How to use this tuner:
- 1Click on the ‘Play’ button.
- 2Click ‘allow’ if you see a pop-up asking for permission to use your microphone.
- 3Pluck the string you wish to tune on your mandolin, we recommend you start with your lowest G3 string pair (the ones closest to you when playing). Adjust each string’s pitch using its corresponding tuning peg, tightening the string if it’s too low and loosening if it’s too high.
- 4Keep plucking your string and adjusting its peg until the orange circle on the tuning tool aligns with the gray circle, when they match up the string will be perfectly in tune!
- 5Once you’ve got the hang of the process, tune the rest of your strings using the same method.
- 6Happy tuning!
If the microphone has been allowed but the tuner isn't responding to sounds from your instrument,
see below for possible solutions:
Tune Your Mandolin Easily with OnlineMicTest:
You may have heard the saying: “Mandolin players spend half of their time tuning, and the other half playing out of tune.” However, we hope by using our handy online tuner you can tune with confidence and ease, and (fingers crossed) be able to play your mandolin in tune a lot more than half of the time :)
How is a mandolin tuned?
Mandolins have 8 strings, with adjacent strings normally tuned in pairs. Our tuner is set to standard tuning for a mandolin, which is the same as a violin’s tuning: G3 D4 A4 E5 (lowest to highest strings).
If you would like to try any other alternate mandolin tunings you can use our chromatic tuner to tune to any possible note on your instrument.
Background of the Mandolin:
Mandolins are members of the lute family, who’s roots go back thousands of years, with early forms found in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. The mandolin in its modern form was first developed in 18th century Italy, where it became a popular sound in Baroque music. Composer Vivalidi wrote a number of concertos for the mandolin, and Mozart and Beethoven also featured it in their operas. Over the years the mandolin has undergone many adaptations and has been adopted by a whole host of different genres of music, including Balkan and Celtic folk music, Brazilian Choro, Portuguese Fado, Mexican Estudiantinas, as well as American Country and Bluegrass.
What are the different types of mandolin?
There are a bunch of different variations of the mandolin out there, all suited to different musical and playing styles. Some common types are:
Round Backed or Neapolitan Mandolins: The most traditional type of mandolin, these instruments are most similar to those developed in Italy in the 1700s, they have tear shaped bodies with a bowl-shaped back mirroring their lute predecessors, and are often associated with classical music.
Flat-backed Mandolins: these have symmetrical pear shaped bodies and oval sound holes. They are used in music throughout the world, including Irish, British, Philippine, Mexican and Brazilian folk songs. Check out this song “Benzinho'' by influential Brazilian mandolinist Jacob Do Bandolim, for a beautiful example of what the flat back mandolin can sound like.
Archtop Mandolins are the American cousins of the European mandolin, and commonly associated with country and bluegrass music. First developed by US instrument company Gibson in the late 1800s, they take a lot of their design inspiration from violins, with an arched top and back that is shallower than their round backed counterparts, making them easier to play standing up (perfect for bluegrass shindigs!).
Amongst their many variations, there are generally two distinct styles of Archtop Mandolin: A-style, which have a symmetrical pear shaped body and simple headstocks, and the more expensive Florentine or F-style, which have decorative scrolls at their neck and headstock as well as points on their bodies.
What type of mandolin is best for playing Bluegrass?
There is much debate in the mandolin community over which style is better for playing Bluegrass, with A-style mandolins tending to have a more mellow tone, and F-style mandolins a brighter, more powerful sound. Mandolin purists may say that the F-style is more traditional, but the fact is both styles are used in the genre and add their own qualities.
Ultimately the type of mandolin you chose to play depends on which sound and look suits you best, so it’s always worth popping by your local music shop and trying out a few different types of mandolins before buying.
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