Tuning Hack for Scroll-Headed Dulcimer

07 Apr
Tuning Hack for Scroll-Headed Dulcimer

by Steve Eulberg

The Snark™ tuner is very popular with mountain dulcimer players, for good reason.  It is quick, accessible, accurate and it’s display is very readable.

(This is not an insignificant feature as those of us who continue gathering service stripes in the playing of our dulcimers experience with eyesight that gets weary over time!)

IMG_2445And the handy clip-on feature works very well with flathead mountain dulcimers.

However, players of instruments with the traditional scroll have sometimes struggled with how to attach the tuning clip to the dulcimer so that it can “read” the vibrations and convert them into electricity which then displays how close our vibrating strings are to the desired pitch.

Therefore, when one of my students whose dulcimer has a beautiful, traditional scrollhead showed up for her lesson displaying the tuning hack here, I was delighted and decided I needed to share it right away!

IMG_2444By using her capo on the scroll, she had a location on which to clip her tuner that picked up the vibrations directly and accurately!

She clipped on tuned up and was ready for her lesson in no time!

(This is all the more important, because dulcimers players have taken and adhere to the dulcimer pledge which commits them to the joys of playing their instruments in many different tunings!)


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5 responses to “Tuning Hack for Scroll-Headed Dulcimer

  1. Leslie

    April 7, 2017 at 5:04 am

    I use the red one all of the time. On the side, you can switch it to vibration or microphone. The others Snarks I have (black and blue) only do vibration. I use the red one for my euphonium and flute, too.

  2. Ken

    April 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    This is a great idea, but I have one caution. If the capo is kept on the peg head in that position and the dulcimer fell hitting the capo, the peg head could break. Don’t ask me how I know.

  3. contests

    April 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Kudos to your student. What a great hack!


  4. A. Gouedard

    May 23, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    you can clip this tuner between the tuning pegs – I do it
    just above the top one – no problem


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