Hearing When A String Is In Or Out Of Tune
To understand how to tune it helps if you can see how a note looks in a graphical view. To the right you can see the animation showing what looks like waves (these waves are known as cycles). When a note is sounded it makes vibrations in the air, this is how those vibrations are represented visually. The lower the note the further away the cycles are. When the pitch of the note is higher, the cycles are closer together.
This is a graphical view of two notes out of tune with one another. Notice the sharp jagged edges caused from wider cycles (lower pitch) combining with shorter cycles (higher pitch).
|This is the sound of the 5th string "A" in tune with the 6th string 5th fret "A"
The notes played in this example are both in tune with one another. Both cycles are in sync with each other.
|This is the sound of the 5th string "A" being tuned to the 6th string 5th fret "A"
The diagram above shows a note being tuned. As you can see towards the end, the cycles are becoming more in sync with each other.
1. This is when the "A" note (6th string, 5th fret) was first picked.
2. This is when the "A" note (5th string open) was first picked.
See how the distance between the waves/cycles are closer together as the guitar becomes more in tune
3. Out of tune
4. In tune.
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