Tuning

October 12, 2021, 9:11 AM · I love my hammered dulcimer but I do miss having only 4 strings to tune. My instrument has 82, there could be more. All 82 do not need tuning every day though I do check them all. It's getting quicker/easier but it takes quite some time if my tuner gets cranky, LOL! My teacher is giving me tips to make it easier.

So be thankful you only have 4 strings :)

Replies (8)

Edited: October 12, 2021, 10:43 AM · I have an autoharp with "only" 36 strings. I look at it as an exercize in patience.
October 12, 2021, 10:54 AM · My violin actually has three strings!

....

My A string snapped. :(

October 12, 2021, 10:58 AM · It was pretty stable the first 2 weeks, but with the fluctuations in humidity it got a bit wild. I'm looking forward to when the humidity drops and stabilizes as I can control the room for that.

Autoharps are pretty interesting, I saw an incredible performance this weekend at QuaranTUNE- I had no idea the Autoharp had that level of range/versatility. It was the first time I've seen a professional performance. I can't remember her name, she's also a professional HD player but she won a national award on the Autoharp relatively recently.

Edited: October 12, 2021, 11:09 AM · @Becky- ouch!
October 12, 2021, 11:09 AM · The Harpist is re-tuning before each session. It becomes part of the warm-up routine. The Harpsichord player usually tunes their own instrument, before each performance.
October 12, 2021, 12:03 PM · Nice observation Joel. I don't have a problem with it and it's becoming a nice way to transition from work to practice. It forces me to slow down and focus on the instrument rather then the events of the day.
October 12, 2021, 4:53 PM · Piano-tuning apps. Could they help?

Another thing that might be useful is a device that would vibrate the string (a short reciprocating bow for example).

Edited: October 12, 2021, 6:09 PM · So far the tool that works best is a tuner clip I bought that is specifically made for the HD - it will plug into any electronic tuner that has the port. The one that Korg makes doesn't work well with the hammered dulcimer, something about the design of the clip. Thankfully I was warned. I either clip my TM-60 to one of my 3 bridges or one of the tuning pins and move it around as needed. It works fine - and tonight it only took 5 minutes as just 2 strings needed adjusting.

If I had perfect pitch I wouldn't even need that :-) Ideally one of each pair of strings are tuned to the other and only use the tuner for one of each course of strings - but my ear isn't THAT good. It's good, and it will get better.

The problem with phone apps is that the ones that are sensitive enough gets wonky with airplanes or sirens are around - and both happen frequently. I do like Pano - that's is a pretty good app as far as apps go.


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