How to Tune a Mandolin
Players new to the mandolin may be a little confused by how the instrument is set up. A mandolin is similar to a 12-string guitar in that one finger on your fretting hand is meant to hold down two strings at the same time. Unlike a 12-string guitar, though, each string pair on a mandolin is meant to be tuned to the same exact note instead of an octave apart. Getting an accurate tune can be incredibly difficult to do by ear, which is another reason why our mandolin tuner app is the perfect tool for any mandolin player to have.
To tune a mandolin, you have to alter the tension on the strings until the string plays the intended note at the right pitch. Using one of the two modes in our tuner app, you can easily tell if your note is sharp (pitch is too high, which means too much tension) or flat (not enough tension, producing a note that sounds lower than it should).
We recommend starting to tune a string slightly flat and tune ‘up’ to the target note, as this will greatly enhance your tuning stability. Slow and smooth turns of your mandolin’s tuning pegs on the headstock are the key to getting the pitch just right.
A mandolin has four pairs of strings that you need to tune. For reference, the notes for standard tuning on a mandolin follow the pattern below. The fourth string pair is made up of the thickest strings that are closer to your chest when playing, and the first pair of strings (the thinnest strings) are the ones closest to the floor.
Standard mandolin tuning (G D A E)
• Fourth string pair: G, G
• Third string pair: D, D
• Second string pair: A, A
• First string pair: E, E
It’s not all that often that you’ll come across a mandolin tuner app that has the features and quality that GuitarTuna has to offer. Over 100 million users can’t be wrong, so download GuitarTuna today. Tuning your mandolin has never been this easy.