[linux-audio-user] in tune - stupid thread

Joe Hartley jh at brainiac.com
Mon Dec 20 10:48:11 EST 2004

On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 14:04:51 +0000
tim hall <tech at glastonburymusic.org.uk> wrote:
> My preferred method...
    ( much snippage )

Richard Lloyd, the guitarist for the band Television, has a bit to say
on the topic at http://richardlloyd.com/lessons/index.htm

Excerpted so y'all don't crush my feeble lil server:

This particular method was shown me by guitarist Howard Harrison.  It does
however, require the use of your ear.

First tune the bottom E. string to a tuning fork or tuning machine.  Next, 
fret the E. string at the tenth fret.  This will give you a D.  Tune the D.
string to this note by ear.  Next, fret the D. string at the fifth fret.   
Tune the G. string to the D. string at the fifth fret.  Now fret the G. 
string at the second fret.  This gives you an A.  Tune the A. string from 
this note.  Now fret the A. string at the second fret.  Tune the B. string 
from this note.  It will be an octave up.  Next, fret the D. string at the
second fret.  This gives you E.  Tune your high E from this.  Again this 
will be an octave.

Voila!  Strum the guitar.  It should sound considerably more pleasing.  If 
you are playing an acoustic or electric guitar by yourself this should work
delightfully.  If you are playing with other instruments it can take some 
real effort to find a harmoniousness between all the separate instruments, 
but I think that if you try this approach you will begin to get a taste 
of the difference between tuning to a machine and tuning to natural 
acoustic principles.

But then, what if you are in a loud rock band or a large group where 
everybody uses the same tuning machine and everyone is in a hurry and no 
one has the time or inclination to listen to you rant about acoustic 
principles and esoteric philosophy?  Then I will offer you this approach:

Tune the guitar as usual to the machine.  Tune the G. string slightly flat 
by about 2 cents.  Make sure that the B. string is not flat.  The B. string 
can be raised ever so slightly.  Perhaps one cent or even 1/2.  Experiment 
with it.  If you have been using the other approach to tuning you should 
start to develop an ear for yourself.  In any case, this approach can help
significantly.  Neither method can recover the full acoustic balance 
because all the frets are placed according to equal temperament.  As 
long as we insist on being able to play in every key at the same time 
we will suffer this tradeoff.  Enjoy.

       Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - jh at brainiac.com
Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa

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