Saxophone Forum


by GFC
(331 posts)
1 year ago

Tuners and saxophones

Since everyone who is serious about playing well needs to practice long tones with a tuner, I thought I'd share my experience with contact and mic tuners. There is a huge difference between the performance of inexpensive contact and mic tuners, surprisingly in the contact tuner's favor. It is a common misconception that contact tuners aren't suitable for woodwind instruments because the body vibrations don't carry the fundamental. The fundamental registers quite nicely on the bell of a tenor from low Bb to altissimo A. If you bend the pitch, the contact tuner will follow it accurately. The mic tuners I have used tend to twitch a lot from some sort of spurious acoustic response, even in the absence of ambient noise. It can be quite distracting. I have found a contact tuner much more stable, with a result that my long tone practice is much more effective and certain with regard to intonation. It's also nice to be able to move around a bit without worrying about pickup or viewing angle when practicing long tones. One caveat is that not all saxophone bells are created equal, so if there is a stress/resonance issue it may cause a problem. But the benefits of a contact tuner make it worthwhile to gamble the $10 - $15 it takes to get a contact tuner and get free of the hassles of using a mic tuner. A cheapie will do the job just fine. Super fast and super fine are not required.

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by cycles
    (25 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Tuners and saxophones

    Hi GFC
    not sure what is the difference. Wouldn't some sort of mic be used on all tuners to pick up the pitch. Which is the app type that you can use with the iPhone/ipad
    Cycles 

    Reply To Post


    1. by GFC
      (331 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Tuners and saxophones

      A contact tuner picks up the vibrations in the body of the instrument. A mic tuner picks up sound in the air. iPad apps are mic tuners.

      Reply To Post


  2. by saxschool
    (2 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Tuners and saxophones

    Wow - this is a very interesting post.  I've never considered a contact tuner having used the normal mic tuner for more than 20 years.  I will investigate more!  I posted a video sax tip about using a tuner that you might find helpful here:  http://youtu.be/DrEMv6QCUzI

    Reply To Post