Tuning technique

paulg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,016
I've been working on a different (to me) approach to tuning. It seems to be helping me get the guitar in tune up the neck. Starting at the sixth string I play a B with a F# on the fifth. Then I slightly bend the F#, if it sounds more intune (or pleasing) I tune the fifth string up a smig. If bending the note creates more tension in the sound I slack the string slightly. Another way to check where you are at is to, bend the B up. If this sounds "better" then the fifth string is too sharp. I then move to the fifth and fourth strings and so on. This technique is hardest on the outside strings as you have to bend them closer to each other. Since you only bend them very slightly to fine tune (about 1/16") it really is just a matter of being percise.
I use the same approach with octaves to check across the fretboard. For some reason I find it easier to hear fifths than unison sounds. I'm still experimenting by trying to tune at varoius locations on the neck and checking it against my Peterson tuner. Any thoughts?
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
I've been working on a different (to me) approach to tuning. It seems to be helping me get the guitar in tune up the neck. Starting at the sixth string I play a B with a F# on the fifth. Then I slightly bend the F#, if it sounds more intune (or pleasing) I tune the fifth string up a smig. If bending the note creates more tension in the sound I slack the string slightly. Another way to check where you are at is to, bend the B up. If this sounds "better" then the fifth string is too sharp. I then move to the fifth and fourth strings and so on. This technique is hardest on the outside strings as you have to bend them closer to each other. Since you only bend them very slightly to fine tune (about 1/16") it really is just a matter of being percise.
I use the same approach with octaves to check across the fretboard. For some reason I find it easier to hear fifths than unison sounds. I'm still experimenting by trying to tune at varoius locations on the neck and checking it against my Peterson tuner. Any thoughts?
All tuning experiments have merit. They'll all paint you into a corner eventually too, but that's kind of the point of the exercise.
To see what's sweetened and what's spoiled.
You're going progressively sharp with this scheme, 2ish cents per string, so you'll wind up with some nice minor voicings as long as the 3rd's on top, 1 5 1 3 5 3, and some nice alt. sounds provided you have that 5th on top.
1 x b7 3 b13 #9 fer example. The symmetrical sounds usually survive that tuning punishment, so you might get a kick out of the aug. and dim. sounds you get too.
Obviously your 5th shapes on adjacent strings will rock, but if you do a good job getting those right, all your major 3rds, 10ths, 6ths are doomed.
Octaves too. . .
OK! Have fun!!!
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,104
No guitar is ever in tune, even with itself. Steve Kimock is way way smarter than me and explained it much better. It's worth chasing around different tuning techniques just to see how they sound, but it's always a compromise. And for me, part of the compromise is how long it takes me to tune.

These days, I tend to use a Peterson strobe and then go just a hair flat from what it says is "in tune", on all strings. But the 12-string has me fighting that rule in other ways.
 

paulg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,016
Interesting, if I tune totally by ear using the standard method. Then touch up by tuning with a open E cord. I almost always end up sharp on the high B and E. Perhaps that's why the fifths method sounds good to me. Hmmm, maybe I should stick to the Peterson!
 






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