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Dick Stanley
I have a question about the electronic tuner, which a dandy tool. I've watched the video on electronic tuning but remain confused about how it's supposed to work. 

Need I wait until the needle stands straight up and the green light alone is on and the letter of the correct string displayed? Or is illumination of the green light and the displayed string letter---even if the red lights, or at least one of them, also are on---enough to conclude the string is tuned? Regardless of whether the needle is straight up or not?

I usually have no trouble getting the G, D, and A strings tuned with the needle straight up and only the green light illuminated. But the tuner can't seem to do it for the E string, so I wind up going to the tuning Web site and using the E string tone there.

Just as an aside, I've noticed that the turning on and off of the furnace registers as a D, with the green light alone illuminated. The highest note I can whistle is an F-sharp. Getting old.
Dick Stanley
8 Responses
Posted: February 12, 2012
Last Comment: February 13, 2012
Replies


Posted: February 13, 2012
Dick:
A trick you may not know.  You can make small adjustment in pitch (a few cents worth) by manipulating the strings.  If you are just a little sharp on a string just push (stretch) it sideways a few times, point of contact about half way down the fingerboard. If you are a little flat on a string just push down on it behind the nut. Sometimes this is all it takes.


Posted: February 13, 2012
Hi Dick - In addition to using it to tune the strings, I have been enjoying using my Korg tuner to tune my scales and songs. Typically, before working on any particular scale, exercise, or piece, I run through it very slowly, without the rhythm, trying to get the pitch sequence in tune according to the "green light."  After doing this a couple of times, to get the pitches into my ear, I put the tuner away and then continue on without it, incorporating all the other physical and musical elements. This kind of ear-training has really helped playing in tune. - Kate

Dick Stanley
Posted: February 13, 2012
Well, I tried bowing the open strings for the tuner and found that even the E illuminates the green light alone with the needle straight up. I had been plucking the strings, which is probably why the E was not registering, since the sound didn't continue long enough. The needle was swinging back and forth. Not with the bow, however. Problem seems to be solved.

Vicky
Posted: February 13, 2012
Hi Dick, I have a Korg also. I purchased a clip on cord to go along with it so it is getting it's reading directly from the vibrations of the violin vs. sound waves in the air. It is very responsive when I use the cord. The cord plugs in to the tuner and clips on to the violin, either on the scroll or on the bridge. I can get the arrow to be spot on using the cord. Of course, that doesn't mean I am using the "right" amount of pressure with the bow, but at least I am consistent across the strings. Someday I will learn to tune by ear, but,sadly, until then I am tuner-dependant. Thank goodness for tuners to get us started! Vicky

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 13, 2012
The needle should be straight up, and the light should be only green to correctly be in tune. As for the E,  I know from watching students tune, that they often are not getting a solid steady tone for a long enough period of time for the tuner to "read" the note. Does it not seem to respond at all? Can you bring your violin and the tuner in to the shop?

Dick Stanley
Posted: February 13, 2012
Kate, Yes, mine also is a Korg. A TM-40. I find the violin goes out of tune several times a week as the temperature and humidity fluctuates as they have recently. Winter is almost over here in Central Texas, but still making a last gasp or two.

But I never use the pegs, only the fine tuners. The fellow who rented me the violin (he said he was Beth's husband) told me not to tune with the pegs because I'd most likely break the strings. He suggested I bring the violin back in for tuning when it needs it. But I have found the fine tuners do the job. I just try not to put too much strain on the bridge. So far it hasn't been a problem.

I'd still like to know if that needle has to be straight up and the red lights both off before you can consider the string in tune. How do you do it?


Posted: February 12, 2012
Hi Dick - I use the same type of tuner (mine is a Korg) and have found that over the weeks, my ability to tune to pitch has improved. It takes some practice.  On the other hand, some days my hands just won't turn the pegs accurately, and I settle for as good as possible, knowing that overall the ability is improving. - Kate

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 12, 2012
Dick, the tuner just may not be as sensitive to higher frequencies. THere's an amazing piece of software called Intonia (compatible for both PCs and Mac). Robyn shared this piece of information with  me, and I think it's incredible. An amateur violinist/computer engineer developed it. I plan on doing a tutorial for it. Best news: it's only $25. Anyway, it can be used as a tuner. I won't go into more detail, but will post the video in the near future. You can check it out meanwhile.