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Author Topic:  Yes Another Tuning thread..., but I'm a NEW
Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 3:35 am    
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Hmm… as it only has to sound in tune, I practice the "constantly vary bar angle and pressure to keep it sounding right" techniques while playing, as I did before I got pedals back in the early -80s. For the most part my ear to hand coupling works quickly enough, and over the years "mental mapping" of how the individual strings react to changes in tension has of course improved and helps in eliminating much of the "reaction delay" one may experience if one rely too much on eyes and fretmarkers.

As for tuning: I have a few gismos (among others a Strobo Plus HD) that work just fine, but whenever possible I rely on a tuning fork in "A" and tune all else to "something" close to JI by ear.
I recommend "tuning and playing by ear" to anyone who asks, and to only use electronic tuners for checking ones ear now and then, and in situations when ear-tuning is impossible.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 5:30 am    
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I do the same as Georg, except I'm a fundamentalist and I use an E fork Smile
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Bob Sykes


From:
North Carolina
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 5:57 am     tuning nuts
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I found color coding the pedals with their related tuning nuts helped find the right ones. Stage lighting washes out some of the colors though.
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 8:36 am    
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I think when you really get into it, how you intonate your thirds and other intervals comes down to context.

What Grorg is saying about "moving the bar a little bit" kind of sums it up.

In my experience, there are situations where a pure third will sound ridiculously flat. Usually in slow, single note phrases when the steel is sitting over some piano or acoustic guitar chords, for example. So left hand nuances kick in, and knowing your tuning plays a big part.

Other times, like when playing lush double stops, thirds and sixths will just ring so much better if they're beatless.

Granted, it is pretty hilarious to talk at such length about all this stuff. But I think its a big part of playing steel, and I think its good to have constructive conversations about it.
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Philip Mitrakos


From:
The Beach South East Florida
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 3:23 pm    
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Play with this for a while
http://www.dronetonetool.com/
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 May 2021 3:28 pm    
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Andrew is right about varying your thirds depending on whether they're melody or harmony. (The part of me that plays trombone can confirm.)
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 5 May 2021 3:37 am    
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Ian Rae wrote:
[…]I'm a fundamentalist and I use an E fork Smile
I found correctly tuned E-forks to produce a slightly too low frequency (about 0.7Hz too low) to work well as start-freq for tuning close to JI by ear – it is of course OK for tuning ET since that is what they are set up for. Thus, A-forks for me, as they produce the 440 freq that is used as reference in (nearly) all western music, and makes the question of tuning JI or ET further down irrelevant.

(The entire matter does of course only make sense if one likes the numbers to line up too, alongside the actual tones. The bar is still movable, but not the nut Smile​)
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Peter Haverkamp

 

From:
Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 9 May 2021 4:42 pm     Responses Thank You
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@Georg Sørtun, it's interesting to me, because even as a beginner, I believe I've been subconsiously practicing the "vary bar angle and pressure" without even thinking about what I'm doing. I do have a good ear, so for me, I've been practicing sometimes with my eyes closed and found that is helping me tune into the instrument more without the distraction of fret markers and helps eliminate the "reaction delay" you mentioned.

@Ian Rae, don't get me started on my right hand and finger picks. I can't play with them yet, and that's a whole other can of worms for me, because I figured I'd just learn with the fingerpicks once I got a little more comfortable, but now I realize I've accidentally taught myself blocking and muting techniques using the fingers that should have picks on them. Now when I put picks on, I can't use those fingers to block and mute anymore. But I'll start a new thread as that's a different discussion.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 10 May 2021 12:06 am    
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Peter, other, by now well known, players have been practicing "blind" before you, with great results. So keep at it and you'll do fine.

As for muting with fingers while using picks: I do that all the time, and not just pick-blocking. But you're right in that such things belong in another thread.
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