Best Tunings for the different Keys

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Re: Best Tunings for the different Keys

Postby Acmespaceship » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:34 pm

Brilliant post, Robin. I apologize for calling you a traditionalist :D Was it David Schnauffer who called our instrument a "possibility box"? There are so many ways to make music with it. I admit my perspective is limited because in my circle of friends the odds of someone calling "Bad Moon Rising" over "Whiskey Before Breakfast" are at least 5000:1. Yes, this means I need to make more friends.

I think it's hard for beginners these days. When I got my first MD, the music stores had maybe three books (Larkin, 4 and 20, In Search of...) and it was enough of a challenge to learn noter/drone and play modal tunes. Nowadays, people want to learn all that and also play chords and fit into a mixed instrument jam where players change keys with heedless abandon. The only true answer to a beginner is to have patience and bite off one thing at a time. And get a capo.

Speaking of galax tunings like ddd (or the octave Ddd) your post reminded me of my last-ditch solution: play one string. It doesn't matter how the other strings are tuned. I can usually find the key note on one string by ear (this can take a while) and then if necessary I can use the noter as a slide to get notes where the frets aren't.

Well, actually my last-ditch solution is to flip the dulcimer upside down and play it like a drum. Or stand up and get everybody refills, which tends to make me the most popular musician at the jam.
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