April 9, 2018 at 8:34 AM #60071
I’m going back. I gotta do it…tune the instruments in standard tuning. I haveI said “try” to do it. Nope…I have to. Not forever…I love cross tunings…but I’m just staying away from standard tuning and missing out on too much…shying away from too much. So…I’m figuring put everything in standard…I was gonna do this a while back and freaked out on the cello…then put it back into CGCG…sawmill…I can’t afford to risk breaking cello or viola strings by constantly tuning…so I’m figuring put everything into standard tuning, no matter how lost or awkward I feel…go through, on this site…the mp3s or lessons on the fiddle, or I can pretty easily translate the lessons to viola or cello by moving up or down a string….play the doggone things in standard tuning. I’m shying away, and taking the easiest road…gettin’ lazy, I guess…thats no good. On top of that…I’m finally so upset with my lack of education…i’m going to start studying algebra as time allows…yes, you heard that right. I’ve got plenty of materials, since both Mike and Annie used to be GED teachers…I love science, but have always had to take the science classes for liberal arts people…where they leave out the caffeine….lol. I’m gonna do this stuff…at least I hope I can…lol…No…I don’t hope…I will do it. I had to take a statistics class in college one semester, and this was before calculators…oh gosh…my roommate was in there too and she was as bad as I am…we both cried every single night as we spent hours working pages and pages of long and terrible horrific problems…I got a B, only because the prof didn’t count off for mathematical errors and wrong answers…he only counted whether you followed the procedure over all those pages and pages involved in every problem. I was exhausted and done with math forever after that class…lol. Anway…now I’m ready to confront my lifelong battle with numbers, and my wimpy way with stringed instruments. Figuring to stick with standard tuning until Halloween…if it still feels awkward by then, I gave it a try. Figuring to stick with algebra for the same amount of time.April 9, 2018 at 10:28 AM #60072
Well I guess you wont be bored , I am like a train on a single track , I tackle one thing at a time till its done , My Ex-wife would get up and everything she seen she would start and next thing you know she’d have so many things going at the same time she’d get over whelmed and finish nothing , She was always astounded that I could do all those same things in half the time , but I only did one at a time . I have never even tried cross tuning and now that I have three fiddles , I guess I could keep at least one in cross tuning as John does have several tunes he teaches in cross tuning , however I still have not mastered the first 35 tunes I have started ! Ha ! I better get back at it !April 9, 2018 at 12:01 PM #60073
Yea, I could be wrong, but I’m scared I will confuse my brain if I experiment with cross tuning. My fingers struggle sometimes to find a note just by feel, but my brain does know where that note really is, but if I change all that my poor brain will have to try to remember two different dimensions of layout, not just one.April 9, 2018 at 7:29 PM #60082
I hear ya both…I’m scattered all over and I seem to like confusion. I really like to keep learning something different to confuse what I already do know…like…with cross tunings…I use a few of them and I like the confusion of going from one to another. But, for whatever reason, I don’t like my confusion I face in standard tuning. That’s what I’m gonna try to wrangle and get ahold of. Also, the math…I would have majored in some kind of botany or something in college if I could’ve handled math. I wouldn’t have flunked the 8th and 9th grades of school if it weren’t for the math. I remember in first grade on Valentine’s Day, the teacher gave us all worksheets with math problems. After we did the problems, we were supposed to connect the dots, so to speak, connecting all answers with a certain number in them…to get a surprise…of course, when you got that all done you would have a big valentine on the page…everybody did, but me…mine was a big mess that looked and a spider web spun outside of the confines of gravity. It’s only gotten worse, from first grade to now. I’m gonna begin studying algebra and try to apply it to something that’ll make me actually understand stuff…lol. I hope I don’t just end up with another wacky spider web. I’ve got my instruments tuned already…now…I have exactly 30 minutes to play them that way until my regular phone visit with my dad…gotta run!April 9, 2018 at 9:32 PM #60086
Cricket, believe it or not, math and music go hand in hand. You might be surprised how delving into music theory has prepared you for higher math!
Speaking of tuning, here is a tune that is in the chute for teaching at BGD right now… The Port Arthur Blues by the Balfa Brothers. Note that in the first video, the fiddles are tuned standard and the song is in D. But in the next video, Dewey’s fiddle is tunde to CCGD and the song is in the key of C.April 9, 2018 at 11:31 PM #60093
I have no idea if this is correct, so please let me know….
For some music, especially fiddle type tunes, standard tuning is one of the worst options for sound & ease of playing. However, for the entire range of everything that is played involving every category of music (classical, folk, fiddle, etc.etc.) standard is the only, or at least best option out there.
Otherwise, there is a cross tuning option that fits some individual tunes, but would not be good for much else. ???? True or False?April 10, 2018 at 7:21 AM #60096
John, people have told me my whole life that music and math go hand in hand…I don’t get it, but that’s what everybody tells me…lol…maybe someday that’ll make sense to me, if I can learn the math. I got stuck in first grade when they said some numbers were whole or whatever, equally divisible…I never could wrap my mind around that idea…I figured eveything was equallly divisible and it made me feel sorry for odd numbers…lol…I refused to let that into my mind and to this day I have trouble with 2 plus 2…let alone anything beyond it. My family laughs if I make us all a meal and set out the silverware…there aren’t that many of us, and no matter how hard I try, I never get it right. I can’t count. Anyway…I’m gonna try really hard. I think, honestly, the cross tuned video sounds way more cajun than the first one…am I just prejudice? Also, the lower pitch sounds so mellow and nice. But…I’m not crosstuning again until the spooks come out on Halloween…Normally on Halloween I sit on the porch by the lit pumpkins and little campfire and play instruments…I’ll cross tune on that night. I’m determined. Last night I played the cello for 30 minutes…all the time I had…I spent the first 10 getting the thing in tune…slipped out all over the place from having retunied it earlier…then the next 20 minutes squeaking and squawking lost…lol. It’ll get better, I hope.
Rodger…I think, in my own opinion, that cross tuning allows for easier access to certain notes, for certain tunes, for sure. And also allows not only drones that would be hard to get by double stopping, but resonation of the whole fiddle that sympathetically sustains…makes it harmonious and sweet. Then, you just get characteristic sound…like with the cajun tune above. In my own thinking, anyway…I won’t ever claim to be right about anything, not knowing 2 plus 2 and all…lol. But I think I do agree with you that on the whole, in standard tuning, you can play all kinds of stuff, any tune, any key, if you really know your way around…you can simulate drones with double stops, etc. You’re all purpose in standard, and it’s very pragmatic…but lots of things will be easier to play, have truer drones and better resonance in cross tunings. I know of a guy in West Va who stays in standard tuning, but he can simulate cross tunings so well I didn’t know that until I wnt out tthere to a jam he led, several years back. He kept stopping and saying for everybody to tune for the next bunch of tunes we’d be doing in D, A, whatever…I suddenly noticed he was the only one not tuning. I asked him about that after the jam and he said he got tired of tuning deacades eaerlier and jsut didn’t bother…but his playing sounded cross tuned, to me. That was several years ago…I might be able to tell the difference now, with more fiddling experience, but I don’t know that for sure.April 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM #60098
Oh I wanted to mention Cricket, you said you had trouble with breaking strings doing the cross tuning. If the groves in the nut are too small for the string, that can cause a string to break real fast from cross tuning. Also if the back of the nut has a sharp edge, but that is more of an issue with octave strings because they are so much thicker and need a little bit of a radius there. Too tight grooves on the bridge might be a problem also if you use tailpiece tuners, cross tuning or not. I would think strings would do their own grinding in and profiling after years of use, but it’s true this setup problem will break strings. One things for sure though…the Wittner pegs are the cat’s meow for cross tuning.April 10, 2018 at 12:51 PM #60099
Thanks, Rodger. Well I’m not sure my string breakage was actually from cross tuning, but the Helicore A strings do just seem to break…so…i don’t know if it was the cross tuning or if they are just easily broken. i don’t use tailpiece tuners…don’t like them. They are still on my viola and cello because they’re new and I haven’t taken them off yet…I’ll say for tuning the cello I do like the tailpiece tuners on that thing, becuase tuning those big ol huge pegs…I mean it’s kinda hard to get them set right where you want, and then of course others slip once you get one, etc., a cascade of slippage until you finally just get it all under control…then, those pegs are big and kinda hard to tune…all my knuckles crack and pop while I’m turning those big pegs…lol…maybe i’m too old to be tuning a cello…lol. It does stay in tune reallly good once you get it there and keep it there for a few hours, thankfully. I am scared if I do too much tuning on that thing I don’t wanna have to ve buying cello strings…too expensive…so it would be better for me to learn to deal with staandard tuning on that thing. We’ll see. I havne’t had a chance to plaay it since last night, and was totally lost on it in standard tuning. I did , on the other hand, get a chance to give myself my first algebra lesson this morning…whoa…it started out bad and very discouraging…Mike tried to help me and it got us both very aggravated…lol. Then there finally got to a point where a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel peeped through. My problem is…i don’t want abstract numbers flying around…I wanna take something…like for instance E=mc2…or some well respected assertion that is proven through a formula…I don’twanna just hear it over and over and over…I ‘ve heard all about it….I want to see that formula work…I wanna see how Einstein came up with, either came up with the formula first, the hunch first, the proof or whatever…I wanna see how mass is affected by energy…I want to watch the formula prove something, mean something, do something, say something…that’s my frustration. Poor Mike…but with his experience with all kinds of crazy GED students…he was finally able to help me get a very small glimmer of hope that I might be able to one day understand. I want to watch formulas show the process of capillary action…or thermodynamics… the overtone series…anything…I wanna see it being proven, not just hear what those who can see it have said about it…but actually see it working out. That’s my big frustration. I can’t count or understand numbers at all.April 10, 2018 at 4:33 PM #60106
Cricket… That’s why I love physics. The formulas actually model what happens in real life. I’ve never enjoyed abstract mathematics.
Rodger, another nice thing about cross-tuning is that it removes the need for a lot of pinky work.April 10, 2018 at 7:42 PM #60112
I tried cross tuning once and broke a string. It was my fault because I was confused and I know what I did wrong, but I just lost the desire to attempt it again. I am not sure the song. . .maybe old time Ida Red, but Ida Red works for me just as good in standard tuning. Especially since I haven’t played Ida Red in several months lolApril 10, 2018 at 8:25 PM #60114
Fran, did you tune something too high? When I cross tune, I go up very slowly…don’t know if it preserves the string to take it up gradually, but I do it that way just in case.April 10, 2018 at 9:48 PM #60115
You might want to get an orchestral tuner that shows you the octave number as well as the note. Just in case you try to tune up to an A4 when it should be an A3.April 11, 2018 at 6:15 AM #60122
I almost did that when I got my cello…the octave just seemed too low…lol…but fortunately I figured out where I was supposed to be before I broke anything!
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