I recently picked up a rawap listed on a local classified website as a mandolin. It's relatively short, about 60cm, and has 4 strings, which makes me wonder how do I tune it? 5 string rawap is tuned а-е-a.

On this video, the lowest note seems G but I can't pick up the rest myself. Any clues?

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1 Answer 1


In the video it seems to me it's tuned in fifths, that is G-D-A-E. The instrument has short neck so this doesn't require large fretting hand stretch, and allows to cover larger melodic range. At the beginning of the video you can see him playing G major scale over two octaves while staying in second position.

I understand you have a used instrument. It might be that the previous user tuned it differently and the strings gauges may or may not be optimal for this tuning.

  • Wow, thanks for transcribing the beginning of the video for us! I tuned it that way and the tension of the strings now seems optimal now, they are not pushing on the skin too much, also after I adjusted the bridge it's now in tune on the 12th fret!
    – Ilya
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 7:25

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