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#1
Do you still need a reference note for the low E string to start you off?... just wondering. How long did it take you to develop the skill?
#2
To get it perfect, I need a reference note. Not necessarily the low E, though. If I don't have one, I still get pretty darn close. I don't know how long it took me to develop the skill, but the only way to learn it is to keep tuning by ear.
#3
If you have nice pithch you can just tune from nowhere if you can remember the sound of a low E. But some songs are a little high or a little low and i can quickly tune all strings up or down a half a step or two.
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#4
I always start at the high e, not the low E. Well I've been playing a good while now, but only a little while back did I put any effort into tuning by ear, I always used a tuner. I've been playing since Sept. 2006.
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#5
I tune to dropped D mostly.

I can get it pretty close without a reference note, which is either a High E or either of the D's.

It took me a few months to develop the skill to pick out notes by ear like that though.
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#6
I don't need a reference. Like...I'm able to think about a song in standard tuning, and hear it in my head, and that vouches for my reference note. It takes me like a minute and a half.
#7
I can get it pretty close without a reference note, but I still need it to get perfect.
#8
The idea behind ear tuning is that everything is correct relative to the low E string. You assume it to be correct. If you're performing with a group, everyone should tune electronically or at least use someone's guitar as a reference pitch.

Knowing the pitch of the E string by heart is known as perfect pitch and few people have it. However, many people including me have heard some notes so many times that we can recognize them.
#9
I thought I could tune my guitar to Drop C pretty well and I played like that for a couple of days, but I still like to have my tuning "perfect" regardless.
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#10
I can usually remember what A440 sounds like or just the open high e-string but whenever i try tuning by straight ear i end up a little flat. i always second-guess myself about going too high.
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#11
OK how do you tune by ear? I want to be able to do that?

And I can tell when she goes a little flat but thats all for right now.
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#12
Years of playing^ lol. Most people aren't blessed with perfect pitch so it's just ear training and practice.
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#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote


Knowing the pitch of the E string by heart is known as perfect pitch and few people have it. However, many people including me have heard some notes so many times that we can recognize them.


+1

the very first note to nothing else matters is an open low E. i've heard that song 10 billion times by now so all i do is play it back in my brain and i get DAMN close IF i'm not dead on.

btw, took me years to be able to do that.
#14
So am I on the right track for perfect pitch because I can hear when it gets out of tune?
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Guitars: Cort g260 w/Vintage strat pickups, Standard Sg coming soon.

Amps.
Ibanez 10 watt bass amp.
Traynor YCV CLASSIC 40 WATT ALL TUBE AMP 2x10 COMBO.

Pedals
Digitech RP150.
#15
uhhh..... *looks to floor*....*looks back up*...

that's nowhere near what perfect pitch is. people with perfect pitch can tell when a note is cents off. it's crazy.
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#16
^ +1

i can hear when my guitar is out of tune to. but sometimes it'll slowly go flat after a week or 2 and i have to stop and think about it and really listen to the low E.
#17
I've been playing since Jan of 2007, but i've only been practicing scales, developing strength and coordination, etc., since November, 07, and i can tune by ear almost perfectly, because doing the scales helps you to memorize notes, and you should in time be able to play a song the whole way through only by listening to it a few times.
#18
Quote by Pat_s1t
and you should in time be able to play a song the whole way through only by listening to it a few times.


really? you should be able to play moonlight sonata in its entirety by only listening to it a few times?
#19
i dont really NEED a reference note, but it wont always be perfect without one.

EDIT: sorry, didnt read the whole topic. it took me a while to develop the skill, probably around a year. dont try to develop it though, just let it come on its own.
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#20
I can tune by ear and come pretty close to the actual pitch of notes without a reference note. However, with a reference note I can get it pretty gosh darn close to perfect (or at least so close that you won't hear it unless you have perfect pitch). My "favourite" reference note is the A string.
#21
I can usually get the low E or A to within 10 or 15 cents, but it might take me a minute. I usually tune the other strings to a chord rather than doing it by harmonics or comparing fretted notes.
#22
My girlfriend has perfect pitch. So when I tune by ear (need a reference note) she gets all bossy at the end, grabs it off me, and then twiddles with it for a LONG time.

It comes back perfect.
#23
I used a tuner for the first few months but not anymore ill usually try to tune it and then start playing a part of something and then touch up from there on the tuning
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#25
I'm going to be the first person to admit it, but I am unable to tune any intervals other than unisons by ear. I use a tuner, and if I do not have one, than I tune using harmonics, and getting them in unison. With my knowledge of harmonics I am able to tune my guitar into any possible tuning using them.
#26
I just don't bother tuning by ear. If I do, I absolutely need a reference. Ah, well...
#28
I tune using different methods. Sometimes but using licks I know, sometimes using my memory, sometimes by playing a riff that's accented on a certain string.
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#29
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#31
I've only been playing for 1 year and I can tune it by ear, even though I commit lots of mistakes. But its fun to completely un-tune your guitar and retune it by ear.
#32
Quote by Pat_s1t
I've been playing since Jan of 2007, but i've only been practicing scales, developing strength and coordination, etc., since November, 07, and i can tune by ear almost perfectly, because doing the scales helps you to memorize notes, and you should in time be able to play a song the whole way through only by listening to it a few times.


That only applies if you're trying to play twinkle twinkle little star.
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#33
Find a song that you like that is in standard tuning (or whatever tuning you're trying to get to), and starts with a note or chord that is held for a bit. A song that I like to use is Harmonium - Rogue Wave. Listen to your song a lot, and get that first chord or note really engraved in your mind. Then, when you have it so that you can hear the note in your head, use it as a reference. Then you can tune the rest of your guitar by ear.

As far as actually tuning by ear, the only way to really get it is to practice. Keep doing it. However, there are a few tricks, such as listening for beats. Beats are the periodic and repeating fluctuations heard in the intensity of a sound when two sound waves of very similar frequencies interfere with one another. When the beats get longer, the two notes you are playing are getting closer together. Eventually, you will hear no beats, and when that happens, your two notes have the same (or at least, really really close to the same) pitch.
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#34
Quote by geetarmanic
Do you still need a reference note for the low E string to start you off?... just wondering. How long did it take you to develop the skill?


I start with A because that is what orchestra's tune to and I know it so well.
#35
Try to sing the intro to Nothing Else Matters inside your head and tune from that.
It's also always easiest for me to have the low E as reference note when i tune.
#36
how I did it, I learned "Since I've been loving you" by Zeppelin. The main intro riff/blues solo/whatever you wanna call it, descends all the way down every string, and it's not distorted. Learn a song like that where you go all the down, it becomes very very obvious when one note is too high or too low if you do it enough, this is of course for tuning purposes only, one song in one key won't help you get perfect pitch.

edit: But after practice I've been able to develop a really good sense of pitch. And if I can do it, anyone can. I gave away my tuner, because I can now stay in concert tuning without a reference note. Tone deaf really means that you can't differentiate the pitch of any note, so if you can tell that the high e sounds higher than the low E you aren't tone deaf and with practice you can learn (at least relatively close to) perfect pitch.
Last edited by farcry at Jun 11, 2008,
#37
I can do it, but i have to have a reference note on a string or else i tune them all half steps down or stufflike that
#38
For some reason, I can always get the B string tuned pretty much perfectly by ear without a reference, and then I can tune all the other strings in relation. It's weird, I can only do that with that string. I have the pitch memorized or something.

If I'm playing with other people though, I give everything a quick once-over with a tuner. Everyone should do that to be professional.
#39
Quote by bananaboy
I have the pitch memorized or something.


yeah, that happens, by playing a certain note on a certain string as the tonal centre to either a major or minor key enough times the note really sinks in, how it's supposed to sound sticks with you. Different strings have different sound qualities to them, remember that there is more to sound than just frequency. There is also timbre and amplitude, both are effected by the string and how you pluck it.
#40
Quote by geetarmanic
Do you still need a reference note for the low E string to start you off?... just wondering. How long did it take you to develop the skill?



I can usually find it by ear. It took some years of playing and tuning guitars. IDK how many exactly.

It's not really a skill, its just a matter of hearing something enough times and memorizing it. For me it just kinda happened, I didn't specifically work at it .
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