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Post new topic Basic tune-up for just tuning?
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Author Topic:  Basic tune-up for just tuning?
Tom Bradshaw


From:
Walnut Creek, California, USA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 4:34 pm     Reply with quote

I recently purchased a Korg tuner. For the basic E9th tuning I first determined the amount of cabinet drop in the guitar I was tuning. I did this by depressing the A & B pedals. It was 3 cents. I set the 4th string 3 cents above the pitch I wanted to end up with. I then proceeded to tune all the remaining strings harmonically, obtaining what I felt was a perfect (Just-tuned) in-tune sound on all the remaining open strings.

I ended up charting the strings as follows:

F# - +5 cents
D# - 0
G# - -5 cents
E - +3 cents
B - +10 cents
G# - -5 cents
F# - +5 cents
E - +3 cents
D - +10 cents
B - +10 cents

Question: How does my chart compare to yours? I suspect other guitars will have different amounts of cabinet drop, so compensate for that with your results. ...Tom
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 5:02 pm     Reply with quote

I set my E to 5 cents sharp because it's easy to see the line on the tuner. I tune the rest of the strings like this.

F# - 0 cents
D# - -5
G# - -5 cents
E - +5 cents
B - +5 cents
G# - -5 cents
F# - 0 cents
E - +5 cents
D - +5 cents
B - +5 cents

It's not perfect harmonically like yours, Tom, but it's easy to see and it works for me.
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-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 10:21 am     Reply with quote

Interesting that your B's are tuned sharper than the E's.
I tune my Stage One according to Doug Earnest's chart. The open string harmonics do not match at all, but chords sure sound pretty.

F# +8
D# -4
G# -4
E +10
B +8
G# -4
F# +8
E. +10
D. +8
B. +8
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Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 7:31 am     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
I set my E to 5 cents sharp because it's easy to see the line on the tuner. I tune the rest of the strings like this.

F# - 0 cents
D# - -5 cents
G# - -5 cents
E - +5 cents
B - +5 cents
G# - -5 cents
F# - 0 cents
E - +5 cents
D - +5 cents
B - +5 cents

It's not perfect harmonically like yours, Tom, but it's easy to see and it works for me.


So, b0b, what do you tune your F-lever to?
_________________
RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 9:00 am     Reply with quote

-15 cents, but let's not clutter Tom's topic with tunings of pedals and levers, okay?
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2017 2:53 pm     Reply with quote

Tom - I went through this with b0b several years ago and found there were several ways to approach this depending on how your ear perceives "in tune". The tuner doesn't always match hearing, even when "sweetened".

And FWIW string gage, type, wind & tension differences change the picture entirely - as does scale length. So for someone to use exactly what you do they'd best have exactly the same setup, scale length and specific strings.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 7 Dec 2017 5:30 pm     Reply with quote

Bingo, Jim. Which is why sweetened tuning works best when people make their own charts.
At one point, I was into the perfect sweetened tuning, and each guitar I owned sounded best with a slightly different chart.
I've since gone to a "good is more practical than perfect" of all notes to 0 except for the following, which are all between -4 and -6: A#, C#, D#, E# & G#.
Yes, ideally the E# should be doubly flat since it's the third to another third, but I don't bother (B0b thinks I'm either weird or giving the change short shrift, but the F lever is probably my least used).
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More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 10:09 am     Reply with quote

Am I missing something on this tuning stuff? I've got Peterson tuners, one flip and the other new one. Though they will get my guitar close, it's not on the money to my ears. I just tune E's to 440 with both pedals down and then I tune beats out of rest of strings, pulls and lowers. That seems more in tune to my ears.
Back during the old Boss TU-15 tuner days, I had a chart to tune to and seemed to work pretty well. Don't remember all settings but I remember the B to C# was a 436.5 to a 438 and the E raise lever to F 433. Looks like your chart Tom is not even close to the old Boss tunings we used but again, I don't know how to convert cents to hertz.
I'm sure everyone has different tunings that work for them just like some tune everything to 440. Tried that and it's not even close as to what my ears hear.

Never done this but I'm going to tune my guitar up to perfect tuning to my ears and then see where it comes in on a tuner. I'll post results.
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 12:42 pm     Reply with quote

My Open E9 tuning has the following offsets:

F# = -7.5
D# = -12
G# = -15
E = 0
B = 0
G# = -15
F# = -7.5
E = 0
D = 0
B = 0

(NOTE: These are with the Reference A set to 442.7)

Pedals & Levers are:
A = -9
C# = -15
F = -34
G = +7.5

Anything else done by a pedal or lever is the same as the open tuning.

When I made the chart, I didn't consider "cabinet drop" as its own entity... So, any effect it may have was inherently compensated for due to the way I came up with my offsets and reference pitch.
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 12:46 pm     Reply with quote

Henry Matthews wrote:
...I don't know how to convert cents to hertz...


4 Cents = 1 Hertz (of the A440 reference).
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 12:49 pm     Reply with quote

Henry Matthews wrote:
Am I missing something on this tuning stuff?

No Henry, you aren't. I have always tuned musical instruments by ear on the grounds that ears are what people listen to them with.

Henry also wrote:
I don't know how to convert cents to hertz.

You can't. No-one can. A percentage represents a ratio between two quantities; a number of Hertz is a single quantity.

then he wrote:
Never done this but I'm going to tune my guitar up to perfect tuning to my ears and then see where it comes in on a tuner.

Why not just tune it up and leave it at that?

To pick up on Lane's point about practicality versus perfection, although the ear is fairly tolerant of fourths and fifths, if a naturally-tuned third goes at all flat it sounds like death. So I keep a margin of safety and tune them all very slightly sharp with a slight beat about the speed of a slow vibrato which masks it.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 4:03 pm     Reply with quote

Henry Matthews wrote:
I don't know how to convert cents to hertz.


Ian points out that you can't, which is mostly right, and why using the "Hertz" notation is silly, and stupid, and makes those who use it look both. It's a shorthand for (for instance) "I tune my F lever to be in tune if A=433". But in the western world, A=440.
I suppose it IS a handy reminder just how far you deviate from ET, but only when you think about it.
Your tuner almost certainly has a cents scale; use it.

Jeff Harbour then states that it's 1 "Hertz" equals 4 cents.
This SORTA works, as 1 "Hertz" going down is 4.04 cents (see the chart at https://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html), as A⁴=440, and G#⁴=415.30 a difference of 24.7Hz going down. So 439 is KINDA 4.04% of the way to G#, but it's not ACTUALLY, because it's a logarithmic scale and the lower THE frequency, the more cents (that's hundredths of a semitone/fret.
The step from A⁴ to A#⁴ is 26.16Hz, so going up 1 "Hertz" is close to, but not exactly, 3.822 (it averages that over the gap, but it's more down lower).
So 4 cents per cycle per second is close, but only in the same sense that your thumb is an inch wide. Yeah, more or less.

On most modern digital tuners I've seen lately, the only frequency displays I've seen aren't needle deviations, but the actual frequency. If you tune your Es to 442 and your Fs to 433, then you will be lowering your Es from just sharp of A to noticeably flat of A.
EVERYTHING is A.
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More amps than guitars, and not many effects
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 7:21 pm     Re: Basic tune-up for just tuning? Reply with quote

Tom Bradshaw wrote:
I then proceeded to tune all the remaining strings harmonically

Does this mean you used natural harmonics - i.e., matching the harmonic at string 10 fret 5 with the harmonic at string 8 fret 7? No beats?
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 11 Dec 2017 9:13 pm     Reply with quote

Lane, back when I first started playing steel, everyone around here used hertz and those chromatic Boss tuners with a tuning chart that was susposed to straight from Buddy Emmons. I don't know that for a fact but that's what I was told. Don't think the tuners even had cents on them. I have never used cents on any tuner because after about a year playing, I started tuning my E's and everything else by ear therefore I never had a need for the cents on tuners.
I do have two Peterson tuners but only use whichever one I have with me with me just to touch up with either band playing or around other noise.
There are still couple players around here that still use those Boss tuners. They worked quite well and the tuning charts that we had would get your guitar really close.

Ian, you are correct, sharp sounds much better than flat. As a fiddle player also, I learned that in a hurry, in fact, a well known violinist told me that once. I think some of the pro players had different tunings they used. I think Weldon tuned his G#'s a little sharp of what most people do and on the other hand, Hal, tuned them a little flat. Pee Wee Rogers and I were talking about tuning one day and he told me that. Tunings are a mysterious thing and looks like everything should be tuned 440 and it would work but it won't.
_________________
Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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