Go to Setup

Tuning is Difficult?

Did you setup your mandolin for intonation? No worries, you can read all about it!
Go to Setup

Why a trained ear is a must-have requirement for any musician?

Ear training is the process of connecting music theory (notes, intervals, chords, scales, melodies, etc.) with the sounds we hear.

Studying ear training is building a bridge between the language of music and the sounds that are designated by that language. The more we train our ear to recognize this connection, the better we get not only at tuning our instrument, but also at playing music, because we learn to understand what
we play and to anticipate […]

By |November 18th, 2014|Front Page, Software, Tuning|

Guide: Easy Mandolin Tuning with just a Guitar

There are many ways to tune your mandolin. When selecting a way, you must take into account various conditions. For example, when you are trying to tune in a noisy environment, tuning by ear may be impossible! Then, the only effective alternative is to use a tuner that you attach to your mandolin that senses the vibrations of the instrument and is therefore not susceptible to external noise.

But what happens when you do not have […]

By |February 2nd, 2014|Front Page, How to Tune, Tuners|

First Impression: iStrobosoft tuner for iPhone

Peterson Strobe Tuners were known for decades for their accuracy and high cost, requiring an investment of hundreds of dollars. They were therefore considered tools for Pro musicians only.

The new iStrobosoft app for iOS by Peterson is supposed to allow even the amateur musician to tune with excellent accuracy (1/10th of a cent) with a cost less than ten USD. As this sounds as a real bargain, I decided to purchase iStrobosoft and do a detailed review to see how iStrobosoft rates in areas such as design, speed, user friendliness and to test if iStrobosoft is really as accurate as the mechanical strobe tuners.

I purchased the app one week ago and I am in the process of writing the detailed review. Till it is ready and published, here is my first impression of this iPhone app by Peterson.

Note that iStroboSoft is the second iPhone/iPad tuner app I selected to review. The first one was Guitartoolkit which I recommended (see: Review: Guitartoolkit tuner for iPhone/iPad) after testing to see if it conforms to my requirements and quality standards.

So, here is my first impression, after using iStroboSoft for nearly one week.


By |October 30th, 2013|Digital Tuners, Mobile Tuners, Software, Tuners|

Review: Cherub WMT-555C tuner and metronome

As I mentioned before in my SNARK SN-8 tuner review, I tend to tune by ear, at least when I am practicing at home, as it is a mental exercise as well. You need to concentrate in order to really listen and identify if a pair of strings is in tune or not!

Although the SNARK is an excellent little tuner, the fact is that I sometimes use a Cherub to tune my mandolin. Why? First of […]

By |July 21st, 2013|Digital Tuners, Front Page, Tuners|

Review: SNARK SN-8 Super-tight tuner

Being a mandolin and guitar player for almost 37 years, I got used to mainly use my ear to tune my mandolins and guitars. Nevertheless, there are some occasions where a digital tuner can be very useful, as for example when playing with a band or during a concert.

After a thorough research, I decided to buy the SNARK SN-8 tuner, and then post a review for my readers at theMandolinTuner.

My experience from using Snark SN-8(B) […]

By |June 8th, 2013|Digital Tuners, Front Page, Tuners|

Guide: Mandolin Picks suitable for injured hands.

People with hand injuries can not properly hold the pick, or hold it for a long time. The questions that these people usually ask are:

What are the available alternatives?
What is the difference in using a thumb-pick compared to a flat-pick?
Is tone affected from thumb-picks?

Let’s try to answer them one-by-one.

Please note that this article was inspired by a thread in Mandolin Cafe forum and was written in order to make the information accessible to more people facing […]

By |April 23rd, 2013|Mandolin Basics, Mandolin Setup, Picks|

The Mandolin Parts, illustrated (F-type)

Mandolins come in many shapes and even sizes, but most of them share many anatomical similarities and therefore their parts have common names.

Naming the mandolin parts is an issue that always gave me trouble . Sounds silly, but as a kid I kept naming the bridge as nut and vice versa and I really could never remember the name of the truss rod.

This naming issue re-surfaced again lately when I was trying to explain to […]

By |January 14th, 2013|How to Tune, Mandolin Basics, Mandolin Setup, Mandolins|

Guide: Why some mandolins won’t stay in tune? (Strings, Construction, Setup)

A very common situation for beginners that are learning to play the mandolin, is to have their mandolins failing to stay in tune. This is very frustrating, especially if you are not able to recognise the root cause. I have met some beginners that were so disappointed by this, that were even thinking to quit playing.

I have to be honest and admit that I faced the same problem when I was learning the mandolin, but being very-very young, it was obvious to me that I was doing something wrong and I asked advise from my older brother and other experienced mandolinists. This saved me from spending a lot of time trying to figure out what is wrong and I quickly learned the pitfalls that may affect mandolin tuning stability.


By |December 24th, 2012|How to Tune, Mandolin Setup, Strings|

Guide: Mandolin parts used for tuning

It is almost inevitable when beginning to play a music instrument, to come across music jargon. Is it mandatory for you to learn it and use it too? Well, no, but if you don’t, you will sometimes feel like everybody else speaks a different language and that will limit your participation and eventually the joy you get back.

Speaking about the Mandolin, there are some basic things you really have to understand before moving on to tuning and playing.

The mandolin parts that play a role in mandolin tuning are strings, tuning pegs and the bridge. You need to be able to identify them and understand their role in mandolin sound and intonation in order to successfully tune your mandolin and hear the beautiful sound a mandolin can create.

Read below to understand how to use them when tuning your mandolin.


By |December 15th, 2012|How to Tune, Tuners|

Online Mandolin Tuner, step-by-step

Hello mandolinists,

check below our online tuner provided with instructions. Note, this tuning method requires atrained ear, nevertheless I recommend you try it, as you may find it a lot easier than expected!

I tested this tuner and managed to tune my mandolin in less than three minutes, and I believe that you could do it too.

If you do not need detailed instructions, you may prefer a shorter version of this post that can be found at the following link: Online Mandolin Tuner with Instructions.

Note the mandolin has string pairs, i.e. both strings should produce the same sound, but we only tune one string at a time. Let’s start!


By |December 3rd, 2012|How to Tune, Tuners|