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Old 04-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Continental Europe
Posts: 288
Default Re: Ears versus Tuners

Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
My wife has been playing violin in a rock band for about a year. She has an electronic clip on tuner and everyone has been trying to get her to use it and she just won't! I think she should, because it would be a very fast way to check that she hasn't drifted out of tune. The guitarist tunes his instrument with an electronic tuner, so he's always going to be close to 440. Even if she wanted to fine tune by ear, at least she could use it to know when to tune.
I agree, in this scenario it's very useful. In a band setting, being in tune with everyone else is much more important than being in tune with yourself, and hardly anyone can hit A 440 without the aid of a tuner. It is also very difficult to tune a violin by ear when you have two minutes between songs and the banjo player next to you has decided to re-tune at the same time as you, while the lead singer is jabbering away over the microphone: in this case a clip-on tuner is the only reasonable option.

Violins drift a bit less than bagpipes, but they still require re-tuning after (ideally) every set. Another advantage is that if the setting is too loud to hear your own instrument (which must be true if it's a rock band!), you can tune visually by using a clip-on tuner.

EDIT: I do realize this reply is not really bagpipe related, but it does demonstrate the point that sometimes ears are not enough. (Re-EDIT: I figured out why when I typed "ears are not enough" the phrase sounded suspiciously familiar... )

Last edited by Helvetica; 04-17-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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