Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

31
Fiddle Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Fiddle
 Playing Advice
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Tuning advice


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/55159

Page: 1  2  

doryman - Posted - 04/27/2021:  19:29:53


Please forgive this question which has likely been asked and answered 1000 times here. In my defense I've only been at this for a little more than a year and mostly doing it alone on account of Covid (no live teacher). I see the various post regarding electronic tuners and equal temperament and perfect fifths and justly tuned fifths and pythagoreans...and it's a bit confusing and there seems to be some disagreements on these threads about what it all means and what we should be doing about it.

I think I do understand now that using an electronic tuner (which I've been doing), is not exactly the best way to tune the fiddle because it does not result it justly tuned fifths. Yes? Anyway, I'm now to the point where I think I can hear that it's not right, especially on the E string. When I have everything else working, tuning-wise, to my ear, the E doesn't sound exactly in tune to me, even though the electronic tuner says that it's spot on.

My question then, is how do I go about getting that E string properly in tune?

alaskafiddler - Posted - 04/27/2021:  20:09:35


"My question then, is how do I go about getting that E string properly in tune?"



Approach I use is turn the fine tuner until that - "to my ear, the E doesn't sound exactly in tune to me,"  - goes away.



IMO, intonation is simply about how it sounds... only needs to be  as good as what I can hear.


Edited by - alaskafiddler on 04/27/2021 20:11:51

doryman - Posted - 04/27/2021:  20:17:15


quote:

Originally posted by alaskafiddler

"My question then, is how do I go about getting that E string properly in tune?"



Approach I use is turn the fine tuner until that - "to my ear, the E doesn't sound exactly in tune to me,"  - goes away.



IMO, intonation is simply about how it sounds... only needs to be  as good as what I can hear.






This is what I'm trying to do but I guess I'm fickle, because I keep changing my mind about where it needs to be!   One thing I'm wondering is, if I tune to equal temperament using the tuner, would the E sting be sharp or flat? 

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/27/2021:  20:31:01


quote:

Originally posted by doryman





I think I do understand now that using an electronic tuner (which I've been doing), is not exactly the best way to tune the fiddle because it does not result it justly tuned fifths. Yes?






Be aware that there are a few of us (maybe it's just me) who recommend that tuning to an electronic tuner is absolutely the best way to tune. There is some mystification about it that says you need to do it yourself and tuners are really not very good and pure. Horse pucky!

RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 04/27/2021:  20:50:38


I don't know about stand- alone tuners, but there are tuning apps that let you choose temperament. For example gstrings does that. I typically have it set for perfect fifths at home. I also have a stand-alone tuner that may have perfect fifths as an option, but I leave that on even temperament.

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/27/2021:  21:51:05


Nope, use your ear - if that E doesn't sound right; it's not right, never mind what our machine overlords tell you. Tune the E down flat with your fine tuner (or peg), then bring it up slowly till you get it where it sounds right - TO YOU. Like everything else, it might take awhile before you're comfortable with that; it's a matter of training your ear.

If you're playing with other people, you might have to compromise.

DougD - Posted - 04/28/2021:  01:07:14


doryman - To answer your question, if you tune your E string to the tuner it will be flat. The equal tempered fifth is about 2 cents smaller than the perfect fifth. Because they have to add up to a perfect octave, the tempered fourth is larger by the same amount.
The final judge is your ears, but if you want to get close to perfect fifths with a tuner, here's how: Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.
Of course you need a tuner that can display the number of cents sharp or flat - I have apps on my tablet and laptop that do this.
Because 2 cents isn't very much, lots of people just tune with the tuner and think its fine - it ultimately just depends on your ears. The difference between perfect major and minor thirds and their corresponding equal tempered versions is much greater - more like 15 cents. The sixths are also off by a similar amount, since again they have to add up to a perfect octave. The small Korg "needle type" tuners (I think the CA-50 might be the current model) have marking for the perfect thirds, if you need them.
Hope this helps. It does ultimately depend on your ears, but the tuner can help.


Edited by - DougD on 04/28/2021 01:07:58

coryobert - Posted - 04/28/2021:  05:59:23


I'm with ya' Brian.

doryman - Posted - 04/28/2021:  07:58:28


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

doryman - To answer your question, if you tune your E string to the tuner it will be flat. The equal tempered fifth is about 2 cents smaller than the perfect fifth. Because they have to add up to a perfect octave, the tempered fourth is larger by the same amount.

The final judge is your ears, but if you want to get close to perfect fifths with a tuner, here's how: Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.

Of course you need a tuner that can display the number of cents sharp or flat - I have apps on my tablet and laptop that do this.

Because 2 cents isn't very much, lots of people just tune with the tuner and think its fine - it ultimately just depends on your ears. The difference between perfect major and minor thirds and their corresponding equal tempered versions is much greater - more like 15 cents. The sixths are also off by a similar amount, since again they have to add up to a perfect octave. The small Korg "needle type" tuners (I think the CA-50 might be the current model) have marking for the perfect thirds, if you need them.

Hope this helps. It does ultimately depend on your ears, but the tuner can help.






Thanks Doug!  This jives with what I've been doing with the E sting, it sounds a little flat to me when I rely on the tuner. 

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/28/2021:  09:47:24


quote:

Originally posted by doryman

 



Thanks Doug!  This jives with what I've been doing with the E sting, it sounds a little flat to me when I rely on the tuner. 






No disagreement with Doug, he's right. But it's complicated, and your 2 cents flattening of the E string makes you 2 cents flat to Doug's guitar which will be tuned in equal temperament. It comes down to philosophy and mine is to make all instruments that play with other equal tempered instruments equal temperament. Use a good tuner and it's simple and quick. The point is to play music together.

Swing - Posted - 04/28/2021:  10:06:30


All the fine tuning on a fiddle is really a moot point.... first I agree with Doug on the 2 cents here and there, it gets the fiddle in tune with itself, now you really have to learn to hear when playing in tune.... fingering will really determine whether you are playing well or not.....I have a dear friend who has the most sophisticated tuner there is and still can't play in tune...yet others are the opposite

Play Happy

Swing

doryman - Posted - 04/28/2021:  10:34:28


quote:

Originally posted by Brian Wood

quote:

Originally posted by doryman

 



Thanks Doug!  This jives with what I've been doing with the E sting, it sounds a little flat to me when I rely on the tuner. 






No disagreement with Doug, he's right. But it's complicated, and your 2 cents flattening of the E string makes you 2 cents flat to Doug's guitar which will be tuned in equal temperament. It comes down to philosophy and mine is to make all instruments that play with other equal tempered instruments equal temperament. Use a good tuner and it's simple and quick. The point is to play music together.






For right now, it's when I'm home alone, practicing, that the E string sounding flat really bothers me.  I don't know why I'm so sensitive to it.   Point taken regarding playing with others.  

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/28/2021:  10:58:00


Using a tuner will get you close and can be very helpful if you struggle to tell when you’re in tune.

I can’t agree about equal temperament tuning being better for the violin, though. The violin simply isn’t a tempered instrument. You can choose the pitch of the open strings, but every fingered note is determined by the ear. Playing with a piano does require a careful examination of pitch to sound good. There are several reasons why string instruments blend better together than with a piano, and temperament is one of them.

Orchestras employ a broad spectrum of instruments but they tune together. An oboe provides the A for the string players, then they tune the other strings to that A. In some cases the oboe will provide an A for the concertmaster, then the concertmaster will provide an A for the rest of the string players. The rest of the orchestra tunes as well, and everyone must be precise. If it’s not done precisely, things will fall apart immediately. Yet no orchestra, professional or amateur, tunes with a tuner, even if there’s a piano soloist. The reason for that is that the instruments would not be in proper harmony. Two cents doesn’t sound like a lot, but think about how that affects a group of 50 players or so over a whole range.

In addition, the violin does not work as well when it’s out of tune. When the strings are in tune with each other, the sympathetic vibrations of the overtone series are increased, which adds some resonance and tone color. When your violin is in tune with another one, it’ll make the strings on that violin ring as well.

Just as it’s the case in the world of mathematics, measurements of things are never as accurate as ratios. The tuner is a measurement tool that’s mostly accurate, but its shortcomings are exposed when music is played. Playing music is closer to doing geometry than it is to trigonometry or calculus.

alaskafiddler - Posted - 04/28/2021:  11:50:01


quote:

Originally posted by doryman

quote:

Originally posted by alaskafiddler

"My question then, is how do I go about getting that E string properly in tune?"



Approach I use is turn the fine tuner until that - "to my ear, the E doesn't sound exactly in tune to me,"  - goes away.



IMO, intonation is simply about how it sounds... only needs to be  as good as what I can hear.






This is what I'm trying to do but I guess I'm fickle, because I keep changing my mind about where it needs to be!   One thing I'm wondering is, if I tune to equal temperament using the tuner, would the E sting be sharp or flat? 






12TET would be slightly flat. If wanting precision...



Keep in mind the precision of tuner readout and user might not be dead on, as is often the case with many. Strobe tuners give much more precision visual readout.



Some  tuners give actual frequency Hz. For comparison +/- of two in Hz... The GDAE readout (based on A=440) would be:

    12TET - G=196; D=293.66; A=440; E=659.25

    Pythagorean 3/2 fifths - G=195.55; D=293.33; A=440; E=660



As mentioned can look at cents (2 cents wider for each fifth) but as above factor of the tuner readout, can be difficult trying to determine precise how many cents +/-. It is generally good enough approximate, but not very precise.



Another method folks often mention is listening for beats between two notes, when they disappear (beatless). Probably not too precise though, perhaps no better than 12TET, as 12TET fifths produces less than 1 beat per second.



--------



Keep in mind, in the context of listening to music, most folks don't listen for that level of precision of perfect fifths; rather use within range of accuracy. Even most 12TET based instruments like guitars, banjos, mandos, piano's are not entirely precise to ET.



 



 


Edited by - alaskafiddler on 04/28/2021 11:52:07

old cowboy - Posted - 04/28/2021:  11:51:33


Sorry but I'm a little old fashion. No offense intended, but I think sometimes you guys make things way to complicated. I been playing stringed instruments with a bunch of hillbillies for most of my 78 yrs! I wouldn't know a fifth if it jumped up and bit me in the butt! Tune it up until it sounds right and blends in with everybody else and as Swing says play happy!

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 04/28/2021:  12:16:52


quote:

Originally posted by old cowboy

Sorry but I'm a little old fashion. No offense intended, but I think sometimes you guys make things way to complicated. I been playing stringed instruments with a bunch of hillbillies for most of my 78 yrs! I wouldn't know a fifth if it jumped up and bit me in the butt! Tune it up until it sounds right and blends in with everybody else and as Swing says play happy!






I agree. It's fiddling. Not violin-ing.  Let the voices of the instruments blend together like human voices. It doesn't sound as good when you're toiling in lockstep.

ChickenMan - Posted - 04/28/2021:  12:26:07


I use my ear, tune the E a tiny bit sharp compared to a tuner, but guess what, it still sounds fine with fretted instruments.



Trust your ears.


Edited by - ChickenMan on 04/28/2021 12:26:40

Quincy - Posted - 04/28/2021:  12:36:03


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.




I find this advice extremely interesting, but I can't figure out what you mean by two cents flat /sharp to what the tuner says? You mean two stripes below versus above the green spot  on the tuner?



 



EDIT: LMAO ... Found it.... Cents is something like Hertz :-D



 


Edited by - Quincy on 04/28/2021 12:45:07

doryman - Posted - 04/28/2021:  12:45:22


quote:

Originally posted by Quincy

quote:

Originally posted by DougD

Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.




I find this advice extremely interesting, but I can't figure out what you mean by two cents flat /sharp to what the tuner says? You mean two stripes below versus above the green spot  on the tuner?



 



EDIT: LMAO ... Cents is something like Hertz :-D






Ha!  I don't know what that means either.  I'm assuming two cents on a dollar, which would equate to a two percent.   And if it is percent...percent of what?  100% being a whole note up or down?   That's my working theory anyway. 


Edited by - doryman on 04/28/2021 12:52:15

Quincy - Posted - 04/28/2021:  12:47:21


quote:

Originally posted by doryman

quote:

Originally posted by Quincy

quote:

Originally posted by DougD

Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.  




I find this advice extremely interesting, but I can't figure out what you mean by two cents flat /sharp to what the tuner says? You mean two stripes below versus above the green spot  on the tuner?



 



EDIT: LMAO ... Cents is something like Hertz :-D






Ha!  I don't know what that means either.  I assuming two cents on a dollar, which would equate to a two pecent.   And if it is percent...percent of what?  100% being a whole note up or down?   That's my working theory anyway. 






I am trying to figure it out, I read a semitone contains 100 cents...This would mean a whole tone would be 200 cents, so something tells me you are right with your 2%


Edited by - Quincy on 04/28/2021 12:50:44

doryman - Posted - 04/28/2021:  13:08:15


quote:

Originally posted by Quincy

quote:

Originally posted by DougD

Tune the A string to 440 Hz, or whatever you prefer. Then tune the D string about 2 cents flat to what the tuner says. Tune the G string another 2 cents flat (for a total of 4 cents). Then tune the E string about 2 cents sharp, and you'll be pretty close.




I find this advice extremely interesting, but I can't figure out what you mean by two cents flat /sharp to what the tuner says? You mean two stripes below versus above the green spot  on the tuner?



 



EDIT: LMAO ... Found it.... Cents is something like Hertz :-D



 






Fascinating.  I learned a new unit of measurement today!  

DougD - Posted - 04/28/2021:  13:11:29


Yes, the twelve tone scale is divided into 1200 cents, so each half step is 100 cents. This is independent of the actual frequency in Hz - its more like a ratio, and the actual frequencies in each cent depends on what octave you're in. If this link works, here's a chart showing the difference in cents between just and equal tempered tuning: pinterest.com/pin/346425396322969974/
Take a look at the screen of the Korg CA-50 tuner on the Korg website. Its marked in cents, and shows up to 50 cents flat or sharp for a given note. Beyond that it would be considered the next note below or above, either sharp or flat. Also note the markings for perfect major and minor thirds to see how far off they are from equal temperament. It amazes me when people suggest practicing intonation with a tuner. In addition to it always jumping around, many of the intervals are way off, to the point of being unpleasant. You just have to use your ears.

alaskafiddler - Posted - 04/28/2021:  13:28:18


No, 2 cents do not mean 2 percent.



Hz are frequency, cycles/vibrations per second. The way that actual frequencies relate is by logarithmic ratios. Each octave double the frequency difference, as such the distance between notes keeps increasing as you go up. Can think of it as trying to constantly be multiplying a percent of a percent of a percent....



Cents are a way to convert, make more linear comparable differences in an octave; such as by making each half-step 100 units apart, 1200 units to an octave. Stays the same no matter what octave.



Cents make it easier to contemplate or discuss various intonation differences. For example; at 659.25 Hz vs 660 Hz; the 0.75 Hz  is 2 cents. An octave up 1318.5 Hz vs 1320 Hz; the 1.5 Hz difference is also 2 cents.



It's not really a requirement for players to know this. Can get by just fine with just listening to what sounds good.


Edited by - alaskafiddler on 04/28/2021 13:38:22

Woodcutter - Posted - 04/28/2021:  14:02:26


Does anyone here care to try and explain 'beat frequencies' and how they are used? For years all I had was an A-440 tuning fork and would use the change in beat frequencies to get the other strings in tune with the A-string. But, I'll be danged if I can explain to anyone else how to do it. I do think that that's how symphony violinists tune once they get the 'A' from the oboe. And is it better? I don't know. It sure is more difficult for me than a D'Addario and given my playing level isn't really worth it.

doryman - Posted - 04/28/2021:  14:21:37


quote:

Originally posted by alaskafiddler

 



It's not really a requirement for players to know this. Can get by just fine with just listening to what sounds good.






Regardless, it's very interesting to me.  Thanks for the details. 

Quincy - Posted - 04/28/2021:  14:22:49


quote:

Originally posted by alaskafiddler

 



It's not really a requirement for players to know this. Can get by just fine with just listening to what sounds good.






Phew :D

alaskafiddler - Posted - 04/28/2021:  14:36:31


quote:

Originally posted by Quincy

I find this advice extremely interesting, but I can't figure out what you mean by two cents flat /sharp to what the tuner says? You mean two stripes below versus above the green spot  on the tuner?


 






That's part of what I mentioned about the readout of the tuner. Many tuners like you describe with stripes, are not really designed to to give any precision in terms of cents. Just a visual approximation of how close you are to being in tune. As well many have a bit of range, weighted center, that slight variation will still indicate general in-tune. It not necessarily a bad thing, makes it a bit easier for users.

DougD - Posted - 04/28/2021:  15:08:36


You can think of "cents" as similar to your progess on a walk or hike. If you go on a 1 mile walk and say "we're halfway there" you've gone half a mile. On a ten mile day hike if you are halfway you've covered 5 miles. On an ambitious 20 mile backpack, if you get halfway, its 10 miles. The same proportion of progress, but the actual values are different.

alaskafiddler - Posted - 04/28/2021:  15:35:08


quote:

Originally posted by Woodcutter

Does anyone here care to try and explain 'beat frequencies' and how they are used? For years all I had was an A-440 tuning fork and would use the change in beat frequencies to get the other strings in tune with the A-string. But, I'll be danged if I can explain to anyone else how to do it. I do think that that's how symphony violinists tune once they get the 'A' from the oboe. And is it better? I don't know. It sure is more difficult for me than a D'Addario and given my playing level isn't really worth it.






Not sure of concise way. It has to do with how different wavelengths align, how the peaks will seem nest within each other. if slightly different, out of sync, peaks/troughs will create a secondary noticeable gain/cancel out of phase pulse (beats/cycles per second) from the difference.  Closer to in phase the slower the pulse; as gets further out of phase the faster. 



In certain contexts, in isolation, it isn't difficult to hear to some degree.



I'm not sure any folks could use actual counting or sense of "beats" in any pragmatic way when comes to playing music in tune.

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/28/2021:  15:44:01


quote:

Originally posted by alaskafiddler

I'm not sure any folks could use actual counting or sense of "beats" in any pragmatic way when comes to playing music in tune.






Piano tuners use beats to tune a tempered scale. They will count beats per second when tuning in 5ths for instance to get the proper temperament away from "perfect". Also, it is the best way to tune fiddle if you want perfect fifths - you listen for the beats to disappear as you pull a note up to match the 5th above. But as a practical way to play in tune, no, you're right. Music happens too fast for that.

Hector - Posted - 04/29/2021:  03:55:33


I understand the classical violin approach is to use Pythagorean intonation (implying tuning in perfect fifths) except for using "Just" intervals when making chords and EQ when playing with fixed pitch instruments in an exposed situation. I guess this is one of the reasons why they use the "pinky" a lot in 1st position as well as the closed positions. And vibrato helps to paper over the cracks as well.

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 04/29/2021:  05:25:39


Tuning .... a good quality tuner , used with a bow and not plucking the string is sufficient for most ears. Matching the fifths in pairs is one step towards a little bit better. Built in fine tuners are a good addition to your instrument as they do not change the after length of the string. For those "gifted " with perfect pitch .... well ... I can't go there.

Peghead - Posted - 04/29/2021:  09:37:16


When you play with others, first match up the open strings of the root note of the the key you're in. That's a given. It's good to be in perfect tuning but when playing with tempered instruments its more important to be in tune with them. It's very noticable with the E string in the keys of A and especially in C. I tune my E to the guitar players E harmonic (12th fret) Also you should nudge the G to match. Viola strings are c,g,d,a. When tuned perfectly to itself starting with the A440, the C string will be way out of tune to the tempered instruments. Totally unacceptable! as they say.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/29/2021:  12:00:40


Unfretted string instruments are designed to be tuned to perfect intervals. If the strings are not tuned properly, it distorts all other intervals. Fingered parallel fifths become impossible to play in tune.

Players will check their intonation by playing a harmonic on a string against the next string. This is something that can help to reduce the JND so that the instrument will be better in tune.

Peghead - Posted - 04/29/2021:  12:49:40


I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/29/2021:  12:51:15


quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Unfretted string instruments are designed to be tuned to perfect intervals. If the strings are not tuned properly, it distorts all other intervals. Fingered parallel fifths become impossible to play in tune.



Players will check their intonation by playing a harmonic on a string against the next string. This is something that can help to reduce the JND so that the instrument will be better in tune.






The first part is your opinion, which I respect. But saying everyone who tunes to equal temperament  violates a divine principle and can't play in tune, that's where I call horse pucky. My opinion is there's no more reason fingered fifths must be perfect than open ones. (And you can adjust the flesh of your finger if you want, so it's not "impossible"). Your post is an example of an opinion masquerading as authority. As much as I respect your expertise and experience, the idea of "distorted intervals" is not a fact. It's bordering on the classical-players snobbery that fiddlers sometimes have to deal with.

buckhenry - Posted - 04/29/2021:  16:17:39


quote:

Originally posted by Peghead

I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.






Is it this one...?



No. 272, December 2017 – Strings Magazine

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/29/2021:  17:49:26


quote:

Originally posted by Brian Wood

quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Unfretted string instruments are designed to be tuned to perfect intervals. If the strings are not tuned properly, it distorts all other intervals. Fingered parallel fifths become impossible to play in tune.



Players will check their intonation by playing a harmonic on a string against the next string. This is something that can help to reduce the JND so that the instrument will be better in tune.






The first part is your opinion, which I respect. But saying everyone who tunes to equal temperament  violates a divine principle and can't play in tune, that's where I call horse pucky. My opinion is there's no more reason fingered fifths must be perfect than open ones. (And you can adjust the flesh of your finger if you want, so it's not "impossible"). Your post is an example of an opinion masquerading as authority. As much as I respect your expertise and experience, the idea of "distorted intervals" is not a fact. It's bordering on the classical-players snobbery that fiddlers sometimes have to deal with.






Here's some information you can learn from:



en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin



Pay special attention to the tuning section. Read the rest, in case you're not familiar with those parts either.



None of this is my opinion. It's all well established. 


Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 04/29/2021 17:50:36

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/29/2021:  19:24:55


quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

quote:

Originally posted by Brian Wood

quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

Unfretted string instruments are designed to be tuned to perfect intervals. If the strings are not tuned properly, it distorts all other intervals. Fingered parallel fifths become impossible to play in tune.



Players will check their intonation by playing a harmonic on a string against the next string. This is something that can help to reduce the JND so that the instrument will be better in tune.






The first part is your opinion, which I respect. But saying everyone who tunes to equal temperament  violates a divine principle and can't play in tune, that's where I call horse pucky. My opinion is there's no more reason fingered fifths must be perfect than open ones. (And you can adjust the flesh of your finger if you want, so it's not "impossible"). Your post is an example of an opinion masquerading as authority. As much as I respect your expertise and experience, the idea of "distorted intervals" is not a fact. It's bordering on the classical-players snobbery that fiddlers sometimes have to deal with.






Here's some information you can learn from:



en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin



Pay special attention to the tuning section. Read the rest, in case you're not familiar with those parts either.



None of this is my opinion. It's all well established. 






I find that an odd response. Let's let it go.

Peghead - Posted - 04/30/2021:  04:10:40


quote:

Originally posted by buckhenry

quote:

Originally posted by Peghead

I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.






Is it this one...?



No. 272, December 2017 – Strings Magazine



Probably,  but just google Viola Perfect Fifths and the article comes up. -






 

DougBrock - Posted - 04/30/2021:  05:47:29


quote:

Originally posted by Peghead

I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.




 



Thanks! Another good read on the continuous challenges faced by string players when it comes to tuning and intonation! :)

Cyndy - Posted - 04/30/2021:  13:04:44


A Peterson tuner can help tune a fiddle in perfect fifths. They're a bit expensive, but I had one once (got a good price with an Amazon deal) and I absolutely loved it.



And then I transported it to a festival in a Dutch oven (for safe keeping) and I forgot to take it out before I put the oven over the coals ... Yeah. Really.



If I'm playing with others, I tune with a clip-on tuner, but I usually play alone and tune by ear. Mostly, I think I'm a little off, but on the days when I manage to hit the perfect fifths, it's heaven. I think it's worth going after that sound.



petersontuners.com/myinstrument/violin


Edited by - Cyndy on 04/30/2021 13:07:33

Brian Wood - Posted - 04/30/2021:  14:39:37


quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

A Peterson tuner can help tune a fiddle in perfect fifths. They're a bit expensive...






I agree about the Peterson tuners. Mine was about $80 when I got it several years ago. Expensive, but it offers many different scales to tune to, including perfect fifths, of course. There are also "sweetened" tunings designed to improve the sound of capoed guitars, mandolins, banjos, etc. since fretted instruments have their own issues.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 05/01/2021:  21:38:45


quote:

Originally posted by DougBrock

quote:

Originally posted by Peghead

I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.




 



Thanks! Another good read on the continuous challenges faced by string players when it comes to tuning and intonation! :)






For a more in-depth approach to the subject, here's a book to read:



m.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-equ...100291029



This book explains a lot of the issues that players face in tuning and the limitations brought on by the use of equal temperament. The author of the Strings article drew her information from it and even recommended it.

Peghead - Posted - 05/02/2021:  03:53:57


Yes, I should get to reading that, I've heard it referred to a couple of times. So, what's to be done then? The tempered instruments are locked in, so seems like the we have to be the ones to adjust? That's ok with me. I also play the Oud. It is tuned in perfect 5ths  E A B E A D low to high. The low E is a single string the others are double. There's nothing like perfect intervals, it's so resonant it rings sympathetically for ever. There can also be differences with the other instruments in a group setting especially with the quarter tone flats that are intrinsic to the modes but sometimes clash. It's a judgement call. The dissonance is either accepted as part of the sound or worked around. Some players round off the notes to make them agree. Reaching a consensus is the thing with the group. There's no point playing something that irks you. If it needs something fix it. no big deal. That goes for all things, tempo, volume, dynamics. Good players don't get miffed. The guitar player and I talk about this endlessly, funny though,  it's hardly ever about 5ths, it's usually around dealing with different 3rds. Sometimes he has to capo away for a different voicing, sometimes I have to retune an open string whatever it takes. When it sounds right, sometimes I don't even know what I did.  That's my 2 cents, good pun yes!  


Edited by - Peghead on 05/02/2021 04:38:20

DougBrock - Posted - 05/02/2021:  08:12:41


quote:

Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

quote:

Originally posted by DougBrock

quote:

Originally posted by Peghead

I remembered reading an article about this in Strings Magazine. I found it, it's in the 12/18/2017 issue. Perfect Fifths: a few thoughts on tuning.




 



Thanks! Another good read on the continuous challenges faced by string players when it comes to tuning and intonation! :)






For a more in-depth approach to the subject, here's a book to read:



m.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-equ...100291029



This book explains a lot of the issues that players face in tuning and the limitations brought on by the use of equal temperament. The author of the Strings article drew her information from it and even recommended it.






Just ordered a copy!

ChickenMan - Posted - 05/02/2021:  09:15:35


It is a good read.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 05/02/2021:  09:44:57


There isn’t a perfect answer to how to tune with equal-tempered instruments, but there are a couple things to consider when choosing which way to tune your own instrument.

The first thing is that pianos are usually not in tune. Carefully maintained concert instruments are, but the majority of pianos aren’t tuned often enough or go through humidity and temperature swings that affect the soundboard, so you may find that tuning the violin to just intonation won’t clash so much. Many players will tune the strings to the piano if it is definitely in tune. The violin will not ring as nicely, but the open strings won’t jar, and the discrepancies elsewhere will mostly be small enough to be adjusted for with the fingers. Parallel fifths will be the hardest to play, but some sacrifices may be necessary. Cellists and violists especially have issues with tuning to pianos because the gap gets much bigger as you tune down farther from A440.

The second is that you can choose between matching the pitch of the other instrument(s) for your open strings and making the violin harmonize with itself better. Sometimes the only way to know what will sound best is to try both ways during rehearsal.

A reason for thirds being difficult is that the Pythagorean scale is put together by stacking perfect fifths. In school we did an experiment to make a scale with a simple unfretted monochord. By using proportions, one could measure out the position of each note and then check it by ear. In the end, we had a full scale of notes marked out so that the instrument could be played. It was fun to see how the aural side corresponded to the mathematical, conceptual side. It also showed very clearly how the Pythagorean comma comes about.

Swing - Posted - 05/02/2021:  10:56:36


I think that we should combine this topic with the topic on letting someone else tune your fiddle that way if you play out of tune it will be someone else's fault....

Play Happy

Swing

46davis - Posted - 05/03/2021:  15:14:11


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

Nope, use your ear - if that E doesn't sound right; it's not right, never mind what our machine overlords tell you. Tune the E down flat with your fine tuner (or peg), then bring it up slowly till you get it where it sounds right - TO YOU. Like everything else, it might take awhile before you're comfortable with that; it's a matter of training your ear.



If you're playing with other people, you might have to compromise.






This exactly. It's an art, not a science as much as some people would like it to be.

Page: 1  2  

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.0625