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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by aborgman, Oct 11, 2013.
What does the band tune to?
The piano. Or tuners if the piano is for sure in 440 tune.
I did a bunch of duo dates with a piano player and the pianos at different venues were all tuned to 440. So I used my tuner.
Piano. Many tuners leave the factories off by a few hz either direction. Plus the 440 A on most pianos is 3 strings - they are never EXACTLY in tune with each other. Intentionally. Part of the charm to their sound. Most tuners have a trimmer on the PC board so they can be tweaked.
BTW: Your atomic clock isn't really that accurate either it just has the benefit of resynchronizing each night. Get a couple and see how far off they get during the day - but they are dead-on in the wee hours of the morning.
To the piano, or at least calibrate your tuner to the piano. Best thing is to play a fretless with an acoustic piano, it's a LOT easier!
Have you ever tuned a piano? It takes the better part of 3 hours.
Even better, play a regular bass with a fretless piano. Yeah.
But if you need to transpose, where do you get a piano capo?
Then tune my bass accordingly. If the piano is a few cents sharp, that's how I tune my bass, if the piano is flat, I tune flat. If I need to ret une later in the gig, I don't need to bother the pno player (or the audience).
I play gig with old timers who did all of their gigs with the house piano. Once the piano was more than a 1/4 step flat.
The piano player did everything up a half step and the horn players tuned accordingly.
The nightmare gigs for those guys was when the band had a piano and accordion on the same gig.
You're on the money there. Regarding tuning, how you attack a note and how you set up your instrument -viz. action + fret height affects a note envelope and its pitch.
Tuning to anything else, unless it's in tune with the piano, means that things are out of tune.
Why can't pianists just take time to tune during setup?
They could, if setup started at least six hours before the gig on a good day.
I saw Bruce Hornsby play, (great show btw) and he had a piano tuner come out mid-set and tune his piano while Bruce told a short story.
Never seen that before!
They often do, at least the classical and jazz shows tend to have a tuner come out pre-show at many venues.
Wow--- that beats the time I saw him.
He opened for Bonnie Raitt in New Haven, CT, the piano was being tuned about a half hour before the show--
mid set?, sounds anal, but some folks with perfect pitch can feel disturbed with the slightest variance.
Sometimes a piano can go out of tune during the show if it hasn't been acclimatized to the room.
But even under normal circumstances, tuning to the piano is one of many reasons to learn how to tune your instrument by ear.
Anybody that plays a fretless piano with lines sucks.
I'd tune to the piano, unless the piano is out of tune with itself. If that is the case, I'll tune with a tuner. It's good to check the piano with the tuner too, to be aware of it, and to be able to silently retune during the breaks using the tuner and an approximate +- compensation.