Instruments of another color

Bryan McAlister

Message 39236 · 21 Sep 2004 15:59:08 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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In message <1206.131.243.248.85.1095699807.xxxxxxxx@131.243.248.85>,
Steve Wyrick <xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx> writes
>This is a different situation, Bryan. I have no problem with tuners when
>they're necessary, but IMO too many fiddlers are too dependent on them in
>normal playing situations. If they can't tune their instrument by ear,
>how can they play in tune? I've wondered, though; can you tune a fiddle
>correctly using an electronic tuner and not further adjusting the 5ths by
>ear? This gets into the question of tempering, which while I understand
>the theory, I don't know how it applies to instruments in the violin
>family. I assume electronic tuners are set up in equal temperament (like
>keyboards), but tuning by matching 5ths will give you something else (just
>intonation?). Maybe in practice it doesn't matter... and anyway this is
>probably too far off the topic for this list, sorry! -Steve
>
>Bryan McAlister said:
I use my tuner and then finish off by tuning by ear as he tuner has a
certain amount of tolerance. Which probably answers you question
regarding temperament My tuner is a Korg with a row of green/red LEDs
and has 2 modes - as far as I can remember one mode indicates that the
note is within a certain number of hertz to the required note and the
other works on a percentage basis. In practice I cant remember which one
I use but I know it is the least sensitive of the 2 settings as the
finer tuning setting is just too sensitive to slight changes in pitch as
the note attacks and dies away.

The advantage of the tuner is that we always play with digital keyboards
and therefore once new strings have settled in we can turn up at gigs
with a concert A and usually have little further tuning to do other
than running repairs. As I also play mandolin it greatly reduces the
amount of tuning.

--
Bryan McAlister

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