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Tuning A Phin (Traditional Issan Guitar)

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I have just been fooling around with a phin that was gathering dust at my girlfriend's home and would like to try and tune it properly.

However, I am not really sure what tuning I should use.

This website suggests a e' a' / a d' a' / a a' a' / or a a' e'.


Also, the instrument I have has stickers with the notes on them, but I am pretty sure they are wrong (for example the frets marked F and G on the high string are a semi-tone apart, rather than a whole tone)


Any help would be much appreciated!

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my husband plays the phin. the tuning he does by ear , according to what he wants the sounds to be like. there is no formal way to tune the instrument.

forget looking at the chords on the three strings. just sit in front of you tube and listen and play. either u can or u cant. i cant really, hubby listens and plays.

there are several really good utube sites with a thailand renknown master who presents his teachings... i tried finding cds' that teach, couldnt find (by remote, from here in israel)... so hubby just plays youtube and listens to all the morlam stuff and plays along. he finds that a shot of vodka or a can or so of beer loosens up the strings (:)) )

i will try to find his links and send u them since thye are all in thai. there is almost nothing in english.

phin, being an issaan ethnic rural istrument, doesnt have formal music chording for the most part, the teachings are aural (listening and playing), and mostly phins were home made instruments, carved from certain types of wood like jackfruit. hubby wanted to make his own... didn not succeed so i gave money to thais to bring back with them on their return to here to give him a surprise. if u dont want yours, i will gladly pay for it to come over to here.

the tonal system is not the western octave system, but something else all together. when we didnt have the phin, hubby would tune an old guitar , using only three strings , and not bothering with the others, and then play as if it was a phin, but the sound isnt the same.

ill try to find his sites that he listens to. either tonite or tomorrow (my time)...

husband practices everyday, i love the sound. forget all u know about western music, and use your ears to find the sounds...



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