mudcat.org: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner

Related threads:
Tech: Electronic Tuner for Autoharp (42)
Tuner for a blind musician (13)
Tech: Seiko SAT100 guitar tuner problems (24)
Help me! I need the perfect tuner (51)
Electronic tuners (47)
Tuners for slotted headstock (11)
5 String banjo tuner (10)
Tech help, new guitar tuner (40)
Clip on tuners for a Mandola? (11)
Sabine Tuners - Owners beware! (1)
Intellituners - Info please (56)
Tech: Tuner advice update (25)
Tech: string tuning program-like Korg for PC (5)
Tech: Good tuner (32)
Tech: Electronic Tuner Problem (33)
Tech: inexpensive tuner (39)
guitar tuners:good for beginners? (29)
Tuner for blind musicians (43)
Guitar Tuner - simple solution (9)
AmishAussie Pitcfork MoustacheTuner (47)
boss tu 12 tuner (8)
ID'ing Chords w/Chromatic Tuner? (4)
What is a Banjo Detuner? (17)
Tuners Revisited (38)
Help: Locking tuners anyone? (7)
Sabine Stick On Tuners (55)
Electronic Tuners:Pro - and Con (37)
Tuners (46)


Mudlark 09 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Jul 01 - 02:07 PM
mousethief 09 Jul 01 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,BUZZ 09 Jul 01 - 02:10 PM
SharonA 09 Jul 01 - 02:45 PM
UB Ed 09 Jul 01 - 02:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Jul 01 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Keith 09 Jul 01 - 02:57 PM
chip a 09 Jul 01 - 03:01 PM
Whistle Stop 09 Jul 01 - 03:01 PM
Pinetop Slim 09 Jul 01 - 03:20 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Jul 01 - 03:28 PM
Cappuccino 09 Jul 01 - 03:42 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Jul 01 - 03:46 PM
Chanteyranger 09 Jul 01 - 03:56 PM
Bill D 09 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM
Lin in Kansas 09 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM
Grab 09 Jul 01 - 06:54 PM
Gary T 09 Jul 01 - 06:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 01 - 07:12 PM
Bill D 09 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM
Chanteyranger 09 Jul 01 - 10:58 PM
Gypsy 09 Jul 01 - 11:02 PM
Murray MacLeod 09 Jul 01 - 11:11 PM
DonMeixner 09 Jul 01 - 11:36 PM
Bill D 09 Jul 01 - 11:46 PM
Mudlark 10 Jul 01 - 01:47 AM
Pene Azul 10 Jul 01 - 02:38 AM
LisaB 10 Jul 01 - 05:55 AM
ChrisHall 10 Jul 01 - 02:05 PM
Gary T 10 Jul 01 - 06:54 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 11 Jul 01 - 09:18 AM
Fortunato 11 Jul 01 - 09:40 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 11 Jul 01 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Michael Farley 21 Apr 04 - 09:45 PM
Strollin' Johnny 22 Apr 04 - 03:18 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 04 - 03:39 AM
s&r 22 Apr 04 - 07:31 AM
Pied Piper 22 Apr 04 - 08:11 AM
M.Ted 22 Apr 04 - 11:06 AM
Mudlark 22 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM
s&r 22 Apr 04 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,woko 22 Apr 04 - 05:29 PM
Mudlark 22 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,M'Grath of Altcar 22 Apr 04 - 06:36 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Apr 04 - 07:09 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Apr 04 - 07:49 PM
Grab 23 Apr 04 - 12:57 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Apr 04 - 04:32 PM
Mudlark 24 Apr 04 - 01:04 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Mudlark
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 01:56 PM

I tune my guitar to my voice for solo stuff, but have found someone to play with (C/W, but I'm desperate!). So I retuned my guitar to my pitchpipe....I've got a pretty good ear and it was right on the money. The guy I'm playing with uses an electronic tuner (which I've never had much luck with) and he was definitely flat compared to my guitar. But then I thot...my pitchpipe is probably 30 years old....maybe it's gone out of tune. Is such a thing possible, do you think? And why is it that I can't seem to get a guitar in tune w/elec. tuner?? The last time I played with a group I guy practically wrestled my guitar from my hands, insisting he would tune me up with his....and I was so flat I had to sit out the first few numbers until I could go off in a corner and get it right.

Thanks for any thots on the matter....

Nancy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:07 PM

The problem with a pitch-pipe is that depending on how hard you blow, you can make the note sharp or flat... I don't like 'em and I wouldn't trust anyone who tunes with them to be in 'concert pitch' (A440)

And well, if the whole world is telling you, you're sharp, they're probably right... sounds like it's just something that you've got used to and thus A440 sounds a little flat to you...

I donno... I'm guessing...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:08 PM

I'm sorry I can't help, Nancy. Tuning is a sacred mystery that I have not yet begun to understand, even though I've been doing it, by ear, by pitch-pipe, and by electronic gizmo, for 20+ years now. I tune my guitar perfectly to the gizmo, then I have to fiddle with it by ear just to get it in tune with itself. Let alone playing with others.

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST,BUZZ
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:10 PM

IVE NOT USED PITCH PIPE FOR YEARS,BUT HAVE GREAT FAITH IN MY ELECTRONIC TUNER.IN FACT DONT THINK I COULD DO WITHOUT IT NOW.DO YOUR SELF A FAVOUR AND BUY ONE,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: SharonA
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:45 PM

Yeah, but don't buy just any ol' electronic tuner. The ones with little microphones in them are too easily thrown off by surrounding noise unless you plug them into your guitar pickup (if you have one). I swear by the kind that clips to the headstock of the guitar and picks up the vibrations of the wood to determine the pitch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: UB Ed
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:49 PM

Can no longer get along without the electronic tuner and firmly believe in them. We will tune 4 different instruments from 4 different tuners and they will all be together.

Ed


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:52 PM

The intellitouch tuner (sharonA's recomendation) was o.k... Sabines, 'stick-on was better in my opinion, but my favorite electronic tuner is my Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner...

There's more info on my gear page, if you click the banner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST,Keith
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 02:57 PM

A guitar is a strange beast to tune with an electronic tuner. The needles or lights will jump around telling you decisively that you are sharp, flat or right on pitch. The reason may be that a guitar is a great big box with a lot of harmonics, overtones, what-have-you.

Having said that, I use an electronic tuner and I love it. You just have to get used to it. Every guitar has its own tuning quirks, so any guitar's relationship with a particular tuner will also be quirky. I have to stike a note and sometimes wait a second for the tuner to settle down on a pitch (usually). You just get used to it. If I use someone else's tuner I have a lot of problems because I haven't figured it out.

I recommend getting the simplest tuner possible--try to get one with just 3 lights (sharp, in-tune, flat) A virtual or real needle is too prcise and thus to jumpy given the overtones. You don't wand too much information, and you will have to do the final "fine tuning" by ear anyway.

One other thing: I use a contact pickup to run my guitar directly into the tuner so I don't have to use the built in microphone. You may have to buy this separately. Mine is built into a suction cup (I don't think I can spell suction, but you know what I mean) that I slap on my pick guard. It makes the signal a lot more stable and allows me to tune my intrument even if I am sitting in between a piper and an accordian player is a spirited session.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: chip a
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:01 PM

For some reason I've never been able to hear a "B" note. My clip on chromatic tuner has saved the day. I can do without it, but I don't want to.

Chip A.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:01 PM

If you can hear yourself, nothing beats tuning by ear. Get a tuning fork tuned to A 440, tune your A string, and tune the others in reference to that. Then check again at the end to make sure that all the twisting and turning you did didn't send your A string out of tune again.

If you're in a space with any noise, or other musicians who are also trying to tune up (or just noodling around), an electronic tuner is a necessity. Although I haven't used out the kind that clamps to the headstock, I agree with Sharon that the little microphones on the others can pick up all kinds of extraneous noise and make the needle or LED jump around until it drives you crazy. Also, some of these things are so sensitive that it can be hard to figure out what they're telling you. So if you have a chance to try one out, do so, preferably in a noisy music store so the shortcomings will be apparent.

Also, make sure your guitar is properly intonated, otherwise you will tune the open strings fine, but have no end of problems when you try to fret the damn thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:20 PM

There's a "calibrate" button on the electronic tuner I use -- that seems to suggest the manufacturer expected the gizmo might need to be tuned up itself sometimes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:28 PM

The Calibrate button is incase you want to tune to a pitch other than concert... Sit in with an old concertena or vintage small pipes sometime... You'll see what I mean...

Have them play an A (or whatever note you wanna start tuning from depending on the make of your tuner, read the instruction book for more details) and have your tuner calibrate itself to that specific pitch... then tune yer axe with it...

I've done the same thing with bugger'd penny-whistles... a mate of mine had one with a realy hard 'ding' in the side of it... it went more than a few cents sharp and would never come back... so I'd plug into my tuner, have him play the whistel into the body-mic of the guitar with the strings muted, calibrate my tuner from that signal, then tune the guitar off that setting...

*shakes his fist at the tallented people who CAN tune by ear!*

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Cappuccino
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:42 PM

I'll probably get people dismissing me as a tin-ear for this, but you can get addicted to it. I started using an electronic tuner (a Boss) twenty years ago because I just couldn't tune a bass guitar in a pub while the disco was on... then I found I'd become scared to rely on my own ear! A little testing recently proved that I could tune my six-string reasonably well without it, but every time I pick up the mandolin now, I automatically reach for the machine. I've now taken to plugging the guitar/bass/mandy into the tuner permanently, with the tuner sitting on top of the amp and connected by a little patch lead into the amp. input. (What's the worst thing about an electronic tuner? Lending it to someone else who doesn't switch it off and sends your battery flat!) - Ian B


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:46 PM

Good reason to get a tuner that plugs in, instead of using battery power eh...

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 03:56 PM

I also swear by tuners with a plug-in and clip. I've found that the cheap tuners are not really worth it - they waver too much and are not wholly accurate. It's worth it to pay up for a Korg A-12 chromatic. They're not as compact as cheaper models, but damn, they're good!

-chanteyranger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM

I have an autoharp and bad hearing...so after years of blowing into a pitchpipe that was NOT perfect, I got a fancy Korg tuner...it has lights, a centering needle, will play the note you want thru about 3+ octaves(in case you have those who MUST hear the note), has adjustable pitch from A338-A446, has AC plug and has input for a clamp-on like has been mentioned...now I can tune in a room full of noodling guitarists and get it right on. Life is MUCH better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM


John In Remote Kansas (JIRK) on LIK's cookie

I've been firmly in the electronic tuner camp for some time, mainly because I don't have a particularly good ear. My main tuner is a Korg DT-1, which is exactly the size of an audio cassette tape, runs on two AAA batteries, which usually last more than a year in weekly use. It has a mike-jack input, output, and bypass output. Adjustable (calibrate) for A from 438 to 466 Hz, and simulates a needle using LEDs. I use a $12 contact pickup to cut interference when tuning, although it has a built in mike that works okay in most situations. Instruments that have pickups can plug directly into (or through) it. It was a little "pricey" at about $125, but well worth it.
Unfortunately, I find that they have discontinued this model. Apparently, it doesn't look like it's worth the money unless it's BIG, since the closest replacement Korg makes now, to do the same things, will rip the pocket off your bluejeans instead of fitting comfortably in a shirt pocket.
It should be noted that all electronic tuners (at least the ones I've seen) tune to equal tempered scale. Tuning to beats - string to string - will almost always put you in a "natural" scale, especially after you chase things back and forth a few times. I know that discussing the difference is about like taking a Methodist hymnal to a Baptist revival, but frankly - for most purposes - it doesn't make that much difference.
One of the problems that people who are not accustomed to electronic tuners will have is that they try to be "exact." This can make the process touchy. There are times when you really need to be as accurate as possible, but the tuner is probably a little better than you need to be most of the time. Try tuning an open string, or some single fret on a string, and then read the pitch (electronically) of another fret on that string. (Borrow a CHROMATIC tuner, if necessary.) The variation between frets will give you an idea of where the "point of no return (profit)" is, the next time you tune up.
Both tuning forks and pitch pipes require you to use your sense of intervals (harmonics) once you have tuned an A. The first problem is that both tuning forks and pitch pipes work as "free-reeds" and the harmonics that they produce are not "in true harmonic relationship." A good tuning fork should produce only a single tone, without harmonics, but the kind we can afford for instrument tuning will produce some overtones. If you are tuning to an "octave" of the tone that the fork (or pitch pipe) produces, the overtone can lead you "off."
The second problem with both tuning forks and pitch pipes is that they frequently do change their pitch. If you have EVER tapped your tuning fork against anything harder that the back of your knuckle, you have probably changed its pitch. The change may not be immediately apparent, but is cumulative. If you have ever blown through your pitch pipe, you have deposited some "condensate" on the reed. This deposit accumulates, and changes the pitch of the reed. The only thing that permits continued use (over long periods) is that the stuff may dry out and flake off like dandruff before it completely immobilizes the reed - or it may not.
Both tuning forks and pitch pipes will produce a true pitch only at a single and very specific volume, althought the variation over a small range may be acceptable. When you whack the fork a little harder because it didn't keep going long enough, or you blow the pipe a little harder so you can hear it over the banjo player who's already tuned and is "practicing," you not only produce a false pitch, you have likely permanently changed the pitch of the device.
Pitch pipes and tuning forks are perfectly satisfactory if you can get all of your choir to "tune" to the same source. It doesn't matter whether its A=440. If each member of your group tunes to his/her own "standard," then you all should use the same "A=." You can't beat the electronic tuners for being consistent.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Grab
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 06:54 PM

Mudlark, I bought my pitch pipes when I got my guitar, and always tuned by ear. Never bothered me until the first time I went to a folk session, tuned to the pitch-pipes and then found everyone else was in a different key to me by a quarter-tone or so! It took me several months to realise that the problem was not with me tuning by ear, it was that the pitch pipes were totally shot!

If you can tune by ear, get a harmonica and use that as a reference tone. Pitch pipes are usually cheap and nasty, whereas a harmonica is designed to be played as an instrument and therefore has to hold its tuning pretty well. You don't need to be able to play the harmonica, you just need to be able to blow down a single hole and tune your instrument to that. And you can check that your harmonica's still in tune by blowing down all the holes at once and checking you still get an OK-sounding chord, since it's unlikely that all the reeds will go out of tune by exactly the same amount.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 06:58 PM

The big advantage to electronic tuners is that they provide a standard that can be independently accessed by any number of people. Thus when "Group A" has tuned to them, and "Group B" has tuned to them, and you wander from Group A to Group B, you're still in tune with the group you're playing with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 07:12 PM

One handy thing with a tuner with a built-in mike is that you can check what key you feel like singing a particular song in tonight while you are on your way there, without any instrument to distort things. I find the right key for the same song can vary enormously, according to the state of me vocal chords. (Thank god for capos.)

Electronic tuners provide an independent standard for a group of potentially quarrelsome musicians.

I've sometimes imagined what would happen if some pissed-off employee in the factory making them sent out a batch tuned sharp or flat. Bloodshed in the sessions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM

many years ago, when electronic runers were fairly new, I spoke with Brian Bowers, who tunes maybe 150 strings before a concert (4-6 autoharps) he said then that he couldn't use them, because (like John in Kansas alludes to above), they weren't perfect...that is, 'G' in one key won't be the same as 'G' in another key, and even on the same 'harp, he wanted the lower notes VERY slightly sharp, and the high notes VERY slightly flat....so he wouldn't use a tuner.

But, it stuck me years later...all he had to do was tune the way he ususally did, then calibrate! Note where on the tuner the note he LIKES is...then mark it! the gadget will give you what you want, if you are clever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 10:58 PM

McGrath, that pissed-off employee might be a highland piper :-).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 11:02 PM

Intellitouch, without question. Hammer dulcimer has 78, yep count em, 78 strings. I can fully tune in 15 minutes. Only way to keep the group happy! :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 11:11 PM

Bill D, you have hit the nail on the head. It is indeed true that some instruments don't sound in tune when the tuner says they should be. In that case all that is necessary is to get the instrument in tune by ear, then take note of by how many cents sharp or flat each string needs to be in order to sound in tune, and remember the discrepancy for future reference. You do need a decent tuner with a needle for this, however.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 11:36 PM

I use a Korg T-1, Pricey but it has never failed me. I prefer the needle to an LED. I have never found a Sabine that I thought worked as well, or very often, well enough.

When I tune the Autoharp I tune the middle octave level, the upper octave a tiny bit sharp and the lowest stuff a tiny bit flat.

The Hammered Dulcimer I tune to chords and I have to be very subjective as to what sounds best. But usually its the same as with the Autoharp. I pull the trebles and slack the basses.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jul 01 - 11:46 PM

yes...Korg...mine says 'AT-1'...have had it for ..ummm ...15 years?...and I am SO spoiled by the needle, I'd hate to switch to just little diodes...the combination of lights & needle are perfect!..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Mudlark
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 01:47 AM

Whoa....thanks for all the great input. I will definitely try out some tuners the next time I'm in a town big enough to have a real music store....sounds like the problems I've encountered in the past had to do in part with not knowing how to use them, and partly maybe not such great models. I don't know many people that can afford $125 for a guitar, much less a tuner!

I do have a good harmonica, thanks Graham for that tip, and will try that. My pitchpipe is old, old, old...and sets all the corgis to barking anyway, which would be one huge advantage to having an electronic tuner.

I have no experience with amplification of any kind....does it make a difference re the tuner?

I can really see the advantage when playing with groups, especially multiple groups...helps if everybody is on the same page!

Thanks again for the help...

Nancy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Pene Azul
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 02:38 AM

More related discussion: Electronic Tuners:Pro - and Con


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: LisaB
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 05:55 AM

Tuning fork! Tuning fork! Or note from fixed-pitch instrument (concertina, say.)

That being said, my partner has perfect pitch and still uses an electronic tuner. Of course I slag him for it at every opportunity, but it can help in a noisy situation, I suppose. You never run low on battery power with a tuning fork, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: ChrisHall
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 02:05 PM

In regards to the Intellitouch....

I find it indispensable for tuning while jamming or on stage, but I have found that a high-quality acoustic tuner is more accurate in a quiet environment. However, due to the method in which the Intellitouch tunes, it is possible that this is merely my guitar.

Cheers

Chris Hall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 06:54 PM

Mudlark--I'm not sure I follow the question about amplification. If you're talking about checking the sound through a speaker, I guess the pitch could be altered, but I doubt it would be. I've never tried it.

If you're talking about instruments with pickups of some sort, they typically have a place to plug a cord into which can make direct hook-up to a tuner very easy, so long as the tuner has an input jack for a chord. Some tuners have both input and output jacks and can be left hooked up in series while playing, which makes occasional checks and readjustments quite easy (if the tuner is placed where you can see it). The Intellitouch also can be easily used for checking at any time, though as Chris pointed out above it's not quite as precise as top-grade needle-type tuners.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:18 AM

A really nice and caring friend gave me a little pocket Korg_DA20 for my birthday. All my guitars have been in tune ever since. Cost around £15 ($25?) Highly recommended


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Fortunato
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:40 AM

On the subject of electronic tuners.

Thanks to BillD until recently we used korg tuners and tuning clip wires to tune our guitars and autoharps. They just work better than tuners with microphones. I was able to retune my guitar on stage in seconds when the capo or open tunings required it.

But after experiencing the Fishman Matrix acoustic guitar pickup we added pickups (Martin Gold +) to all the guitars and the autoharp. Well, the tuning of the autoharp eased tremendously, since ALL the strings registered, and made it possible to keep the guitars plugged into the tuner in-line with the pickup and sound system.

If purists sniff at pickups, please note that Doc Watson uses a Fishman Matrix and a direct box.

Cheers Chance


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 10:31 PM

One danger with any free reed wind instrument is that you can accidentally "bend" the note. That is the pitch can depend upon the relative position of the top of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. So sometimes the pitch you produce will be a hair flatter than at others.

An electronic tuner has to choose tempering. Mine is both a guitar tuner and a chromatic tuner. It doesn't tell me which temperment is used for the chromatic. It should be mean temprament. Whatever it is, on an acoustic guitar (including classical ones) if it tunes up right for the key of C it won't be right for the key of E.

The best way to use an elec. tuner is to use it to tune up the strings and then really fine tune to make the tonic chord of the piece you are playing sound right.

I use the elec. tuner for two purposes. First to get my "A" string tuned to "A" (just lazyness--it is easier than using a tuning fork.). Secondlhy If the strings are way off, like when I am putting on new ones, I will tune up using a tuner. The instrument will be out of tune as soon as your fingers leave the tuning knobs and you will have to be retuned several times anyway.

A lot of that is nit-picking; but I believe that if you do get your chords tuned up exactly right they sound richer as well as less rough.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST,Michael Farley
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 09:45 PM

I am a guitarist of 37 years, and I always wanted a solid, accurate pitch anywhere, anytime. I don't always want to pull out an actual tuner, I merely want a starting note.
As I was teaching a guitar class one day, I suggested that if only my key fob could emit tones, I would be a happy man.
One of the students approached me after the class and said he was an electronic engineer - "I'll have a prototype next week."
He did and Pocket Tones were born.
If you want to train your ear, and have tones at all times, try Pocket Tones, they cost around $10.00 and are always accurate, never go out of pitch, and you never have to blow on it.

Pocket Tones now sell in 15 countries, and they are produced for many instruments, including a chromatic version. Music stores nation wide carry PTs, and if you have questions, contact me:
Michael Farley 800 964 9827
Farley's Essentials: www.farleysessentials.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 03:18 AM

I use an 'Intellitouch' tuner to tune the 'A' string, then use the 'Tempered Tuning' method to tune the other five by ear using 'A' as the base. I use the 'A' because it seems to give a more stable reading on the tuner than bottom 'E'. Works absolutely fine.

Rick Fielding put some stuff on Mudcat a while back about Tempered Tuning, explaining the physics and with a link to a set of instructions. If it was good enough for Rick it's good enough for me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 03:39 AM

Nothing beats the old fashioned tuning folk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: s&r
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 07:31 AM

If you havent got a tuner handy, and you're way out of tune, you can get a reference from the guitar itself. Damp the strings, and hum into the soundhole, going from low to high. At a certain note (G# on most large bodied acoustics) the body of the guitar will vibrate. I suppose the guitar is acting as a Helmholtz resonator.

Guitars do differ: try it with your own instrument.

Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Pied Piper
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 08:11 AM

Korg DA 20 or 30 dead small, accurate and too cheep to be worth nicking (I've had 3 Tuners go walkies over the years).
PP


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 11:06 AM

Another vote for the tuning fork here, they are cheap, accurate, and never break--and I have enough stuff on my key chain--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Mudlark
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 12:31 PM

I am revisiting this thread, now as the frustrated owner of a Korg chromatic tuner CA-30, given to me by a kind (and exasperated) friend. As it's the tuner suggested by Blue Lion, I feel the problem must be with me, not the tuner, but I've just about given up on the thing. I can't get even one string on my guitar to stabilize on the right note, and it's even worse on the bass dulcimer. I can't even imagine trying to tune my loaner autoharp.

Having said that, I really appreciate all the input on this thread. Some of it is over my head (i.e., have no idea the implications of "chromatic" tuner). I'll keep trying...obviously a lot of people find these things useful. But my guitar sounds like hell when I get it as close to in tune with the Korg as I can. I do think that my guitar, at least, sounds best when it's in concert pitch, rather than the retuning/capo sound when I pitch it to my voice. While subtle, the tone is somehow more rich.

Stu...I loved the idea of using the guitar itself, altho not quite sure how you manage this. I have often vocalized into the soundhole on my Martin and love the resonance of guitar and voice...now maybe I can also put it to some practical use.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: s&r
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 05:20 PM

Mudlark - Start low and sing a steadily rising note. When you find a box resonance you will feel the guitar buzz. Identify the continuing to hum while you play notes close to the one you're singing.

When you sing in the soundhole for this purpose, hold the strings - what you want is the box resonance, not string resonances.

It can be surprisingly accurate

Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST,woko
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 05:29 PM

I use a matrix sr-600 chromatic tuner. It coast under the 20 quid mark it's accurate and is held in place with a sucker. The problem I have with these us that you can lose them in no time. Good thing they're relatively cheap really.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Mudlark
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM

Thanks, Stu...I'll give it a try.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: GUEST,M'Grath of Altcar
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 06:36 PM

I use a Seiko 747 chromatic tuner. It does all the usual stuff but it also has a display that shows the strings pitch in cents ( a fiftieth of a semitone) It seems more accurate than other tuners I've used.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 07:09 PM

I'll second the Seiko. I've tried several others and like the Seiko best. Incidentally, I find Intellitouches regularly tune a little sharp. Yes, I do check the Seiko with a tuning fork or a 440Hz generator from time to time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Apr 04 - 07:49 PM

Mudlark -

(Since you're the one that reopened the thread.) There was a fairly long thread not too long ago about the difficulty of getting an electronic tuner to work with an Autoharp. The "solution" was that there is a difference in the many clip-on pickups you can use, and the one being used just wasn't a good match to their particular tuner (or the Autoharp).

Using just the built in microphone can be "confusing," (to the tuner) since a guitar tends to be "pretty harmonic" (that's different than harmonious?). Most people get better results with a clip-on piezo pickup, and I believe the CA-30 has a jack for one (The cheaper GA-30 does). The pickups are too cheap to find any "published specs" on them, but they do differ. You should be able to get a Korg clipon that you can be confident will match your existing tuner for under $20 (US including shipping), from their website or probably just from a local shop.

If you're having trouble getting a "stable" tuning, note that you normall strum/pluck down at one end of the string (usually about 1/5th of the way up from the bridge?). You get nice rich harmonics when you pluck off-center, but in tuning you want a "pure root tone." If you ignore the hecklers and pluck the string "dead at the center" while tuning, you may be able to reduce the harmonic content enough to get a more stable reading. (Note that this is the "technique" you use for stand-up bass, since the note is way down at the bottom of what many tuners can detect, and you've got to get it "pure" to keep from reading a harmonic.)

If you're accustomed to tuning from a fork or pitch pipe, you may want to tune one string with the tuner and then "walk the pitches" using the harmonics (or frets) from it. When you do this, you usually get a "just tuning" that does sound better to some (until you switch keys on them). Most of the argument about "single tone" standards versus tuning everything to the electronic tuner really come down to whether you prefer having your instrument in "just tuning" with itself (great for solos, but not necessarily best in groups) or whether you just want to be "close enough" to the rest of the guys in the band so you can get on with the music.

An additional note: if the pitches read by your tuner are not stable, it may mean that you've developed "lumpy strings." You only get a "pure" pitch from a string that is uniform over its whole length. Dirt, or "necking" from being over-stretched will make it impossible to get a "single pure pitch" from a string, although when to put on new ones is sort of a personal thing. I'm real attached to those 4-year-old ones on my mando.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Grab
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:57 PM

Mudlark, you *will* see the pitch alter as you strike the note and allow it to decay. Simple reason - the pitch of the note is dependent on the tension on the string, and that changes when you pluck a string and the string resonates. It's just a matter of adjusting the tuning to a point where the note spends the majority of its time in the centre.

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:32 PM

Grab - Good point.

Most of the cheaper electronic tuners do have "slow down" in the display to counter (hide) the decay in pitch. Some of the better ones allow you to select one or two different "speeds." With the CA-30, I wouldn't expect the pitch decay to be too noticeable, but if you try to read the "whole thing" you could see it. It seems also to be more apparent if you're using a "slack" tuning. If the strings are at lower than normal tension, the pitch decay is greater than if they're at a high tension. The answer to this one is to try to get the tuning done before the sound decays, or pluck more often, maybe.

Since lap dulcimists often retune by as much as a fourth or so, the "slack string" effect gets very apparent for some tunings. I'm not sure what strings you would pick for a bass dulcimer (it is a lap dulci?) but it's possible that they're not getting up to tension, which would make tuning more difficult. A different choice of strings might help. If that's the problem, it's really not the tuner, it's the instrument that's "untunable," perhaps.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Pitch pipe vs electronic tuner
From: Mudlark
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 01:04 PM

Thanks very much John for all the good information. You've given me the courage to try again! There is a jack on the Korg so will see if local music shop has a stick on mic to fit. Using pitch pipe/tuning fork I tune just one string, then tune the rest to that. I've always had a very good ear, but worry that as I age, it's aging with me. Since I mostly sing solo your "just" tuning sounds like the answer (and I only have to cope with one string tuned w/Korg...a definite plus!).

Grab...I take your point, and basically that's what I try to do but so far have found capturing the mid-ground frustrating. I think I perhaps expected a more definitive reading, was disappointed I didn't get a THAT'S IT!! PERFECT kind of reading. One thing I do like about the tuner is that it tells me what note I'm singing. Totally self taught and can't read music, dyslexic to the point that I can't remember the string letters, so that is helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 August 11:31 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.