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1

Allow me to recommend you touch base with your harp ensemble and ask them if there's anything you should know about what tuning system they will be using. I'm both a woodwindist and a harper, and sometimes harpers forget that woodwinds can't do everything, tuning-wise, they can. You should be advised that harps, because of their variety of historical forms ...


2

The number of tuning issues depends on your skill level and intonation. Between the two of you, it is much more likely that you'll be the one out of tune. Harps are chordophones and the by nature of the instrument take forever to tune (much like a piano) and go out of tune with generally the same frequency as a piano if not properly maintained. While ...


0

Either your guitar tuner is broken or your "D" string keeps slipping down to "C", which means your tuning knob is broken. Have you tried tuning with a piano -if you have one available- ? Are you tuning with a tuner that responds to sound, or to vibration?


1

As you say, there are innate intonation issues to consider when tuning a guitar. For this reason I don't rely on using chords with open strings to check tuning. I tune first with harmonics, often check the sound of the fourths between those strings tuned in fourths ("violin-tuning-style", if you like...) My final "check" is a series of octaves, each ...


5

You say not to be consider intonation in this question, But to my mind they account for the defining factor in which check chord you should use. If intonation is disregarded then the tuning chord is redundant, because everything is perfect whatever chord you use. If you tune to an open E chord and then play an open D then the D will be slightly out of tune ...


12

I think you should always check with an open E chord AND an open C chord. This is because you have to find a compromise between the two. If the E is perfect then the C will be (slightly) wrong (the open G string will be flat); otherwise, if the C sounds good, then the third of E (g#) will sound sharp (even sharper than it should ...). If you have good ears, ...


0

On CDs that come with various magazines, it's always the open strings, one at a time, followed by an open Emaj. chord. Works as a quick check when playing with others, too.


6

I would think the simplest test would be to play a quick G C D G in there open positions. It uses all the strings and it should be easy to tell if something is out because it is a simple I-IV-V-I progression that you should be tonally accustom to and be able to tell if a note if 'off'.


0

Yes... on all the above. Plus, in case it isn't mentioned in there somewhere, when a new string is a little sharp you might want to give it a gentle tug outward to make it flat, and then tune it up. This way, if there's any looseness at the peg end, you can get rid of it.


2

There will often be some friction at various parts of the tuning linkage, as well as at the nut (where the string passes over). At some points, including the nut, things may bind slightly. Think about what would happens if the string is binding where it passes over the nut, both in the "tightening" and "loosening" cases. If the string binds where it ...


5

Yes, as the strings are kept under tension better. It works with all stringed instruments (inc. piano!), for the same reason. Also, somehow, it seems easier to hear a note coming up to pitch rather than approaching it from above. 'We're tuning up'.


23

When you lower the pitch by releasing tension, there might be slack in the gears in the tuning machines, which might make the string go below the intended pitch. By going further down and approaching the target note from below, there will be force applied to the gears and when you've reached the correct pitch the gears have less potential to move. So your ...


3

Yes, because that is the way that the gears in tuning machines work best.


3

Guitars have not always been strung from low to high, the baroque guitar use re-entrant tunings, e.g. See Monica Hall's excellent website for more information about the Baroque guitar, including stringing. Essentially stringing low to high is a bizarre newfangled idea! ;o)


1

Play a barrée. Now try fingering something melodic on the high strings, and in comparison, on the low strings. The typical blues pattern in F consisting of 1-3-1-2-1-1, 1-5-1-2-1-1, 1-6-1-2-1-1 actually does so. But it is rather a stretch and more playable on the flimsier fretboards of electric guitars or in higher positions. Doing the more melodic stuff ...


1

Because you're looking at it wrong? Guitars are typically strung with the BASS/LOW strings ON TOP. That is - the guitar is typically held with those strings at a higher altitude, closer the player's head. This is only convention and it has very little practical reason and there are plenty of people who play it "upside-down" or string a guitar upside-down and ...


4

Looking online, there are plenty of explanations for particular guitar tunings (open, drop etc.), but I haven't found a definitive explanation of why the lowest string is "at the top" and the highest string is "at the bottom", to help reinforce this answer. Like Tim, I can't wait to see how other people answer this question, particularly as I often tell my ...


11

There are left handed guitar players who just turn a right stringed guitar over and play that way, so it is possible. With very good results even, see e.g. Albert King: So it is not unheard of to play that way. Like others have indicated, you need more power for the lower strings, which is suited for the thumb. Plucking chords becomes more difficult with ...


1

Take a look at the piano. The ring finger on your right hand will play a higher note than the thumb. Now back to the guitar. The high E is more likely to be picked by your ring finger while the 3 low string will be usually picked by the thumb (at least by certain classic schools).


6

Try playing something complex on the top (thin) string. Now try the same on the fat string. The fretting hand is more comfortable not being stretched. I suppose more intricate note patterns are traditionally played on the high strings, whereas the E and A would be used for more static bass-like patterns. It gives a slight advantage to the player the way it ...


0

Octaves on a piano are not tuned pure. Because of inharmonicity, the higher partials of a single piano string are slightly sharper than theory would predict. Ideal harmonic series above 100Hz: 100 200 300 400 etc Actual harmonic series above 100Hz (approximation): 100 200.05 300.2 400.6 The higher the partial; the sharper the pitch. Shorter piano ...


0

I think that rote numbers will not work. Wood is not a material of homogenous resilience, and xylophone bars are hollowed out for best resonance (and as part of tuning). So you need to figure in some waste material for experiments.


1

Eq. 4.39 of H. Olsen, Music Physics and Engineering 1967 gives the equation for the fundamental frequency of a free bar. For this problem, where you have the same material and the same cross-sectional shape, the frequency is proportional to 1/(length squared)


3

This question is more suited to physics stackexchange but anyway.. This shows you to calculate frequency of vibrating bars, rods and tubes: http://fiziks.net/physicsmusic/Experiment%2010.htm This is a paper on building a copper tube Xylophone: http://users.df.uba.ar/sgil/physics_paper_doc/papers_phys/lapp.pdf If you have any further questions check out ...


3

Well, this is kind of late, but, no, you can not learn to tune a piano in a day. Why do I say this? Well, I am a Registered Piano Tuner with the Piano Technicians Guild and I've been teaching piano tuning for eight years. You can however learn a lot in a 20 hour basic crash course. But how well your tuning will sound after depends on your ear and ...


0

What I have learned from composition and music history, is that regardless of the intellectual aesthetic, what matters when you get to the double bar is what sounds the best. Composers do not write squiggles down and figure out sounds to fit those squiggles, patting themselves on the back about how clever they are. Neither should you either fuss with ...



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