Friday, December 12, 2014

CTO … Dan Landrum Suggests Making the Most of Tuning Time

Tuning is a necessary evil. Most hammered dulcimer players I know don't like to do it, but we know we must!

Between my students' lessons, my own practice sessions with music buddies, and the occasional gig … I have to tune a lot. Usually, I just want to get it done. If the instrument is not terribly out of tune I'll zip straight up and down the bridges. This is probably OK for the quickie job I'm doing, but it doesn't necessarily result in the most accurate tuning across the board.

What if we structured our tuning efforts in such a way that we could actually learn something while getting the instrument in its best tune?

Check This Out … Dan Landrum has posted a video in which he discusses this very thing … ways to make the most of tuning time. Advantages to these tuning strategies is:
  • opportunity to learn the names of notes
  • chance to become more familiar with your instrument
  • more movement while tuning is friendlier to your body
  • better equalization of tension across the instrument compared to tuning up and down the bridge
The two methods:
  1. Tune all notes of particular name … all the A's, all the B's, all the C's (including chromatics, such as Bb and C#) This forces you to go all over your instrument
  2. Tune by fifths, around the Circle of 5ths. All the G's, all the D's, all the E's etc. You'll get to know where all the notes are and possibly begin to understand some things musically. Don't know what the Circle of Fifths is? Google it … or follow this link to read about it: Circle of Fifths
Follow this link to watch Dan's video yourself:  Mindful Tuning 

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