TUNING YOUR STRUMSTICK
Lesson 4. Tuning
1. Tuning using the Strumstick Instruction CD
The instruction CD included with your Strumstick has notes to tune the Basic and Grand Strumsticks with. Listen to the notes on the CD, and adjust your corresponding string to match it ( instructions given on the CD).
2. Tuning without the CD. Tuning the Strumstick with itself is easy, it just requires a little patience, and learning what to do. In fact, reading about how to tune is more difficult than actually tuning.
If you have an outside reference like a guitar or piano, the notes that the strings should be tuned to are:
* Basic Strumstick (29 1/2"long) G, D, G' (' =one octave higher)
* Grand Strumstick (32 1/2" long) D, A,D' (' =one octave higher)
If you do not have an outside reference, tune it just as it is, it does not have to be exactly at "G" to be in tune with itself.
The strings are numbered, left to right, "3", "2", "1" , with "1" being the thinnest (the bottom one, closest to the ground) and "3" being the thickest (the top one). The frets (the metal pieces on the fingerboard) are numbered 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., with 0 being the fret at the top, which the strings rest on. To tune, follow these instructions.
Step one: Finger the 3rd string at the 4th fret, and pluck that string with the pick. That sound is the note the 2nd string should be.
Step two: Pluck the 2nd string open (open means no left hand fingers), and listen to it. If it sounds a different note than the 3rd string @ 4th fret, it is "out of tune" with the 3rd string. In that case, adjust its tuner until the 2nd string open sounds the same note as 3rd string @ 4th fret. Now the 2nd string is "in tune with" the 3rd string. It may take several tests, and several adjustments to get it right.
Step 3: Now finger the 2nd string @ the 3rd fret. That is the note the 1st string open should be.
Step 4: Adjust the 1st string tuner until 1st string open sounds like 2nd string @3rd fret. You are done!
Note: There is one real trick to tuning, and that is LISTENING! Pluck the note you are fretting; listen to it. Pluck the string you are adjusting; listen to it change. Tuning is not done by remembering notes, or thinking, it's done by LISTENING to what is happening. Always listen to the note change when you twist the tuner. If you will listen, you can tune. If you can hear a note is out of tune, you will be able to bring it back in tune. If you can't hear that a note is out of tune, it isn't!
3. Tuning with Electronic tuners
We recommend being able to tune without one, first, but by all means use one if you like, they are easy and fast. Electronic tuners come in two types, "chromatic" which will tune any notes, and "guitar" which are setup specifically for guitar or bass. Buy a chromatic if you are buying one, but most "guitar" types will work for Strumstick. They all work about the same way; you play a string, a light or display says what note it is, and a meter or lights show you if it is too high (sharp), too low (flat) or right on. As you adjust the string, the display changes to show you what is happening. We have a good chromatic tuner available in the catalog accessories section at strumstick.com.
4. Tuning to Other Instruments
You can get the notes you need ( G, D, G' for Basic; D, A, D' for the Grand) from a guitar, piano, keyboard, or some other instrument. If you are playing along with another instrument, you will HAVE to get a note from them, or give them a note from the Strumstick, so you are all in tune together.