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Do I really need a tuner pedal?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RoscoeElegante, May 7, 2017.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Not bein' snarky about those who have 'em, just doubtful I need one.

    Playing at home/recording, I get a "pure" note off our piano, and tune to that. Otherwise, I tune to the pitch(es) that work best for my singing, a particular song, etc. I use a clip-on tuner when playing somewhere I don't/won't have a keyboard to root on.

    In the band, we go from a piano/keyboard note as well. We can tell when a string or two have slipped/stuck and adjust pretty much on the fly. And/or we're tuning to the pitch that works best for a particular singer, song, etc.

    Seems to work okay.

    Sometimes we play with a guy who has a clip-on tuner and it's a pain to get him to stop fiddling with trying to match every string to its ideal open note. Plus, since every guitar is finnicky with how it best tunes, anyway, matching string to ideal note can mess up whether a particular guitar is in tune for a song in this or that key.

    What am I missing/messing up here?
     
  2. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    Musicians did this for many years before the pedal and the headstock tuners came along. If you are comfortable with doing it that way, good for you. It comes down to good ears for accuracy.
     
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  3. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think you necessarily need a tuner pedal. But I also have no idea what in the world the quoted paragraph above means.
     
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No. Get a good quality headstock tuner. TC Electronics is excellent with a very firm grip. The Tuner pedal is ff my board since I got mine.
     
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  5. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Certain guitars don't sound as good for certain songs because of specific overtones, which may be caused by the exact position on the pickups, or overtones caused by the hardware or whatever.
     
  6. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I think he is just stating that some guitars still need slight tuning tweaks after all open strings are tuned relative to each other. Some people even prefer to "sweeten" the tuning. James Taylor for instance. That is my interpretation. I could be wrong. I often am.
     
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  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you dont want people hearing you tune, yes. Taking the time between songs to tune 'old school' might not come off as very professional. Outdoor gigs can be a nightmare for tuning issues.
    Having a mute function, to me, is just too nice to pass up. There are better times and places to work on your 'relative pitch'. I do get what you mean about finding the 'pocket' for a given guitar. My G and B strings go one LED flat on my tuner when tuning, otherwise I get an intonation thing that drives me nuts!!! And my guitar strobes out perfectly on the tuner all the way up the neck. Must be a perception thing or my ham-fisted playing...

    Every time I roll my volume pedal off it directs the signal to my tuner. Its great if I need tune during a song. Never going back.
     
  8. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    No, you don't need a pedal tuner, but they do come in handy. A clip on is fine most of the time if you really don't want a pedal tuner.
    The biggest advantage of using a tuner is "silent tuning"... IMO - nothing is worse than listening to one or more people tune their instruments during a show.

    I would assume this is digital... and if so, it's the same note a tuner would have you match.

    I don't disagree, but this would have nothing to do with tuning... just sayin'.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Probably not, but they have to do with what key the song is in and the notes used.
     
  10. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    No.

    If you're happy with your tuning as it stands, why complicate matters?
     
  11. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

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    Obviously not but if you play in a fairly vigorous band clip on tuners will eventually fly off, no one wants to hear you tune by ear and the ability to mute is not just for tuning but also swapping instruments and generally dealing with onstage chaos.
     
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  12. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm still flummoxed by "tuning the guitar for the ideal open note" being an undesirable thing to where you're complaining about the other guitarist being in tune. "the ideal open note" is just the note guitar is supposed to be tuned to, so that it plays in harmony with the other instruments.

    Also I'm really confused how being out of tune has anything to do with what "fits the singer's voice." You aren't talking about alternate tunings or whatever, you're talking about being out of tune.

    And yes, they got by without tuners "back in the old days." Have you ever heard a recording of a Jimi Hendrix concert? He spends like 1-4 minutes between every song getting the bassist to give him a note and then tuning. With a modern pedal you can be in tune in less than 20 seconds.
     
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  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think they are indispensable if you gig.
     
  14. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Any type of "visual" tuner is a must if you play live, especially in a noisy bar.
    It's also good to check that each string player's tuner is set to the same frequency.
     
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  15. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    Right, but he's not talking about different keys or alternate tunings. He's talking about the string not being in pitch.
     
  16. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    No. A headstock tuner works fine on the gig for me, volume on the guitar off. I keep one clipped to my mic stand during the set in case I need it, which is seldom since I stretch strings well when changing. I don't want extra cable and electronics between my guitar output and the input of my amp. Less is more IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  17. the_lyall

    the_lyall Telepathetic

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    I've always used a piano, tuning fork or little plug-in tuner, never had a clip on for a variety of reasons. Relatively recently I got a pedal tuner (Mooer Baby Tuner) and it's just so much more convenient. It's on my pedal board so it's already powered up if I need it, it mutes everything when I use it, it's got a big bright display that I can see and it just works.

    I don't think a tuner pedal is a necessity, but I personally find it more convenient than anything else I've had. Plus I hear that clip on tuners are relatively easy to lose compared to something that's secured to a pedal board (if you have one).

    If a string slips I just use my ears to correct it, the tuner is for 'setting' the guitar in tune every now and then across the strings.

    EDIT: Just realised this is post 440 of mine... And it's about tuning! Freaky...
     
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  18. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    What I mean there is that if you tune a guitar to a perfect note, it will likely be off with itself somewhere. Some tuning "cheating" is often needed.

    Let's say that you tune your A and G strings to perfect A and G notes. But when you shape a basic D chord, your G string pressed to the A note may be somewhat sharp with your open A string. No matter how perfectly the nut cut, the set up, the frets, etc., guitars have some kind of tuning imperfection that sometimes need strings to be cheated a bit sharp/flat to maximize them being in tune in general across the keys, fretted notes, etc. Some have to be retuned a bit to that they're in tune in certain keys. E.g., I have two that, despite being perfectly set up, need their B and G strings cheated a bit flat in the tuning if I'm playing in the keys of E and A vs the keys of G, C, D, etc.

    So, yes, what Radiohead, like others, said above:
    "Certain guitars don't sound as good for certain songs because of specific overtones, which may be caused by the exact position on the pickups, or overtones caused by the hardware or whatever."
     
  19. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm with you, buddy.

    In a band situation, I got one night from the keyboard, usually a D, and self-tune from there.

    At home, a cheap headstock tuner, and STILL just on one note and self-tuning from there.
     
  20. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Not saying that being tuned to ideal note is undesirable. Just that given the imperfections of one guitar, compounded by that of another, and a bass, sometimes one must deviate from the ideal note to get the imperfect instruments maximally in tune. E.g., if the fretted G string is a bit sharp on the 3rd fret for two of the guitars, then cheating the open G string a biiiit flat might be in order, making the ideal G note a reference point but not exactly our setting.

    The intention is not to be out of tune for a singer, or generally, but to adjust for imperfections nimbly enough to minimize being out of tune. Let's say the song is in C, but the singer sings it best just a little sharp of C. So tuning to accommodate that (when we're not using keyboards or something else making us stick to ideal pitch) is what we'd do. Again making the ideal note just a reference point.

    I don't like to hear endless tuning fiddling, either. I grumble, "I can do that myself." But if a well-synched band can tune quickly and has to tune variously, I was asking what advantages the tuning pedal offered.
     
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