Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've recently started playing again after a long hiatus and have been focusing on consistency of pitch and timbre in my notes. One thing that has helped quite a bit is to practice long tones with a chromatic tuner. I've got a clip on guitar tuner that seems to fit well on the lyre holder on my YTS-200AD but I have to play cross-eyed in order to read it. Has anyone had any success mounting the tuner to a post on the lyre attachment so that it's visible when playing? If not, are there any alternatives that might make this easier. It's helped my practice quite a bit but I end up with a terrible headache after standing cross-eyed for 15-20 minutes at a time. Sorry if my terminology is wrong.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
26,486 Posts
I wouldn't get accustomed to playing with a tuner attached to your horn. There is greater value in training your ears. So use a tuner to get your horn in tune before you play; then put it away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I've been training my ears by playing a reference tone on the piano and then playing that major scale on the horn. I use the tuner while I'm getting familiar with the horn to know which notes tend to blow flat or sharp and adjust my embouchure and breath support accordingly. It's not an every note thing but to check when my ears say something's off until I get better at telling exactly what's off by ear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,018 Posts
Get the clip on below and plug it into your smartphone using a tuning app like cleartune

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=tuner+clip
I actually have one of those (though your link points to a Youtube video so maybe not?) but hadn't thought of connecting it into my smart phone. Thanks for the tip.
I think his link is pointing to the right thing...

Best tuner in the world is clipped to the sides of your head. Use that one.

Seriously, I have found it actually counter-productive to play to an electronic tuner. adamk's suggestion of using a drone is a good one; if you have an iPhone, you can construct a good drone with a beat for practice purposes using Garage Band. Stretch out on your dorian, mixolydian and lydian scales (maybe a few others too) by constructing a simple drone-with-a-beat kind of thing. This will help your tuning more than looking at the tuner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
I had some success clipping a Snark tuner onto the lyre, placed in the lyre holder. If your horn didn’t come with one the local band instrument repair shop probably has about a dozen they can give you. Like you, I just didn’t trust my ear enough to know that what I was playing was matching up to the correct pitch. I don’t think it hurt my ear development to have some affirmation of my tone production. That didn’t last long.
Occasionally I use Cleartune app on my iPhone to check myself as well, but it gets to be less and less needed as I work more with drones, and really just trusting myself. I was advised by an excellent player to buy Richard Schwartz “The Tuning Cd” (I bought it on iTunes, there are a bazillion drone apps and free stuff on YouTube,but I tend to get distracted going that route)) and work playing long tones, using information gleaned from Dave Liebman’ “Finding Your Personsl Saxophone Sound”. This produced improvement in both pitch and tone quality much faster than I would have ever expected. I wish I had gone ahead and done this much earlier. In fact, the results were so striking I found myself obsessing a bit too much on it; to go ahead and feel the correct pitch in context of the music.
 

·
Registered
Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
Joined
·
1,191 Posts
I have a Korg OT-120 that I use to tune "with my ears" in something like the manner that skeller and adamk are suggesting. It has a "sound back" setting that you can use with a cheap clip-on mic input that will automatically play back the nearest reference semitone. I nearly always use this when practicing long tones and overtones.

Alternatively, there's a tuner/metronome app called Tonal Energy that has very similar functionality and also lets you quickly and easily prepare drones.

I tend to prefer the OT-120 because its pitch matching is very fast and much more robust than that of the Tonal Energy app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,359 Posts
You could use a clip-on tuner and fix it on the bell - just to take a quick look now and then if your off or you're tuning. I think it would make me mad if I had a tuner always directly in front of my eye.
This cheap one can be adjusted for transposing instruments: https://www.thomann.de/de/thomann_ctw_10_clip_on_tuner.htm
Don't know if it's working properly, though.....
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,225 Posts
...I end up with a terrible headache after standing cross-eyed for 15-20 minutes at a time.
Use your ears to tune, rather than your eyes.

It's fine to do a quick check with your tuner to make sure you're in the ballpark and have the mpc placed in the best spot, but overall you really have to train the ear and use it to play in tune, especially on the bandstand where you are tuning to the other instruments on stage.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top