How to Tune a Mandolin
Players new to the mandolin may be a little confused by how they are 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. This can be incredibly difficult to do by ear, which is another reason why our mandolin tuner app is the perfect tool for you to have.
To tune a mandolin, you have to alter the tension on the strings to where it is set at the right point to sound out the intended note at the right pitch. Using the 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 your 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 is the key to getting the pitch just right.
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 (thinnest strings) are the ones closest to the floor:
• 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 will come across a mandolin tuner app that has the features and quality that GuitarTuna gives you. Over 100 million users can’t be wrong – download GuitarTuna today!