Poll: How do you tune?
Poll Options
View poll results: How do you tune?
electronic tuner
45 87%
pitch pipe
1 2%
tuning fork
1 2%
completely by ear
5 10%
Voters: 52.
#1
Which do you prefer, and why? Or would you rather tune COMPLETELY by ear, without the aid of an external reference?
#2
I vote electric depending on the accuracy of the tuner..
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#3
i_don't_know to be honest.
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#4
Depends. It's useful to be able to learn to use your ear at home, but live this is impractical so it's better to use a pedal tuner.
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#5
Electronic tuner for the most accuracy. However, cheap ones are not good. When you get into the $50 dollar range is when I start to trust them.
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#6
I usually use an electric tuner but ocaisionally by ear if I'm not too fussed about pinpoint accuracy and can't find a tuner.
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#7
I tune to the notes I want with the electronic Tuner then tune by ear, sounds better to me.
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#8
Tuning strictly "by ear" doesn't work for me. I have good relative pitch, but I certainly don't have "perfect pitch". I need a reference to start.

Pitchpipes are horrible. It's very easy to change the pitch by over-blowing. And the pitch can change over time with use. I doubt any of them are very accurate, right out of the box.

Tuning forks are accurate. Fairly useful. But you have fret or use harmonics on strings that aren't the same pitch as the fork. Slight errors can add up. And if you use harmonics, you are using just-tuning. Not as good when playing with other instruments woodwinds, a piano, etc.

A good electronic tuner is invaluable. I use a chromatic. (Korg CA-30) This allows me to check my intonation anywhere on the fretboard, as well as the basic tuning of open strings. A guitar tuned in equal temperament doesn't sound quite as nice as when tuned in just. But it works out better in the long run, all things considered.
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#9
I use my ear alone at home but an electronic tuner before gigs. I rarely have to tune during gigs so I just use a cheap Korg handheld that gets relatively accurate and I finish it off by ear.
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#10
Any tips on tuning by ear?

This sig is colored just to annoy the UG classic users.

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#11
Quote by pokeatthedevil
Any tips on tuning by ear?


Learn what a low or high E should sound like and tune the rest from there. If you don't have an E in your head, you could just listen to some AC/DC, there's bound to be lots of them. It shouldn't take that long to memorize what it sounds like though.
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Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#12
Quote by mmolteratx
If you don't have an E in your head, you could just listen to some AC/DC, there's bound to be lots of them.


My favorite of the day.

I usually just use an electronic to verify the low E, then do the rest by ear..
#15
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
Tuning strictly "by ear" doesn't work for me. I have good relative pitch, but I certainly don't have "perfect pitch". I need a reference to start.

Pitchpipes are horrible. It's very easy to change the pitch by over-blowing. And the pitch can change over time with use. I doubt any of them are very accurate, right out of the box.

Tuning forks are accurate. Fairly useful. But you have fret or use harmonics on strings that aren't the same pitch as the fork. Slight errors can add up. And if you use harmonics, you are using just-tuning. Not as good when playing with other instruments woodwinds, a piano, etc.

A good electronic tuner is invaluable. I use a chromatic. (Korg CA-30) This allows me to check my intonation anywhere on the fretboard, as well as the basic tuning of open strings. A guitar tuned in equal temperament doesn't sound quite as nice as when tuned in just. But it works out better in the long run, all things considered.


dude, that was an excellent post, some of that made me rethink tuning.

in general, i use my ear. i use relative pitch to... something. i usually keep a harmonica around if nothing else. i like to tune to a keyboard. either way, i get an 'A' then tune the rest of my strings around the 'A' string with harmonics. now i see it is 'just' tuning. oh well. still sounds good, and we are usually 3 piece.

i never use a tuner, real good ones are expensive and i am impatient. i use my friends strobe tuner to check intonation when setting up guitars, it is great for that. but for 98% of my tunings i just do it quick by ear.
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#17
A pedal tuner is irreplaceable in a live situation. No one wants to hear you tune by ear on stage and it allows you to do a quick tune up between songs. Its also much more accurate. Most people wont notice if your b string is 8-9 cents flat but an experienced musician will, and will judge you accordingly.

If you're playing by your self however, tune how ever you see fit. It is essential to know how to tune your instrument without an electronic reference.
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#18
I don't usually play live, so I tune by ear 95% of the time. I was surprised when I hooked my guitar up to my friend's tuner and I was in almost perfect tune (The G string was slightly wrong).
#19
Quote by Poster_Nutbag
My favorite of the day.

I usually just use an electronic to verify the low E, then do the rest by ear..


Actually, that tip really does help me... I love AC/DC and know Back in Black starts with an E power chord.

This sig is colored just to annoy the UG classic users.

Trying to think of witty things to put in my sig. Message if you have ideas.
#20
Quote by pokeatthedevil
Any tips on tuning by ear?


I'm one of the few people (I guess) who can string up an E or an A string and put them perfectly in tune every time. My parents are musicians and I have them to thank for that ability. I never learned it, I could just do it. From a technical playing standpoint there are lots of guys here on UG who could wipe up the stage with me who probably don't have "perfect pitch" so I think the ability to hear perfect intervals between notes is more important than being able to pick single notes out of thin air. Just for the record though, I have a Peterson Strobe tuner on ALL the time when I play. I rarely tune up between songs the way most guitar players do but I keep my eye on it while I'm playing to verify what I'm hearing and tune as I go.
#23
not many people have absolute perfect pitch and can do it by ear. no one uses pitch pipes and tuning forks. i'd have to say electronic. its the most accurate
#25
When I play at home it doesn't matter, I just tune to something that's close to A-440 (I know it well enough to be close...ish), and live either I play with a keyboard player, and tune by ear from him, or if not, as long as all the guitars are in tune with each other...
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#26
I use the tuner built in my Digitech RP 355.
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#27
I prefer to use an electronic tuner just for the greater accuracy.

If I haven't got one handy I can get my A string in really good tuning if i think about the breaking the law riff and then i can work out the other strings from that
#28
a combination of both. a tuner pedal is quicker and more practical but is not always perfectly accurate (or at least mine isnt anyways).

and by the way... this is a vs thread just to let you know