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dholeton

How many strings are on a mountain dulcimer?

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Question 2.  How many strings are on a mountain dulcimer?

Answer:  The most common arrangement for strings on a mountain dulcimer is 3 or 4 strings.  Usually, the bass string is a wound string and the middle and melody string(s) are unwound strings.  The dulcimers with 4 strings can be arranged with either two strings as double melody strings (similar to a mandolin or 12-string guitar) or with 4 strings equal distant from each.  Common tunings for mountain dulcimers today are DAD tuning and DAA tuning.  DAD tuning has the bass string tuned to D, the middle string tuned to A, and the melody string(s) tuned to D an octave above the bass string.  DAA tuning has the bass string tuned to D, the middle string and the melody strings are tuned to A.  Often, the bass string on a mountain dulcimer can be a wound string anywhere between .020 and .024 gauge.  The middle strings often are anywhere between .010 and .014 gauge.  The melody string(s) on a dulcimer tuned DAD are often anywhere between .008 and .012 gauge.  The melody string(s) on a dulcimer tuned DAA are often anywhere between .012 and .014 gauge.

Dave

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