three strings. The most popular variant today is four strings in three courses, with doubled melody strings.

Can you use guitar strings on a dulcimer?

If you need stainless steel or wound strings and you ‘re not near a ” dulcimer string ” source, you might be able to use a guitar or octave mandolin string of the same or smaller gauge if it’s long enough. Guitar strings will have a small ball in the loop that will need to be removed first.

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What is the best wood for a dulcimer?

Tonewoods used for dulcimer soundboards include spruce, mahogany, western red cedar, redwood and birch. Spruces are among the most used type of soundboard wood and the most commonly found species is Sitka spruce. This wood is tough, stable and produces a clear, loud, bright tone.

What kind of strings does a dulcimer use?

D’Addario Dulcimer strings contain 3 plain steel strings and one nickelplated steel wound on steel string; designed and gauged to common scale.

Is dulcimer easier to play than guitar?

The fact that the dulcimer has only three strings makes it much easier to play than a guitar, banjo, mandolin, or fiddle. It is also not as hard to push the strings down as it is on a guitar. Simple songs can be played by fretting just the first string and strumming across the instrument.

Is a dulcimer hard to play?

What is a dulcimer? The lap dulcimer is a stringed folk instrument that evolved in the Appalachian mountains in the 1800s. Dulcimers are the easiest stringed instrument for beginners to play, ideal for children and non-musicians who want to play tunes or accompany singing. Dulcimers are a relatively quiet instrument.

How do I choose a mountain dulcimer?

The longer the VSL, the further the low frets (by the nut) are from each other and the greater stretch is required by the players’ fingers. The shorter the VSL, the closer the low frets are to each other. Players with shorter fingers or a shorter reach sometimes prefer the shorter VSL for ease in playing.

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What is the difference between a dulcimer and a hammered dulcimer?

The difference between the two is how they are played. The strings of the psaltery are plucked with the fingers, while dulcimer strings are struck with small mallets or hammers.

How much does a dulcimer cost?

As a quick overview, our harps range in price from under $900 up to around $6,600. Our dulcimers range from about $550 to about $4,000.

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