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#2290407 - 06/16/14 09:42 AM How to get started on aural tuning?
pinkfloydhomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 433
I've been tuning my own upright with TuneLab for a year now. I am reasonably satisfied with my basic technique, my pin and string setting, my unison tuning etc. But TuneLab still decides the pitch of each note and the octaves.

I had a plan of learning in this order:

1) Learn basic technique. Let TuneLab decide as much as possible, concentrate on hitting the target precisely, setting pins and strings, stability.

2) Unisons. Use TuneLab to tune one string, tune the unisons aurally.

3) Octaves. Let TuneLab make the temperament and tune octaves aurally from that.

4) Full aural tuning. Setting my own temperament, tune unisons and octaves from that.

Does this order make sense?

I guess I have done 1) and 2) for a year now. Should I practice 3) octaves before practicing setting a temperament?

Also, are there temperaments better suited (than ET) for learning aural tuning and tests before attempting ET?

My goal is to be able to tune ET and EBVT-III aurally eventually.
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2290418 - 06/16/14 09:59 AM Re: How to get started on aural tuning? [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3100
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The plan makes very good sense. Are you tuning pianos other than yours?
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2290429 - 06/16/14 10:20 AM Re: How to get started on aural tuning? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
pinkfloydhomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 433
No, only my own piano smile

When learning to tune the temperament, should I go for ET right away, or are there good "learning" temperaments?
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

#2290446 - 06/16/14 11:01 AM Re: How to get started on aural tuning? [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3477
Perfectly logical, and more or less how I learned. When you get ready to work on temperament, I recommend Bill Bremmer's ET via Marpurg.
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

#2290506 - 06/16/14 01:34 PM Re: How to get started on aural tuning? [Re: pinkfloydhomer]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1455
Loc: Tennessee
How to get started in aural tuning? I suggest that the refinement of sensual discernment should proceed the intellectual image of the goal.

The object, at the beginning, is to train your hearing, not to tune a temperament. I suggest that you master the ability to tune a fifth as you like it. It is an easy interval, accessible common overtone, simple tests, and an essential interval to be intimately familiar with. You will need to be able to recognize what shape a fifth is in in order to use them.

Once you can dependably tune a pure fifth, it is not that much more difficult to tune it so that it beats once a second. If you can make a fifth do that, you can proceed on to 3 beats in five. It isn't a hard rate to count or hear.
Once you and the fifth are familiar, and you can make the interval do as you like, it is simple to do the same with a fourth. Learn it, learn to recognize a pure one and one that beats 1.2 times a second. Or once a second. It isn't so important when you first begin, what you want to do is learn to control that interval, because you are going to fit a bunch of them together.

If you can control a fifth and fourth, you can find out what sort of octave results from them. From C4, tune a fifth down, and then tune a fourth up to F4. Don't listen to the octave as you do this, listen when you are done. You should learn to recognize what happens to the octave when you try to use a purer fifth, etc. Become familiar with
how the octave tests and fifth tests can tell you how that particular piano's octaves will relate to its fifths.

The simple analogy is the master cabinet maker didn't begin by cutting wood to length, he began by learning to sharpen his tools, and then learned how those tools worked with the material, then learned how to measure, and THEN, began building his product. Don't try to build the house before you know how to use the saw. You will waste time and usually end up with less than ideal results.

#2290621 - 06/16/14 04:55 PM Re: How to get started on aural tuning? [Re: Ed Foote]
Olek Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 8928
Loc: France
Try to listen with a unstressed ear. learn to tune nice unison then slow intervals will be a breeze.

You can train to tune with ear plugs , or with a radio playing, so you are not too much obsessed about partials and pitches but focus on the shape of the tone an its power .

See here I had cleaned all unisons (because there have been a lot of rainy days and the tuning moved.)

I just had to "rebuild them so I did not use a mute and only played with the coupling of frequencies . WHen in the treble I decie to record, as it was not difficult.

Here it is :


MP3 file, sorry it was recorded with a cell phone, when I play in the end there are effects due to the microphone I think.

Good luck

PS it is a vertical console. good quality - 30 years old +-

Edited by Olek (06/16/14 05:30 PM)
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!


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