Hi all,

so I’m taking one of my older fiddles and putting them in Dead Man’s Tuning, hopefully.

The high E string comes down a step I’m guessing, but what about the low G? I tried tuning “down” a 4th to the lower D, but it sounded/felt like the string was too loose and going to fall off. I tried tuning up a 5th..but the string is almost too tight..?

what’s the correct way to put the fiddle in Dead Man’s Tuning?




  • Since the D is too low, how about lowering the G 1/2 step to an F sharp or raising the G 1 whole step to an A? I've tuned a fiddle to that low D before and found the same situation..... too low to sound good even as a drone.

  • @Frederick that's exactly what I ran into. I never thought about tuning to F# or A. I guess I thought there were "rules" as to what was allowed or not. Having transferred from classical violin, I'm not used to such freedom! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Hi Lisa. And thank you for your very good question. However, this question is best suited to the 'General Help' forum. The "Strings and Things' forum is for comments and questions regarding different types / brands of strings, fiddles, other musical instruments, music software, recording gear, studio gear. I will try to move your post to the appropriate forum. Have a great day.


  • @Great Scott Thank you. I couldn't quite decide where it should go. I first thought "General Help", but then thought my question WAS regarding strings--although in reference to tuning, more so than brand name. I'll keep this in mind for next time. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Hi Lisa! Thank you for your kind response. I can understand your deciding which forum to post your question. It can get a bit confusing sometimes. I guess that's what happens when a website has a number of forums. But I am glad you asked that particular question because I have always wanted to try that tuning. I will give it a try sometime. Cheers! GS

  • Thanks @lisab it is probably different per instrument. It is a cool effect but I have a hard time keeping the low D in tune.

  • DDAD sounds awesome but it's too floppy for my fiddle too. Sometimes I go to Cumberland Gap tuning ADAD, or even lower it to C if I want to instead of the D, GCGC, and play the Dead Man's Tuning piece I w

    Oh gosh I keep trying to make posts on the forum and can't ever get anything through...why is it not working for me?

  • I read you loud and clear, @cricket!

    glad it’s not just me that DDAD doesn’t work well for.

  • @cricket it seems to have worked!

  • Here is a lesson for DDAD. William Steppe's "Bonaparte's Retreat"


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