By request, tactile tuning. Long ago when I was a Pod owner I got in a huge debate on the Line6 forum about this tuning method that I use. I was ridiculed and basically called a liar until they just tried it. It works and has save my butt a number of times live........


A member had asked me to share this. It is a method by which a guitar player may tune without hearing the instrument or using a tuner. Provided there is one reliable reference tone, be it a piano, second guitar, internally memorized pitch, etc...... I first introduced this on the Channel 6 website a few months ago. I have cut and pasted a piece of the original thread, and tried to edit out any "off topic chatter" between myself and the Channel 6 members.

This is something I stumbled onto many years ago and I just assumed everyone did it. There are some players that probably have made the same observations, others may have not. Hopefully some of you may find it useful.

1) Have a reliable refernce tone (keyboard or other instrument known to be in proper tune). Tuners can be good if in a situation where a reference tone is not practical. I memorized the pitch A. Memorization of pitches, or perfect pitch, is a whole different and much more complex subject which I am not qualified to teach. I do not profess to have perfect pitch myself, but certain pitches, such as the A below middle C, seem to be tattooed onto my minds ear. If using a tuner, just use it to verify that your A string (I guess it could be any string) is in tune. If the band is playing, you can use them as a reference for getting your initial reference tone.

2)Simply use the left hand thumb, applied flatly to the back of the neck, and compare each string using intervals. This is the silent part. Without even looking at the neck or a tuner, you can tell the oscillation of unisons and octaves. They have no oscillation to speak of, that is the vibration in the neck will be as smooth as the single note, just stronger. Knowing your intervals and their characteristic oscillations helps here, again not rocket science, just listen, then remember.

When comparing strings, the more dissonant the interval used, the more drastic the vibration. It is exactly like when you do this while listening to the guitar, except you can feel that the notes are in tune rather than hearing it, so long as you had the initial reference in step one.

Also, in my experience the vibrations are more pronounced at the lower frets, the higher up the neck you go the more difficult it can be to accurately feel the oscillations.

Under certain conditions such as proximity to the amp of a bass player or rhythm guitarist, you can feel a sympathetic vibration in the lower strings. This will create oscillations which can be used to zero in on the initial reference tone as well. It works exactly as described above, except that instead of comparing the oscillations of two strings, you are comparing the oscillation between the driver (close amp generating energy wave) and the string.

This is not nearly as difficult as some of you may think. It just takes practice. I stumbled accross doing this when I used to hold the headstock of my nylon string against the wall while playing in order to borrow mass from the wall and strengthen the instuments resonance.

The best part is, this is really a very intuitive and natural approach to tuning, being only slightly different than the methd most beginning guitarists learn. It is quick once practiced.

In a real world senario, I had broken a string on my primary guitar during a show. Tech was on it and had the second guitar in my hands in seconds, literally. The very next song, I broke a string on my backup guitar. Thankfully I had a rhythm guitarist in that band and we were doing old school metal stuff, so I was able to bow out just long enough to unwind the string a bit (Always used Edge bridges, strings install backward, like any Floyd, so I never cut them, just have them wound looking like barbed wire). After unwinding the string and setting it in the saddle (all behind the drum riser) I was able to silently retune the guitar, while the band was playing and without checkig the tuner, all before the guitar solo in the song, at which point I made a graceful re-entry.

That is how quickly you can tune with this method, and it doesnt take dog ears or anything, anyone can do it. I have taught musically illiterate dumbasses the technique.

By the way, I stopped using stainless steel picks and stopped playing metal so I do not break strings much anymore. That night was one of those freak occurances, two strings broke less than 10 minutes apart from on another.
I've tried it and it's quite difficult at first but once you get the hang of it it works well. It works well as an emergency skill. although, any time other than being onstage would probably be better using a tuner or the harmonics. You should definately submit this. It's one of those skills that all guitarists should know just for the 'gig from hell' scenario.
Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You.

Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
I'm not as good as you spaivixx, but I've been doing it for ages. It is possible to tell if a guitar is in tune just from vibrations, I just dont know if I can tune it. I'll practice it a bit.