Guitar Tuning and Temperament Primer (revised)

c7sus

Disenfranchised Member
Didn't you read and understand Muttley's opening post? No electronic tuner can make your guitar perfectly in tune for all keys. There are tuning compromises that you have to make, and you have to do them by ear. This is because of Mathematics and Physics.

That was the single most intelligent post VP has ever made on this BBS and you went and slammed him for it.

The Peterson tuners are great and offer tempered tuning options, programmable temperment, and even transposed tunings for use with a capo. I have a VS-II and it is the shit.

The new rack mounted ones are even bosser but not as portable.

Peterson StroboRack | Sweetwater.com

Just because it is an electronic tuner it isn't limited to equal temperament tuning only.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
It's true that a tuner can't make a guitar sound perfect...but I think a very precise tuner can "hear" the notes much more objectively and with greater precision than the human ear....so it makes for a better foundation, but yes, once you're done setting up with the tuner, it's still important to do a final check by ear, as every guitar is different and has different quirks up/down the neck.

I'm a fan of the Peterson virtual strobes...been using one for over 10 years now, but there are others out there. I really find the strobe makes intonating easier/faster, and IMO...more precise. Then for tuning the guitar to a reference/key...it's good to get you most of the way there...but I always do the final "fudge" by ear based on the chords I'm going to be playing and the main position of the neck I'm staying in...though I tend to go for a "broadband" tuning, so that I get the best balance up or down the neck.
Some days a guitar will just fall into tune real easy and sound sweet all over...oither days, same guitar, and the SOB fights you endlessly! :D
 

Bubba po

Tiny Stonehenge Moment
That was the single most intelligent post VP has ever made on this BBS and you went and slammed him for it.

The Peterson tuners are great and offer tempered tuning options, programmable temperment, and even transposed tunings for use with a capo. I have a VS-II and it is the shit.

The new rack mounted ones are even bosser but not as portable.

Peterson StroboRack | Sweetwater.com

Just because it is an electronic tuner it isn't limited to equal temperament tuning only.

Woah! Slight overreaction! :D I did not know that some modern tuners offered tempered-tuning options. It seems that ears are becoming obsolete in this game. :)
 

Bubba po

Tiny Stonehenge Moment
I have had a good understanding of the pros and cons of "Equal Temperament" and "Just Intonation" for decades before I even knew what a "Muttley" was. And no, the ear can not accurately make the intentional compromises necessary for "Equal Temperament" which is by far the most popular tuning used today. The ear can perhaps tune a single chord accurately but then all other chords will be significantly out of tune, hence the development of "Equal Temperament" centuries ago.

VP

BTW: the ratio for "Equal Temperament" is 2 to the 1/12 power or 1.0594630943592952621139457724048

Oh, really? :rolleyes:

BTW: Avogadro's constant for the number of particles in one Mole of a substance is 6.0221415 × 10 to the power 23.
 

Slowrider

STOP Voting!
Woah! Slight overreaction! :D I did not know that some modern tuners offered tempered-tuning options. It seems that ears are becoming obsolete in this game. :)



Just the idea of talking nonstop about tuning, is keeping a lot of good players from ever performing/recording.:cool:
 
Oh, really? :rolleyes:

BTW: Avogadro's constant for the number of particles in one Mole of a substance is 6.0221415 × 10 to the power 23.

Interesting, More fun facts:
The magnitude of the electrical charge of one mole of elementary charges (approximately 6.022×1023, or Avogadro's number) is known as a faraday unit of charge. One faraday is equal to 96485.3399 coulombs. In terms of Avogadro's number, one coulomb is equal to approximately 1.036 × NA ×10−5 elementary charges.
one ampere-hour = 3600 C, 1 mAh = 3.6 C.
The elementary charge is 1.602176487×10−19 C.
One statcoulomb, the CGS electrostatic unit of charge , is approximately 3.3356×10−10 C.
One coulomb is the magnitude of electrical charge in 6.24150965×10 to the 18th power protons or electrons.


VP
 
It took some getting used to the "Moving Bars" in the display but this tuner is great for tuning and setting intonation accurately. It is also interesting using this to compare the accuracy to other tuners. I have used a Sabine for years. When the green light is on in the Sabine the Peterson still shows it is out 6 cents.

VP
 

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Telegram Sam

New member
Great Sticky.

I started playing guitar when I was 7 and played for over twenty five years just fine.
Then I sold all six of my guitars took a 10-12 year break and didn't play again until the end of last year.

I bought a brand new Fender Stratocaster with quality fittings and had it set up,
but no matter how much or careful I am about tuning,
it always sounds out of tune to me when playing chords (especially the G string).

I seriously thought that it might be defective and perhaps
there was something wrong with the factory placement of the frets.

Now I am enlightened and understand why my guitar will never again be perfectly in tune.

I only wonder now why it took me so long to notice, but that is a question that I ask myself often.
 

Isivaa Sanaru

New member
However I double-check my tuning and do it all from the beginning (according to this guide) I can't get my 6th fret 3 (G) in equal balance with my G-strings 12th fret... May it be that my guitar is just out of hope?

P.S. I have the others in tune with each other, I am quite sure of this... I've had this problem for a few years now that I can't get the perfect tuning because some chords will just sound off. Would be great to find a good way of tuning for the best overall sound.
 

muttley600

Banned
However I double-check my tuning and do it all from the beginning (according to this guide) I can't get my 6th fret 3 (G) in equal balance with my G-strings 12th fret... May it be that my guitar is just out of hope?

P.S. I have the others in tune with each other, I am quite sure of this... I've had this problem for a few years now that I can't get the perfect tuning because some chords will just sound off. Would be great to find a good way of tuning for the best overall sound.

If you have some intervals "perfect" then others will not be. It is the nature of the beast. You cannot get all intervals "perfect". That is the point of the explanation provided and the method described will get you pretty close to the next best option. There are other methods but you will still have intervals that will not be perfect.
 

Bubba po

Tiny Stonehenge Moment
I like to store my guitar in a freezing cold lime-washed outhouse for the dampest parts of the year, then bring it into my centrally-heated house at springtime. During this period I like to keep the guitar in its case and alternate between storing soaked sponges in there and numerous activated sachets of anhydrous Calcium chloride and Silica gel.

It keeps the thing on its toes.
 
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