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 Post subject: Mixolydian dulcimer ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Just wondering, has anyone set up a mountain dulcimer, stick dulcimer, strumstick or similar to play Scottish bagpipe tunes, that is to say , two A drones an octave apart and a melody string tuned G, with fretting to suit the Scottish pipe scale? I'd be interested to read any comments.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:23 am 
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With the right string set a dulcimer can be tuned to just about anything. To find the right srtings for your needs Google 'String Gauge Calculator" and enter the numbers asked for in any of the many calulators on the Net. It's specific to your scale length, so I can't answer exactly here. The bigger problem usually stems from the GHB's just tuning scheme. You'll proably have a hard time playing along with pipes, but the tunes will work on their own.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:08 am 
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Tuning a dulcimer DAD, it what we call mixolydian tuning. Bagpipe tuning is generally a low D, and two d's one octave higher. I tried your AAG, and its a minor tuning. A good Wayfaring Stranger key... Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:51 pm 
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Tuning a dulcimer DAD, it what we call mixolydian tuning. Bagpipe tuning is generally a low D, and two d's one octave higher. I tried your AAG, and its a minor tuning. A good Wayfaring Stranger key... Bob
Thanks Bob, but I think we're at cross-purposes here. As I understand it, the Scottish "GHB" has a nine-note scale, effectively eight notes comprising a scale in Amix (two sharps) plus a low G. I believe the fret spacing for a mountain dulcimer would be slightly different with this scale than the usual diatonic "doh to doh" plus a couple of notes above scale that is "standard" for this instrument, and I was wondering if anyone had tried this.

I'm not interested (at the moment) in absolute pitch, that is to say exactly which concert key the set-up is in, just whether or not it works in a string-instrument environment.

I was basically being lazy, asking this question ... I should spend half an hour re-stringing an old guitar, mark out which frets to use with tape or similar and try it for myself ... I just didn't have a suitable selection of guitar strings to hand. I've since bought some suitable strings, an A and a couple of G's, and I'll give it a whirl. :)

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