The system of pitches used by an instrument or in a piece of music, or the practice of adjusting the pitches that instruments or voices produce to be in accordance with the chosen system.

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44
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the difference between a G♭ and an F#?

I've heard it said that, whilst on most instruments these notes are played with the same fingerings/technique/etc there is a subtle difference. This isn't specific to this particular note ...
24
votes
8answers
6k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
76
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
24
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is my guitar's saddle at an angle?

Most acoustic guitars I've seen, including my own, have an angled saddle (the white strip holding up the strings): This makes the bass strings longer than the treble strings. Why is this? ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is A4 the standard pitch reference for tuning?

Why do musicians use concert A, the A above middle C, as the standard pitch reference for tuning? Various national and international standards define the frequency of this note. For example, ISO 16 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Which strings should I use for DADGAD tuning on my acoustic guitar?

I have recently switched to DADGAD tuning, before that I was using light tension strings ( 12 16 24 32 42 53 ). But because of DADGAD, to compensate for the lack of tension on the neck, I wanted to ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

When tuning a guitar, how should I strike the strings?

When tuning a guitar, what is the best way to strike a string to get it as close to pitch as possible? I'd like to get it as close to the right pitch as I possibly can. I've noticed with my tuner ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does my guitar go out of tune after I play it a while?

This might be an obvious question, but it would be good to know what factors cause guitars to go out of tune.
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Trumpet low C♯ and D

Most trumpets' low C♯ and D are too low, and need correcting by pulling the 1st of 3rd valve. My first understanding was that the distance between tones in the lower register is larger than between ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do wind bands use a concert Bb for tuning?

Back when I was part of my school's wind band, we used to always tune to a concert Bb. Why do wind bands tune to a Bb rather than an A (as discussed here)? I recall our director once vaguely ...
9
votes
11answers
620 views

How do you tune your guitar?

I'd like to hear about the different techniques of tuning a guitar with standard tuning, and why you use them.
7
votes
1answer
455 views

One-to-one techniques for improving ability to sing in tune

There are a number of questions on this site from singers who want to find software so they can work, on their own, on their ability to sing in tune. However, I am hoping to do some one-to-one (and ...
19
votes
3answers
662 views

Poor quality guitars that don't tune

So since I got it at a discount price, I noticed this Yamaha I have won't tune properly. Specifically if I tune the strings to a perfect EADGBE (using a good digital tuner), then I cross check the ...
8
votes
6answers
11k views

Useful tuning for 7 or 8 string guitars

So, I'm looking to add an Ibanez 7 or 8 string to my guitar zoo, but although I have looked into various standard tunings I am trying to figure out practical tunings so I can rapidly add the new ...
31
votes
10answers
3k views

Software that allows playing in different temperaments

Do you know of any software out there that will allow me to play in different musical temperaments (e.g. Well temperament and Meantone temperament)? I'm especially interested in software that accepts ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Software for microtonal MIDI?

I'm looking to make some microtonal music (19/22 tone equal temperament). I want to produce it with midi. Timidity++ used to be able to produce a WAV file from a microtonal tuned .MID file, but it is ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How to properly tune drum heads?

I would like to know if there are any tips on tuning drumheads; I keep hearing harmonics.
17
votes
3answers
886 views

Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?

My understanding is that the vast majority of western music uses equal temperament, i.e. all semitones have a frequency ratio of the 12th root of 2. However I can hear in my piano that the notes at ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
13
votes
1answer
257 views

Should the dominant-seventh chord in just intonation use 9:5 for its seventh, or rather 16:9?

It may be just out of habit, what with the 12-edo temperament all around us, but anyway: I find the dominant-seventh rendition 20:25:30:36 sounds extremely harsh. In particular, the tritone from the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What is an “open tuning”?

I know that Keith Richards has been known to use open tunings on some songs, but what is an open tuning exactly and when/why would you use it?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why tune the guitar other than standard?

I have a question. How does tuning come into play in guitar songs? See, I can find the tab of a song in the guitar by ear and I was taught that in tuning standard the fifth fret of the low e string is ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Acoustic Guitar Intonation Adjustments

Simply put, how does one adjust it. I have a low-end acoustic where the intonation seems to be out by quite a bit and I'd like to adjust it. It comes down to adjusting string size or length, so I ...
19
votes
15answers
19k views

Why is dropped D tuning used so often?

Many metal/rock songs use dropped D tuning. What reasons are there for it?
8
votes
2answers
283 views

How can I play my new tenor recorder (a'=440) along with someone playing a harpsichord (a'=415)?

From an article I read online, I believe I've understood that it's possible to treat the middle C (fingers covering all holes) on the tenor as if it were a D flat, and all higher notes on the ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Beginner replacing guitar strings

I am a beginner at playing the guitar, so I recently bought myself one and then managed to break a string whilst trying to tune it. After getting over the initial disappointment, I have ordered some ...
7
votes
1answer
431 views

Do 1/2 size violins sound at normal pitch?

With wind instruments, young kids with small hands are often advised to start on smaller instruments (e.g. Soprano Sax, Eb Clarinet) before moving to full-size instruments. (Terrible advice IMO, but ...
7
votes
2answers
440 views

Tuning hierarchy for orchestras

Several recent questions have been about tuning. Often an orchestra will tune to the oboe. One reason for this is that oboes are the only instruments that cannot be tuned. 1. What if the oboe was ...
7
votes
8answers
492 views

Using alternative tunings

Guitars are tuned E-A-D-G-B-E by standard, but I prefer tuning it down to C (C-F-Bb-Eb-G-C) since it gives a meatier sound and is easier on my fingers. I know there are plenty of other tunings, but ...
6
votes
3answers
985 views

How to Tune a 10-hole Harmonica?

My harmonica went out of tune, what should I do? Do i need to dissemble it for tuning?
6
votes
2answers
109 views

Fretted notes sound 'off' when another string is bent

Sometimes when I'm playing, I'll bend a string and simultaneously play a fretted note. When I do this, the fretted note sounds slightly 'off' or out of tune. What causes this and how can I prevent ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Capo that won't detune my guitar?

I use a Kyser style capo. I don't know any better, but are there better capos? I'm looking for a durable capo that wont drastically put my guitar out of tune when I use it. What kind of capos won't ...
4
votes
1answer
361 views

How can I prevent loss of tuning when changing strings set from 0.11 to 0.12?

I have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom and it's tuned in standard C and my playing style is mostly Desert Rock. I'm using a set of 0.12 strings and considering changing to a 0.11 set to have less tension ...
4
votes
3answers
287 views

What do I need to learn before I can alternate tune my guitar?

What do I need to learn before I can alternate tune my guitar? See, I was taught by my friend how to tune my guitar in standard(EADBGE), and it goes like this: "How To Tune The Guitar To Standard" ...
3
votes
5answers
179 views

Difficulty tuning in Drop D

I went to a guitar shop yesterday to buy a new set of strings and had them replace my old ones. The guitar sounds fine like the usual eadgbe sound but when I tried tuning it to drop D using a guitar ...