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Tonal Center Practice Tool

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by rockness, Jul 2, 2004.


  1. rockness

    rockness

    Jul 30, 2003
    Stratford, CT
    Don't know where else to post this, so if it's in the wrong spot, sorry about that.

    http://www.fretlessguitar.com/guitarsite/school.html

    I found this site yesterday while surfing the net...The 'Tonal Center' creates a 'harmonically neutral' static key. I hear overtones, so I guess I don't understand fully what 'harmonically neutral' means, but anyway...

    I'm looking for something to practice my intonation with, so I figured I'd give it a shot. One question though, as far as drones are concerned, would this be better than a constant loop from something like a midi?
     
  2. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    Interesting website. I really don't understand what tonal center is either.
    I turned on my tuner to see what would happen, it recognized some of the keys but they showed up flat. I know it is suppose to play the key, so the tuner might not be able to find a note.
    I'm not really sure how I could practice to this, but I'll try and see what happens.
    I think for intonation you need a drone pitch, like one note repeated. My metronome has an "A" drone for tuning. My teacher said it could be used as a drone pitch to practice to also.
     
  3. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    Should we assume that "harmonically neutral" is the same as "without overtones?"

    It's odd this is posted today, to me. I have been practicing for years the exact opposite. Stopping octaves and fifths to increase the richness of the sound. DB, that is. I was going to mention it today and restrained myself. Almost.

    A great way to get more sound and greater richness out of the DB is to stop octaves, 5ths, 3rds, and anything else in the low range of the overtone series.

    Play low G on the E string. Stop the octave, and you've got 3 strings playing. Much richer tone. Not only that, you can see if happening, very clearly.

    BG and electric guitar players don't seem to enjoy the overtone series. And practicing to a "tone," IMO, should be done to a 3rd or m3rd, 6th, m6th, which is "ear stuff." 5th is also good if you can tolerate it.

    Tuning to a minor triad is much more effective than tuning to a flat tone - again, IMHO.

    Surely, they still teach "ear training" in music schools.
     
  4. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    Forgive me for a dumb question but what is "Stopping the octave"?
    Never heard of that before, maybe because I've just started.
     
  5. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    Excuse me. For starters, play low G on the E string with 1st finger. Simulataneously with 4th finger crunch the octave G on the D string. Bow feverishly (or easy, whichever), watch the three strings all playing at once. Sympathetic vibrations. Same with all octaves, many fifths, and also a good way to redistribute/reduce the impact of a wolf note. In fact you may make it disappear completely, depending on the case.

    As those strings vibrate, someimes considerably, they too are producing tone, within the overtone series. (The overtone series happens actually occurs on the string that you are playing, this enables you to hear them).

    Same as a piano -put one finger on a low C, hold octave C key down, maybe a fifth above, a 3rd, and a 6th, then play the C at the bottom. you should hear a number of overtones corresponding to those notes. That (and much more) goes into you note when you play it. After learning to hear these, you can finally recognize them without holding them down as you play the low C. That's just basic ear training, or part of it.

    Overtones enrich the sound. Removing them creates a flat, sterile tone. I suggest that this is one major diff between what the electronic folks are after, and what the acoustic folks are doing. Acoustic folks have this rihc overtone series to work with. That's a good portion of the appeal of acoustic instruments. That may be a muddy explanation, but I hope not.
     
  6. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    So, I just bow the low "G" and hold the octave down. Then the "A" string and the high "G" octave will produce overtones because of residual vibration from bowing the low "G"?
     
  7. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    Well - Bow the low G, hold down the G on the D string. The G string will also get touched off. It's more interesting if you paint a little white dot on each string, maybe half way up (down). A won't go off unless you are holding down a 5th, as "D." With a little experimentation, you can touch 'em all off, but it's not an orchestral technique! Stopping octaves is however, for me. I like to stop octaves and sometimes 5ths.

    Watch the little white dots as you paractice. They are informative.
     
  8. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    Thanks for the help. I tried it and it worked.
    I never realized that could be done. The sound is full compared to just holding down the low G.
    Now I'll be experimenting.