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billcarr
03-30-2013, 10:35 PM
New to the uke and having fun training my ear to the art of tuning the ukulele by ear. I know for sure it takes practice.. Lots of practice and time!

My only other experience with music instruments is highland pipes, smallpipes and northumbrian pipes. About 20 years all up. I can tune a pipe chanter to itself and then to the drones to get the best harmonics and overtone possible (Hey I should get a medal for that alone!)

The method of ear tuning a uke is simple enough but actually hearing if a string is sharp or flat when itís very close is something I need to work on. My mind plays tricks on me and I can hear it both ways. Also getting the G or A string spot on before tuning the other strings is a challenge. A combination of practicing tuning by ear and then checking with the tuner appears to be the best way.

If you mostly tune by ear.. What is you proven method?

Bill

Manalishi
03-30-2013, 10:46 PM
I do what I used to do on guitar,which is
to tune any ONE string by tuner/piano,or
tuning fork,then use 'relative tuning' to
tune the remaining strings.

mm stan
03-30-2013, 11:09 PM
Get a baritone..it's alot louder and you can hear the pitch better...

Pukulele Pete
03-31-2013, 02:38 AM
I do what I used to do on guitar,which is
to tune any ONE string by tuner/piano,or
tuning fork,then use 'relative tuning' to
tune the remaining strings.
That's the way I did it for about 40 years , now I use an electronic tuner. I think the old way is a good way to train your ear. Wow 40 years , I hate to have to say that.

garyg
03-31-2013, 03:15 AM
I use the old "My dog has fleas" and after two years of playing and six months of trying I'm fairly close. As we state employees say - "close enough for government work". I'm usually close, I check with an electronic tuner about once a week, and it made me realize that being exactly "in tune" is less important than playing itself, so if it sounds okay by ear I just play and focus on that. Of course everyone's ability to detect pitch differs, some folks have perfect pitch and others can't hear a string out of tune after five minutes of playing when an electronic tuner was used at the start. Some time in the near past (~six months to a year ago) someone posted a link to a site where you could test your ability to discriminate tones that differed. That was useful for a reality check on your "raw material" for tuning by ear.

Manalishi
03-31-2013, 04:44 AM
I forgot in my earlier post to add that that was
how I tuned a guitar (including my 12 string) for
forty seven years!

OldePhart
03-31-2013, 05:15 AM
Start obviously low and tune up to the pitch, listening for the beat note between two strings to slow and stop.


New to the uke and having fun training my ear to the art of tuning the ukulele by ear. I know for sure it takes practice.. Lots of practice and time!

My only other experience with music instruments is highland pipes, smallpipes and northumbrian pipes. About 20 years all up. I can tune a pipe chanter to itself and then to the drones to get the best harmonics and overtone possible (Hey I should get a medal for that alone!)

The method of ear tuning a uke is simple enough but actually hearing if a string is sharp or flat when it’s very close is something I need to work on. My mind plays tricks on me and I can hear it both ways. Also getting the G or A string spot on before tuning the other strings is a challenge. A combination of practicing tuning by ear and then checking with the tuner appears to be the best way.

If you mostly tune by ear.. What is you proven method?

Bill

Tootler
03-31-2013, 06:13 AM
I use an electronic tuner, then check by ear. As time goes by, I'm finding I'm getting better at telling when my uke has gone a bit "off" and is needing retuning.

One of the problems I had when I tried guitar was getting it in tune. When I took up uke, the electronic tuner was a godsend! One thing less to worry about.

I find the same thing with flute. I know when I am out of tune but have difficulty deciding whether I'm sharp or flat.

garyg
03-31-2013, 06:59 AM
John do you have that link to the "how good is your tone discrimination" site. I know we both used it but I don't have the link? cheers, g2

DaveVisi
03-31-2013, 07:33 AM
Try this link:

http://tonometric.com/adaptivepitch/

OldePhart
03-31-2013, 08:13 AM
John do you have that link to the "how good is your tone discrimination" site. I know we both used it but I don't have the link? cheers, g2

No, I'd forgotten all about that. Slept once or twice since then. :)

Actually, checking yourself against that site every few months and keeping a record would probably not be a half-bad idea.

I know my pitch sense keeps improving. Even as recently as a few months ago I still had a difficult time tuning my bass by ear or detecting when it was off - something about the low frequencies makes it just not as easy to "hear" I guess. Today at rehearsal my E-string slipped a few cents and I noticed it immediately.

I was listening over the last video I created recently using my mango soprano with the new Mahana strings. I had to cringe a little - even being concert strings they are pretty soft compared to what I usually play and I was being careless and pulled them out of tune fingering some of the chords (pulled them "down" toward the floor as I fretted them, pulling them sharp). I had sort of noticed it while I was playing and singing but it was very noticeable when I went back and listened to the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSaqr2L-EDk

Some of the E7 (actually, F#7 since the uke is tuned up to D) chords, especially, are downright wince-worthy. LOL Soprano is a little cramped for me and I guess I'm going to have to be more careful about not letting my fingers pull the strings to the side.

John

BlackBearUkes
03-31-2013, 08:40 AM
Tuning by ear is an excellent way to train yourself to listen and get things right. Of course, this assumes you own a uke that is set up properly and the intonation is spot on. Otherwise, its just a lesson in frustration and tuning by ear or with a tuning machine is a waste of time.

Tootler
03-31-2013, 11:32 AM
I know my pitch sense keeps improving. Even as recently as a few months ago I still had a difficult time tuning my bass by ear or detecting when it was off - something about the low frequencies makes it just not as easy to "hear" I guess.

OTOH, the human ear is more tolerant of slight discrepancies in tuning with bass notes than with high notes.

I notice it much more with the recorder. At the last rehearsal of our recorder group we were playing a piece which went very high on the sopranino and descant (UK speak for soprano) recorders and the slight tuning discrepancies were really ear piercing. The sopranino player played the particular passage down an octave when we ran through it again and it made a big difference.

I play contrabass and I find slight tuning discrepancies at the bass end far less noticeable. (FYI, Contrabass recorder is still an octave above bass guitar/U-bass double bass)

drbekken
03-31-2013, 01:11 PM
I never used anything but my ears to this day. On guitar and ukulele, I find the pitch for the first string on a piano or a harmonica, and then I tune the rest accordingly. Pure and simple.

jimdville
03-31-2013, 05:11 PM
There is a short video on my website of how to tune your uke with an A-440 tuning folk.

coolkayaker1
03-31-2013, 05:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HvLpsFroVQM

Jim's video is amazing. And you can buy a tuning fork and other great swag from his website.
http://www.playukulelebyear.com/

It's a fantabulous website. Check out all the videos!

garyg
04-01-2013, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the link Dave and John, good tuning. I downloaded pitchlab for my phone (mentioned by someone on the list) and when I'm not tuning by ear I'm using that. So far it matches my electronic tuner well and it will be nice not to carry around extra gear, g2

bluecanary
04-01-2013, 06:36 AM
Try this link:

http://tonometric.com/adaptivepitch/

Wow, that is a great link. I was surprised at how well I did--guess I learned something in band class after all!