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In The Days Of Yore, Before Electronic Tuners...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by CCK1, May 1, 2021.

  1. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    It wasn't always fun, but once you got tuned, you had a few minutes to chat with the ladies
     
  2. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    You tried to be a ska band and you know it.
     
  3. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I literally "topped " all the music exams as a ten years old. So they made me first trombonist in an orchestra in order to learn/ attain perfect pitch.
    I'm old now ( 65) and can still tune to within two cents ( that's those lines on a good tuner +or - 50 cents per # or b.)
    The Vietnamese have a perfect pitch rate of 40% as their first word is Ma - mother.
    However there are six intonations on that word. Very admirable people in all ways.
     
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  4. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

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    I recently bought another vintage SF Fender amp and found that same brand pitch pipe hiding behind the Reverb bag in the bottom of the amp. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. Now stashed away in a tool box.
     
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  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    We tuned against a keyboard of of no keyboard player was in the band, the sax. We also used a pitch pipe type guitar tuner or a Hohner Marine Band harmonica. Playing in coffee houses I tuned a half step down unless there were other musicians who wanted to jam. It was an ordeal. My 1962 Fairlane 500 has a barely functioning heater and no AC. A guitar was never in tune coming out of the trunk or off the back seat. My girl friend had to be warmed up or cooled off after a car ride too.
     
  6. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

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    We tuned to the first note of Driver 8 by REM... (Low E).

    I can't remember what brand my first tuner was, but I was entranced by the red and green lights bubbling back and forth and thought it was the greatest invention ever.

    Edited to add: Now when I'm somewhere without a tuner, I can get pretty close by just imagining that first note of Driver 8 and tuning to the sound in my brain.
     
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  7. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Meister

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    We used tuning forks, no big deal, though I suppose they'd vary some with temperature and altitude. I often had the impression with my classical (all I played at the time) that either my ears or the guitar were kind of wavering around a note; my first electonic tuner (they relied on microphones then) told me that the guitar actually was wavering.
     
  8. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Afflicted

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    Another tuning memory... My first band (we were punk by default) lasted 2 1/2 years before we realized we were supposed to be tuned to each other. Before that, we just tuned each of our guitars to themselves by ear with no reference note. A joyful noise.
     
  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup. I remember arguing about who was in tune and who wasn't, and rarely did we all agree.
     
  10. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I carried a 440 tuning fork in my guitar case. I would press it against some kind of bone structure (side of my head was my favorite), so it came through loud and clear for me and me alone.

    For a few years, if I was in a spot, I would nudge my cat, who would produce an Eb.

    At one time, I would sing the lowest stable note that I could reach. At the time, it would give me a low
    E. But as I grew manlier and manlier, so the pitch would go lower and lower.

    At home these days, I use the Fender guitar tuning page.
     
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  11. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Tuning fork, harmonics, compare. Repeat.
     
  12. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The first youtube blues song I would play along with was Wolf's version of Dust My Broom. Unfortunately, the sax in the recording was out of tune.
     
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  13. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    This thing pre-dates any of us:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Boss tuner throughout the late '70's-'90's.

    It was bit bigger than a transistor radio.

    It worked reasonably well and made it through a lot of rough places and handling.

    I actually think that I still have it somewhere...
     
  15. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I tune to my piano...
    thumb piano, that is...
    Now, I know what you are thinking - 'don't be stupid - how can you tune a guitar to that!?'
    Well, yes of course it only has five keys - but one of them works for 2 strings - easy!
     

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  16. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never owned or had the need for a tuner. My mom bought me an A440 tuning fork when I was a kid. A440 was the dominate note, but there was a little E-flat overtone in there too! Kinda like when my kids or friends tink on a glass and ask me to name the note, it's usually two or even three notes (this is a common dinner trick at my house). My son has an electric tuner, he nor my daughter inherited my sense of pitch. It's good for getting in the ballpark, but there is a difference between 'a perfectly tuned and intonated' guitar using an electric tuner and a guitar that sounds good playing chords in all positions.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  17. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Holic

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    Back in the day before we had the organ player (Farfisa Duo Compact) we would tune using a key of C Marine Band harmonica.
    I also seem to remember that when the guitar player got the Vox Super Beatle, we tuned to the 'E' tone (I think) it generated.
    To this day I'll use a harmonica to tune if I'm too lazy to plug in the pedal board, or get the tuner out. :)
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That difference is by definition a function of your left and right hands, and the compromises each player finds acceptable. It has nothing to do with using a tuner pedal.
     
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  19. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    By ear usually to be honest. Still works. I use a tuner for quickness though.
     
  20. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Like all of us, I had the pitch, still have my A440 fork and the Pleistocene Peterson Tuner noted here.

    You have a very enviable skill.
    I'm light years away from it.

    But....when I am playing guitar I can tell when *something* is out of tune.
    I'm just unable to hear what string it is.
    Same when playing with others....I hear the dissonance but cannot home in on it exactly.
    Being 74 now doesn't help much either in better training my ears. :)

    Have a good one....
     
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