A side view of a diddley bow showing the approximate position of the slide to obtain certain notes with the open string tuned to " E "
If you play alone a special tuning is not important and probably best tuned to match your voice if you are singing along. If you are playing along with other music you can easily find the key by sliding up the string and matching the pitch. Try to use a
combination of "plucking"on the open string and mixing sliding notes with it when forming a song. In the diagram above a simple blues song may be played in a chord progression of ....E..A..E..A..B..E. You can use the high position on the " E " with the slide and also pluck the " E " of the open string for variation.
You can mark the side of your diddley bow to remember key spots with tape or stick-on dots until you become familiar with the location. You can also cut a permanent notch on the edge of the bow at precise spots once you are sure. An electronic tuner can be helpful in this set up.