Tuning... From A Rusty Approach

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Oh... tuning.  Something so simple and basic... but is it really?

Uh, I don't think so.

To tune correctly, you have to be able to hear... in tune.  And having not played for 12 years or so, well, easier said than done!

For whatever reason, I could not hear correctly.  I consistently managed to tune flat when using a drone.  At the time, flat seemed correct to me.  But I would always double check with a digital tuner that used a digital needle on an LCD screen.  This is how I learned that everything was flat.   So to rehabilitate my ear I would adjust the strings so the meter read correctly.

Eventually, I started to recognize that when the pitch is correct, it has a certain "brightness" that I now listen for.  I am consistent now in hearing the pitch correctly.  But it took some time to make this happen.

And interestingly enough, I still had a few things to learn regarding tuning that my teacher, Wes Dyring (www.DyringMusic.com), has taught me.  I am so grateful to my teacher as he has taught me so much!  Using moderate pressure that is even, with the bow close to the bridge, and using a long and single bow stroke (preferably an up bow) will produce the best sound when tuning.  I've also learned how to properly listen to the two notes being played when tuning, and what exactly "out of tune" and "in tune" sounds like.

Yes, you can indeed master tuning... though I didn't know it was possible.  If you ask me today, I do think I still have yet to master it, but I am working on it and am getting "there"!



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