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OT - Acoustic/Electric Guitar
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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/12/12 1:17 PM

Dan, as long as you're here, do you have a 3D Printer?

I ask because in the Winter issue of Make one photo shows "A modified bike pedal using pieces of the original part, 3D-printed components, and a laser-cut strap. By Dan Emery, parts from Ponoko."

Is there another career here that you're not telling us about?

Oh, and by the way? Take a whack at Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns, and Money."

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17537
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 1:22 PM

"I made a lame attempt years ago and totally sucked"

me too, for 45 years now...

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6307
Location: Maine

12/12/12 1:37 PM

no 3D here

No that would not be me, nor was I in the "Dan Emery Mystery Band" which I believe has disbanded.

Lately I've been kind of immersed in Young. I saw the Demme movie "Journey" which lead me to read Neil's book "Waging Heavy Peace" which got me to "Psychedelic Pill." At 67, IMHO he's still great, an inspiration to my generation.

Love Zevon too.

On another guitar note, I was recently in New Orleans, got to the hotel late, flipped on the TV, and on PBS there's an old tape of 2 guys sitting facing each other playing blues, with some musicians in the background. After a minute or 2 I say,"umm, that's Albert King jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughn..." Not bad late nite TV.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17537
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 1:56 PM

"neil young greendale movie"

Seen it? one of my favs...

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Wheels
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 1149
Location: Needham, MA

12/12/12 2:22 PM

Reading without Knowing?


quote:
My thought, if you're not going to work on reading music--but rather on learning chords--is to buy a book that is loaded with songs you know and love.


How does one read music without knowing what it means as far as fingering? When I learned to play the clarinet, the teacher said this is C, showed me where on the scale, and then showed me the fingering on the clarinet and had me play it, repeat with D, E, etc. Since I know the notes already and there positions on the scale, I thought it would beneficial to start by building strength in the fingers and learning how to move my hand around the neck without looking at the strings.

Also, I looked at guitar music and it looks like there are a lot of variations on how it is written.

Wheels

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17537
Location: Portland, OR

12/12/12 2:27 PM

" Since I know the notes already and there positions on the scale, I thought it would beneficial to start by building strength in the fingers and learning how to move my hand around the neck without looking at the strings. "

Do scales in different key, and duplicate notes in different place on the fretboard [same pitch].

You are a little ahead if yo ever tool any kind of lessons.

Do you know what major and minor scales are? Know what a 3rd, 5th etc is relative to the whole note or key?

Have you seen 'TABS' yet?

As far as playing without looking at the neck, good for you I say. I do it chording but not soloing...

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/12/12 3:54 PM

Chords v. Notes


quote:
How does one read music without knowing what it means as far as fingering? When I learned to play the clarinet, the teacher said this is C, showed me where on the scale, and then showed me the fingering on the clarinet and had me play it, repeat with D, E, etc. Since I know the notes already and there positions on the scale, I thought it would beneficial to start by building strength in the fingers and learning how to move my hand around the neck without looking at the strings.


With a chording instrument like the guitar, it can be difficult to make the connection between what's on the page and what's on the neck because (unlike a piano) the guitar is sort of non-linear. That is, you have overlapping ranges of notes on the different strings. Many (most) amateur guitar players don't read music, at least not for guitar-playing purposes. Instead, you read off the chord names and work out runs in-between (which are often, though not always, based on scales).

Hence the old Cheech & Chong line, "I only know three chords!"

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SteveCruickshank
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 355
Location: Medfield, MA

12/16/12 7:22 AM

Music-tabs-chords

Bill,

My take on the hierarchy of "reading music" for guitar is

Traditional Music - The full monty: treble clef, bass clef, sharps, flats, quarter notes, etc. If you can read music then you can learn virtually any song. The chords, the melody, etc. Bonus points for studio/professional music that can sight read music they haven't seen before. Doesn't tell you where to finger the note/chord, so you have to know your way around the guitar's neck.

Tabs - Tell you where to put your fingers and for how long. Which strings, frets, hammer ons, pull offs, slides, bends, etc. But they don't tell you which note you're playing (F# etc.) so you don't learn multiple ways to play the same song in different positions on the neck.

Chords with fingering - Good if you want to strum along with a song you probably already have heard, but don't know how to play a certain chord, like Am7.

Chords w/o fingering - Generally assumes you are familiar with the song's timing and know your chords. Many fake books use this.

I used to be able to read music, but now mostly use tabs, chords, or myy ear to learn new songs.

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2451
Location: Canberra, Australia

12/16/12 3:08 PM


quote:
With a chording instrument like the guitar, it can be difficult to make the connection between what's on the page and what's on the neck because (unlike a piano) the guitar is sort of non-linear. That is, you have overlapping ranges of notes on the different strings.
Guitarists are, by and large, absolutely terrible sight readers (myself included). I heard John Williams (the classical guitarist, not the composer) say once that compared to the average guitarist he was an absolutely stellar sight reader, but when compared to most orchestral musicians he was just average.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/16/12 3:10 PM

Reading

There's an old joke about how to get a loud guitarist to quiet down--put sheet music in front of him.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3303
Location: Springfield

12/16/12 7:53 PM

There is nothing like looking over the shoulder of a pianist who can sight read. My girlfriend reads sheet music like you and I read the newspaper out loud. But like the article and the analysis at the same time, two hands.

She's classically trained and the other day I gave her the Beatles "From Me To You" (If there's anything that you want...) When she played, it came out ragtime and I started to laugh. She was a little hurt and I told her "no, no, no, I was listening to Paul Mcartney the other day on Fresh Air and he said emphatically 'Listen! From Me To You is RAGTIME!'" That made her laugh too.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/16/12 8:49 PM

This reminds me of something...

I want to make it clear that being able to read music is not the same thing as being a musician.

Case in point: I had a girlfriend back in high school who played piano and violin. She could read music like nobody's business. Put something in front of her, and there it was. Exactly as written on the page.

But that's how it stayed. Exactly as written on the page. No life, no soul, just notes transcribed from print to audio. Nor was this sight-reading only; she just lacked the ability to put soul into the music. She later got a PhD in computer science; she's incredibly gifted. But not what I would call "a musician."

Some people who can read music are great musicians. Not all of them. Some people who can't read are great musicians. Not all of them.

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2618
Location: hillbilly heaven

12/16/12 8:53 PM

I have a pianist friend who not only sight reads like a bandit, but he can transpose while sight reading. I really don't like tuning his piano because he also has bionic hearing.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8320
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

12/17/12 4:08 AM

When you tune do you use forks or electronic diagnostics? I am curious about the process.

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2451
Location: Canberra, Australia

12/17/12 5:44 AM


quote:
When you tune do you use forks or electronic diagnostics? I am curious about the process.

The best explanation of guitar tuning I have come across is here: http://www.luth.org/web_extras/ds_45.pdf

If I'm playing by myself I use this method. If I'm playing in an ensemble where I'm surrounded by people also tuning their guitars, it becomes a bit difficult trying to tune by ear, so I use a clip-on tuner that sits on the headstock and works off the vibration. This one: http://www.amazon.com/Intelli-IMT-600-Guitar-Violin-Chromatic/dp/B0007M424G/

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SteveCruickshank
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 355
Location: Medfield, MA

12/17/12 5:44 AM

Tuning by memory

I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but most times I tune it's from memory using the intro G note from "Freebird", either on the 7th fret/2nd string or 12th fret/3rd string. I then tune the other strings against the 2nd or 3rd.

That note is burned into my brain from high school. Unfortunately when I check my memory tuning against my daughters electronic tuner I'm usually a little flat, less than a half-step.

Sometimes I also check against our electronic piano.

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ErikS
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 8320
Location: Slowing boiling over in the steamy south, Global Warming is real

12/17/12 6:11 AM

This stuff would be useless to me. F16s, GE and Pratt & Whitney have ensured I am pretty much tone deaf.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/17/12 6:18 AM

tuning

For more than 30 years, I've tuned with an A440 fork and used 5/7 fret harmonics to zero beat, then adjusted a touch here and there. It's worked pretty well, though not perfectly. I'm going to give Nick's method a try.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6307
Location: Maine

12/17/12 8:52 AM

OT: quieting the loud

>>There's an old joke about how to get a loud guitarist to quiet down--put sheet music in front of him.<<

Reminds me of a time I heard a lawyer introducing a very successful trial lawyer: "The only time I've seen Buzz completely terrified was once when he was left alone for 15 minutes in a law library..."

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2618
Location: hillbilly heaven

12/17/12 9:23 AM

"When you tune do you use forks or electronic diagnostics? I am curious about the process."

PIANO tuning:

I am an aural tuner. I use a single fork, A440, to tune A4. From there I tune 1 string against 1 other string. Pianos are very different from guitars, in that the scale designs vary from 3 feet to 9 feet, and within that each piano is different. If I break a wound bass string and can't splice it, I must have a custom string or pair made. The core diameter, wrap diameter, wrap length are all different in various pianos. I have generic bass strings but they suck and I avoid using them. The plain steel wire comes in about 12 diameters and I keep that on hand.

The tuning process is complex, but I'll state some basics.Its called a temperament.
Octaves are slightly wide from perfect
Thirds-wide
Fourths-wide
Fifths-narrow
Sixths-narrow

You complete an octave in the middle of the piano, and then expand it up and down the keyboard. The lowest octave has 1 string per note, the next 2 octaves have 2 per note, and the rest has 3 strings per note, for a total of about 220 strings, each with 150 pounds of tension.

Electronics tuners have gotten better and cheaper. You can now get a smartphone app for about $400 thats pretty good. I've tried them and they just slow me down, but they are less tiring.

The hardest part in piano tuning is pin technique and predicting how the piano will respond to changes in tension. At pitch, pianos average about 40,000 pounds of tension on the plate/frame, and changing pitch causes it to flex/bend and go nuts.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3201
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

12/17/12 9:29 AM

I think you meant $4.00

If not, it had better be damned good for that price!

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2618
Location: hillbilly heaven

12/17/12 9:40 AM

$400 for an app. They still sell $1500 electronic piano tuners. They have to analyze the overtones and measure the inharmonicity, then create a stretch that works for that piano. For the $1500 tuner you can get programs for some common big pianos, Like a Steinway D. They tune it aurally to the best they can get it, then sample it. The "tuner" then reproduces an aural tuning.

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Alenhoff
Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 237
Location: Detroit, MI

12/17/12 10:50 AM

For the rest of us, this is a terrific $4.00 app tuner: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cleartune-chromatic-tuner/id286799607?mt=8

I use it to tune my collection of vintage combo organs and electric pianos, and my wife uses it for guitars. I find it far superior to the Korg electronic tuner I used previously.

Just to be clear, I would not recommend using this app to tune a conventional piano. (In fact, I wouldn't recommend that anyone who is not a skilled piano tuner attempt to tune a piano.) Piano tuning is an art that requires a skilled ear and experience -- not just an expensive tuning device.

Alan

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2618
Location: hillbilly heaven

12/17/12 11:06 AM

One thing I find interesting about electronic piano tuners is that they are unable to do a good job tuning unisons. All the people who use electronic tuners use the device to determine a pitch for one of the strings, but match the unisons to it by ear. Everybody contends that unisons sound cleaner by ear than with electronic aids.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17537
Location: Portland, OR

12/17/12 11:23 AM

Piano Tuning?

With a cast iron frame, would it be reasonable to assume [unlike a wood frame, guitar structure] the loosening/tightening of strings does not change the pitch of the ones you have already tuned ? Else you'd be there tuning all week...

How long can it take to tune a piano? I say 'can' because I assume it can take a long while, especially if one has been sitting in a shitty environment and or at the cusp of need repairs...

Tuning a guitar can be quite the un-deterministic undertaking as it pertains to electronic tuning.

Folks which understand what intonation is as it pertains to a fretted instrument can understand why. I use a fork and harmonics [and compromises] on an acoustic, but have a pedal on my pedal board for electrics.

All my electric guitars have adjustable saddles on the bridges unlike the acoustic. But I have made custom bone nuts and bridge saddle for stubborn acoustics where the time to make it close to intonation perfectly does not approach too close to the value of the instrument. Have also made stepped bone nuts for a few electrics on stubborn ones.

At least pianos don't have devices like tremolos. Lets push this bar, dive the pitch 4-5 steps, let go and have the git come back to pitch. ;)

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