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Tallpiper 03-22-2008 10:01 AM

Tuner Notes
I have the little Korg chromatic tuner, and was working on tuning my chanter. I can tell by ear when it's in tune, but I'd like to know what notes to see on that tuner. Here's what I see:
Tuning to 480:

G A B C# D E F# G A

All looks & sounds good, I'd just like to hear some thoughts on those sharps. Are the above notes what I should be seeing on the tuner?

keydetpiper 03-22-2008 05:03 PM

Re: Tuner Notes
As best as I can tell, those notes are correct. It has to do with the key of the pipe scale: what we call F and C are actually F# and C#. Since my knowledge of music theory is shaky at best, I'll stop there.

OKiepiper2 03-22-2008 05:31 PM

Re: Tuner Notes
Tuning your pipes with the Korg is risky if you do not understand the difference between just tuning (pipes) and even tempered (the Korg, piano etc). Search the archives there are a ton of discussions on this. Suffice it to say, tune only your low A, high A and E to the Korg. Learn to tune the rest to the drones. Actually learn to tune them to a drone first!

And yes, it is C# and F#. Sometimes you will see this in a key signature, but just as often not. Since there is no capacity to play those note as naturals (without some false fingerings) the key signature is really not a functional aid for piping.

Rojellio 03-22-2008 06:43 PM

Re: Tuner Notes
For notes other than low A (Bb/A#) & high A (Bb/A#)... ANY needle & green light type tuner is going to be dreadful at best. You must take into account the cents offset for all the other notes. Those offsets can be found at Ewen McPherson's Tuning pages (i dont know the link off hand, google it)

The needle will give you a ballpark approximation of cents. It is every bit as accurate as a grenade. To achieve any sort of accuracy at all with a tuner, it must calibrate to cents. There is exactly one brand of tuner that calibrates to individual cents (or 1/10ths if you really want), that brand is Peterson. Even then with that sort of accuracy, and programmability.. the final judge is your own ear. Its your shoulder that a very loud instrument is going to be resting on, it should sound good to you.

After Peterson, my second choice of Tuner would be the "pitchpipe" bagpipe tuning software.

fifefighter 03-22-2008 07:42 PM

Re: Tuner Notes

Here is info on the Korg tuner from Kinnaird.

I think after you tune Low A and High A, the relationship of the notes as you go up the scale is important when tuning. Jim McGillivray's Pipes Up DVD makes tuning easy, takes practice though and listening to the pros pipes to train the ear.

bob864 03-24-2008 09:28 AM

Re: Tuner Notes
I frequently use a tuner to diagnose issues with my chanter. When one note is *way* out I can hear that it's wrong, but not always exactly how. (and yes, C and F both have sharps).

So if you get the chanter balanced for low-a/high-a with the needle centering, I have a picture that shows the rest. I got the information from the Kinnaird website:

Robin Beck 03-25-2008 01:27 AM

Re: Tuner Notes
The above certainly would not work with a small pipe, but at the end of the day it is like hanging a painting with a plumb-bob or playing Balmoral Highlanders to a metronome! :shrug:

pancelticpiper 03-26-2008 05:35 AM

Re: Tuner Notes
That's a great diagram, Bob. I've put little dots of whiteout on student's electronic tuners to convey the same thing (but in a crude manner, one blob for F# and C# at -15).

Of course beginners usually can't blow steadily enough for such things to be of much use.

My ear has eventually developed to the point where I can mouth-blow a pipe chanter and know pretty well where the scale is off.

Tallpiper 03-26-2008 05:49 AM

Re: Tuner Notes
Thanks for all the help on my question. I do very well tuning by ear, but wasn't sure what I should be seeing on the tuner (regarding the sharps) Bob, great diagram....thanks.

OKiepiper2 03-26-2008 05:59 AM

Re: Tuner Notes

My ear has eventually developed to the point where I can mouth-blow a pipe chanter and know pretty well where the scale is off.
That is excellent and what we should be striving towards. Training the ear is every bit as important as training fingers and blowing technique. It takes dedicated practice time to do this. Learn to hear what "in-tune" sounds like.

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