How to set up a Bouzouki

By | April 3, 2021


Set the A-strings first, or the middle strings on the bouzouki. Start with the higher of these two strings, which is the farthest from your face when holding the bouzouki in play position. The pin for this string is the lower part of the tunnels 3 under the bottom.


Listen to the A4 note. On a piano, this note is A above the middle C. You can also use an A4 tongue fork. Stroke your tongue on a hard, firm surface and place the edge of it near your ear.


Slightly loosen the pin for the string you are adjusting by turning it towards you. Slowly tighten the pin until it reaches the correct A-note. You can check this by alternately picking the string and holding the adjusting fork close to your ear or by gently resting the base of the tuning fork on the surface of the instrument. you go sharp (set the note too high) while adjusting the string, loosen the string again and start below the note. This is because the strings come loose slowly as you play, and if you agree with the note, the string will hold the note longer.


Repeat step 3 for the second A string. This stick is the top part of the three sticks that are closest to your face.


Then lower the low D-strings. In the play position, these strings are closest to the face attached to the two bottom sticks closest to you. On a piano, this is D above the middle C, but you can also make this note one octave higher by playing in the third fret on the tuned A strings. Using the piano or high D on the bouzouki, tune the low D strings beginning with the string furthest from your face and twist the sticks as in step 3.


Set high D-strings last. These strings are furthest from your face when the instrument is in the playing position, and you will use the two bottom sticks closest to your legs. The note is D which is an octave over the middle C on a piano and the note in the third string on the A strings. Using the piano or D on the bouzouki, tune the high D strings starting with the string furthest from your face twisting the sticks as in step 3.

Tips and warnings

  • With practice you can set the bouzouki without checking the D-notes just by playing chord bands and checking the melody with your ear and by the feeling of resonance in the instrument. After a while, you do not even have to use a mood fork to find A4.
  • From Greece, a bouzouki is an oblique instrument similar to a mandolin. The bouzouki have either 6 or 8 strings arranged in pairs with the same note strings, and the instrument is picked with a plectrum. The atmosphere of a bouzouki is versatile, depending on the musician’s wishes and the desired key. The 3-string bouzouki is the older type of instrument used to play Rebetico music that has a long tradition in Greece and Asia. your bouzouki to DAD to play Rebetico.