Author Topic: Guild of American Luthiers tuning  (Read 603 times)

lars

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Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:15:04 PM »
Does anybody else use this method?

PROCEDURE:

Tuning the 1st and 6th strings: The E, open 1st string, must be in pure unison with the harmonic of the E, 6th string at the fifth fret. When these two strings have been properly tuned with each other, continue as follows. Tuning the 4th string: Play a harmonic on the (in tune) 6th string at twelve, and as this harmonic sounds, adjust the 4th string until the tone E on the second fret is in pure unison. Now you have the E, open 1st string, 1st on the 4th string at two, and E, open 6th string tuned pure (permissible because they are octaves).

Tuning the 2nd string: Play a harmonic on the (in tune) 4th string at twelve. As this sounds, adjust the 2nd string until D at the third fret is in pure unison. As you have used two fretted tones for references and as the frets are positioned for tempered intervals, you now have the open 1st, 2nd ,4th and 6th strings in tempered tuning.

Tuning the 3rd string: As it is easier to adjust a string while listening to a continuous reference tone, you may first try the following: Play a harmonic on the (in tune) 4th string at twelve and as this sounds, adjust the 3rd string until D at the 7th fret is in pure unison.

Double check: Now make this check to see if you have been accurate or if the instrument plays tune when fretted at seven. Play a harmonic on the (now tuned) G string at twelve, and as this tone sounds, play G on the 1st string at three. The two tones should be in pure unison. If they are not, either you are at fault or the instrument doesn’t fret tune at seven. Go back to the beginning and carefully check each step up to this point. If the tones are still faulty, then readjust the 3rd string until the harmonic at twelve is in unison with the 1st at three. Do not tamper with the 1st and 4th strings because it is the 3rd string you are trying to bring in tune. When you have the 1st, 6th, 4th, 2nd and 3rd strings in tune, in that order, continue with the remaining 5th string.

Tuning the 5th string: Play the tone A on the (in tune) 3rd string, at the second fret. Listen to this pitch carefully and now adjust the 5th string until the harmonic at twelve is in pure unison. When the foregoing steps are followed correctly, the strings will be tuned perfectly to equal temperament. No further tuning adjustments are permissible.
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Muadzin

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 02:37:11 AM »
 Sounds like a lot of work, so....., no.  ;)

Seriously, first time ever I heard of this method. Is this something you do by ear only or with a tuner as well?

jimilee

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 07:53:19 AM »
Looks like about a whole days work.


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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 08:07:27 AM »
Had me until the claim that the strings would be tuned "perfectly" to equal temperament.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 08:13:54 AM by EBK »
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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2019, 09:50:41 AM »
Does anybody else use this method?
I've known two older guys that tune this way.  At first I thought what the heck, but then realized it was pretty neat.
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Matmosphere

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 10:39:23 AM »
Seems interesting. I’ll give it a go.. but electric tuners do exist and  are so cheap.

Also this would not be practical at all for preforming.

lars

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 10:45:57 AM »
Is this something you do by ear only or with a tuner as well?
I believe the only thing you would need a tuner for is to get the 1st string high E tuned to pitch. Everything else is then done by ear, listening for unison (no beats). It actually doesn't take very long to use this method, and the results are outstanding. My guitar has never sounded this good/accurate. I guess it's because it takes into account how your specific fretboard is laid out, rather than just trying to conform it to a specific frequency on the open strings (which would be great if all you ever did was play open strings). I always hated the sound of my guitars when I would try to use tuners. It never sounded right.

Also this would not be practical at all for preforming.
This method seems daunting at first, but once you do it a few times it's no more or less complicated than the 5th fret harmonic tuning method that most of us probably use. Remember the first time somebody showed you that method? It seemed just as complicated. Ultimately everything is a trade off though. I agree that on a loud stage with everybody testing their instruments, it's pretty much impossible to hear beats. You pretty much have to look at the LEDs or the needle to be in the center.

The most interesting part of this tuning method is that it automatically tunes your B string a few cents flat to what we're used to. There is a great YouTube video where the benefits of this is broken down way better than I could ever explain:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Daw93bRHe4Y" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Daw93bRHe4Y</a>
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 10:52:44 AM by lars »
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Matmosphere

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 12:17:48 PM »
I meant in regards to making an audience listen while you tune between songs. Pedal tuners all the way for that one. (Though it’s been eons since I played a gig)

Muadzin

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 01:12:47 PM »
I believe the only thing you would need a tuner for is to get the 1st string high E tuned to pitch. Everything else is then done by ear, listening for unison (no beats). It actually doesn't take very long to use this method, and the results are outstanding. My guitar has never sounded this good/accurate. I guess it's because it takes into account how your specific fretboard is laid out, rather than just trying to conform it to a specific frequency on the open strings (which would be great if all you ever did was play open strings). I always hated the sound of my guitars when I would try to use tuners. It never sounded right.

This method seems daunting at first, but once you do it a few times it's no more or less complicated than the 5th fret harmonic tuning method that most of us probably use.

Maybe back in the stone age, but as soon as I got a tuner I ditched 5th fret harmonic tuning faster then the proverbial plague.

Quote
Remember the first time somebody showed you that method? It seemed just as complicated.

Because it is complicated. It's something you only ever still use if you're a dinosaur who refuses to use anything else or are stuck somewhere without a tuner. Or tuner app on your phone.

Quote
Ultimately everything is a trade off though. I agree that on a loud stage with everybody testing their instruments, it's pretty much impossible to hear beats. You pretty much have to look at the LEDs or the needle to be in the center.

Not to mention that for an audience its highly annoying to hear musicians tune their instruments between songs. It breaks up the flow of a show. That's why we have silent tuning nowadays. So we can tune in silence while the vocalists distracts the audience with banter.

I reckon if you're a guitar tech, or have one, this method could be of interest. For a musician on stage I don't see the point. Benefits, probably, practical use, no.

Quote
The most interesting part of this tuning method is that it automatically tunes your B string a few cents flat to what we're used to. There is a great YouTube video where the benefits of this is broken down way better than I could ever explain:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Daw93bRHe4Y" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Daw93bRHe4Y</a>

Alas, I can't see the vid, I'm currently in Iran and they have youtube blocked behind the Great Iranian Firewall.

alanp

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 06:38:43 PM »
Not to mention that for an audience its highly annoying to hear musicians tune their instruments between songs. It breaks up the flow of a show. That's why we have silent tuning nowadays. So we can tune in silence while the vocalists distracts the audience with banter.

One of my favourite Hendrix recordings, Johnny Be Goode (Live), the first minute is him re-tuning and asking the audience what he should play.
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Muadzin

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 12:50:49 AM »
One of my favourite Hendrix recordings, Johnny Be Goode (Live), the first minute is him re-tuning and asking the audience what he should play.

Yeah, back then people had patience then. They were willing to wait things out to let them play out. Now if you take things slowly they'll just move on, swipe left, change channels or start shouting that things are taking too long. I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but I don't think we're going to get another Pink Floyd who could do 24 minute songs and enjoyed commercial success with them. If anything songs are getting quicker to the point then ever. Pop songs basically start with the hook (the chorus) these days.

Matmosphere

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 01:47:06 AM »
Not to mention that for an audience its highly annoying to hear musicians tune their instruments between songs. It breaks up the flow of a show. That's why we have silent tuning nowadays. So we can tune in silence while the vocalists distracts the audience with banter.

One of my favourite Hendrix recordings, Johnny Be Goode (Live), the first minute is him re-tuning and asking the audience what he should play.

Yeah, but he’s engaging the audience while he does it. And let’s face it listening to Hendrix tune was probably still better than listening to 90% of all guitarist ;)

Matmosphere

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 01:55:44 AM »
I just looked up that Hendrix performance on YouTube. It’s pretty sweet. I was shocked though by all the videos that were suggested, like “why Hendrix is such a great guitarist” or why John Bonham was such a great drummer. #*$& do people not have ears anymore, does anyone really need a YouTube video to tell them Hendrix is great?

midwayfair

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 04:21:29 PM »
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alanp

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Re: Guild of American Luthiers tuning
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2019, 06:33:20 PM »
I just looked up that Hendrix performance on YouTube. It’s pretty sweet. I was shocked though by all the videos that were suggested, like “why Hendrix is such a great guitarist” or why John Bonham was such a great drummer. #*$& do people not have ears anymore, does anyone really need a YouTube video to tell them Hendrix is great?

I think it's more like Sir Edmund Hillary -- back then, Everest had never been conquered, and he did it. Now, people do it all the time.

I heard, once, that when Paganini's 24 Caprices first came out, he was the only one that could play them. Now...
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