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VegasGeorge
08-10-2014, 03:34 AM
I suppose there is already more than one Topic posted on this. But my quick search didn't find it. So ....

When I tune, I first bring each string up to exact pitch as shown on my electronic tuner. Then I start checking the strings against each other. I play an open G and C, and listen for the sound of a true 5th. I adjust the C string if necessary. I finger an open G chord, and check the E string (fretted G) against the open G string. I adjust the E string a bit if necessary. Then I check the G string (fretted A) against the open A string. I adjust the open A if necessary. Then I run through the chords C, G, D, F, Bb. If I've done it right, everything should be good to go.

I don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong. It's just the way I've come to do it, and it seems to work for me.

Is there an "official" right way to do it? And/or, how do you do it? I'm open to learning something new.

Jim Hanks
08-10-2014, 03:49 AM
Tuning is always a compromise. "Ideally" you'd be done after the electronic tuner step. What you are doing with the "against each other" step is adjusting the equal temperament from the tuner to more of a "just" temperament so you get less "beats" for the common intervals and chords. You are also adjusting for intonation issues by comparing fretted notes against open ones.

Bottom line is that you are arriving at your own compromise tuning that works well for that instrument, for those chords, and low on the fretboard. As you say, it works for you, and there's nothing wrong with that. I would guess that as you venture further up the fretboard or into other chords that they will sound "less good" to you (e.g. 5ths won't be true). But that's the story for all compromises - you make one thing better, you make others worse.

VegasGeorge
08-10-2014, 04:59 AM
What you are doing with the "against each other" step is adjusting the equal temperament from the tuner to more of a "just" temperament so you get less "beats" for the common intervals and chords.

Just so! The part I find interesting is that it only works efficiently when started with the electronic tuner, and that not every string needs tweaking every time. As an aside, my most frequent problem is with the high A string. It often winds up just slightly sharp, and needs to be tweaked down a bit to please my ear.

UkerDanno
08-10-2014, 05:34 AM
I tune with electronic tuner and play! I'm sure it's closer than my ear.

Rllink
08-10-2014, 06:32 AM
I suppose there is already more than one Topic posted on this. But my quick search didn't find it. So ....

When I tune, I first bring each string up to exact pitch as shown on my electronic tuner. Then I start checking the strings against each other. I play an open G and C, and listen for the sound of a true 5th. I adjust the C string if necessary. I finger an open G chord, and check the E string (fretted G) against the open G string. I adjust the E string a bit if necessary. Then I check the G string (fretted A) against the open A string. I adjust the open A if necessary. Then I run through the chords C, G, D, F, Bb. If I've done it right, everything should be good to go.

I don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong. It's just the way I've come to do it, and it seems to work for me.

Is there an "official" right way to do it? And/or, how do you do it? I'm open to learning something new.I don't always do that, but I sometimes do it. I really don't know why, because if I just tune it to the tuner it is fine. I think that I just like to do it. I often times just do things like that to make sound.

ksiegel
08-10-2014, 06:44 AM
I usually start out with the electronic tuner, then tune relative to each other, and my ears.

The majority of the ukes are always a little bit out between the 4th fret on the C string and the open E string, but then, so are most of my guitars. That's where I really have to tune relative to each other, by ear. And then adjust the A relative to the G and E.

Except on the National Reso. Whether using the an electronic tuner (and I've used multiple brands at once, for comparison sake), by ear, or relative (octave, harmonic, string-to-string), the notes are true.

For a little while, anyway - that's my problem with friction tuners - I need to tweak often.

Now, where did I put that tuning fork...?

(I have a cheap tuning fork, but it is labeled A-440, and every e-tuner reads it as 436-438. Stevepetergal, what is your take on that?)



-Kurt

Icelander53
08-10-2014, 10:23 AM
I tune with electronic tuner and play! I'm sure it's closer than my ear.

this ^ .

ubulele
08-10-2014, 03:32 PM
For the tightest tuning, recheck it high on the neck by playing several chords with varying doubled notes. For instance, around the 8th to 10th frets, you might try n:0232 (G-shape, doubling strings 4 and 2), n:2100 (A-shape, doubling 4 and 1) and n:0003 (C-shape, doubling strings 3 and 1 at an octave). Tuning inaccuracies pop out magnified on the upper neck. If your high-neck chords sound decent, your lower neck chords should sound like a dream—and people are less likely to yelp in pain when you stray out of first position.

tbeltrans
08-10-2014, 04:02 PM
Though I do have an electronic tuner, I tend to prefer an 'A' (440) tuning fork. Watching Jim Deville's videos on playing by ear, he talks about this a bit. Back in the early 80s, I attended a seminar given by Leo Kottke (the fingerstyle guitar player), and he talked at length along very similar lines as Jim DeVille does. I decided to go that route. I tune the first string A to the tuning fork, and then the other strings, an A on each to that A open. After tuning, I do it again to make sure nothing shifted during the process, since tuning a string does change tension on the neck, depending on how far out of tune the strings were.

Johnny Smith, the guitarist used to tune one string to A and then the others to that A. It works well for me, but I think everybody should do what works for them. I am really into using my ear for music making, but not everybody is (i.e. for many, written music is the way they like to play and the ear is secondary). We all use whatever senses are our strong suit, so there really is no hard and fast "rule" that everybody needs to follow as long as the ukulele is in tune when we are finished. :)

Tony