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> Precise Tuning Myth?
Canis
post Mar 17 2009, 07:50 PM
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I've heard this from some people, while other people never have heard of such a thing, but here goes:

If I tune my guitar the way I'm used to (5th frets and such). Then I start from the low E string and gently hold my finger over the 12'th fret without touching the neck (the actual smal fret of wood, not the neckboard), ring it, release my finger and then play the same way with the 7'th fret on the A string. I've heard that if I listen to the sound, I can hear small vibrations if they're not tuned precise, and can use this technique to fine tune until I hear only a clean non-vibrating sound.
It makes sense since sounds are vibrations, and diffrent hertz create different tones.

I was basicly just wondering if any of the instructors or students have heard of this method, or if I've been ignorant for so long? tongue.gif


(The B string is tuned by holding down the 8'th fret all the to the neck the way you usually play, by the way)


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Ryan
post Mar 17 2009, 07:52 PM
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QUOTE (Canis @ Mar 17 2009, 01:50 PM) *
I've heard this from some people, while other people never have heard of such a thing, but here goes:

If I tune my guitar the way I'm used to (5th frets and such). Then I start from the low E string and gently hold my finger over the 12'th fret without touching the neck (the actual smal fret of wood, not the neckboard), ring it, release my finger and then play the same way with the 7'th fret on the A string. I've heard that if I listen to the sound, I can hear small vibrations if they're not tuned precise, and can use this technique to fine tune until I hear only a clean non-vibrating sound.
It makes sense since sounds are vibrations, and diffrent hertz create different tones.

I was basicly just wondering if any of the instructors or students have heard of this method, or if I've been ignorant for so long? tongue.gif


(The B string is tuned by holding down the 8'th fret all the to the neck the way you usually play, by the way)

Are you talking about using harmonics to tune, and when there not exact it goes. WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH, either in a slow, or fast pace?


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Canis
post Mar 17 2009, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ryan @ Mar 17 2009, 07:52 PM) *
Are you talking about using harmonics to tune, and when there not exact it goes. WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH, either in a slow, or fast pace?

I guess that's exactly what I'm talking about tongue.gif


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fkalich
post Mar 17 2009, 07:58 PM
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QUOTE (Canis @ Mar 17 2009, 01:50 PM) *
I've heard this from some people, while other people never have heard of such a thing, but here goes:

If I tune my guitar the way I'm used to (5th frets and such). Then I start from the low E string and gently hold my finger over the 12'th fret without touching the neck (the actual smal fret of wood, not the neckboard), ring it, release my finger and then play the same way with the 7'th fret on the A string. I've heard that if I listen to the sound, I can hear small vibrations if they're not tuned precise, and can use this technique to fine tune until I hear only a clean non-vibrating sound.
It makes sense since sounds are vibrations, and diffrent hertz create different tones.

I was basicly just wondering if any of the instructors or students have heard of this method, or if I've been ignorant for so long? tongue.gif


(The B string is tuned by holding down the 8'th fret all the to the neck the way you usually play, by the way)


Equal temperament tuning is a compromise by nature, it is not precise. Major 4ths and 5th, and I believe major 2nds are close, other intervals not as at close. Thirds are a ways off I believe. I believe Satriani has some necks that have frets spaced in a different fashion, to try to make things more precise. Of course this will improve in some keys, make it worse for others.

I tune one of my strings down just a bit sometimes, it gives me a better major 3rd, and I can bend it up a bit to get a sweet minor 3rd or major 4th/5th. But just going with the standard tuning is not bad.

What I am saying, is that there is no precision here. The more perfect you make it for some intervals, the more "off" it will be for others.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 17 2009, 08:16 PM
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Jose Mena
post Mar 17 2009, 07:59 PM
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Well I haven't heard of this method precisely but you are talking about tunning with harmonics, which is more accurate than the other way.

The pulsations you hear are because of the small differences in pitch, this was explained to me long time ago in physics class, you can calculate how frequent are the pulsations if you know the frecuency of each note. As the tones becomes closer the pulsations become less frequent (you hear them further apart)

Heavy distortion helpls, you can do it with the E and the B strings, compare harmonic of E string on 7th fret, and harmonic of B string on 5th fret and listen while you move the tuner.



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fkalich
post Mar 17 2009, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (Jose Mena @ Mar 17 2009, 01:59 PM) *
Well I haven't heard of this method precisely but you are talking about tunning with harmonics, which is more accurate than the other way.

The pulsations you hear are because of the small differences in pitch, this was explained to me long time ago in physics class, you can calculate how frequent are the pulsations if you know the frecuency of each note. As the tones becomes closer the pulsations become less frequent (you hear them further apart)

Heavy distortion helpls, you can do it with the E and the B strings, compare harmonic of E string on 7th fret, and harmonic of B string on 5th fret and listen while you move the tuner.


The "beats" are when the tones tones are slightly off, and periodically the waves hit max amplitude right at the same time, synch, and you hear double volume at that precise point.

edit: it occurred to me, to mention, tuning by 4ths or 5ths is a quick way to tune, and it will be reasonably close to standard. Because in equal temperament, those intervals are pretty close. However I would tune one string, and then tune others at 4th or 5th intervals to that one string, otherwise errors due to the slight inaccuracy will accumulate by the time you reach the final string.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 17 2009, 08:28 PM
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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Mar 17 2009, 10:47 PM
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It's always better to tune guitar listening to higher range notes, harmonic perhaps. By the way A isn't 440 hz!


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Ramiro Delforte
post Mar 18 2009, 02:49 AM
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I don't know if anybody new of this but I'll try to explain really quickly about the phenomenom of tuning with natural harmonics.

The ear has a part where all the hearable frequencies have a place that estimulates that organ. So, imagine that you hear a 440Hz pitch the organ has a place for that frequency so when you hear it that organ tells to your brain that the 440 pitch is "ringing".
Now, when you have a pitch that's close to the other frequency the organ cannot distiguish that you are hearing two pitches so your brain only hears one pitch but with "distortion".
I've made a little audio experiment so you can hear what I'm talking about.

One pitch is still at 440Hz
The other starts about 200Hz up to 600Hz

You'll hear that the "shaking" becomes more furious when the note is about to reach the point where the frequencies match. Then the moving pitch still moves up and you hear the same but backwards (really shaky then no so much and after 2 separate freq.)
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Daniel Robinson
post Mar 18 2009, 07:28 AM
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The guys have given a fair assesment to the myth of precision tuning.


The method your using is similar to how a piano is tuned, it works for a piano because all the strings are "Open", the actual string is not being shortened or lengthend to sound a tone.


The guitar is another beast entirely, it will never be "Perfect" there are so many factors to consider when the notes are fretted, like action height, fret height, how much pressure you are exerting on the string with your fingers etc.


I prefer to tune my guitar from the inside out, at least for my guitar that achieves the best results for my instrument and playing habits.

By inside out, i will tune the G string first with the harmonic on the 12th fret, this will be my tone "Center" and then i tune all the strings according to that G string harmonic starting with the B string, then the D string, then High E, then A, the low E.


Daniel


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djohnneay
post Mar 18 2009, 11:20 AM
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When you say it's not perfect, do you mean the placement of the frets and the tension on the neck ?

If so, isn't it possible, in theory at least, to build a guitar where the frets and neck are calculated to the tension of the strings and all that ?


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DeepRoots
post Mar 18 2009, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Mar 18 2009, 10:20 AM) *
When you say it's not perfect, do you mean the placement of the frets and the tension on the neck ?

If so, isn't it possible, in theory at least, to build a guitar where the frets and neck are calculated to the tension of the strings and all that ?


In theory ....yes.

But also in reality

http://www.truetemperament.com/site/index....7&Itemid=36
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MickeM
post Mar 18 2009, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Mar 18 2009, 11:20 AM) *
When you say it's not perfect, do you mean the placement of the frets and the tension on the neck ?

If so, isn't it possible, in theory at least, to build a guitar where the frets and neck are calculated to the tension of the strings and all that ?

About fret placement for better intonation you can find out more here


OR... what DeepRoots said ^^ laugh.gif


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Daniel Robinson
post Mar 18 2009, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Mar 18 2009, 05:20 AM) *
When you say it's not perfect, do you mean the placement of the frets and the tension on the neck ?

If so, isn't it possible, in theory at least, to build a guitar where the frets and neck are calculated to the tension of the strings and all that ?



This is a really difficult question to answer, the problem is in the nature of the guitar like tension on the neck and placement of the frets, but its also a problem with the 12 tone western scale, which adds to the problem.

Diatonically the 12 tone scale is not evenly spaced which adds to the difficulty of "Perfect" tuning. There is alot of math involved i do not understand, suffice to say, lets say you add up perfect 5ths, so the frequency is doubled for every 5th, eventually its going to get off by a fraction of a hz. This conundrum is compounded with the guitar because of how its fundamentally constructed, and played.

There are guitars that use whats called even temperment, where the frets are not straight across, they have curves in them to account for tonal drift, but it is still not perfect, its just more correct than standard.

Even even temperment guitars will diatonically be at odds for certain chord structures.

Generally speaking, the more expensive the guitar the tighter the specs will be for tuning, but there isnt a guitar on the planet that has "Perfect" pitch the length and width of the fret board.


Daniel

QUOTE (DeepRoots @ Mar 18 2009, 05:34 AM) *
In theory ....yes.

But also in reality

http://www.truetemperament.com/site/index....7&Itemid=36




This is from the F.A.Q. on that website, which gives a bit more insight about what i was talking about above. It relay's the information a bit better then i did.


12-Tone Equal Temperament is a compromise which enables us to play all intervals, in every key, with the same relative accuracy. It is an artificial, mathematical division of the octave into twelve equal semitones, which conflicts with the natural tone row - the pure intervals in the overtones of vibrating strings. When two or more strings are played together, each string generates its own overtone series. Since neither the frets, nor the strings, are tuned in pure intervals, the overtones from the individual strings are way out of tune with each other. The beat frequencies which are generated between conflicting overtones are not musical. This is especially evident when playing major third, minor third, sixth and seventh intervals with distortion.

Not even a True Temperament neck can cure this problem, as the laws of Nature cannot be broken. But a 12-Tone Equal Temperament TT neck brings the guitar exactly into line with the human mathematical rules!


Daniel


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-Zion-
post Mar 18 2009, 12:09 PM
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a guitar (and piano for that matter) will never be 100% in tune..

they are tuned according to equal temperament, meaning that each note has EXACTLY the same length (pitch) to the next note.. we have to do this because we have our frets they way that we have.. if we didn't we'd have a totally different whacked out fretboard that probably wouldn't make any sense.. or we should have a fretless fingerboard like a violin..

i believe the distance to each note is around 1.0595.. so if you take your concert pitch of A (440hz) and multiplying it with 1.0595 you'll get an A# (466,18hz) continuing on you get a B (493,91771hz).. do this 12 times and you should hit the A again at (880hz)..

however, because we use equal temperament, the notes are actually a bit off.. the note E is actually pitch perfect at 660hz but if we continue our progress we land at the E on 659,4158hz... might not be much, but to some people this is enough to drive them crazy..

So in reality a guitar is never really in (perfect) tune, and tuning in general is a science..
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 18 2009, 02:01 PM
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You can use harmonics or intervals to create vibrations and tune all the strings using them. When for example you are on distorted channel, make a natural harmonic on 5th fret of low E string, and 7th fret on A string, and they should ring without vibrations. The more they are off, the greater the rate of vibration will be. you can try that using 4th intervals as well, by just fretting anywhere root and 4th on the next string, and they should also be without vibrations.


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djohnneay
post Mar 19 2009, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys !

It seems to me now that it is, also in theory, impossible to create a really 'perfectly tuned' guitar, theory-wise. Now that I know that the pitch is multiplied, and not added up. Therefore it is not possible to tune the guitar 'perfect' because you can't get this multiplying theory to work on a guitar, where the notes just add up because of the frets on it.

Though i think the equal temperament rule is a good solution for this problem and it comes in very close to what it is in reality.


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Daniel Robinson
post Mar 19 2009, 12:23 PM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Mar 19 2009, 05:33 AM) *
Thanks for the replies guys !

It seems to me now that it is, also in theory, impossible to create a really 'perfectly tuned' guitar, theory-wise. Now that I know that the pitch is multiplied, and not added up. Therefore it is not possible to tune the guitar 'perfect' because you can't get this multiplying theory to work on a guitar, where the notes just add up because of the frets on it.

Though i think the equal temperament rule is a good solution for this problem and it comes in very close to what it is in reality.



Definately, its the closest thing we can do to have "Perfectly" tuned guitars. Its not really a problem for most things though with non-temperment. The only time i really hear a problem is when i am playing along a song with a Keyboard, because they are more "In tune" then i am you have to develop your ear and compensate going into by pushing a note sharp or pushing it flat a hair so its not noticable

Daniel


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