| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Perceived Tuning Issue With Guitar Player
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Perceived Tuning Issue With Guitar Player
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2019 6:36 pm    
Reply with quote

Have any of you folks experienced a serious tuning-perception issue with a lead guitar player?

What I mean is: the player is very good. I'm excited to play in the band because of his playing. He played a Tele the first 2-3 times we played. The last few rehearsals he has brought a really great guitar and I know it's "his" guitar. It's a Dusenburg and has the trem. He sounds huge on it. with the band he sounds in-tune. No gripe...he plays well.

But. when I play I feel there is no exact "center" in a note or chord, or more exactly, his chords have no center. Sorry if this sounds odd.

Has anyone noticed that guitars with trems pull the whole note or chord into a beautiful sounding slurry? It's not out-of-tune but is in a state of flux. You bend a note, or hit a partial chord hard and the whole thing has "trem" ?

I want to ask him to go back to the Tele, which is a fine sound!, but find it hard to ask someone to ditch his true love.

Any advice, or perspective on this sort of dilemma?
_________________
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
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gabriel Edell


From:
Hamilton, Ontario
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2019 7:04 pm    
Reply with quote

Could be his guitar needs a better setup or heavier strings? I have a few guitars with trems and if they're set up well there shouldn't be any play unless you are bending strings or working the bar. I do have an Ibanez shred axe that was "unstable" when I first got it - similar to what you're describing. The bridge just moved too easily. I switched to heavier strings and heavier tremolo springs and the problem went away.
_________________
GFI S-10 P U, Fender Steel King
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2019 7:38 pm    
Reply with quote

Quote:
It's a Dusenburg and has the trem. He sounds huge on it. with the band he sounds in-tune. No gripe...he plays well.

But. when I play I feel there is no exact "center" in a note or chord, or more exactly, his chords have no center. Sorry if this sounds odd.

Has anyone noticed that guitars with trems pull the whole note or chord into a beautiful sounding slurry? It's not out-of-tune but is in a state of flux. You bend a note, or hit a partial chord hard and the whole thing has "trem"?

I want to ask him to go back to the Tele, which is a fine sound!, but find it hard to ask someone to ditch his true love.

You seem to be objecting to the use of a guitar with a vibrato at all. Seems to me that using a vibrato on guitar is pretty similar to a steel player using vibrato with the bar. Yes, the chordal center is oscillating slightly - I'm assuming he's not using crazy amounts of vibrato that really make it sound pitchy by itself since you say he sounds good and in-tune by himself.

Does he use the vibrato constantly? I would find that annoying - I'm a guitar player and pretty much restrict use of a lot of vibrato, let's say on a Strat or a Gretsch, pretty much atmospherically in certain situations, probably more on longer, extended phrases. Similarly for steel vibrato. Like anything, vibrato can be overdone. And I'm not sure about the effect of both guitar and steel using lots of vibrato concurrently. I could see the pitch center getting muddled up.

Anyway - if someone came to me as a guitar player and told me to play a Tele instead of my Strat or Gretsch, I would probably consider that pretty micro-managing. If a guitar player sounds good to me by himself, not over-playing, not over-doing anything, then I would tend to view it as my job to find a way to fit in. Seriously, if the guitar fits in and sounds good with what the bass and other instruments are doing, then it seems like the steel player with infinite microtonal capabilities ought to be able to find a way to find that overall pitch center. Or maybe sometimes it's best to lay back or even out in some situations while the guitar is getting very atmospheric with the vibrato.

Just some thoughts. It's possible I haven't sized up your actual situation, I'm just going by what you wrote.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jeremy Reeves


From:
Batavia, IL, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 5:01 am    
Reply with quote

focus on the bassist?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 5:35 am    
Reply with quote

I find many guitar players use cheap stomp boxes that are off from the Peterson HD Plus I have used for years. One guitar player I worked with was always off and I asked him if his guitar had been strobed and he said no. I helped him set it up and it was the difference in day and night.

I worked with a bass guitarist last Saturday night and constantly heard that he was slightly off. He was using one of those clip on tuners which I think was his problem for the most part.

You gotta do some investigative work sometimes.
_________________
Cops aren't paid much so I steel at night.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 6:49 am    
Reply with quote

Why don't you talk with him but present the issue as your problem not his, that you can't understand what you need to do to find the right approach.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 8:01 am    
Reply with quote

Quote:
Have any of you folks experienced a serious tuning-perception issue with a lead guitar player?

What I mean is: the player is very good. I'm excited to play in the band because of his playing. He played a Tele the first 2-3 times we played. The last few rehearsals he has brought a really great guitar and I know it's "his" guitar. It's a Dusenburg and has the trem. He sounds huge on it. with the band he sounds in-tune. No gripe...he plays well.


Well, if he sounds in-tune with everybody but you...maybe something you're doing is causing the problem. How's your vibrato? If you're using a vibrato at the same time as he is, it's easy to understand how that could foul up your ear. Try playing with less, or no vibrato when he's playing. Also, concentrate on blending with the overall (band's) tonal center, instead of just the lead player's.

If you could post a recording, we'd have a lot better idea of what the issue really is. Maybe there is no issue?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 8:24 am    
Reply with quote

I would hook your tuners up in series, and see if they are matched. Maybe do a few typical whammy bar bends and see if the note returns accurately.
I play with some guys where I sound more in tune with them if I center my JI tuning at 442 instead of 440, so that is something you can try.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 8:30 am    
Reply with quote

I'm glad to get all this feedback!

I have a rehearsal tonight and am going to listen to several things including my vibrato. I have reduced it to almost nil anyway.

It very well may be my problem, but I don't experience it with any other guitar that I play around, just the Dusenburg. My statement about "guitars with vibratos" is related to the many, many guitars I've played with floating-or very light action trems, like a Bigsby or Floyd Rose. When you bend a note or hit a chord hard it slightly detunes the entire guitar. It's a cool feature, but I've never encountered one as a steel player.

I always listen to the bass first, as he is moving the chord structure.

I can't post anything because I don't have anything to post. But, as it stands, I'm mostly reducing how much I play because I simply don't feel I can play confidently in tune with his guitar.Probably the best I can do at this point.

Maybe I just need to get used to it. We've only been in the same room together 5 times. Got a gig in 3 days.

I'll hope for a good rehearsal tonight!
_________________
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
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Fred Justice


From:
Mesa, Arizona
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 8:52 am    
Reply with quote

hey Rick, from one Hoosier to another Hoosier, play to the Bass, and forget the guitar player.
Unless he plays over you while your playing, then break his arm. Very Happy
"Just kidding of course" Smile
_________________
Email: fredjustice@justicesteelguitars.com
Webesite: www.justicesteelguitars.com
Phone: 480-986-2599
Justice Steel Guitars and Accessories~Hilton Pedals~S.I.T. Strings


Last edited by Fred Justice on 12 Jun 2019 2:03 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 12:59 pm    
Reply with quote

Quote:
When you bend a note or hit a chord hard it slightly detunes the entire guitar.


That's quite normal, and every guitar does it...vibrato tailpiece or not. Straight guitars are far more sensitive and susceptible to variations of this type that pedal steels! It shouldn't be an issue, though, unless your ear is extremely sensitive or he's "overdoing the flusher" thing. I played along with Chet Atkins quite a bit on his records, and never noticed a problem.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 2:53 pm    
Reply with quote

If there is a ceiling fan in the rehearsal room, turn it off. It can cause a perception of out of tune-ness.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 4:55 pm    
Reply with quote

What Jeremy said!
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,GFI D-10 8+5 Mullen G2D-10 8+5 Carter D-10 8+5,Blanton SD -10 any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since the mid 50's.Peavey Nashville 112,and LTD ,Sho-Bud Bill Groner Bars.Christmas tree amp.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 11 Jun 2019 8:39 pm    
Reply with quote

So, tonight we had a rehearsal dedicated to intros. Of all things, the bass player was sick and didn't make it. The GP brought his tele just for kicks and I decided to just discuss my perception.

A couple of things from that conversation: GP thinks we need data, and is cool with investigating whatever. He's a really good dude and wants the whole band to be unified. That said, I want him to play what he wants, too. So, we are going to get some recordings to analyze.

The other thing is, I'm sure that I listen to him a lot more than the guy before him in the band. This guy is a joy to listen to! Hell, I'm just a fan on one level. So, even though I really do focus on vocals and bass, I also listen to him because I enjoy his playing so much.

I think we should check the tuners just in case.

Thanks for all the ideas and advice. If we get something cool in the next few weeks I'll post it. We have a bunch of gigs coming up.
_________________
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
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 12:16 am    
Reply with quote

As a guitar player, I was a very out of pocket player. My long time bass player would always tell drummers not to listen to me, or I'd throw him off. I used a lot of vibrato bar too on surf tunes. And yes, it did throw the tuning into a little bit of flux, but that was the desired effect a lot of the time - it lent a kind of aural quality. I never had a steel player though, so I never ran into this problem, but can see where it might cause some confusion for the steel. Maybe you could try my bass players advice, and just not focus on him and see how that works.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jerry Horch


From:
Alva, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 12:58 pm     Off tune
Reply with quote

I have to turn off my ceiling fan in the practice room for sure.Ive experienced acoustic players that tune without a capo.then tork one down and are then they are out.not by much,two or three fretlines on the steel.Im not accurate in fretting by a long shot..but thatcan be frustrating.My take is every one should use the same tuner also..
_________________
Franklin D10 /Walker Sterio Steel JBL's /DigiTech Quad4/ Korg Toneworks/ Dobro DM 1000 / Santa Cruz Guitar VA
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 1:12 pm    
Reply with quote

I'm no tuning expert, but maybe there's a dimension to this that we're not considering. There's tuning - and then there's the perception of tuning. Once you throw in a bunch of effects, then I think our ears and brain can do funny things - not to mention the fact that most of us have some degree of hearing loss across different frequencies.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 1:31 pm    
Reply with quote

Pete Burak wrote:
If there is a ceiling fan in the rehearsal room, turn it off. It can cause a perception of out of tune-ness.


Nevermind, it looks Pete already zeroed in on it.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 2:32 pm    
Reply with quote

Yeah, no fan in the room, but I did acquire some new hearing damage last fall. Over the last 10 years, once in the while, I hear myself as out of tune and check it...in tune...sounds out of tune. That can be on an acoustic or electric guitar actually.

I am starting to think it's just my perception along with the particular sound of the Dusenburg that draws me in and away from my normal sense of place in the overall tuning of the band.
_________________
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
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Franklin


Post  Posted 12 Jun 2019 2:54 pm    
Reply with quote

With that in mind look at it like the challenge it really is.....If he's really that good, it sounds like he is most likely more in tune than most guitarists....No pun intended, but playing that Dusenburg raised the bar for what's acceptable for tuning in the band. They are the most in tune guitars I have encountered.

Deleted the other stuff because you zeroed in on the issue.

PF
View user's profile Send private message
Ben Michaels


From:
Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 2:10 am    
Reply with quote

What kind of dussenberg is it and what gauge of strings is he using? I have run into issues with strat players who use really thick strings without adding more springs to their trem. The strings can "pull" the guitar out of tune. I used to be one of those players and kept wondering why my strat was always slightly off on bends. 5 aftermarket springs fixed that.

The fact that this doesn't seem to happen when he plays his tele leads me to think this may be part of it. Or is he resting his palm on the trem?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Wayne Quinn


From:
Cape Breton.NovaScotia
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 8:33 am     tuning
Reply with quote

Just a little bit of a tid bit here .a few years ago our guitar player when playing his Strat or his Gibson every thing sounded great. when he would switch to his Tele everything sounded bad I would say Sam check your tuning I did he would say I just tweaked her. 2 songs later same thing again my steel and his guitar would clash bad. turned out that his tele had 4 stripped screws that hold the neck in place and the neck was moveing enough while playing to keep his guitar out of tune when he over sized the screws on the neck so it was tight again our tuning issue went away.
_________________
D10 Carter, SD10 Mullen .Nashville 400,. peavey 112 Boss DD3., RV5,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ben Michaels


From:
Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 5:15 pm    
Reply with quote

I think most dussenberg guitars have a set neck. I've only played a starplayer and it had a set neck. It was a fantastic guitar and I would be surprised if one had a flaw in the neck joint that would lead to it going out of tune. If a fretless instrument player tells you that your guitar is out of tune though............they are probably right!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2019 7:07 pm    
Reply with quote

Part of the trick is to not hear the guitar very well. Make sure you're on opposite sides of the stage. That way small tuning issues won't bother you.

It's always a little tricky how we hear others and ourselves. Sometimes the next time I play I realize that my third string is flat, but I never heard it the previous gig. It's because I wasn't hearing the beats, which is actually a good thing when you're performing.

Some clubs you feel like you always get good tone, others it's a struggle, and outside is mostly bad. It all depends on how you're hearing it. when it sounds good you play way better.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2019 2:26 am    
Reply with quote

Concur with Joe Goldmark's wisdom, and Pete Burak... Very Happy
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 / Zumsteel S12 7+6 / Rittenberry SD-12 8+5 / Li'l Izzy / Webb amp / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum



BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron