There is a saying if you are playing mandolin for 30 years, you’ve spent 15 years tuning and the other 15 years playing out of tune. Since mandoline comes with shorter strings than the guitar, some people find it difficult to tune. But, tuning with mandolin can be much manageable with perfect guidance.
To tune a mandolin easily, there are several options available. Among all the methods, the most accurate and effective option is using an electric tuner. Simply turn on the tuner, pick the sound, and play with each string. Keep reading this guide to get the details of how to use an electric tuner for mandolin.
Tuning Your Mandolin
Firstly, you need to make a good choice that will fit your goals and budget. To ensure the quality of a mandolin you can check expert opinion on mandolin for the money you are spending on.
Above all things, you should know each note of the strings. Traditionally, the mandolin’s string is tuned in pairs. A mandolin is tuned G-G-D-D-A-A-E-E from low to high. G strings are the thickest, and E strings are the thinnest pair of a mandolin. So, let’s learn the basics.
Locate the Tuners: Now, locate the accurate tuners for every string. In most mandolins, both the G and D strings tuners are located on the headstock’s side closest to you. In contrast, both A and E string tuners are placed on the headstock’s side closest to the floor.
So, while tuning, you should follow the clockwise pattern around the headstock. What makes the mandolin most difficult to play is its 8 strings instead of 4. Therefore, you should handle this instrument more precisely; otherwise, it will be out of tune.
Tuning Process: To isolate each note while tuning you can use rest strokes. Rest strokes mean you are dampening every string with the pick after playing. It will ensure a clearer tone on whatever method you are using for tuning.
Tune in pairs and ensure start from the below pitch. Starting with a higher pitch has a chance of the string going out of tune. It will also risk the strings by increasing the tension.
Using Fresh Strings: Rusty and worn-out strings go out of tune quickly also can disrupt the fingers while playing. Therefore, it is essential to change the strings regularly. Consider changing the strings every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on your use.
How to Use an Electric Tuner for Mandolin
For tuning accurately, using an electric tuner is the ideal option. Basically, there are two types of electric tuners out there. The first one is that which will produce a sound for you.
Then you have to tune the mandolin to match that sound with the tuner. The second type of electric tuner plucks with a string. Until it matches the correct tune, you should keep tuning. Now, let’s see how to use an electric tuner for the mandolin.
An Electric Tuner that Plays Sound
Turn on the tuner, and ensure the electric tuner is picking up sounds. Some tuner features with different instrument settings. So, at first, set the tuner to mandolin or violin. You should find a quiet room for tuning with it. So that other background noise won’t interrupt or affect your tuner’s efficiency.
Now, the electric mandolin tuner will play tones for each string. Listen carefully and tune the corresponding string. Keep tuning until each string matches the electric tuner sounds.
An Electric Tuner Which Plucks a String
Turn the tuner on and clip it to the mandolin’s headstock. Make sure you can see the notes and color of the tuner properly. This tuner picks the string’s vibration up when you play. You have to tune each string set so that they can provide the exact pitch.
To compare the tune with the tuner, play each string individually. Until the string gets relatively close, you should tighten the corresponding tuner. Watch the tuner closely. It will turn green or start blinking when you get the right tune. With the too flat or low pitch, you need to turn the tuning peg away from yourself.
With too sharp or high pitch, you should tune the mandolin a little bit down. In this way, pluck both G-D-A-E strings and match them with the tuner. Pay close attention to both strings and find out if further adjustment is required or not. You can play both the strings together and ensure that they are in tune.
Benefits of Using an Electric Tuner
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To keep the mandoline in proper tune, you can’t ignore the usefulness of an electric tuner. Here are the advantages that an electric tuner can offer you.
- Electric tuners are small enough though it is super easy to read the display. While you tune the mandolin, the tuner won’t distract you.
- They usually work very well with any type of instrument. Adjusting the features, sounds, and other facts is extremely easy with these tuners.
- An electric tuner keeps everything at 440 Hz pitches. This offers the mandolinists to play folk or classical music.
- The color-coded display models provide more detailed tuning information.
- Preserve the best possible mandolin sound without affecting the electronic signals at all.
- You can easily switch between tuning and playing with the eclectic tuners.
- Some tuners come with a headphone plug-in so that you can hear the metronome without interrupting others.
It is incredibly essential to tune the mandolin in a proper way. It doesn’t matter how good you play mandolin if it is not in tune the mandolin won’t sound good. Before it takes a lot while tuning a mandolin and getting the correct tune. Fortunately, an electric tuner makes this process much easier for every musician.
Electric tuners are best because they keep the musical pitch’s general standard tuning. This shows how to use an electric tuner for mandolin and get the accurate tune. If you haven’t done this yet, simply follow this guide and go ahead to tune your mandolin.