Another way to look at pitch matching issues...

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by WashburnAB95, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. WashburnAB95


    Nov 18, 2013
    I hope this the correct forum for this. I want to come clean and admit <gasp> I have trouble matching pitch. Sometimes I do better at it than other times.

    Just becasue I hvae this trouble I believe I am in no way tone deaf. I acutally think I have a very fine ear for music. If an instrument is out of tune it bothers me just as much as the next guy.

    Where I think a big part of my problem comes in is hearing the differnce between pitch and timber. I can conceptualize it but I have trouble hearing it sometimes. Here let me explain...

    This is how you are taught to tune a guitar..... You fret one string at the 5th fret and and you strike that string and the adjacent one and you adjust the second string till they sound the same. To my ears the timber is so differn't that the two strings never quite sound the same to me. Does this make sense? As I have become more skilled I have learned to listen for the beats and have learned to use harmonics.

    So my question is something like this... How do I train my brain to listen to the fundamental tone and less to all the overtones?
  2. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013
    Hmm that's odd but unique. I used to kind of have this problem with tuning and training my ear a bit I bought a tuner so I wouldn't fake my self out. Whatever tuning method works for you. Sometimes the harmonics come along more clearer to the human ear and same goes with the 5th fret technique. I'm the exact opposite. It never sounds the same when I use harmonics. It's perfectly normal and you can train your brain by just playing and listening to the notes as you play in a certain key. This is kind of how I trained my brain to match pitch. A good example would be octaves.

    I don't know if you can really train your brain or ear to hear the "fundamental tone" it just has to come along naturally.
  3. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I also use the 5th fret harmonic to tune my bass. Yes, I also use a tuner, but it's a very good idea to learn to tune your instrument by ear. I always listen to the vibrations that two slightly out-of-tune strings make and tune up until the vibrations stop.
  4. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Yeah comparing the 5th and 7th fret harmonics on neighbouring strings is a lot easier.

    It's also a lot easier to tune (roundwound) strings that are fresh. Once they start to dull it's more difficult to determine the pitch.
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Different string will have different timber-
    when tuning I 'exclude' the timber differential and only listen for the 'beat' which I then tune out.
  6. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013
    Actually your strings might be off balance too.