Questions tagged [tuning]

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
13
votes
9answers
15k views

Why does my new guitar become untuned every day?

I am learning guitar as a beginner and a few days back I bought an f-hole acoustic guitar (steel strings). And every day when I sit down to play it, the guitar tuner says that it is out of tune, ...
13
votes
9answers
23k views

Why do people say “you are a little flat” and never “you are are a little sharp”?

Is there a tendency to sing flat when singing out of tune?
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How does the harmonic series affect consonance?

NOTE: for the purpose of this question, assume we are talking about 12-TET and assume that references to overtones in the harmonic series are being referred to in relationship to the 12-TET note that ...
13
votes
2answers
757 views

Score for orchestra tuning

I was talking this monring about Cage's 4:33 and I mentioned that I'd love to see a score for an orchestra tuning. It's one of the most recognisable sounds in concerts and has many distinctive musical ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an all-fourths guitar tuning?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an all-fourths guitar tuning being E, A, D, G, C, F (the high E and B strings being raised a half-step from standard tuning). One reason to do this is ...
12
votes
4answers
29k views

Understanding a digital tuner

I've the exact same tuner from this video only the brand name changes. I am new to guitars, I am trying to tune(standard tuning) an ESP M-50 with it(can I?). I plug the guitar cable to the tuner input ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Which chords are recommended for checking guitar tuning?

Notwithstanding innate intonation issues, just versus equal temperament, and a variety of tuning methods, I would like to ask what other guitarists use as their "check chords". That is, what chords do ...
12
votes
2answers
48k views

What do the terms E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 actually mean?

I am attempting to learn guitar, and I keep coming across this notation in various apps that I've downloaded. I know that E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 are something to do with tuning, but I'm not exactly sure ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the same classical piece sound like it's in a different key in different recordings?

I've noticed that sometimes a different recording of the same piece will sound like it's being played in a different key. For example, I listened to Concerto No. 6 in B-Flat Major, BWV 1051: III. ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Whereabouts is G?

In 12TET, concert G is always at a particular pitch, frequency, etc. However, on instruments such as violin, players will stray slightly to make a note sound more in tune, dependent on key. (As in ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How far “off” can a piano unison be and still be considered “in-tune”?

I'm talking about either beats per second of a resulting beat between two strings in the midrange of the piano. My piano seems to vary during different parts of the day, I think because of the ...
12
votes
1answer
155 views

How were tuning/temperaments indicated on scores (if they ever were)?

Bradley Lehman claims that the details of the intended tuning for the Well-Tempered Claivier are encoded in the squiggle at the top of the manuscript (related wikipedia link). Are there other (...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is my D string showing a C♯ on my tuner?

I was playing for a bit and didn't tune any string, but when I wanted to tune it in at the end of my session my tuner kept saying C♯ instead of D. How do I get my D string back to its original ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Does octave not matter when tuning?

Why does it not matter what octave you're tuning to? If you wind a string to two different octaves of the same note, surely it's going to have a big effect on the sound, no?
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What’s that U shaped metal thing needed for tuning called?

There is this metal thing shaped as a 'U'; you hit it against something and put it against your ear to hear this sound. I'm not sure what it's called but I need it to tune the A string on my violin.
11
votes
6answers
14k views

Do I risk ruining my guitar by switching the tuning often?

I'm currently learning a song which needs drop-d tuning. Since I found myself switching back and forth from drop-d to standard tuning a couple of times a day, I wonder if I'm risking damage to the ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Exact pitch of blues scale notes

Wikipedia gives multiple candidate definitions for the blues scale. A musician showed me how to play blues e.g. in C by smudging say Eb and E. The actual note lies somewhere between. But where? ...
11
votes
16answers
4k views

How to tune a guitar/bass without a tuner?

When I'm trying to tune my guitar/bass without a tuner, if a single string is in tune, I can tune the rest of the strings based on the tuned one, using the harmonics over the 5th and 7th frets. But ...
11
votes
5answers
987 views

Scaling an object to change its key

I used a 3D Printer to make a kid's Recorder for my son. It plays surprisingly well. However, it's not tuned to match the common recorder used in schools. Using a phone-app tuner, the base mouth-piece ...
11
votes
2answers
124 views

Do pegs for stringed instruments require holes?

We bought some new pegs for a cello but they came without holes. As a result, it seems impossible to tighten the strings as they keep slipping. But there must be some use for pegs without holes, ...
11
votes
1answer
723 views

Why does C# sound extremely flat when saxophone is tuned to G?

Note: when I mention the name of a note in this question, I'm referring to the saxophone pitch, not the concert pitch. I play the alto saxophone, and lately I've been practicing mostly with a tuner. ...
11
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is the last string on a guitar called the first string and the first string called the sixth string?

I learned early in my guitar playing journey that what I would naturally assume would be the first string (the fattest string) is actually known in proper guitar anatomy parlance as the sixth string. ...
10
votes
11answers
10k 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.
10
votes
4answers
12k views

What frequencies should the violin and viola be tuned to?

I'm using this app to tune my violin, it supports many temperament options. What I want to do is tune the A string to 440Hz first, then comparing the other strings sympathetically to the adjacent ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

If Irish button accordions are typically B/C how and why are they often played in D or G?

On choosing a two-row button accordion... B/C is the usual choice for Irish music (players use both rows in order to play mainly in D or G, but the instrument is almost chromatic). Is this right? ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How did people tune their instruments in the past?

Today we are using electronic tuners and know everything about frequencies but in the past, like before the 16th century, how could people tune their instruments? Did they tune them to specific ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Does piano tuning software actually work?

I would like to tune a piano that is in a remote place. Usually I would call a tuner but since there are none around it will just be too expensive. I found out recently that there is software that ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
773 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
139 views

Why does this tonal scale from 1737 have both F and E♯?

I've recently encountered Jean Féry-Rebel's "Les Élémens". (Check out that wild opening; it's hard to believe it was written in 1737!) In the fifth measure of the third staff, why does this ...
10
votes
2answers
295 views

Harp Tuning Tendencies

I am a flutist and I will be playing flute in a harp ensemble. Is there anything I should know concerning tuning issues with harps while playing. Are there certain notes or octaves that are prone to ...
10
votes
1answer
856 views

What kind of edition and tuning to use to study Bach's fifth cello suite ?

As is well known, this suite was composed for a cello with a scordatura tuning C-G-d-g instead of the classical C-G-d-a. I have seen almost every possible combination: edition for specially-tuned ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do old russian guitar songs sound out of tune?

I'm not actually 100% sure these are out of tune, but they sound out of tune to me. Here are some examples on YouTube: Example 1 (1943) Example 2 New example 2 (1970) Example 3 It's a bit harder to ...
9
votes
8answers
7k views

Piano tuning just under the absolute pitch

The other day, the piano tuner came to the semi-annual tuning of my piano (a Blüthner baby grand). I was not at the house when he did the tuning. When I got home, the piano was tuned in respect to ...
9
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does tab have CGCGCE instead of normal EADGBE?

I'm pretty new to learning guitar music. I've heard some great songs that I would like to learn on my own, and mostly I've been able to read the tabs. I just came upon a tab that looks like this: I'...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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.
9
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

What are 'alternative tunings' of a guitar and why would you use them? Doesn't it make it more difficult to play?

In the wikipedia article for the song Iris it says there is an: unusual guitar tuning in which most of the strings are tuned to D, lending the guitar a chorus-like effect. In a follow up article ...
9
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
7k views

When tuning a guitar, why is it only in tune for a moment?

I am still very new to learning guitar (specifically, Classical fingerstyle). While this is the first time I am doing this "seriously", I HAVE tried to learn guitar before, just very badly (and ...
9
votes
4answers
14k views

Do pianos really need to rest before tuning, after being moved?

I'm new to real pianos and just having bought an old 2nd-hand one, it's obviously gone out of tune being moved to my house. I've heard from a few people, including one tuner, that they need to 'rest' ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Software for trying out 19-TET (and others)

I've been reading on non-standard scales such as the 19-tone equal temperament. I'd really like to try some of them out, but it turns out to be difficult. Adjusting a physical instrument would be a ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

How to prevent snare rattle?

When I play my drum set, the toms make the snare rattle. Also, some pitches played by guitar or bass will make it rattle. I've tried tuning all the drums to certain pitches (somewhat effectively), but ...
9
votes
1answer
833 views

Why choirs consistently go flat or sharp in certain keys

As a long-time chorister, I've always wondered what drives choirs to flat or sharp out of certain keys. For instance, the choir I sing with consistently fails to remain in the key of F, whereas ...
8
votes
2answers
41k views

What notes on the piano do the Ukulele strings equate to?

If you highlighted the 4 strings of the Ukulele (default tuning) to notes on the piano, where would they come in relation to middle C?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

When tuning an orchestra, why do some people play A followed by D and F together?

I've heard string players tune from a piano by playing A4, followed by D4 and F4 together. They said it makes it easier to tune. I've never gotten a good answer why this is. Is it just a strange ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What is an effective way to tune a guitar for an unpracticed ear?

I played viola for 6-7 years and always had this problem to a degree where plucking or playing a string made me feel the pitch was wobbling in a range. I assumed I just don't have a precise ear, but ...
8
votes
6answers
33k 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 ...