Electronic tuners. Use 'em?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Munjibunga, Dec 26, 2000.

  1. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, next rant. When our band played 20+ years ago, we used to spend an inordinate amount of time tuning and tuning, only to end up approximately in tune. Our groupies used to harass the crap out of us for all the danged tuning we did. So this go-round, we all agreed that having an electronic tuner was mandatory. Now, everyone takes 60 seconds to tune up, and we all are in tune with each other. Some of us even have rack-mount tuners or Boss stomp-box tuners for quick adjustments.

    So what's the deal with all these "purists" who disdain using electronic tuners? Do they think that every member of the band is going to have an adequate ear to be in tune, and pronto? That list of Bass Player Offenses (over which I am still LMAO) even had it in there. Of course, our good ol' pal Jeff Berlin hates the danged things. Now, I have a good ear, and can tune by ear if I have to, but why the heck would I? I mean, I am TRYING to play some MUSIC here! I WANT to be in TUNE, and I WANT to be in tune NOW! AND I WANT THE REST OF THE BAND TO BE IN TUNE, TOO! SO GIVE ME A BREAK, OK? ... OK? ... OK.
  2. Man, I can tune a piano by ear (no, I can't tuna fish), but I use a rackmount or handheld tuner to tune my bass or guitar. I've even been using it to tune my violin. There's probably a law somewhere in the classical music community that says something against that!
  3. I have a tuner in my rack wouldn't be without one. But, when you tune an orchestral string instrument with one it isn't in tune unless you just tune the "A" and tune the other strings to "0" beat. What bothers me is when I'm tuning to a tuner and some one is saying "your sharp your flat". The other bad thing is to leave the tuner conected and play fretless. Bass guitar, guitar, and pianos tune to a tempered scale which causes beats in perfect intervals. While orchestras tune so there are no beats in perfect intervals, making the enharmonic notes in deferent keys change tuning slightly. So in some cases it is better to tune by ear.
  4. *grabs munji by the shoulders* its ok, calm down, feel the Karma... we feel your pain. :D

    Anyways, I don't know what its like to just push a few buttons on a tuner (chooona) cause i don't have one. I'd like a rack mount one but they're a little expensive (Damn australian dollar), know anywhere i can get a schematic to build a tuner????

  5. I am happy there are electronic tuners that even guitar players can use and afford, sure they still find things to waste everyones time on and complain about but at least they are in tune. Now if you could put "perfect volume" in a box the world would almost be perfect. I have a Korg BT-2 in the bag and a DT-1 on my pedal board, there is also a tuner in my Zoom 506 and also one in the BassPOD. Then again learning to tune is all about learning to hear and I could see how newer players who haven't developed that 'ear' might not be able to hear that they are out of tune.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    With the oldies band, we have to tune to a Vox Jaguar organ, and that thing is never A440. Just do it by ear.

    For the church thing, I tune the Pedulla about once every 3 weeks(not that it needs it) with the Zoom 506.
  7. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK

    However, despite being able to tune by ear, I find it very difficult to do so SILENTLY, which is something I have to do quite often. I let the loser guitar players crowd around the keyboard and hunt for pitch prior to playing, and then drift out of tune as they play. I however, can stomp my trusty Boss TU-2 if I know I'm drifting, and no one is the wiser. I stay in tune with the digital piano, and the guitar players sound wrong (which they are).

    And I don't care if you have a titanium and carbon-fiber bass, intonation changes with temperature. If I bring my bass in from my frozen car (it's been in the teens here lately) it's gonna be sharp, period. And it's gonna go flat as it warms up. Ideally, it'll be nice and toasty by the time I play, but it doesn't always happen that way. An electronic tuner is a tool like anything else, and has it's place.

    Now someone tell the *#^%$*# guitar players.
  8. When I got my first tuner in the 80's I started calling it the argument stopper. It put an end to my band's constant, "you're outta tune-no, you're outta tune" argument.
  9. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    For untold aeons, I tuned by ear. No problem there. But a few years ago, I took a gig with a "cocktail music" band. The bandleader made it very clear that tuning onstage was strictly forbidden, unless it could be done silently. I purchased a rack mount tuner and have used it ever since.

    Personally, I feel that they are a usefull tool. The purists, of course, will disagree. But when the gig starts, I KNOW that I'm in tune. It takes away the guesswork. One less thing that I need to worry about. Know what I mean????
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Really? There are people out there who are against electronic tuners? Electronic tuners are right up there with the invention of round wound strings, and multi track recording systems when it comes to music. It seems to me though, that everyone in the band should tune with the same tuner, because it seems like to different tuners can be out of calibration even if they say they are in tune.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...Being a tone-deaf weasle, tuners are a God-send for me.
    Ever try playing in a club without one? As soon as the band hits their last note of the set, the DJ/house system begins...very LOUDLY, too.
    ...and then there's the hordes of groupies/hotties talking to me as I attempt to tune by ear. :D
    I need the electronic tuner.
  12. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    in this area? where? :D
  13. Laker


    Mar 23, 2000
    The only electonic tuners I have any reservations about are the the type that only read out with LED's and no analog meter. When playing in direct sunlight, the LED's have a tendancy to disappear.

    As far as not using a tuner, maybe the purists shouldn't use an amplifier either. After all, it is not an instrument but rather, just another tool used to perform.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I use a Boss TU-8. Works for guitar (who cares;) and up to six string bass. It has analog (VU with b and # LEDs) and digital indicators for note, built in mic, blah, blah, blah... It's small and it works.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hmm. I thought I was all alone. Never mind.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I'm reminiscing of yesteryear again. I was playing in a Top-40 R&B band & playing places like Rouge's, Pascal's, Peabody's, etc. Those were *the days*, buddy! :D
  17. FyrDogg


    Dec 21, 2000
    I use a rack-mounted Sabine tuner and I will never be without one.

    The controversy revolves around a tempered scale. For those not familiar with a tempered scale, I'll elaborate.

    Most guitarists tune to a tempered scale which has twelve notes at exactly equal intervals. This is actually a compromise so that we can play in any key. A true scale is not in exact intervals. (For example: An A note played in the key of C would be slightly different from an A note played in the key of F) Most of us are so used to a tempered scale that it sounds alright.

    Most purists take themselves too seriously. (But I guess I take myself pretty seriously, too.) We don't have to agree with 'em, just respect 'em.