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Tony Raven
#1 Posted : Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:26:23 PM(UTC)
Tony Raven
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I'm certain I've addressed this elsewhere hereabouts, but I'm too lazy to dig. Anyway, it's an issue I'm raising elsewhere, so I figured I'd bring it home!
Quote:
A fretted instrument is stuck in well temperament, so that it may play in any key without any particular note being too far from pitch. This works... acceptably for accompaniment, but performance of single-tone solos can often sound "off." Anyone familiar with the blue note recognizes this; there's also microtonal music. Experienced players partially correct for this (often unconsciously) with string bending and finger vibrato techniques. They are attempting to reach just intonation.
  • "Harmonic intervals come naturally to horns, vibrating strings, and in human singing voices."
  • "Although the explicit use of just intonation fell out of favour concurrently with the increasing use of instrumental accompaniment (with its attendant constraints on pitch), most a cappella ensembles naturally tend toward just intonation because of the comfort of its stability."
  • "Stringed instruments that are not playing with fixed-pitch instruments tend to adjust the pitch of key notes such as thirds and leading tones so that the pitches differ from equal temperament."

For decades, some luthiers have experimented with essentially cutting up frets and placing the resultant pieces where (theoretically) the note SHOULD be, rather than in the standard position of total compromise. There are also limited fixes, such as the Buzz Feiten Tuning System (really only effective to about fret 5).

Limited compromise can be achieved on a standard instrument by adjusting the tuning of each string to best suit a particular musical piece, the predominant key, the primary left-hand position for the piece, and so on.

I say all this because these factors are inherent to fretted instruments AND entirely ignored in the article.

Yeah, this is what I think about to keep me sane at work...
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Axeman69 on 2/13/2017(UTC)
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Tony Raven
#2 Posted : Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:59:19 AM(UTC)
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Only just now it occurs to me to mention that "article" to which I referred is Fret, in Wikipedia --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fret

I later added a comment from a luthier:
Quote:
In tempered tuning all chords are slightly "out", but all by the same small amount.

...the tempered scale is a compromise that enables us to play all chords and intervals, in all keys, with the same relative accuracy. It therefore follows that there is not one chord on the guitar that tunes absolutely pure. ...

The only pure fretted intervals that can normally be produced on the guitar are unison and octave. In tempered tuning fifths are lowered by 2 cents compared to pure. Fourths are raised by 2 cents from pure. Thirds are raised 14 cents, and minor thirds lowered 16 cents, from pure.

Most times, I don't even notice. However, when my OCD flares up, I find it almost impossible to tune even a perfectly set-up guitar, because I can here how most of the notes are "wrong" & my brain kinda locks onto that. Crying

But it occurred to me that I'd never had this problem, at all, when singing. Eh?

Thinking about it over the years, it made me respect how sparingly composers have had to use pianoforte & harpsichord against strings. Like voice, violins have no trouble at all playing eactly the RIGHT note.

The reason I (sometimes) get kinda militant about this stuff is that 99 guitarists out of 100 have NO IDEA AT ALL what I'm on about. d'oh! But, a man's gotta try...
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Axeman69 on 8/17/2017(UTC)
dmartn149
#3 Posted : Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:46:31 AM(UTC)
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My ear is't great, but I have had a couple of guitars that had slightly miss-placed nuts. They were just slightly too far from the first fret. They were really frustrating to try to play in tune. On one I built a compensated nut like this.http://mimf.com/nutcomp/
I was really happy with the results.
Axeman69
#4 Posted : Thursday, August 17, 2017 11:09:11 AM(UTC)
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PROPER intonation, is a bitch!
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