Topic: clip on tuners

Anyone know of or have experience with clip on chromatic tuners? Specifically looking for information about the ones that can clip on or around a bassoon bocal.

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Re: clip on tuners

I've never actually found one that will stay clipped to a bassoon bocal for a length of time enough to be useful, and even held on anywhere else they're usually not any better than the microphone on most tuners anyway.

I've also never particularly found the need to use a tuner in an environment where you'd need that kind of isolation; you'd have to tune to the group anyway. Using the tuner in a situation like that isn't particularly helpful (although I've known a number of musicians over the years that will be stubborn and tune with the needle instead of the group, making everyone sound bad... don't be that guy).

Just my experience.

(in other words, don't bother)

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: clip on tuners

I have a Korg tuner that can be attached to the bocal, it also fits on the tenor joint just below the bocal.  I find it works pretty well, except 1)  it is so close to my face that I can't really focus on it (darned prebyopia), although I can see it well enough to use it; 2) It does not pick up low notes well from that location - notes below low d seldom register.  I found that it works great on all notes if you clip it on the bell, but of course then you can't see it.  You can also use it clipped to the music stand with it on the "mic" setting. My tuner is a few years old, so Korg might have fixed these problems on more recent models.

I have found it has improved my playing immensely.  I don't have the greatest ear, and this gets me much closer to the right pitch than trusting my ears alone.   Plus since I started using it I find my sense of relative pitch has improved.  The group I play with is an amateur group with a lot of beginning and intermediate players, and me playing in tune helps the less experienced do the same.

Hope this info helps.

Nancy

"There are 2 means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats" - Albert Schweitzer

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Re: clip on tuners

Trent wrote:

I've also never particularly found the need to use a tuner in an environment where you'd need that kind of isolation; you'd have to tune to the group anyway.

I agree that you should never use a tuner when playing with others. However, a contact microphone is great for when you're warming up backstage or some other noisy environment. I use mine frequently.

I use one that plugs into my tuner. I've found that it works best when attached to the metal loop on the boot joint that's used when playing with a neck strap rather than the bocal.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: clip on tuners

Tyler Durden wrote:
Trent wrote:

I've also never particularly found the need to use a tuner in an environment where you'd need that kind of isolation; you'd have to tune to the group anyway.

I agree that you should never use a tuner when playing with others. However, a contact microphone is great for when you're warming up backstage or some other noisy environment. I use mine frequently.

I use one that plugs into my tuner. I've found that it works best when attached to the metal loop on the boot joint that's used when playing with a neck strap rather than the bocal.

I guess for me by that time it's too late for an electronic tuner to make any sort of difference, but I can see your point there. :-)

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: clip on tuners

Thank your for your input. I am mostly interested in finding a way to check certain pitches before or during break at rehearsals. Trumpets sit behind me, so using a regular tuner is pointless.

It seems from your responses a mic would be better suited for what I am looking for. What kind of mic and where is it attached? I use a seat strap, so putting it in the loop on the bottom of the boot joint would not work.

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Re: clip on tuners

Interesting discussion.  In practices, I have started using the Korg TM-40 on a removable shelf that is attached to the support shaft of my music stand.  As my conductor often tunes from the bottom up, and I play second bassoon, it has helped the ensemble quite a bit.  The neat thing about it is its location.  It is about three inches below the stand ledge, and from there it picks me up far more often than it picks up other people, and it has gone a  long way towards helping me tame a nasty G.  However as is usual in ensemble playing, there are times that I cannot or do not want to follow it.  My orchestra is somewhat similar to a Sith Lord; we have a nasty affinity towards the sharp side.

Last edited by Dean (2013-01-07 21:54:42)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: clip on tuners

Korg has a new tuner with a wireless contact mic: http://www.korg.com/witune. I have no experience with this, but it seems that the mic may be lightweight enough to actually stay clipped on the bocal, and the wireless aspect would both allow you to see the readout easily and not worry about trailing a mic cable.

David A. Wells
Lecturer – Bassoon and Music History
California State University, Sacramento
davidawells.com

Re: clip on tuners

I have a clip-on tuner pickup that just plugs into my regular tuner. I use it in orchestra rehearsal because the first bassoonist plays much louder than I do and my tuner always picks her up. I really like it, I just clip it onto my bocal.

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Re: clip on tuners

Remember that the tuner will tell you whether you are playing in tune to "tempered" pitch. If things are really in tune, you will have to actually adjust your tuning to what you would see on the tuner. Major thirds are lower, and the dominant 7th very low compared to tempered tuning. Also the fifth isn't exactly a "perfect" interval in temepered tuning. In short use your ear!! The tuner is there for teaching purposes, not as the final arbiter of whether you are in fact "in tune".

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