Do you tune your strings one at a time, or do you primarily do it in double-stops, tuning the fifths?
I still remember my wonder, as a young violinist, when an experienced violinist could play two strings at a time to tune, mysteriously arriving at some kind of perfect synchronicity of pitch. How'd he or she do that?
In the beginning, I tuned one string at a time, and my ear could tell me pretty well what the fifth was, without playing a double stop. Eventually, though, my ear started understanding what my mind did not know about the physics of fifths: that there is a 3:2 ratio of sound waves, thus when they are in perfect relation, the sound waves literally do sync up. It's a very precise measurement. I began to rely on the double-stops for tuning, especially in orchestra.
Then came the chromatic tuner. The chromatic tuner was not around when I was a beginner, however, and its invention made me think anew about tuning. Chromatic tuners are pretty darned accurate. To be sure, chromatic tuners are based on equal-temperament pitch. Yet, they don't seem to throw the intervals as badly as, say, a piano does. I decided it's not a bad way to tune, especially when one has a little time in the studio. One can always check the fifths at the end.
Yet after experimenting with the chromatic tuner, I still generally make sure my A is right and then tune in double-stop fifths. Is this because the battery died in my chromatic tuner, or because it's a better way of tuning? I can't say!
Please vote in the poll, and then share your experiences about tuning, and what you feel are the merits and problems with different ways of doing it. Also, someone tell me what is the best kind of chromatic tuner - it might be more than the battery! ;) I want one that will do different A's -- 440, 442, etc.
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