What if it were actually easy to tune a violin? For example, if most violins had really great, easy-to-use pegs. Or fine-tuners on all strings?
I feel like a lot more people would persist with playing the violin.
I was thinking about this as one of my students struggled with difficult pegs. I could see a certain mental struggle happening as well: Do I keep trying to get these strings precisely exactly in tune? Or do I give up and say "close enough"!
I'm afraid you really need to get it right on the dot, perfectly in tune!
But it can be hard, both because of issues with pegs and because of that requirement that the pitch be very, very precise. With tuning on my mind this week, I thought it was time for a tuning vote.
My own tuning habits have evolved over the years. In my earliest days of playing, I had very difficult pegs and just dealt with them. I had an E-A-D-G "pitch pipe," with which I would tune each string individually. However the G pipe usually sounded way too flat, so I had to just do that by ear.
Then I noticed people playing double-stop fifths to tune. It took me a while to hear when the fifths sounded just right, but it is a very useful method.
These days, fortunately my pegs are well-fitted to my violin. I find the most ease in using a chromatic tuner to tune. That way I can decide if I want to tune to 442 (for orchestra) or 440 (for students, whose schools tune lower). It's also quite precise. But even if I tune every string separately with a tuner, I still check the fifths to make sure the strings are "happy together."
How do you tune your violin? Please participate in the vote, but then tell us more about it. What do you use, as a base for pitch? Or do you have perfect pitch? Has your way of tuning changed over time? Do you have difficulty with your pegs? What solutions have you found, to make it easier to tune?
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