#1
Hey all,


So my guitar teacher introduced me to the idea of "tuning by beats"

That is, rather than tuning by "pitch"

However, I still don't quite get how to accomplish this?


Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Legs
#3
To tune by beats, you still need to have at least one string that's tuned to pitch in order to tune the other strings relative to that string, usually the low E strings.

You should ask your teacher to show you this in more detail though, he's a teacher after all and can show you in real life, much better than any explanation I will ever have to offer.
#4
If you don't know...

A beat is an oscillation in volume that occurs when two similar (but slightly different) frequencies are struck (it's more audible with higher frequencies I've found).

The closer the frequencies are, the faster the oscillations.

Make sure your low E is tuned. Hit a harmonic on the 5th fret (it'll be an E pitch). Now tune the A string so that the 7th fret harmonic on the A is the same as the 5th fret harmonic on the E. When they get really close, you can hear the oscillation. When they're the same, it goes away. Obviously, tune to the point where it gets faster until you can't hear it. Repeat as necessary with the following strings (it won't work for the G-B combo, tho).
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#5
Quote by guitarsftw
If you don't know...

A beat is an oscillation in volume that occurs when two similar (but slightly different) frequencies are struck (it's more audible with higher frequencies I've found).

The closer the frequencies are, the faster the oscillations.

Make sure your low E is tuned. Hit a harmonic on the 5th fret (it'll be an E pitch). Now tune the A string so that the 7th fret harmonic on the A is the same as the 5th fret harmonic on the E. When they get really close, you can hear the oscillation. When they're the same, it goes away. Obviously, tune to the point where it gets faster until you can't hear it. Repeat as necessary with the following strings (it won't work for the G-B combo, tho).

Not quite, the oscillations actually get slower the closer you get to the target note, not faster.
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#6
Quote by steven seagull
Not quite, the oscillations actually get slower the closer you get to the target note, not faster.

^This.
I was never taught this but somehow learned how to hear it on my own.
#7
This is how i learned to tune my guitar before I bought an electric tuner.
I thought it was called "Self Tuning" or something like that though?
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
Not quite, the oscillations actually get slower the closer you get to the target note, not faster.

Yeah, brain fart, you're right.
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#9
Now I know that method is called "tuning by beats"...I use something like that, but instead of harmonics I use powerchords with two strings, the lower string open (this is the one to tune) and the other pressing the fifth (second fret, and this one has to be tuned already, obviously), it also creates this "oscillation" sound and it's pretty clear when you've reached the desired note.
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#10
use a tuner? who cares what way you can tune.
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#11
I think tuning by beats (or the harmonic method, as some people call it) is convenient, but it has some major downsides.

The harmonics at the 7th/19th frets are perfect fifths, which the harmonics on the 5th/12th frets are octaves of the open string. The guitar, however, is a tempered instrument (it's designed to be equally out of tune in every key). As a result, the tempered 5th, which is what the fretted note on the 7th fret is, isn't eactly as from the open string as the perfect fifth. There is a noticeable difference between the two intervals. What this means is, if you were to tune your low E with a tuner so that it was perfectly in tune, then tune your A string to the E string by beats, your tuner (if it's sensitive enough) will tell you that your A string is slightly out of tune.

It's even worse if you decide to tune the B string to the G by beats, because the interval from the open G to the open B string is a tempered third, while the harmonic on the 4th fret is a perfect third. There is a very noticeable difference. While you could probably tune the other string by beats and sound near-enough in tune, I would strongly advise against tuning the B to the G by this method.
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