The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #91  
Old 10-01-2023, 03:42 AM
Rpt50 Rpt50 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 633
Default

As a kid in the 70s I tuned to the piano we had in the living room (just to get an A, and then tuned relative to that).

At some point I realized that Jimi Hendrix, my favorite artist, was tuning 1/2 step flat. From then on I just tuned to records or the radio.

I actually don't care much for tuners even now, although I will use them in noisy environments or at a gig. If I'm just playing for myself on a daily basis, I'll just get an A or A flat from the piano or my cell phone and tune relative to that.
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old 10-01-2023, 06:10 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mohawk Valley
Posts: 8,815
Default

I simply tuned it to itself, which worked as I usually had no one to play with. One in a great while I might have it near someone's piano or another guitar.
__________________
The Bard Rocks

Fay OM Sinker Redwood/Tiger Myrtle
Sexauer L00 Adk/Magnolia For Sale
Hatcher Jumbo Bearclaw/"Bacon" Padauk
Goodall Jumbo POC/flamed Mahogany
Appollonio 12 POC/Myrtle
MJ Franks Resonator, all Australian Blackwood
Blackbird "Lucky 13" - carbon fiber
'31 National Duolian
+ many other stringed instruments.
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old 10-01-2023, 06:17 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 3,950
Default

In a word?

Poorly

Used to tune to a record. Broke allot of strings that way.

Though I knew of pitchforks, we didn't have on in our house.

Moved to pitch pipe, in the 70's, What a nightmare that was.

I think I bought my first Peterson strobe model 450 around '79 or '80.

Never had a tuning problem again. Was really happy when they released the Strobo-Clip.

Today, most of my acoustic cases have one inside.

Last edited by EZYPIKINS; 10-01-2023 at 06:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old 10-01-2023, 08:09 AM
tinnitus's Avatar
tinnitus tinnitus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Forest Groove, OR
Posts: 2,256
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
With the record player!
You bet! I used a record player in the 60-70s too, or a radio to ape popular songs if I didn't have the vinyl yet. And to the piano of course if that was a factor.

Quickly realized that certain albums were sharper or flatter than others and learned to adjust to them accordingly. Further, recording studios were doing different things with analog tape speeds - either to accommodate various singers' ranges, or maybe to add some zip to a dreary dirge. Record producers like Ted Templeman and Tommy James (of the Shondells) explain stuff like "wrapping the capstan" on a studio tape machine (with scotch tape to alter the diameter - and tempo/pitch) in their excellent insider books.

Lots of famous Eb players out there too. And John Fogerty's autobiography makes several references to tuning down randomly just to get the "swampy" guitar tone he wanted.

After a string change, I only use the elementary 5 5 5 4 5 thing to get roughly into the neighborhood before I fine-adjust with a tuner. That takes a few extra run-throughs and revisiting as things stretch and settle in.

What if there's no digital tuner available and no recording to use as a reference? I use 5th and 7th fret harmonics on ringing open strings to tune by ear. I find that MUCH more accurate, allowing me to double/triple-check all 6 strings against each other instead of chasing a slight exponential error (human and intonation) across the fretboard, especially with lighter gauges that bend minutely when you fret them.

I see players using smart phones with digital tuners. Since those apps use mics on the phone, I find it courteous to stop playing for a minute while they tune up without any extra noise nearby.

Last edited by tinnitus; 10-01-2023 at 12:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #95  
Old 10-01-2023, 08:16 AM
Roksbug Roksbug is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 167
Default

When I was a kid I first had a 440 tuning fork. Soon after I would out on a John Denver record or cassette and tune to whatever song I knew the chords to.
Reminds me later on when I was about 17 I was in a band with a drummer friend. He seemed to be playing songs slow. So, I asked him why and he said he thought he was right on. It just so happened that he learned alot of songs by drumming along to the record. I went over to their record player and sure enough it had a speed control on it. Someone had moved the setting and it played everything a little bit slow.
I cranked it up a little and it seemed like it opened up a whole new world.
__________________
Taylor GSK-24ce
Taylor GSK-12
Taylor BTO GS
Reply With Quote
  #96  
Old 10-01-2023, 08:36 AM
tinnitus's Avatar
tinnitus tinnitus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Forest Groove, OR
Posts: 2,256
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roksbug View Post
When I was a kid I first had a 440 tuning fork. Soon after I would out on a John Denver record or cassette and tune to whatever song I knew the chords to.
Reminds me later on when I was about 17 I was in a band with a drummer friend. He seemed to be playing songs slow. So, I asked him why and he said he thought he was right on. It just so happened that he learned alot of songs by drumming along to the record. I went over to their record player and sure enough it had a speed control on it. Someone had moved the setting and it played everything a little bit slow.
I cranked it up a little and it seemed like it opened up a whole new world.
Glad you were able to fix him. Few band things are more frustrating than a broken drummer.
Reply With Quote
  #97  
Old 10-01-2023, 09:06 AM
Inyo Inyo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,073
Default

By ear, or from a song on the radio. I still don't use tuners.
Reply With Quote
  #98  
Old 10-01-2023, 09:15 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,920
Default

I'm with the "poorly, I'm sure" response. My pitch sense is poor.

Starting out I would tune my guitar to itself. Yes, I might have been sharp or flat to concert pitch. Probably out of tune with itself too. Whenever someone more pitch correct than I tuned my guitar I considered it in a special state and didn't retune for a while. The guitar strings likely went up or down in pitch roughly in concert, or at least better than my ear adjusting them could do.

I did get a tuning fork along the line. I used it some. I would use a keyboard more often when playing with others because I played with a keyboard player very soon into my guitar-playing journey (same keyboard player I played with a couple of weeks ago!) In either case, my string to string tuning got only a little better over time.

Weird thing: I could hear the different "color" of the strings sounded together when I was out of tune string to string, I just couldn't figure out if I was sharp or flat comparing string to string. I was very slow in tuning, even if tuning badly.

Somewhere I still have my first electric tuner. It used a real needle to indicate pitch and it was a great, great aid to my music-making. No more long time tuning up to still be out of tune, no more asking everyone to be dead quiet while I tried to figure out sharp or flat.
__________________
-----------------------------------
Creator of The Parlando Project

Guitars: 20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6; '00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510, Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
  #99  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:11 AM
beachbum205 beachbum205 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey, near Philly
Posts: 1,401
Cool

Here's a weird answer- we sometimes used a dial tone- it is A440, believe it or not.

If you are too young to even know what a dial tone is, you probably have never had to use one to tune a guitar- and believe me, you are better off! . Electronic tuners and guitar tuner mobile apps are fantastic- don't know how we ever did it without them!
__________________
Martin D35
Taylor 510e
Taylor 150e
Martin DX1ae
Fender CD 60SCE-12
Reply With Quote
  #100  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:19 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 4,920
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
This. Whilst I had some awful pitch pipes - which varied depending on how hard you blew, and then some- one gave me an A-440 tuning fork,
But maybe in 1968, when I first moved into my own flat (apartment - i.e., a Victorian hovel over a tobacconist in west London.

I tuned to this :

I didn't have to play the video to remember that SM!

Here's one of mine: the 60s Beatles cartoon series used a slow strum from low E to high E across the strings as bumper music. Even with my bad pitch I'd recall that set of intervals and when I heard it I'd know "my guitar is likely more or less in tune this time."
__________________
-----------------------------------
Creator of The Parlando Project

Guitars: 20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6; '00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510, Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
  #101  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:29 AM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rochester, New York
Posts: 12,395
Default

I used one of those six-note guitar pitch pipes but would only use it for the bass E-string and then tune the other strings with the 5th-fret and 4th-fret tuning method.
__________________
Martin HD-28 Sunburst/Trance M-VT Phantom
Martin D-18/UltraTonic
Huss & Dalton TD-R
Adamas MD80 NWT
Adamas I 2087GT-8
Ovation Custom Legend LX
Guild F-212XL STD
Taylor 717e
Taylor 618e
Taylor 614ce
Larrivee D-50M/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Blue Grass Special/HiFi
Larrivee D-40R Sunburst
Larrivee C-03R TE/Trance M-VT Phantom
RainSong BI-DR1000N2
Emerald X20
Yamaha FGX5

Last edited by SpruceTop; 10-02-2023 at 04:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #102  
Old 10-01-2023, 10:31 AM
jjbigfly jjbigfly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 959
Default

I used to simply call my brother….really!
He would have me strum one time slowly (all strings) and then precede to tell me what strings to adjust, higher or lower. Then (at first)I would ask if he wanted me to strum all the strings again……and he always said no, it’s in tune. He also did this with a 12 string for me.
I always assumed he had perfect pitch….sure miss him now….
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 10-01-2023, 11:56 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 8,118
Default

As Joe Pass said on one of his videos, it was tuned at the factory so why worry about it?

Seriously, I have long tuned by ear, using an 'A' 440 tuning fork and then tuning the other strings to that 'A' (6th string 5th fret, 4th string 7th fret, 3rd string 2nd fret, 2nd string 10th fret, first string 5th fret) Johnny Smith style.

Tony
__________________
“The guitar is a wonderful thing which is understood by few.”
— Franz Schubert

"Alexa, where's my stuff?"
- Anxiously waiting...
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 10-02-2023, 06:37 AM
donlyn donlyn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,128
Default

How did you tune up before tuners?

By guess and by golly.

Actually by whatever was handy.

Spent a lot of time playing along with early Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry records. Turns out my record player was a tad slow on the rpm's. But didn't care.

Toughest song I learned was by Santo and Johnny, "Sleepwalk" Between the 45 rpm record and the 'odd' key of C#, took me quite a while. And that was just to find the key.

Playing with other guitar players, there was always a bit of a tuning session prior to making music.

The "good old days". Hah!

Was an early adopter of a Korg tuner. Bliss.

Be well and tune well,

Don
.
__________________
*The Heard:
85 Gibson J-200 sitka/rosewood Jumbo
99 Taylor 355 sitka/sapele 12 string Jmbo
06 Alvarez AJ60S englmn/mpl lam med Jmbo
14 Taylor 818e sitka/rosewood Grand Orchestra
05 Taylor 512ce L10 all mahogany Grand Concert
09 Taylor all walnut Jmbo
16 Taylor 412e-R sitka/rw GC
16 Taylor 458e-R s/rw 12 string GO
21 Epiphone IBG J-200 sitka/maple Jmbo
22 Guild F-1512 s/rw 12 string Jmbo
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 10-02-2023, 07:44 AM
H165 H165 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woods; OC, CA
Posts: 3,090
Default

Pitch pipe. Unfortunately a couple of the guitar notes on the pipe itself were comically out of tune. But it had some accurate guitar notes, and I could hear the rest.

For me, in the '60s, I found it far more important to be in tune with whatever un-tunable instrument was in the mix on that day - usually a piano; sometimes a horn with a jammed slide. We had that nasty problem of having to do "takes" with everyone playing. None of these cool sound-on-sound or "layered track" things. My first sound-on sound experiments were with three un-synched recorders - two for individual tracks and one for the combined results. Everyone had to be in tune with whatever un-tunable instrument dominated the tuning (usualy piano). Sometimes we tried to screw around with tape speed for combining tracks, but then the timing got slightly off.

My botttom line.... I love modern tuners!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=