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Thread: Are You Really In Tune?

  1. #11
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    Thanks. I wrote this down. I knew how to tune my guitar without a tuner, but I have not learned how to on my uke yet. I've been using my piano to tune it...but have been only tuning the open strings.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3B7 View Post
    Thanks. I wrote this down. I knew how to tune my guitar without a tuner, but I have not learned how to on my uke yet. I've been using my piano to tune it...but have been only tuning the open strings.
    No problem. It's really just an extension of how to tune a guitar, or banjo, or mandolin, or any other fretted instrument.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    No problem. It's really just an extension of how to tune a guitar, or banjo, or mandolin, or any other fretted instrument.
    Yep. I just needed to know which frets.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    The implication and inference was already present in the post I replied to. It was not mine. Hippie Guy admitted that, in a band environment, it was too hard for him to tune the "right" way, so he fell back on the "wrong" way just to get by. Is that not sloppiness?
    No ..it is expediency...it is thinking outside the box...it is improvising....but perhaps that is a sloppy form of playing music..

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    ....you are insulting ..without meaning to ...
    So far, you are the only one who has said that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    You seem to be inferring that people are "sloppy" because they use electronic tuners...
    I said that to ONE person, in response to ONE specific situation, in which that person admitted to being sloppy (in so many words).

    You are infering, not me. To be clear, I believe MOST people who tune that way do it out of simple lack of knowledge - because they simply don't know that it's wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    I have bought electronic tuners from as soon as they were on the market because despite the rather jokey remark in my post ..there was not always a piano handy ....I hesitate to say that not everybody has a perfect or learned pitch ability...
    Now YOU are being snide and condescending. If you had bothered to read my post insteading of picking out snippets, you would see that I RECOMMEND using a tuner - just not in the way that you want to believe is the "right" way.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    I have never read in the instructions that which you are saying above.
    Of course not. They are in the business of selling the thing. It's all they can do to translate a few simple sentences to English.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    I am not saying you are wrong at all .To me it makes sense . I am saying that your delivery is negating the good advice that you are offering...that's what I am saying........
    "If one is content to play out of tune, then simply ignore the advice. If one wants to learn more, then read and engage in constructive dialogue."
    That is not only belligerently offensive and snarky (get it ...Snarky)..it is provocative and challenging ....and actually ,a bit bloody rude to be fair.
    Thank you for speaking your mind, and I truly do appreciate your sentiments. But, so far, you are the only one who seems to feel that way. The above quote was not meant to be snarky, though I can, with a stretch, see that it could be seen that way. But belligerently offensive?!? Bloody rude?!? I think you are once again projecting tones and attitudes that just aren't there. And once again, you are the only one on this forum who has stated such.

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    I will engage in constructive dialogue with a peer or somebody I can respect who is equally able to engage in meaningful and constructive dialogue and not just talk down their nose (mixed metaphor ,but I like it) at people.to take any perceived sting out..
    I am not "talking down my nose" to anyone, including you. Frankly, I don't understand where the offense is coming from. If I did, perhaps I could learn to word things differently - but there seems to be a disconnect somewhere between you and I.

  6. #16
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    I don't think Jim is trying to talk down to folks here CeeJay. He is relatively new to UU forums and will adjust to our quirky ways. Jim you will figure out what doesn't raise the hackles here in time.

    I understand what Oregon Jim is saying about equal temperament tuning. For new comers or jam sessions I find a tuner most valuable. When I leave home my instruments are in relative tune. When I arrive at a jam session my instruments are typically 50c low. I tune to "concert pitch with the tuner. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, My instruments are 50c high, (UMMV). I retune to concert pitch or perhaps a little below A 440. The jam has been going on for a half hour or so, continuously. After I have retuned for the environmental conditions I start to tune to suit my ear. I have "Just Pitch". Just pitch may be a blessing or a curse, depending how you look at it. When my ear is satisfied I just play until something sounds wrong, check the tuner and adjust to ear.

    To rehash this without the environmental folderol:
    1. Tune to Equal pitch, (maybe a couple cents low - the strings do sharpen as Jim suggests). Use your tuner.
    2. Check the sound of the strings compared to A 440. Use your ear.
    3. Adjust your tuning by ear til it suits you, (and hope the rest of the musicians don't throw rottten fruit).

    I always strum or otherwise check to see if my instrument sounds in tune to ear before I pull out the tuner.

    Now Jim let's talk about diatonic instruments a bit. No Capo involved. Tune it to a tuner and you should be in good shape, yes?
    "Inspire me muse to sing of the wanderer, who sailed the wine dark sea and toppled the towers of Ilium"
    "Make a Joyous Noise"
    "Let there be song to fill the air"

    Uncle Tommy's Holiday Camp

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    So far, you are the only one who has said that.



    I said that to ONE person, in response to ONE specific situation, in which that person admitted to being sloppy (in so many words).

    You are infering, not me. To be clear, I believe MOST people who tune that way do it out of simple lack of knowledge - because they simply don't know that it's wrong.

    Ummmm ...I think I also said that, matey



    Now YOU are being snide and condescending. If you had bothered to read my post Pot Kettle

    insteading of picking out snippets, you would see that I RECOMMEND using a tuner - just not in the way that you want to believe snide is the "right" way.



    Of course not. They are in the business of selling the thing. It's all they can do to translate a few simple sentences to English.





    Thank you for speaking your mind, and I truly do appreciate your sentiments. But, so far, you are the only one who seems to feel that way.

    No , I am the only one to say so...there is a difference....constructively and well manneredly, you have to concede.


    The above quote was not meant to be snarky, though I can, with a stretch, see that it could be seen that way. But belligerently offensive?!? Bloody rude?!?

    Don't get too bent OOS at "Bloody" ...it's just emphasis ...I withdraw it ...it aint the same as F ...ing

    I think you are once again projecting tones and attitudes that just aren't there. And once again, you are the only one on this forum who has stated such.



    I am not "talking down my nose" to anyone, including you. Frankly, I don't understand where the offense is coming from. If I did, perhaps I could learn to word things differently - but there seems to be a disconnect somewhere between you and I.

    READ WHAT I AM WRITING ....PLEASE...

    I have not said that YOU are being offensive, patronising or any of the things that you say I am attributing to you.....

    I have said that the tone of your writing gives that impression...so sorry ...it seems that you can give advice but not take it ...

    Even though it was well meant ,friendly, tongue in cheek , humorous and not meant to be combatative...

    Sod It. I thought Ukeing was meant to be fun ,it was back in the 60s....
    Last edited by CeeJay; 01-17-2015 at 04:58 PM.

  8. #18
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    Amen ubulele! To emphasize one little point you made; Always tune up! Not down. That's why I tune a little low to start.
    "Inspire me muse to sing of the wanderer, who sailed the wine dark sea and toppled the towers of Ilium"
    "Make a Joyous Noise"
    "Let there be song to fill the air"

    Uncle Tommy's Holiday Camp

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    The uke is fretted and optimized for equal temperament, so if you fret a note and tune strings in unison, you're probably doing no better job than what a tuner would do. Any mismatch between the equal tempered intervals and the natural harmonics is a red herring because you're always tuning in unisons, not fifths or thirds. (If you did try tuning the open strings without fretting, you've be straying from equal temperament and thus throwing off that optimal compromise for playing any chord and in any key.)

    The only significant difference in the two approaches is that when you tune by ear, you can hear the pulsing rate of the "beats" when two pitches are slightly off from one another. Whether this gets your pitch matching closer than the granularity your tuner will read depends on how finely you can register and react to the beats. And you still have no clue how closely two strings each tuned (closely but imperfectly) to the A string really compare to each other. I have a pretty damn sensitive ear, and yet when I tune by ear alone, the result is often worse than when using a tuner alone. Modesty aside, if you can do better, you're among the fortunate few.

    Also, if you're playing with other instruments and tuning to an initial pitch that is a bit off (due to the granularity of your tuner readout), you can put the remaining strings further off in the same direction, which can't happen if you stick to the tuner, that keeps you in the neighborhood of the reference pitches everyone else is using. Using the tuner for all strings first, you end up with four pitches within the same tolerance of their targets, so when you adjust to even out the slight differences, you should end up closer to that ideal tuning.

    Also, if you tune by ear to what you think sounds most harmonious for one chord (C6), you throw off all other chords, and particularly inversions (which place the same chord components on different strings, so that your slight differences from equal temperament are correspondingly inapt). You have to play a variety of chords to ensure you've hit the best compromise.

    The ear also "tires": after a while of hearing slight dissonances, the brain can become accustomed to them, so that it no longer registers when pitches are in or out of tune; it's sufficient if they're close.

    Furthermore, to get the best tuning by either method, you have to play each note not just once but multiple times. With the tuner method, you should pay attention to how the needle or display moves not only during the initial sound but as the note decays--the closer you are on target, the more stable the readout, and the more evenly distributed between up and down any momentary fluctuations should be. With the ear method, you have to listen each time for the beats, trusting that you can distinguish no beats (in tune) from overly rapid beats (you overshot). For such fine monitoring, I trust my eyes more than my ears.

    What produces the best tuning for me is to tune the open strings with a tuner (rechecking after all strings have been initially tuned), then spot-check with a variety of major chords both in first position and, perhaps more importantly, high on the neck, paying particular attention to doubled notes (on string pairs 1 & 4 [A, F and/or D shapes], 1 & 3 [C shape] and 2 & 4 [G shape]). Slight differences in tuning pitches in open/first position are more apparent higher on the neck, though you may also be altering the pitches you play more unpredictably by your finger pressure or slight sideways bend. That said, if your chords sound good high on the neck, they're likely to sound good over the entire fretboard. If you only check first position, the upper neck is a total pot shot.

    The other side to this issue is staying in tune. Whenever I have to tune down, I deliberately tune under the target pitch, then apply more tension to get the pitch back up. When you down-tune, relaxing the tension, the string doesn't necessarily adjust uniformly; and the tuning peg is left with possibly a bit of play. When you tighten the peg again, you get closer to a uniform tension with all play taken out of the peg. You also get any residual tension differences all going in the same direction, so if there is slight drift, it should at least happen in the one direction only, rather than one string increasing tension while another loosens. I suspect that neglecting to always end tuning upward helps account for why so many people play out of tune so soon after having tuned, whatever method they employ.

    Another ignored factor is how a uke's tuning changes slightly as the instrument warms to the body. Warm up (literally), then retune.
    The whole point is this about electronic uners.......tuners ,even ...they are bloody convenient ...
    in a hot sweaty ,sadly no longer smokey thanks to the health facists (new thread please for responses to this ) you cannot always hear the pitch of a tuning fork , a tuner ...or even a Tuna ...and the electronic doo hickey is a godsend.....because you can see it....If nothing else...


    and the highlight in red is clearly valid....and part of Jim's ..issue ,problem ..?? with people who use electronic tuners ...he has fantastic hearing ..pitch ..
    Last edited by CeeJay; 01-17-2015 at 05:26 PM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeeJay View Post
    The whole point is this about electronic uners.......tuners ,even ...they are bloody convenient ...
    in a hot sweaty ,sadly no longer smokey thanks to the health facists (new thread please for responses to this ) you cannot always hear the pitch of a tuning fork , a tuner ...or even a Tuna ...and the electronic doo hickey is a godsend.....because you can see it....If nothing else...


    and the highlight in red is clearly valid....and part of Jim's ..issue ,problem ..?? with people who use electronic tuners ...he has fantastic hearing ..pitch ..
    Ahhh, CeeJay, you completely miss the point, again. Even when other people tell you. I am too tired to respond to you further.

    And ubulele, you are completely correct in your post. What you say is far more than I was willing to explain in a simple post on tuning for "newbies", though I understand and agree with you. The point of my original advice was to get people to start tuning out the beat frequencies, and that is not going to happen by tuning the open strings and forgetting about it. That is certainly not the end of the story on tuning, as you eloquently pointed out, but it is a beginning, and far better than the apparent "default" behavior of many.
    Last edited by OregonJim; 01-17-2015 at 05:49 PM.

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