Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
animalfarm

Guitar Tuning Trick

Recommended Posts

I posted this when I originally joined old EPI forum in Jan 09,

am re-posting for perusal of newer members. Ever since trying this,

I will not tune my Guitars any other way. Try it. You may like it,

you may not like it..... :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

TUNING TRICK:

 

You know how when you plug a guitar in and pluck a string, sometimes the tuner

needle (or LED display) wavers back and forth and drives you crazy? And you have

to pluck it every which way before getting a "good reading" which finally

"settles down?" Do these three things:

 

1) switch your guitar to its rhythm (neck) pickup, if it has one;

2) roll your guitar's tone knobs all the way off, to remove all the highs; and then

3) pluck the open string right over the twelfth fret, not over the pickup. Try it; you'll be amazed.

 

Why does this work? Here's a quick physics refresher. The sound of a string being plucked

is composed of a FUNDAMENTAL TONE (the "note" itself, which also happens to be the lowest

and loudest tone made by the string) mixed with a series of increasingly higher-toned,

lower-volume harmonics, starting with the octave (or "2nd harmonic").

The 2nd harmonic or "octave" spot is exactly halfway along the string, right over 12th fret.

 

So... What is the tuner looking for? The FUNDAMENTAL NOTE of the string, and nothing else!

All the other tones made by the vibrating string "confuse" the tuner, making it indecisive.

Roll off your highs, use the rhythm pickup, pluck near the middle... and just mail me a check,

thank you very much.

(Important: remember to switch everything BACK before you start playing the next song!)

 

 

For ACOUSTIC GUITAR:

 

Here's another tip for tuning acoustic guitars that don't have built-in pickups.

Go find a pair of headphones, any old kind. AKG 240s work great. Put the headphones

"on" the guitar body, sort of straddling it front-to-back, near the hole. Plug 'em

into the input of the tuner. It looks silly, but the headphones will act like a microphone.

 

 

The ENTIRE article - More detail oriented, more Technical can be found in the

EPI lounge "Do-it-Yourself" Thread, under the "Miscellaneous Cr@p" section near

bottom of Original Post, titled: "Guitar Tuning Nightmares Explained" by

Jack Endino. Link is there.

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of y'all who try this, please report back.

Interested to hear how it worked for you...

All I know is for ME, it's "Da Bomb"! [thumbup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Visitors coming today so all the "girls" are due for a tune up and I will try the method you suggest, thank you.

 

Dig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess some folks just find it difficult to get in tune. I've owned several of the electronic gizmos way back...even a Peterson stroboscope, but sold them all and bought a $3 tuning fork (A=440). After striking the fork on something solid (like my head), I touch the base to the body of the guitar and tune the A string to it. Then I use my ear, frets, and harmonics to get the others in tune. This method works fine at home, but may be difficult under stage conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... but may be difficult under stage conditions.

That is the application I would use this method for, personally. Tuning a bass is easy, but I had a hard time with my guitar last week. I couldnt get the lights to balance out. I ended up playing sharp. That and just playing the tuning song at a show is something I like to avoid if possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any of y'all who try this, please report back.

Interested to hear how it worked for you...

All I know is for ME, it's "Da Bomb"! [thumbup]

 

I already followed steps 1 & 2 but step 3 was new to me. I picked up a Planet Waves tru-strobe tuner back in February when Musician's Friend had the PWCT07 on sale for $39.99. It's supposed to be accurate within .1 cent. It's pretty easy to tune with but the 12th fret thing made it even easier and faster. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AF, I'm not going to be able to get back with you about my experience with this until thursday. I keep my tuner at the practice pad, and I tune with harmonics at home. Practice is on Wed. night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank You All for the responses, and any yet to come!!!

 

... bought a $3 tuning fork (A=440). After striking the fork on something solid (like my head),

tune the A string to it.This method works fine at home, but may be difficult under stage conditions.

 

May look a bit odd onstage, too! [biggrin] WHACK, WHACK, WHACK!!!!

 

I keep an "E" tuning fork, and an emergency Back-up "A". (see Pic).

 

You reminded me of something - strike the tuning fork, then TOUCH the

TIP of one of the Vibrating Tines to the tip of your nose. [thumbup]

You will INSTANTLY do the "Dance of a Thousand Bees" - you'll freak

out and immediately start rubbing the end of your nose like crazy!

 

Don't do it to your wife, though. She'll probably chase you around

your house with a 2 x 4.... [biggrin]

 

100_0639.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the original article that AF referred to about a year or so ago, and have been using this method to tune ever since. Seems to come to pitch much quicker. Thx AF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That bit about using headphones as a microphone plugged directly into the tuner really works - just tried it on my harp. (Not harmonica - harp. In addition to my guitars, I have a Lyon & Healy Troubador 36 string lever harp. Tuning has been a problem, because you need one hand to hold the tuner, one hand to pluck the string, and one hand to turn the tuning wrench.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find tuning to the harmonics also work well, and I've also used the method described in this thread by animalfarm.

 

It depends on the tuner. My Korg works better the animalfarm way, the tuner on my Digitech RP335 works better using the harmonic.

 

I don't know why.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That bit about using headphones as a microphone plugged directly into the tuner really works - just tried it on my harp. (Not harmonica - harp. In addition to my guitars, I have a Lyon & Healy Troubador 36 string lever harp. Tuning has been a problem, because you need one hand to hold the tuner, one hand to pluck the string, and one hand to turn the tuning wrench.)

 

Buffalo! Can you post a picture of the headphones on the HARP????

You have me TOTALLY intrigued about how you did that! [thumbup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess some folks just find it difficult to get in tune. I've owned several of the electronic gizmos way back...even a Peterson stroboscope, but sold them all and bought a $3 tuning fork (A=440). After striking the fork on something solid (like my head), I touch the base to the body of the guitar and tune the A string to it. Then I use my ear, frets, and harmonics to get the others in tune. This method works fine at home, but may be difficult under stage conditions.

 

I used this method for years, and it worked. I think it helps develop one's ear.

 

BUT, I stopped using this because:

 

1) I bought an electronic tuner, and it said my tuning fork is sharp. I bought another electronic tuner, and it said the same thing. I borrowed another electronic tuner, and I also tried the Gibson iphone/ipad app, and they all say the same thing -- my tuning fork is not true A = 440. Now that I have all these tuners, I decided that they really are easier to use. I still do a final tweak by ear, though. Since a tuning fork is only about $5, I will probably buy another one.

 

2) I read something in one of Dan Erlewine's books that explained why using harmonics is not an accurate way to tune a guitar. I cannot explain it myself, though. I guess it has something to do with equal temperament tuning.

 

Also, I do as you do, and I tap the tuning fork on my head and then place it against the guitar to hear it. One time I dropped the tuning fork and it took a chunk out of the top of my classical guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buffalo! Can you post a picture of the headphones on the HARP????

You have me TOTALLY intrigued about how you did that! [thumbup]

Sure, soon as I fire up the camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two-Fold purpose to this post:

 

1. This Topic is now posted FOREVER in the Epi Lounge "DIY" thread

under "Misc. Cr@p you Might want to know" Section.

 

2. Buffalo, did you ever take a pic of Headphones on Harp? Not like it's

a Crisis - just curious.

 

That's all, folks......... [thumbup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another tuning technique that I picked up from an article on Eric Johnson has proved to be helpful. It involves the sequence of strings while tuning. Instead of tuning E to E, the sequence is as follows: Tune low E, high E, D, B, A, and G. Sometimes, when tuning E to E, when you've tuned the high E, the low E and other lower strings are out of tune and the process has to be repeated. This technique eliminates that.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks animalfarm, I always used the neck pup but rolling off the tone and playing at the 12th were news to me. Been trying it out the last few days and it works a treat, it's useful little tips like this that really add value to this forum.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...