Using tuning equipment to practice note accuracy (intonation?)
So, i have own a violin for a year now, and out of that time i have been practicing actively for about 4 months.
Now, after about 6 months i got inspired again, bought better violin, higher quality strings(dominant), and an integrated tuner for my violin.
The tuner (as seen in the picture) is very easy to use for practicing slow tones (playing simple scale on very low tempo, really focusing on which note im playing and listening how it sounds) and i also use it when im practicing Schradieck Book #1 scales
Best thing is that the integrated tuner makes it extremely easy to see if im playing the note accurately, but i was wondering how often i should use it as guide, and how accurate i should aim to be.
I'd use it once in a while, maybe. It's important to practice listening for intonation errors by ear. A tuner won't pick up wrong notes. There's threads on this site similar to this. Do some searching.
In teaching myself to play, I started out with a Snark clip-on tuner so I could tell where the notes are on my fingerboard. After a few months I didn't need it anymore as my ear and fingers got a lot better. I say use it as long as you feel you need to but take it off from time to time to see when you can play without it.
One of the main reasons Suzuki Book 1 has so many simple, easily recognized tunes is because you already know how they should sound. So when you play them, you should already have a good sense for whether you are playing in tune.
Umm... do you have a teacher?
I don't quite agree. Some people just suck at identifying small intervals. Do you have tapes/markers on your violin?
I agree with Jane, and I discourage my students from using a tuner beyond tuning their "A" strings.
Mary Ellen is spot on! Listen to the professionals. I've been saying this for years. the only way to know if you are in tune is frequent testing against an open string (as long as it's also tuned perfectly). That's why using an open string as a drone works for ear training as also playing one finger scales up each string. Putting a finger down only makes you THINK you are in tune! You have to test to hear if that's the case. Later when you get proficient you then learn scales in fifths, which are hard to get in tune. All of this sharpens your ear. Music is an aural art, not a visual one, as some people will wrongly tell you.
For violin playing, it's hard to argue against something which helps you play more in tune. The argument of the differences of a few cents here or there in a given context might make is valid to a point, but the pitch reference of a tuner is likely to be much closer to "ideal" than what a beginner or even a more advanced player is likely to
I use a combination of both tuner and ear, keep in mind I’ve only been playing for 3 months. I do have a teacher now (thankfully). She was unavailable when I first started. She also teaches to only find open A by using a tuner, or playing A on piano.
The point in finding different E finger placements to go either with the open A (interval of a 4th) or the open G (interval of a 6th) is NOT to then determine the average pitch that sounds OK-ish with both! Then you have a piano, not a violin. The point is that pitch on the violin is dependent on context. An F# that is a leading tone in a G major scale is going to sound better when played higher than the F# in an A major scale. And a tuner has no way of determining context.
@Charles, J: you may want to learn some music theory to better understand. Let me see if I can explain without music theory. A tuner labels each pitch/note at a certain sound frequency. But depending on context - the key and interval, a pitch/note may be played at a different frequency from the frequency labeled by the tuner. So you maybe “in tune” with the tuner, you may be “out of tune” by ear (reality). When it’s in tune by ear, the violin resonates more freely, you will often hear and feel these vibrations on better violins. Which is also why it’s important to start on the best violin you can afford.
Yes, the resonating of the instrument is a good point, and ear training is essential, using scales with open string drones and one finger scales.
My 2 cents...
My completely unsubstantiated theory is that if you can sing it, you can play it.
The way my teacher looks at it is that you have to have some reference point to work out whether your perception of correct intonation is actually correct. So he encourages me to hear the note I'm planning to play, play it, and then check it against something - sometimes against an internal source (e.g. open string) or more often an external source (piano, tuner, etc).
Like Kiki I think it is important to learn solfeggio, perhaps not in the strict sense, but just the ability to be able to sing in tune what you are supposed to play on the violin, is essential and beginners should ideally learn that in parallel, or perhaps even one year prior to, learning the violin itself. This requires an instructor, to make them aware of correct pitch and learning to recognize it and produce it. Of course with adults this is not always so easy as they may have lost their natural ability to sing. Young children still have that.
I'm a hopeless singer, and always will be... perhaps I should quit the orchestra! I play an instrument because I can't sing, and now you say I have to sing to play an instrument! I contend that those who can sing can use that ability to hone better tone recognition, but that is only one of many ways.
Has anyone used Music Wrench app? My teacher recommends it for practicing purposes
" I'm a hopeless singer, and always will be... perhaps I should quit the orchestra! I play an instrument because I can't sing, and now you say I have to sing to play an instrument! I contend that those who can sing can use that ability to hone better tone recognition, but that is only one of many ways."
You can find a "violin drone" on google.com and either listen to it on you computer, download an app or buy a CD. Beginners often find it helpful to play with a drone sounding for that key. Typically these drones will have all of the pitches in the 12-tone scale, but it is often helpful to play your notes against other pitches that have a harmonic relationship to your note. How do you know what pitch your notes harmonize with? Experiment! You should be able to tell thirds, fourths, fifths and octaves - others intervals and chords (double stops) may sound jarring - because they do. When I was in Jr. High in Maryland they still had a daily music class and listening to those chords and intervals was part of what we did (one of the less fun parts).
I understand the argument for being tunerless and using a drone to help finding the proper pitch, what I don’t get is that all the tone generators I have found are referencing an equal temperament frequency, not perfect fifth. So here I am, using a drone, tuning to maximum reverberation for every notes at any given Key, and surprise surprise, I am now in tune with my tuner! Then I drop the drone, listen for the instrument’s maximum resonance instead (e,g, D on A string) and again, look up at the tuner, and I am still perfectly in tune with it. Then I play a perfect 3rd/5ft double stop, and the tuner needle is still centered...! So if I get this right, my tuner, a cheap basic Korg, isn't accurate enough to differentiate between perfect and equal pitch?
Listen to some CD's of top violinists and hear how in tune they are. That's what you have to aim for.
The tricky part, which I struggle very much with is that playing in tune doesn’t mean always playing any given note at the same frequency. In tune is relative to the key (e.g. Maj vs Min), and in a group (such as a quartet) with other instruments, which involves some minute but important deviations from the “average” tonal frequency of any given note. In other words in tune is a relative term.
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