Good to see you, here!ranwithrsd wrote:I came upon the DAde tuning after my own experimentation (I learned how to play by myself, teaching music to myself along the way, and the chromatic mountain dulcimer is the only instrument I play), and have used it as my exclusive tuning (again, on a chromatic dulcimer, not a traditional or standard one) since 1991. I have found it to be a relevant way to both play modern music as well as have a traditional tuning (in the interest of the heritage of the instrument) still 'built in', which is one reason I developed it for myself in the first place.
Randy Adams wrote:Here are 10 tunings I use, some for only a tune or two, 3 or 4 I use regularly. I learned them from playing the banjo and they are readily adaptable to the 4 string chromatic dulcimer. They are all key specific for me. IOW if I want to play in the key D I tune to some variant of a key of D tuning. Seldom do I play a song in a key not indicated by the tuning. I do tune them up or down the scale, or use a capo, to suit the situation: i.e. to play with other instruments or to suit my voice or just because I like the sound of the dulcimer in that musical range.
DAde - I use this tuning the most. Fret the e string at the 1st fret (f#) gives open D chord. Fret the e string at the half fret gives a D minor chord but I only play a couple of tunes in D minor this way. I also play a couple tunes in open D minor DAdf
DAdf# - Has a big bold sound. Good for when the melody goes high b/c the f# keeps the notes down in a reachable range. Also used when the tune calls for higher bar chords. I play a half dozen or so tunes in this tuning.
DF#Ad - A more melodically limited D tuning (for fiddle tunes) but is famous as the tuning for Rueben and that dulcimer tune everyone plays that sounds like Reuben...tune name slips my mind right now...500 or 900 Miles?... Limited (for me anyway) variant is D minor DFAd.
DGBd - Standard G tuning. Most adaptable for playing in mutiple keys. Chord formations are readily available. Key of A fiddle tunes fit this tuning, capo 2 frets. Variant is DGBflatd G minor.
DGCd - Dorian mode. Clinch Mt Backstep, Frosty Morning etc.
G'GBd - G tuning. When a melody doesn't use the low D I like to drone that low G but I only play a couple tunes this way.
DGde - My current favorite. A somewhat more limited G tuning but fits some melodies so well.
I'm not so good at what the notes are called but I think I got most of them right. Feel free to correct me! Anyone else use these tunings to play fiddle tunes on a chromatic dulcimer?
tuneit wrote:I don't see where any of this is chromatic, neither the four note chords nor the tunes referenced...
It seems that what the chromatic does do is allow freely using a capo to allow the guitar's trick of retaining the same fingerings (or using fewer variations) and the same open notes for the chords, while changing keys.
Now we have to make a distinction between exploiting a chromatic instrument to play diatonic music and actually playing chromatic music...exploring the non-traditional repertoire, blues and other jazz-based music in particular. I think each might have a different following.
Personally, I am all for capoing versus retuning, certainly as a starting position. The idea of a chromatic set of frets appeals to me.
Randy Adams wrote:Clare...check out Steve's u-tube page...he's got several 3 string chromatic tunes on there. Doesn't sound like he needs another string on there!
I had my dulcimer built as a 4 stringer and have never done the 3 string thing.
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