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Hello, I have a new-to-me (but vintage) dulcimer and when I try to tune it, only two of the metal tuning pegs hold. Any suggestions for a fix? 

I also broke the bass string while trying to tune it so I’m going to order additional strings. 

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A photo of the kind of "pegs" would help.  FWIW, "vintage" dulcimers seldom have metal tuning pegs, they are usually wood violin style pegs.  However.... 

if there is a tiny screw in the end of the knob, start by giving that screw a quarter turn clockwise and see if that tightens things up.  If that does work, try a second quarter turn and try again.  

Basic rule of tuning strings:  NEVER tune a silent string!   Find the knob of the string you want to tune.  Pluck the string and give the knob a quarter turn while it is still humming.  If the string does not change pitch up or down -- Stop!  You're turning the wrong knob.  Try again.

What note were you trying to reach, from what other note on the bass string?

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Without getting in to the definition of "vintage," many of the mountain dulcimers built in the 1960s through 1990s used Champion ukulele or banjo pegs as describe in the post above. Tension on the pegs is maintained by adjusting the screw in the knob at the tip of the peg. By the late 1990s those pegs began to be replaced with either geared (open or closed) guitar tuning pegs or banjo tuning pegs.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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