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Author Topic: Swanky Tuner required  (Read 7057 times)

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Offline Martin

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Swanky Tuner required
« on: Jun 16, 2004, 09:35:36 PM »
Hi Buxtonites,

What was that fancy tuner everyone was using at Bux, the Intellitune or something? It works off the vibrations through the body of the instrument, and work for guitr of fiddle (or Urhu for all I know).

Just broke a battery contact on my Qwiktune, so I may be in the market sooner than expected.



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Offline swarbrules

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #1 on: Jun 16, 2004, 10:52:14 PM »
Intellitouch PT-1. Can't remember where I got mine.

Offline kesh

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #2 on: Jun 16, 2004, 11:31:21 PM »
I have been using one since my last 'normal' tuner gave up the ghost.  Works great, but you have to pluck the fiddle strings over the fingerboard - near the centre of the strings for best results.  It picks up the vibrations directly through the instrument, so you can tune without worrying about background noise.

I got mine from an online shop in scotland - "Trad Music"? - they had the cheapest price including postage at the time.

Offline Pilgrum

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #3 on: Jun 16, 2004, 11:43:34 PM »
Will it tune strings and give the correct placement of your fingers on the strings also?  When I'm playing up toward the end of the fingerboard I sometimes want to know is this really the right spot for this F#.  My tuner, an older Korg *CHROMATIC* CA-20 will do that.  Plus I have a plug-in pig tail that lets me tune in the middle of a noisy room.  I plug it into the tuner and then clip it onto the bridge and pluck or bow for tuning of strings or fingers.  I personally would never again own one that won't help me tune my finger placement.

Offline Richard

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #4 on: Jun 17, 2004, 12:08:58 AM »
Martin, found these on web-mostly mail order:

http://www.fretsonly.com/offers/intellitouch.htm (Newcastle area)

http://www.ivormairants.co.uk/intellitouch_acc.html (London)

http://www.newstrings.co.uk/acatalog/Guitar_Strings_Shop_TUNERS___ACCESSORIES_12.html (Knutsford)  (looks about the cheapest)

A few on Ebay at the mo.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=22672&item=3729299100&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=22672&item=3729295266&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

There is also a bare bones version but with no backlight and is white. THese ones are black and can be back lit. almost hit that  buy it now button.

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Offline natnot

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #5 on: Jun 17, 2004, 11:16:31 AM »
I don't understand all this fuss about tuners. Tuning forks don't break, don't run out of batteries and are very cheap! ;D

Offline swarbrules

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #6 on: Jun 17, 2004, 11:23:03 AM »
Tuning forks don't break, don't run out of batteries and are very cheap!

But require some ability. Hence my use of Intellitouch :P

Offline Martin

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #7 on: Jun 17, 2004, 12:38:56 PM »
I don't understand all this fuss about tuners. Tuning forks don't break, don't run out of batteries and are very cheap! ;D

I use one of those too sometimes Nat, but I have cloth ears!

Thanks Swarb & Rich, I'll be checking all those out - not quite as expensive as I had feared!!

Offline fiddlebabe

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #8 on: Jun 17, 2004, 01:50:26 PM »
I've got an Intellitouch but it doesn't fit into the fiddle case, its long and thin rather than squarish like normal tuners. I suppose it would go in the side pocket but there'd be a bulge and I don't want it to look like Becks in his pants (headlining some less than tasteful magazines in the UK at the moment).

Also, its not as sensitive as I'd hoped, but I maybe should try the previous post suggestion about plucking. Once its clamped onto the end of the fiddle, its distracting and heavy to leave it on and slightly awkward to keep clamping on and off. The only benefit is that its not as sensitive to background noise as the usual tuners. I find that using my little square tuner (can't remember make) and asking everyone to be quiet while I tune is best.

Then again, Becks in his pants..... :P

Offline swarbrules

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #9 on: Jun 17, 2004, 02:19:11 PM »
I admit it can be difficult to find a pocket for it and it can take some moving around the scroll to find a tuning spot (usually the A for me) but, I find it invaluable when I am checking my finger placement, cutting out the need for double stopping.

Offline Martin

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #10 on: Jun 17, 2004, 02:50:38 PM »
Thanks Richard!

I went for the second eBay one at 39.99 but no postage charge. They all skim around 38-45 for the same thing...

Anyway, this should cure my noisy session/ceili blues!

Offline Richard

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #11 on: Jun 17, 2004, 04:44:06 PM »
Natnot, I also use a tuning fork at A=440Hz, however when wired and during playing or when too loud to hear properly, I use a Korg CA 30. Theoritically we should have a different fork for different temperatures (Speed of sound changes and hence our perception of pitch or frequency)but this does not happen in practice as no one wants 5 forks around 440 Hz. Thats why everyone tunes (finally) to one instrument in an orchestra and not their own tuning forks.
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Offline natnot

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #12 on: Jun 17, 2004, 04:50:05 PM »
Natnot, I also use a tuning fork at A=440Hz, however when wired and during playing or when too loud to hear properly, I use a Korg CA 30. Theoritically we should have a different fork for different temperatures (Speed of sound changes and hence our perception of pitch or frequency)but this does not happen in practice as no one wants 5 forks around 440 Hz. Thats why everyone tunes (finally) to one instrument in an orchestra and not their own tuning forks.

Interesting. I've heard that lots of orchestras tune to 442 or 443 to get a "brighter" sound...I doubt if I could tell the difference. ::) I just have 2 forks, 440 and 415.

Offline Jack002

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #13 on: Jun 17, 2004, 07:51:28 PM »
As for the fork, I do have a 440 A, and I can tune the A to it, now the others ? I'd have to learn to count beats, I never did do that.

I have the intelitouch, and it wont wrok for me if its really noisy in the room, and I too have to pluck the string to get it to work. Its great for what I need. Probably keeps me from learning how to tune the strings to each other tho. Theres a thing to do with harmonics, seems I can get a string to sound off its 5th and tune to that. Anyone here do that? With no frets, its pretty tricky to do.

The tuner fits right in my case ok, not like the shoulder rest! I take it off the scroll when done using it too.

Jack

Offline Martin

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #14 on: Jun 17, 2004, 09:51:21 PM »
The Qwiktune did work fine for me for D A & E, but often was difficult to pick up G with. I'll be getting my soldering iron out in a minute to try to fix it anyway, as I could do with two tuners.

Jack, After tuning "officially" to the tuner, I always bow the strings in pairs too, just to see. Plus when playing with the melodeon player, we all have to retune sharp anyway.

Offline natnot

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #15 on: Jun 17, 2004, 11:38:51 PM »
As for the fork, I do have a 440 A, and I can tune the A to it, now the others ? I'd have to learn to count beats, I never did do that.


Count beats? I'm lost...I just try to hear the perfect 5th? ???

Offline B natural

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #16 on: Jun 18, 2004, 12:03:29 AM »
I also use a tuning fork to get the pitch correct for the A string. If the noise is too much around me I grip the tuning fork between my front teeth after I've hit it. This puts the vibrations of the fork around your skull and you'll hear it a long time after the sound is not audible otherwise. For those of you who haven't tried this method you may want to give it a try. I would have to add the disclaimer that I will not be held responsible for your dental bills !!  ;)

Rob.

Offline natnot

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #17 on: Jun 18, 2004, 12:06:11 AM »
I also use a tuning fork to get the pitch correct for the A string. If the noise is too much around me I grip the tuning fork between my front teeth after I've hit it.

Ouch! I think I'll give that one a miss. :-\

Offline B natural

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #18 on: Jun 18, 2004, 12:25:19 AM »
But it really works - honestly !!

Go on - give it a try - it won't hurt !

Give the tuning fork a tap and grip the single end between your teeth - not the forked end! Get someone else to say when they can't hear it any more - you'll hear it a long time after they've ceased to hear it.

Rob.

Offline Alan Kroeger

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #19 on: Jun 18, 2004, 12:32:44 AM »
I just use the old pitch pipe which I tested against a tuning fork to see if the pipe was accurate and only use the A. Thats a good idea about holding between your teeth Rob.
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Offline Steve_W

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #20 on: Jun 18, 2004, 01:01:10 AM »
Theoritically we should have a different fork for different temperatures (Speed of sound changes and hence our perception of pitch or frequency)but this does not happen in practice as no one wants 5 forks around 440 Hz.

Richard, I suspect your logic has a flaw.  It's true that the speed of sound varies with temperature (with air density, actually) and does affect the perceived frequency; the variation is about 0.7% in the range 0 to 40 degrees celsius (or 440 --> 443 mHz); but the same phenomenon will affect both your instrument and the vibrations from your tuning fork.  I think that as long as you and the instruments in your orchestra are in the same ambient conditions it doesn't matter! -Steve W.

Offline Jack002

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #21 on: Jun 18, 2004, 02:21:53 PM »
I also use a tuning fork to get the pitch correct for the A string. If the noise is too much around me I grip the tuning fork between my front teeth after I've hit it.
I've done that, but not in a long time. Great idea. ;)

Quote
natnot
Count beats? I'm lost...I just try to hear the perfect 5th?
Yeah, that too. I know how in theory, but I'm always off some. I can't get it there 'dead on'.

Quote
steve w
Richard, I suspect your logic has a flaw.  It's true that the speed of sound varies with temperature (with air density, actually) and does affect the perceived frequency; the variation is about 0.7% in the range 0 to 40 degrees celsius (or 440 --> 443 mHz); but the same phenomenon will affect both your instrument and the vibrations from your tuning fork.  I think that as long as you and the instruments in your orchestra are in the same ambient conditions it doesn't matter! -Steve W.
Steve, Steve, Steve, we're not trying to fly a plane VFR here, just tune a fiddle! ;)
« Last Edit: Jun 18, 2004, 02:24:05 PM by Jack002 »

Offline Alan Kroeger

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #22 on: Jun 18, 2004, 03:09:27 PM »
Steve, Steve, Steve, we're not trying to fly a plane VFR here, just tune a fiddle! ;)

It shouldn't be all that complicated it is just tuning.
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Offline Richard

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #23 on: Jun 18, 2004, 03:24:34 PM »
Natnot, I have heard that also, Not been to a concert and noticed but heard its used for that. Also heard that some weird players insist on much higher than even which causes difficulties with certain instruments and also requires three or more tunings to adjust the House piano up and then two or more tunings to get it back to regular. Noticed you said you have a 415Hz fork, when /what type of music do you use that for?

Jack, When tuning in 5ths you hear a beat frequency between the two strings when not in a 5th. When spot on the beating ceases. I don't count them but can tell when its out by about less than 1Hz from the slow beating. I am more accurate when its quiet in the room. I tune by preference this way after using a tuning fork.

Martin, I tried a Quicktune for violin and found it did not always lock onto the played note. I tried a Korg CA 30 which locks on all 4 strings ( or five on the electric) it seemed to be the fastest out of what I tried. Just use it for confidence monitoring when tuned and playing mic'd up. I run it off a link output from the DI box . Church's main hall has a glass atrium (listed building so it stays) and no blinds as yet. Temperature changes fairly quickly when clouds shift and air con is at the part away from stage. This causes strings to drift and hence adjustment required.

Rob, geat example of bone conduction. They use a slight variation of that to test for different types of hearing loss (not between the teeth). You can try this yourself by tapping just behind the ear on the skull. If the bone conduction test fails -no chance of repair from surgery! I will try teeth thing some time though.

Steve, Just for being picky ::): Frequency is measured in Hz not mHz for Sound. 440 Hz is international Concert Reference A. 440 Hz is at 20 Celcius also and not 0 Celcius :) Cannot rememebr the RH figure that this is set for though.

Whilst playing, if the temperature is different to 20 C for example and you have tuned to 440Hz then to a perfect ear, this may produce a note at a frequency that whilst may be in tune with the fork (440 valid only at 20 C), can give you the feeling that its not quite right. Maybe thats just my inaccurate playing ;). If I tune up or down to compensate for the temperature difference, it sits better with my ears and "sounds" to my ears to be in tune. Perhaps this has alot to do with the way the wood and strings behave at different temperatures as well as speed of sound through air. Vibrations (and hence resonances) in the violin body are also governed to some extent by temperature affecting the medium (wood).

That said I only worry about it when it goes wrong and I am out of tune. :)
If in doubt and their is a guiratist around - blame the guitarist, always blame the guitarist. They have 6(or more strings) and rely on frets for tuning/intonation. When string out of tune all notes are out. Unlike fidddle/violin when you can play 4th finger instead of opens if tuning gets a bit rough. and adjust fingers to compensate.
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Offline Steve_W

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #24 on: Jun 18, 2004, 06:31:19 PM »
Just remember guys, all music-making is based on physics!  You can ignore it but it's still there :)

Richard, I often make that mistake of quoting Hz as mHz, I'll have to watch it!  I did think about the perfect pitch thing but figured that in a folk environment most people with perfect pitch would have either learned to accept subtle inaccuracies in pitch or run away screaming!  I don't have perfect pitch but do have good pitch memory (I can recall how a 440 A sounds and tune to that memory), but variations from correct frequency don't bother me, thank goodness!  I haven't noticed a difference in instrument timbre within a couple Hz, but now that you've mentioned it I'll have to try to detect it!

I'm interested in this discussion of tuners; when I do use one I use an old mid-80s Seiko Tolv that someone gave me.  I like this tuner because it has an actual analog needle and is very accurate.  Unfortunately it doesn't do pitch matching; it requires you to set the note you want using 2 dials (one for the pitch, one for the octave).  Plus it's too big to fit in my case!  But apart from that it's great...  Would be nice to find a more portable tuner though. -Steve W.

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #25 on: Jun 18, 2004, 06:36:35 PM »
Noticed you said you have a 415Hz fork, when /what type of music do you use that for?


That was bought for Baroque playing. My original intention was to get my Baroque/transitional instrument set up with gut strings, but it hasn't happened yet and now that I've realised I "need" an electric it isn't likely to happen anytime soon! So it just sits in my case, really... ::)

Offline Martin

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #26 on: Jun 18, 2004, 08:51:20 PM »
Nats, you going for an 8-string electric with volume dial that goes to 11, in midnight black with a eclipse black bow with black horsehair, right? LOL

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #27 on: Jun 18, 2004, 08:55:23 PM »
Nats, you going for an 8-string electric with volume dial that goes to 11, in midnight black with a eclipse black bow with black horsehair, right? LOL

Of course! ;D

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #28 on: Jun 19, 2004, 01:11:58 AM »
Go Gothic Eh?
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Offline Martin

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #29 on: Jun 19, 2004, 09:53:19 AM »
Woohoo, the Intellitouch arrived today! That's what I call service.

Natnot would love this, it's black and come in a black leather case. I notie the case is metal re-inforced to avoid squashing it. That's top quality.

Now I can swank to my hearts' content while I tune. Just gotta learn how to play the thing in tune and I'm laughing.

Thanks to all for this discussion! I still don't get what perfect pitch means. If people with "perfect pitch" can only hear A as 440Hz and anything else is out of tune, what did "perfect pitch" players do before that standard was set?


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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #30 on: Jun 19, 2004, 12:16:22 PM »
Make it up as they went along.

Probably said "You are out of tune, I am in tune, tune to me"
So someone who was in charge would set the tuning. Same way someone in a session may yell change or start a tune -others follow.
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Offline Pilgrum

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #31 on: Jun 19, 2004, 05:14:15 PM »
Thanks to all for this discussion! I still don't get what perfect pitch means. If people with "perfect pitch" can only hear A as 440Hz and anything else is out of tune, what did "perfect pitch" players do before that standard was set?
I now know at lest two people that can listen to you playing and advise you which string is out of tune and if its sharp of flat, which fingers are not in the corrects spots, +/- and what key you're playing in just from the way the notes are sounding.  I think that might be what we're talking about when we speak of *perfect pitch*.  

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #32 on: Jun 22, 2004, 05:26:32 PM »
I also use a tuning fork to get the pitch correct for the A string. If the noise is too much around me I grip the tuning fork between my front teeth after I've hit it. This puts the vibrations of the fork around your skull and you'll hear it a long time after the sound is not audible otherwise.

If you have a tuning fork with the little ball on the end of the stem, you can put the ball into your ear and it will ring nicely as it hangs there.  Looks strange but it works.  Mine is too large to go very far into my ear so it's pretty safe.

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #33 on: Jun 22, 2004, 05:27:30 PM »
Will it tune strings and give the correct placement of your fingers on the strings also?  When I'm playing up toward the end of the fingerboard I sometimes want to know is this really the right spot for this F#.

Yes it will although it adds some weight to the scroll.

Offline Nfkfiddler

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #34 on: Jul 05, 2004, 03:57:18 PM »
I haven't seen this tuner other than on-line.   It seem to me that for a fiddle player, requiring a tuner, a smaller and more standard tuner is preferable together with a clip on tuning pick-up.  (Seiko's model is ref: STM20 if you care to look it out)  

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #35 on: Jul 06, 2004, 11:27:41 AM »
STM20 Seems Ok, but one more thing to connect up to tune. If mostly using acoustic then I would think a single unit such as the Intellitouch would be fine. My main use for my Korg CA30 tuner is off the DI box or a spare output from the FX pedalboard. But then I am mostly playing wired so suits me. -Use as confidence monitoring to check strings not drifting too far whilst playing.

I still like to tune the acoustic with a tuning fork. Tried the teeth thing and works a treat, - bone conduction. Bit odd really but as long as you bite it firmly then its ok. I think it sounds a slightly different frequency to holding onto body of violin but not tested this objectively. Might not do that in public as looked a bit daft :) nought new there but one has to make an effort at credability sometimes.
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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #36 on: Jul 06, 2004, 09:53:59 PM »
Yeah, I stuck the tuning fork in my teeth, it really works well like that. Someone said to put the unforked end into your ear too, I tried that. It works pretty well too. (please, no more ideas on where to stick it, ok? ;))

Jack

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #37 on: Jul 07, 2004, 04:26:59 AM »
I now know at lest two people that can listen to you playing and advise you which string is out of tune and if its sharp of flat, which fingers are not in the corrects spots, +/- and what key you're playing in just from the way the notes are sounding.  I think that might be what we're talking about when we speak of *perfect pitch*.  

My teachers like that. She says when it's off pitch it hurts her ears. My ears never hurt unless somebody whacks them so I use an intellitouch P2 (the white one). When I'm done tuning I take it off and just stick it in my pocket. It works great an stage unless I'm right in front of a monitor. Usually even then it'll work if I turn around so the front of my fiddle isn't in a direct line with the speaker.

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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #38 on: Jul 07, 2004, 09:19:30 AM »
I agree with your teacher, Best I can explain is after playing & listening for many years, I can tell who is out of tune in a band and to me its sometimes like someone scraping a blackboard with nails. It grates!

I can tell when I am out (which is pretty often) and that annoys me sometimes. It annoys me when a string drifts out of tune as I find it sounds wrong. Its almost like my hearing is tuned to be more receptive to the correct notes and frequency. I must do some experiments sometime to see if musicians with"perfect pitch" have differing otological responses than an otologically normal non-musician.

Its like the note by itself sounds clearer to me when its in tune. Perhaps its just that the brain locks in on the right note though there are some theories that trained ears are that: something like the brain provides feedback to the part of the cochlea called the basilar membrane to enhance accuracy. Previous theories of possible detection methods would mean that we would not tell within the accuracy I think is possible for a musician.

It would be interesting to see how well a real perfect pitch musician can tell if out of tune. Thereby obtaining a measurement of a trained ears accuracy.

On a very good day when there is low background noise I have tuned my violin without tuning fork or pipes or tuner. Just by ear. It was remarkable how close I could be when tuning entirely by ear. Mostly I don't even try thesedays as there is usualy too much background noise but its like I could hear the note it was supposed to be in my mind and compare it. I am worse at tuning when tired - well known that ears are best fresh and tiredness makes the little hairs flop and reduce hearing ability and accuracy.
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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #39 on: Jul 07, 2004, 10:44:54 AM »
Perfect (better named "absolute") pitch is being able to name heard notes, or produce asked-for notes correctly.

What we are talking about here is the ability to judge the distance between notes accurately, and that is called "Relative Pitch". So, you might not be able to saywhat note it is, but you know whether it is in tone with another.

Perferct pitch is thought to be a form of categorical perception, i.e, if the note is near the right frequency, then it is called by the right name. Naming notes tends to be 100% right, producing them has less accuracy.

gc


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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #40 on: Jul 19, 2004, 01:12:51 AM »
I think it depends on exactly what type/style of fiddle you are playing. On vassar type, really aggressive tunes I will tune open and flaten the note just a bit to allow but the pressure of the bow. Sort of between the cracks.
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Re:Swanky Tuner required
« Reply #41 on: Jul 19, 2004, 03:00:49 AM »
I've been using a little digital Intelli IMT-203. It's OK. It has a specific violin setting (which is good for my beginning son), chromatic tuner, thermo and hydro meters.
I can tune the strings to match without a tuner by using fourth finger, but feel unsure if my A is really an A without a pitch pipe or piano. I'm just rusty, I guess.  :-[

 




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