#1
I have been playing for a little over a year. I have kinda attempted to ear tune a few times since i have started maybe about 6 times definaltly under a dozen, I have been using an electronic tuner. I made a valient attempt at ear tuning to day and got like the first 3 strings in tune after some work then became a little frustrated. I can always tell if im out of tune or if i don't have the guitar in tune, and can always get it close but i have a difficult time getting it spot on. The timbres of the guitar really screw with my head especially with the higher strings. open strings have a much twanger tone so i always wanted to believe they are highter pitched then they are for example. Is there anyway to easily ignore the timbres i heard about harmonic tuning but haven't tried it yet because i heard something about how you are not souposed to tune them exactly to each other or something like that so i wanted to ask someone before i seriously tried it. Also if i can't already do it am i kinda ****ed in the ear tuning department?
#2
Use harmonics instead to tune, you can hear the difference easier. Tune the 7th fret A string to the 5th fret E string. 7th fret D to 5th fret A. 7th Fret G to 5th Fret D. 5th fret B to 4th fret G. 7th fret E to 5th fret B
#3
ear tuning just takes alot practice to be able to do it whenever/wherever. i dont think its one of those things you should actually sit and practice, it will just come with time, the more you play, the faster it will come. you'll get it in your head what each note sounds like from playing it so often, itll be no problem.
Gear

Gibson Shred-X Explorer
Epiphone Negative Explorer w/ EMG 80/60
ESP LTD EC QM200
Ibanez RG321 w/ EMG 81/60

Peavey 5150
Mesa Boogie 4x12 Slant cab

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#4
yeah part of my problem might be that i have only recenly gotten picky about my guitar being in near perfect tuning i have a guitar that slips a lot. I just feel owned because today i had one of my singer friends come over and i tried to teach her some guitar but she had a hell of a time with the dexterity of it, but i tested to see if she could ear tune it (she listened i turned the pegs) and she was much better then it, i felt OWNED
#6
Quote by shtiming
^She's a singer. To be a GOOD singer you need to have a GOOD ear


yea, theres nothing like trying to tune your voice... singers have to be a lot better than we do, because we can just plug in and tune up.

just try to do it whenever you feel the guitar is out of tune... my only beef with this is that when i tune one string to another (make it so that at least the guitar is in tune with itself), very rarely are the strings tuned to what theyre supposed to be. usually im like 1/4 step flat or sharp, which is really irritating when youre trying to play along to a song or a backing track, because you sound off even if youre hitting the right notes... so i end up getting the electronic tuner out in the end anyway.

i should probably mention that i think theres something wrong with my guitar, as it frequently goes out of tune while im playing it. im thinking the string gauge is too high, though i dont know how to or if i can adjust the guitar to handle it.
#7
Quote by shtiming
^She's a singer. To be a GOOD singer you need to have a GOOD ear

lol danm i technically am to she just owns me, instead of a pro singer im along the lines of the only one willing to do it, so im kinda getting more pitch concerned. that and chicks always own guys at singing high voices just tend to sound better (unless its a high whinny guy)
#8
Quote by ferretman
Use harmonics instead to tune, you can hear the difference easier. Tune the 7th fret A string to the 5th fret E string. 7th fret D to 5th fret A. 7th Fret G to 5th Fret D. 5th fret B to 4th fret G. 7th fret E to 5th fret B

I heard something about having to tune a bit above the harmonic does that make sence or is wherever i heard it from full of crap?
#9
Nah, full of it. If you use the harmonic method you quoted each pair of harmonics will oscillate, or kind of warble if out of tune. The slower it oscillates the closer it is to in tune. When it stops and sounds like one note, it's there. Almost foolproof, except when the strings are really dead, then nothing will help. Give them a proper burial.

If you're having trouble staying in tune, make sure you always go below the proper pitch and come up to it, never drop down to pitch if it's sharp. If the strings are tight in the nut slots, which they usually are, it will go out of tune soon as you bend a note or start playing hard. And make sure you have no more than three wraps on the tuning posts, I prefer 2 myself.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
It takes time and practice to develop a good ear. If you try to tune by ear every day when you pick up your guitar you will notice a difference.

Try singing along to a song you like (without playing guitar) and actually hitting the notes that the singer is hitting. This is an excellent way to tune your ear.

Try tuning your guitar by ear. Once you have it in tune play a major scale and try to sing the notes in tune.

All of these are simple but effective ways to help train your ear, and they are most effective when practiced daily.
#11
Quote by Paleo Pete
Nah, full of it. If you use the harmonic method you quoted each pair of harmonics will oscillate, or kind of warble if out of tune. The slower it oscillates the closer it is to in tune. When it stops and sounds like one note, it's there. Almost foolproof, except when the strings are really dead, then nothing will help. Give them a proper burial.

If you're having trouble staying in tune, make sure you always go below the proper pitch and come up to it, never drop down to pitch if it's sharp. If the strings are tight in the nut slots, which they usually are, it will go out of tune soon as you bend a note or start playing hard. And make sure you have no more than three wraps on the tuning posts, I prefer 2 myself.


Wait two things, one how do you judge if strings are dead? I understand when they kinda are dead tone wise (which doesn't really matter to me as i hardly ever play plugged in and i dislike my amps tone as well so the dream of good tone is currently non existant) and i never really change strings, I am one of those people who waits tell a string breaks before i swap out all the strings. both my guitars right now have had there strings on them for at least a half year and probably a lot longer because there both from pawn shops and i didn't change the strings when i bout them. also your only to have 3 top wraps on the tuners? I thought the more wraps the better it will stay in tune, explain?
#12
how do you judge if strings are dead?


Usually they get rusted or corroded, black looking, even playing every day when you'll tend to rub some corrosion off a bit by playing. They also start sounding dull and lifeless, sustain goes out the window. Unplugged too. (unplugged your guitar should still sound decent and have some ring and sustain.) Once you get accustomed to listening for it, strings won't stay in tune well, and if you put the guitar on a tuner chords will still sound out of tune even though you just tuned it 10 seconds ago. Usually it's one or more strings are dead and not vibrating the same as new ones, and probably stretching differently just pushing them onto the frets, and it will go out of tune. Sometimes the twist on the ball end will get weak and start relaxing too.

Quite often you start to hear the strings pop and ping while tuning. That's the rust and corrosion grabbing and letting go in the nut slots. On a level you can't see without magnification the strings are getting pitted, that accounts for some of the pinging too. That's a sure sign of dead strings, especially on my floating bridges, since I keep graphite in those for lubrication to help offset tremolo arm tuning problems. When they start to ping I know they're really dead.

If your strings are more than 6 months old, they are probably very dead. I change mine no less than once a month, if I can afford it, and when I'm playing onstage no guitar ever goes more than 2 gigs on a new set, then they get changed. That's a strict rule, I start popping strings in the middle of the 2nd night if I only play one guitar, and even changing all the guitars every other gig I still pop strings now and then. I normally keep 6 or 7 electrics, an acoustic and a lap steel onstage. At least 4 of these get new strings every gig, the lap steel can handle 4 or 5 gigs, it doesn't get used much and it has lots heavier .011 strings instead of the .009 on everything else but with the exception of two tele copies with .010 for slide. I use so many guitars for three reasons:

1. Different sounds. Strat, dual humbuckers, hollow body, the Peavey Patriot is a telecaster single coil setup on a strat body and really clean and chimey compared to the much fuller and fatter sounding strat or hollow body Cort CL-1500.

2. Tuning. I beat them out of tune pretty fast no matter what I do, I play hard onstage and pretty much beat the crap out of them. and I hate to be out of tune, I also refuse to tune onstage. I do that during breaks. At home they stay in tune even played every day quite well, sometimes for over a week. I might have to tweak one string here and there, that's about it. I don't play anywhere near as hard when I practice. I probably have some salt, oils or enzymes in my skin guitar strings don't like too and it's more pronounced when gigging, playing all night as opposed to an hour or so a day at home. When I'm gigging they're there to be played, not babied...

3. Alternate tunings. I keep usually 4 guitars in standard tuning so if - no, when - one drops out of tune I can just grab another, one in open G, one in open D, one in drop D plus the acoustic and lap steel. They rarely last more than 3 or 4 songs except the slide guitars.

I thought the more wraps the better it will stay in tune, explain?


More wraps on the tuning post means more wraps to stretch at the worst possible time, like during the intro to that song that needs a very clean guitar and you do it by yourself...first time you bend a string and you have a lot of wraps, plus tuned down to the note you want instead of up, all that extra string stretches and you're going down in flames...I've done that soooo many times...

More wraps also usually don't fit as tight on the post except the first 1 1/2 to 2 wraps, that allows even more chance to stretch. If they are layered on top of each other, 6 wraps or more sometimes, you really have some serious stretch and they can also dig in between each other and suddenly jump between the lower wraps, PING you're out of tune.

Overall, less string length behind the nut means less string to stretch and come out of tune. Strangely enough, the strings will actually hold tuning better with only 1 1/2 to 2 wraps, instead of as many as you can fit in one layer. I really don't know that much about the physics of it, but I know my tuning problems suddenly dropped to almost nothing when I started cutting the strings only 1 1/4' to 1 1/2" too long and going with no more than 2 or 2 1/2 wraps on the tuning pegs. 1 1/2 wraps works just as well, even on my Strat style floating bridges.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#13
Quote by charliec364
both my guitars right now have had there strings on them for at least a half year and probably a lot longer


in my opinion, you need to play harder (get into it)... during shows/performances, be sure to keep the intensity level down enough so you dont snap strings, but still, gotta get really into it.. thats where the tone is!
#14
Quote by Guitar_Poet
in my opinion, you need to play harder (get into it)... during shows/performances, be sure to keep the intensity level down enough so you dont snap strings, but still, gotta get really into it.. thats where the tone is!

lol i think i play hard enough i had a reputation for how hard i used to play people couldn't focus on there acoustic guitars because they could hear my unplugged electric to well i have been working on playing softer actually lol.
#15
Don't just improve your ability to tune by ear. Improve your ear overall. Start singing up and down the major scale. Sing intervals and triads. Your ear is your most important asset.