Is the ringing pitch usually different from the bowed pitch?
I have noticed since I started using a chromatic tuner, that the pitch of a bowed open string differs from the ringing pitch after lifting the bow from the string. Is this typical?
Yes, a plucked string, or a string left vibrating freely after the bow leaves it, will vibrate at a lower pitch than that same string when bowed. And a strongly bowed string will emit a higher pitch than that same string lightly bowed. I find the effect more pronounced with older strings that have lost some of their elasticity, which provides an alert that it might be time to replace them. This is why we bow lightly when tuning, and we don’t try to tune by plucking. Just one more degree of complexity for string players.
Mark, thanks for answering my question. I think I always noticed a difference in the sound, but the chromatic tuner quantified it.
I was curious about the OP question, so I tried it on my cello.
“.....the stopped/bowed D that stimulated the ringing pitch.”
The pressure of the bow stretches the string slightly, raising the pitch.
Does it matter that I am playing wound gut strings?
I am not convinced that tuning, or perhaps checking tuning, by plucking is necessarily a bad thing, provided it is just sufficiently audible, not a performance pizzicato, and the player's ear is good enough to hear and assess the differences in pitch necessary for accurate tuning.
Guitarists and harpists, etc., tune by plucking, but they also play by plucking, so it’s an entirely appropriate way for them to tune. String players play with a bow, so bowing while tuning is the best way for them to tune. Plucking lightly won’t alter the tension of the string, but bowing will. That’s the whole point here.
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