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tuning a mandolin?

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GUEST 11 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM
banjomad (inactive) 11 Feb 03 - 07:29 PM
Rustic Rebel 11 Feb 03 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,B B 11 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM
open mike 11 Feb 03 - 08:57 PM
Sorcha 11 Feb 03 - 11:40 PM
GUEST,Guest D.B. 11 Feb 03 - 11:55 PM
Steve Parkes 12 Feb 03 - 03:29 AM
Ella who is Sooze 12 Feb 03 - 03:55 AM
nickp 12 Feb 03 - 04:15 AM
Steve Parkes 12 Feb 03 - 04:44 AM
nickp 12 Feb 03 - 04:53 AM
Ella who is Sooze 12 Feb 03 - 05:31 AM
the lemonade lady 12 Feb 03 - 05:39 AM
banjomad (inactive) 12 Feb 03 - 07:08 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 12 Feb 03 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Cluin 12 Feb 03 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Peter Reynolds 14 Feb 03 - 10:25 AM
Steve Parkes 14 Feb 03 - 10:40 AM
Bullfrog Jones 14 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM
Ebbie 14 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM
smooks 14 Feb 03 - 04:21 PM
Peterr 14 Feb 03 - 04:59 PM
fogie 15 Feb 03 - 05:44 AM
Cluin 15 Feb 03 - 07:29 PM
Steve Parkes 17 Feb 03 - 10:55 AM
brioc 17 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM
Cluin 18 Feb 03 - 01:04 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Feb 03 - 03:45 AM
Davetnova 19 Feb 03 - 06:49 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Feb 03 - 06:59 AM
Ella who is Sooze 19 Feb 03 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Janine Carter 26 Aug 03 - 09:22 AM
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Subject: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM

Help! Just got a mandolin and want to tune it. I'm familiar with tuning a guitar. Can I tune it to a piano? Any advice from the mudcatters is always appreciated. Thanks,D.B. in Boston.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: banjomad (inactive)
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:29 PM

Tune the same as a fiddle, the thinnest string is the first; so
1=E
2=A
3-D
4=G
Good luck, Dave


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:46 PM

Yes you can tune by piano.
The G, left of middle C(32nd white key from right) is your 4th string,
D, right of middle C(28th white key from right) is 3rd string
down to A (24th white key from right) for your 2nd string
And E (20th white key from right) is your 1st string.
Each pair of strings is tuned in unison as follows:
EE: First string, thinnest, highest in pitch
AA:Second string, slightly thicker, second highest in pitch.
DD: third string, wound, lower in pitch.
GG: Fourth string, thickest and wound, lowest in pitch.

They also sell mandolin pitch pipes or tuning forks, in A or 440.

Fret tuning-Once your A strings are in tune, Fret the A string at the 7th fret. That note produced is the correct pitch of the open E string, after tuning the E string to this pitch, fret the D string at the 7th fret. Tune the D strings until they are the same pitch as the open A strings. Then do the same for the G strings. Fret them at the 7th fret and tune them until their pitch is the same as the open D strings
Remember, any string fretted on the 7th fret is equal in pitch to the open string placed below it on the neck.

Hope this helps, And I hope I'm correct in this advice! If I'm not, I'm sure someone will correct me!
Peace. Rustic


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST,B B
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

Sure, you can tune it from a piano or pitch pipe. But you will drive yourself nuts trying to get all eight strings perfectly in tune. Invest in a Digital Electronic Guitar Tuner. Then keep twisting and plinking till you make the little hand stand up straight! Costs less than $40 for a good one.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: open mike
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:57 PM

7 frets--one fifth...each tone is one fifth above the one below
SO IF YOU PLAY THE STRINGS THEY WILL SOUND LIKE THIS:
LOWEST:G-A-B-C-D
NEXT: D-E-F-G-A
NEXT: A-B-C-D-E
THE 5TH NOTE ON EACH STRING EQUALS THE TONE OF THE NEXT STRING.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 11:40 PM

To get the pairs in tune with each other tune one, then listen for the sine waves to match exactly........can't say it better than that, but it can be learned. If this Deaf Lady can do it, anybody can.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST,Guest D.B.
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 11:55 PM

Thanks to all. Because a piano was handy,I followed Rustic Rebel's approach and it tuned up just fine! Now,on to the fun! D.B.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:29 AM

I think what Sorcha is saying is: listen for the beats.When one string is iun tune and the other is slightly out you'll hear a sort of throbbing, The more out the string is, the faster it gets, until it disappears around a semitone (one fret). The nearer it gets the slower the beat, and you can easily tell when the beat stops -- or you soon will with a little practise.

Steve


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 03:55 AM

ok... here goes... here's my impression of mandolin tuning...

ding ding ding ding twang twang twang, twick twick twang twang ding twing twing ding ding ding ding twang....

Well, thats all we get from our mandolin player throughout our gigs... be warned it turns into a habit!

Ella


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: nickp
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:15 AM

Well done Ella, as a mandolin player I reckon that sounds just like me!


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:44 AM

My mandolin doesn't go out of tune!


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: nickp
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 04:53 AM

Don't tell me .... you got it there and then welded it!!!


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 05:31 AM

Cor he's h'invinc'hible....!

:-)


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 05:39 AM

You mean it's possible?

#8-D


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: banjomad (inactive)
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 07:08 AM

always make sure you buy one thats in tune.
Speaking personally Sorcha I need an oscilloscope to check a sine wave,electronic tuners are cheaper.
Dave


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 12:14 PM

To tune a mando directly from a guitar (assuming that the guitar is in tune and has good intonation):

G - guitar 3rd string open
D - guitar 2nd string at 3rd fret
A - guitar 1st string at 5th fret
E - guitar 1st string at 12th fret

I never worry too much about getting all the strings within a course on any course-string instrument exactly in tune with each other. Having just the tiniest bit of variance actually creates a fuller sound to my ears.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 01:15 PM

Or, if you play with a fiddler, tune to him/her.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST,Peter Reynolds
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:25 AM

I've had my mandolin for 35 years, and getting it to stay in tune doesn't get any easier - it was made, according to the little label inside in anno 190 something in Naples. I'd be interested to know why after a session the next time I pick it up the A strings are sharp, as very basic physics indicates to me they ought to be flat. Also, the best strings I've found are the Redwing from Mallinsons - they seem not to corrode at the bridge as quickly as others.
PS this forum thing is great, only just discovered it. I went for Ratcatchers daughter and then followed Steve Parkes and arrived here.
How do you know when a reply has been posted, do you have to be a member? Sorry, that's got nothing to do with mandolins


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 10:40 AM

So it's you that's been following me around all day, Peter! No, nobody tells you even if your'e a member, but it does mean you can put a trace on threads you want to follow, and have them all listed on your personal page. Take the plunge and sign up -- it's worth it!

I've found with the three (or four? I lose track) bowl-backs I've owned that the holes in the head start to wear oval, and when you try to tune up the end of the tuner spindle turn off-centre. This means the string is tightening and then slacking again, making it very difficult to tune accurately; and the spindle tends to move after you stop tuning, putting it out again very quickly. The only cure (and I haven't tried this!) is to take off the tuners, bore out the holes and insert a tight-fitting metal bush, like you get on modern instruments.

When I'm being "serious" I play a Crafter: have a shufti at this thread.

And happy 'catting!

Steve


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM

'A tight-fitting metal bush'? Ouch! I love it when you talk dirty Steve!

BJ


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM

I understand that a mandolin has only two possibilities available: it's either out of tune, or it's going out of tune.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: smooks
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 04:21 PM

Ella, I really dig that twick thing. I'm going to use that on my mandolin, fiddle too if I can find it on the fingerboard. carlton harmon----newcomer, and loving it.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Peterr
Date: 14 Feb 03 - 04:59 PM

Right, now I've joined. Thanks Steve, now I've got to discover how to put a trace on. Ebbie is quite right - the mandolins are only approximately in or definitely out of tune. At least theyve got frets, which avoids my having to use a pencil sharpener on Spingo-deadened fingers when scraping the fiddle


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: fogie
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 05:44 AM

Just to put a brush among the hounds- you don't have to tune your mandolin like the above- I experimented tuning like a bouzouki for a while for instance A D A D, and its useful to learn different chord shapes-best of luck.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Cluin
Date: 15 Feb 03 - 07:29 PM

Sure, lots of combinations for open tunings, just like with the guitar.

ADAE, I've used; nice modal sound. GDBD would be an open G tuning.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 10:55 AM

I tried ADAD when I first started playing, thinkinbg it might be easier than standard tuning. But it limits you to one key (or two), and most of the people I play with will use other keys. A, C, D, E, F and G are easy enough in GDAE; and Julie B insists on singing in C# (give up: use a capo!). Actually, I play in Db, and she's never noticed.

Steve


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: brioc
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 01:22 PM

great thread!! I play the mandolin too, and likewise have been amazed at how between days of playing,when it is out of tune it is usually sharp!! The capo is indeed a great invention. At the moment I am using a friend's one ( from guitar ) for two songs sung in Eb. Is there actually a special mandolin capo? The electronic tuner must be one of the best things invented. On ones own in ones own home it is no problem to twing and twang for however long it takes. But when in company of evermore impatient musicians...............!

keep in tune


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 01:04 AM

Yes they do make capoes especially for mandolins (I know Kyser makes one in their quick-change style) but a Shubb guitar capo works pretty well on a mandolin. That's what I use.


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 03:45 AM

I use a Shubb banjo capo (the normal capo, not the 5th string capo!). It's a bit shorter than the guitar version. I've used it on my banjo too, not surprisingly.

Steve


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Davetnova
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 06:49 AM

They go out of tune up the way because of humidity changes, its weird. If you don't tune at this point and go back to the last place you tuned it, it will miraculously go back in tune again. (I've tried it and it works).


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 06:59 AM

Or you can learn to play in position -- it's not that difficult, once you get the hang of it. There's some very good stuff on playing up the neck at Mandolin Cafe: it'll keep you out of mischief for hours!

Steve


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 07:17 AM

smooks... Thanks...

As far as know, twick only applies to 'twicky' instruments, banjos twick, mandolics twick. Fiddles CAN twack though.... :-)

Steve, our mandolin player also has a crafter mandolin, but he still tunes the arse (ass/ayyyyaaaassse for our cousins over the pond) out of it at every gig.

Much to our amusement...

(I play a tuneable bodhran - and mine sounds like... eurrcchhhh - eurchhhhhhh - eurchhhhh - the screws need a spot of oil)

E


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Subject: RE: tuning a mandolin?
From: GUEST,Janine Carter
Date: 26 Aug 03 - 09:22 AM

I have a Gibson/Adam Steffy F5 and still can't keep the A strings in tune. I have a big fancy strobe tuner....get it in tune and sometimes by the end of the second song, I'm out on the A strings. Sometimes Sharp sometimes flat....mostely sharp. My other mandolin (Gibson F5G) did the same thing. I had someone work on it and put new bushing, but it didn't help much. I'm at a loss. Thanks.


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