How to Tune a Mandolin

by Frederik Nielsen, Apr 1, 2019 . 3 min read

How to Tune a Mandolin

Everyone loves a bit of bluegrass, and the wonderful sound of a mandolin that always comes with it. Personally, bluegrass reminds me of Deliverance, which reminds me that river-rafting is potentially more unhealthy than it is fun.

But the beautiful sound of the mandolin can be heard in other genres as well.

Check out these songs, for example:

How to Tune a Mandolin with the Roadie 2

So you’re in love, and you want to play the mandolin. I don’t blame you. It’s like a ukulele, but better. Grab your mandolin, your Roadie 2, and let’s get this baby in tune.

But wait. Isn’t Roadie 2 a guitar tuner? Will it even fit the tuning pegs on your mandolin?

If you’ve previously owned the first Roadie (thanks for the support!), then you might remember having to fit an adapter on it in order to tune your mandolin.

But no more. The Roadie 2 is an equal-opportunities tuner, and takes care of all instruments regardless of size and shape. It’s perhaps the most progressive and inclusive guitar tuner out there — just sayin’.

Here are the steps:

  1. Turn on the Roadie 2
  2. Select mandolin from the list of instruments
  3. Attach Roadie 2 to the tuning pegs

How to Tune a Mandolin the Old Fashioned Way

So maybe you haven’t yet made the leap and got yourself a Roadie 2, or maybe you’ve forgotten to bring it with you to the jam. No worries, there are other ways to go about tuning your mandolin.

The mandolin standard tuning is G-D-A-E. Well, actually, it’s G-G-D-D-A-A-E-E.

With that in mind, you have a few options when it comes to tuning your mandolin:

Once you have one of these tools at hand, you’re ready to tune your mandolin.

Here are the steps:

  1. Check the intonation and adjust the bridge accordingly
  2. Tune the first G string to the reference sound (see above)
  3. Tune the second G string to match the first
  4. Adjust the three other pairs of strings in line with the G strings
  5. Play all the strings to make sure they’re all in tune

Check out how Allen Music does it here:



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

We recently covered how to record electric guitar at home, so we thought it would be appropriate to give you some tips for recording acoustic guitar at home as well.

Frederik Nielsen
Mar 17, 2020 . 3 min read

Guitars come in all sizes and shapes, but they’re all equally beautiful. That said, it helps to know the difference between them if you’re looking for your next instrument.

Frederik Nielsen
Feb 10, 2020 . 3 min read

What do our 5 most popular articles of 2019 have in common? Nothing. That’s because we work really hard on making sure the content we develop for our readers is as diverse as the music world is.

Tamara Habchi
Jan 28, 2020 . 3 min read

We saw some brand-new guitar models released in 2019 along with some revamps of old classics. And with NAMM 2020, there were even more axes to look forward to.

Frederik Nielsen
Jan 27, 2020 . 3 min read

New year, New reviews? But wait, before we officially welcome 2020, let’s look back at some of our favorite reviews of 2019.

Tamara Habchi
Jan 8, 2020 . 4 min read

The term guitar tunings may refer to pitch sets other than standard tuning, also called nonstandard, alternative, or alternate.

Alain Abou Atmeh
Jan 6, 2020 . 5 min read

Not all stars are plastered across social media. Some manage to create a buzz without resorting to self-aggrandizing promotion techniques. 

Frederik Nielsen
Dec 24, 2019 . 3 min read

One of the most difficult elements of being a musician is finding your sound. As guitarists, we tend to wear our influences on our sleeves.

Frederik Nielsen
Nov 8, 2019 . 4 min read

How many alternate tunings are there for guitar? A s#$%load. Here are some of the resources I’ve come across when surfing

Frederik Nielsen
Oct 24, 2019 . 3 min read

We are very excited to announce the release of our new Record Mode feature. Users of the Roadie Tuner have long been asking for a way to record and save the specific tunings they are in.

Karine Janho
Sep 13, 2019 . 2 min read

We work really hard to keep our Roadie users happy and nothing gives us more satisfaction than to release new features that make musicians’ lives better!

Karine Janho
Jun 27, 2019 . 2 min read

We’ve covered alternate tunings extensively on this blog, and recommended several great songs you can learn to play with new tunings. We’ve even written an entire ebook on it. 

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 19, 2019 . 7 min read

The beauty of being a musician is that the only musician you can be…is you. Jimi Hendrix left-handedly pioneered blues and rock guitar styles of playing with a head full of lucy.

Randall Nashleanas
Jun 10, 2019 . 3 min read

Tuning a 24 String Bass…How long does it take?!

For some people, it’s quite difficult to tune an instrument even with the use of a tuner.

Randall Nashleanas
Jun 7, 2019 . 3 min read

Around 4000 years ago, someone invented a gadget which could create sound using strings forged from the gut of a cow. As time progressed,

Randall Nashleanas
May 31, 2019 . 4 min read

Band Industries, the makers of the Roadie automatic guitar tuners, are excited to announce the launch of their new free tuner app.

Karine Janho
May 27, 2019 . 2 min read

Mastodon is a heavy metal guitar masterclass! In the past twenty years or so, Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher have written some

Alec Plowman
May 13, 2019 . 4 min read

Hello fellow Roadie fans, and welcome to the ultimate guide to guitar tuning! It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or have never seen a guitar before — this guide covers it all.

Frederik Nielsen
May 8, 2019 . 7 min read

Whether you are a beginner or have some experience with guitars, you still may be wondering how to tune a guitar perfectly.

Alain Abou Atmeh
May 2, 2019 . 4 min read

Alternate tunings make life as a guitarist a bit more interesting, as it’s easy to get tired of just being famous all the time. That’s why we cover alternate tuning

Frederik Nielsen
May 1, 2019 . 5 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!