How to tune a violin (the truth!)
I have managed to completely confuse myself about tuning.
Everyone thinks that all you need is some sort of meter to do the job.
Not so in the advanced tuning world.
I recently collected 4 or 5 tuners at one time and this seemed like a good chance for comparisons of the meters. The test only used one violin which I tweaked to perfect pitch. EXCEPT As the tuning progressed,I noticed that the violin sound quality improved . This stood out for one case with G,D.
I am not talking about tuning a la pitch!
The violin actually took on a better sound as "good" tuning happened. (really?)
You did not imagine it - the instrument WILL sound better as the strings go more in tune, because of sympathetic vibrations that occur. Also, when your fingers play in tune (especially G's, D's, A's, and E's) you will get a "ring" that is from sympathetic vibrations.
"Everyone thinks that all you need is some sort of meter to do the job." I have never heard that. There again, I started violin at a time when small modern, affordable tuning meters did not exist.
Maybe I'm a throwback.
I don't think any electrical tuner is as accurate as a trained ear.
It's not so much the fundamentals we're tuning; the coincident partials also have to align. That's why the violin will "open up." Tuners don't necessarily detect partials, although some" harmonic" tuners do produce partials in their sound profile. That's one of the the differences between a cheap, simple tuner with a needle and the software I use as a piano technician, and why our software costs in the $1000 range, even on an iPad.
I'm with Malcolm - a tuning fork and an ear. No batteries to wear out!
Agreed, the "best" way to tune is with a fork and learning how to properly hear a perfect fifth.
Definitely, a tuning fork. Inexpensive, accurate, no battery, and it lasts forever. It trains your ear, not your eye. For certain occasions, such as the one George describes, or as when -- astonishingly -- I found myself playing onstage with a loud folk-rock band last week, a digital tuner is handy.
I'm not sure what's so great about a tuning fork. For one thing, they're kind of a pain to use. You need a third hand to do it and the sound quickly decays. Much easier and accurate to use the A on a metronome.
"'m not sure what's so great about a tuning fork."
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