Tuning question difference between DAg and DAc

Paul Certo
Paul Certo
@paul-certo
9 years ago
242 posts

For sake of clarity, those with extra frets should pretend your dulcimer does not have any + frets. They cloud the issue, though I have and use extra frets. Diatonic instruments and the music thoeory that they follow, do not go into extra frets.

D Aeolian scale is D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C,D. D Dorian scale is D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D. Note that Bb in Aeolian is replaced by B in Dorian. Many songs do not use all the notes the scale contains, and sometimes you can play these songs in more than one tuning. If you were playing chords, you would find that some chord notes are not available in both tunings. Playing melody and drones you have the choice in these songs.

However, if you play the same song in more than one tuning, but use the same fret numbers, you are not playing both versions in the same key. I suspect it is only the extra fret that allows you to do this, but it still doesn't allow you the correct drones for both keys. You may need to tune the drones to give you the correct drones for the key those frets gives you. The "standard" drones are the 1st and 5th notes of the scale. In the DAC/DAG example above, this is D&A. But if you use the same fret numbers in both tunings, you are not playing the same notes, and the drones do not match.

 

Dan Goad
Dan Goad
@dan-goad
9 years ago
155 posts

Marg, If you wish, we can chat in the Night Owls chatroom.  I'll still be up for a while.

marg
@marg
9 years ago
616 posts

 DAc &  DAg ( I am playing the same fret numbers for each tuning)

Are you playing one tab that fits them both?

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 years ago
2,128 posts

Nancy -- the Key or Keynote your dulcimer is in is the open note of the Bass string, not the start note of the scale for that Mode.  If your dulcimer is tuned DAC or DAG you are in the key of D.  In DAC the scale starts at the 1st and 8th frets;  in DAG the scale starts at the 4th and 11th frets (ignore the 6+ and 13+ frets which are not part of the true diatonic fretboard).

 

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
9 years ago
252 posts

Key of F. Aeolian would be F c eb. Very risky if your vsl is greater than 26". Dorian is F c bb. I have never played in F. So others might correct me on this. I really like dorian, just avoid the 6+ fret... Robert. 

Nancy Garrett
Nancy Garrett
@nancy-garrett
9 years ago
6 posts

Thanks all! Tis very interesting as I am playing the same fret numbers for each tuning. Do both tunings give one the Key of F? That still confuses me in my little knowledge of music. I haven't looked at the notes used yet, but will in a couple days. We hava a gig tomorrow and I teach on Wed. Retirement and music provide a full life for me.

Robin Clark
Robin Clark
@robin-clark
9 years ago
239 posts

Jan Potts:
Robin--and not just what sounds best, but you can also consider what fits your vocal range!


Very true Jan.  For those of us who like to sing in Bb and F (not uncommon at all) then banjo, mandolin and dulcimer do present a few 'challenges' doh


 

Jan Potts
Jan Potts
@jan-potts
9 years ago
400 posts

Robin--and not just what sounds best, but you can also consider what fits your vocal range!




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Robin Clark
Robin Clark
@robin-clark
9 years ago
239 posts

Hi Nancy,

The 6+ fret sort of gets in the way of displaying the true difference between the 2 tunings of DAC and DAG.  DAC is the Aeolian scale (play the 6th fret not the 6+ as this will give the Dorian scale) and DAG is the Dorian scale (again use the 6th fret not the 6+ as this will give the Mixolidian scale).  It is all far more obvious to see the difference on a dulcimer without any extra frets. 

Regarding the better tone you are hearing in DAG:  Every dulcimer and set-up is different in this respect.  We do tend to be a little stuck in our ways by always tuning to the key of D and DAd in general, whereas tuning to a key a little higher to say D#, E of F (careful not to break strings) or a little lower to C or B can bring out a different voice from your instrument.  Also, as you have found, using different modal tunings can bring out different voices from our little box of delights!  If you are not playing with other folks then it doesn't matter what pitch you are tuned to, so you can play around and find out what sounds best on your particular instrument.

Robin

William Mann
William Mann
@william-mann
9 years ago
22 posts

In DAG tuning, the scale starts on the 4th fret; in DAc it starts on the 1st fret.  It's like the relationship of DAA and DAd. 

If you're looking for a B-flat, there's one in DAc (6th fret); but there's not one in DAG, unless your dulcimer has a 1+ or 8+ fret.

Nancy Garrett
Nancy Garrett
@nancy-garrett
9 years ago
6 posts

I've been working on a tune Parting Glass and found I like the minor tuning. A time ago I tuned to DAc and today I found a song in Dminor tuned to DAg. Both tunes show a Bb, so now I'm curious about the difference. I retuning to the DAg, I really like how that sounds compared to DAc.

Thought I'd post to Theroy group, but I didn't see a good place for this question. If it needs to be ther that is find by me.

Thanks,

Nancy G.


updated by @nancy-garrett: 08/24/15 05:03:07AM