Jack Ferguson


Location: Salem, VA
Country: US

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Amazing Grace tuned DAD and CGC

musician/member name: Music
Duration: 00:03:34
Amazing Grace - DAD and CGC, Appalachian Flutes and Dulcimers
Jack Ferguson
01/27/19 07:53:56AM @jack-ferguson:

Thanks Dusty. All good information to know, and reasons why the dulcimer is such a fun instrument to play.

Dusty Turtle
01/27/19 12:34:22AM @dusty-turtle:

Jack, on my standard dulcimers I regularly tune anywhere from a low of CGc to a high of EBe.  I prefer the lower tunings when I fingerpick, not because the sound is deeper but just because of the extra give and feel of the strings. But when I flatpick, I prefer tighter strings, which respond faster and allow for more accurate, fast playing.

I also change tunings when I sing.  Some tunes might be a bit too high for my voice in D, but tuning down to C or even just to C# makes a huge difference.

But I don't really think the sound is necessarily "fuller" at C than at D.  It is definitely deeper, but I think it only sounds fuller because we are so used to the D tuning.  If you were to play in C for an extended period, it would seem normal, and then you'd be surprised how bright and crisp your dulcimers sound tuned to D.

One confession: on a couple of occasions I've been part of a dulcimer round robin on stage, when four or five players took turns playing tunes.  I knew everyone else would be tuned to D, so I tuned to C.  And everyone complimented me on the deep, lush tone of my dulcimer.  I wanted to confess that it was only the tuning and had everyone tuned to C no one would have noticed my dulcimer's tone. But of course, I kept the secret and just smiled.winker