Tuning Your Instrument

Tuning your instrument is most important. there is nothing worse than trying to play a tune which somehow just does not sound right.

If you are a beginner, please tune your instrument each time, before playing. Not only is this good practice, but it also trains your ear to the sound of your instrument. Pretty soon you will pick up if one or more of the strings is not right. Retune it before continuing.

There are a number of options to help you keep your instrument in tune.

Option 1

Purchase a digital tuner.

These are relatively cheap. Purchase one from our store for  just $10.

Or go to a music store and have a browse at what is on offer.

Option 2

Use an online tuner to tune your Bukey by ear. Some of them also can use your webcam microphone to pick up the sound of your instrument to assist with tuning.

Our Dulcimer Scale Instrument instruments are tuned using the notes D A D for the 3 string versions. For 4 string versions (SS Bukey Box Strummers or Biscuit Tin Strummers) simply tune both bottom strings to the last D.

One of the things which make Bukeys and the instruments on which they are modelled is the fact that there is no standard tuning. But for beginners it is best to follow set patterns. The above tuning will produce what is called Open D tuning. It works well with strum stick style instruments, as well as cigar box guitars and the like which are designed to be played either by plucking the strings or using a slide for extra effects.

Some of our other instruments are based on Baritone Ukulele Tuning. This is the tuning for the bottom 4 strings on a standard guitar. ie D G B E .

And for great Blues and Roots tune your box guitar to Open G. GDG for 3 stringers and GDGB for 4.

Option 3

If you have an ANDROID smart phone or tablet, I highly recommend the app called PITCHLAB. Brilliant. I have it installed on my devices and have been using it for well over a year now. As well as heaps of preset instrument tunings it has the option of setting up your own Custom Instruments. If you want to use this app , create a custom instrument with 4 strings and the tunings of D3 A3 and D4 D4. Call it SS Bukey and you are ready to tune and to play.
Click to view and download the best Android Instrument Tuner called PITCHLAB, from Google Play Store

If you have an iOS device, (iPhone or iPad), you can also download Pitchlab.
Link to read about it is here
The only downside with the iOS version is that you do have to pay a small fee for some of the features, including custom tunings.
Still well worth it in my opinion.