HD fine tuning

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HD fine tuning

Postby Muha » Mon May 14, 2012 11:18 am

hi, I seem to have problem with tuning HG. I tune open string to D, then when I play A it is slightly flat. Other keys are not quite in tune either- either flat or sharp .

A) as a beginner HD player, but experienced musician- will I be able to tune each note separately by adjusting ( turning) the tangents?

B) Does the tuning change depending on humidity/ temperature ? Does it mean that I have to fine tune each note quite often? Or will it stay stable as soon as each note fine tuned correctly?

Thank you in advance for your answers!

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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:16 pm

Re: HD fine tuning

Postby halfies » Mon May 14, 2012 1:01 pm

Hi Iryna,

We well understand your problem from the days when we started ourselves.

A good place to find some reliable advice is at:


Hopefully Neil (Brook) will see this thread himself and further offer his own take on this.

So long as your cottoning is really consistent every time you replace it (absolutely important this, same amount each time and well snugged up tight on the string, NOT loose) you should only have to touch the tangents very occasionally once you have them set up properly.

As a musician you will know about the difference between 'Just' and 'Equal' temperament. Unless you are playing alongside other instruments tuned in equal temper you will probably find that your Gurdy sounds best in 'just' temper as appropriate to D/G tuning in your case.

As you know it is simple to adapt the table on Neil's webpage (as above) from G to D ......... basically all the numbers remain the same, you just shift them all along to start at open D rather than G. Must admit we don't get too precious about being that exact, we just use the figures as an ideal to aim at and to get a better sound.

We found it all a nightmare at the start and spent hours messing around and not playing (wrong, just play regardless if no-one is to hear but you). We were a bit frightened of everything too, and nervous of changing anything. Take it a step at a time and don't worry, it will all get easier in due course.

Very best Wishes

Robin (and Marjorie)
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:28 pm

Re: HD fine tuning

Postby Muha » Mon May 14, 2012 3:41 pm

'spent hours messing around and not playing'-- haha indeed- seems such a high maitenance instrument! so- Cotton is the answer!
thank you for taking time anwering my question, Robin!

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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:16 pm

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