Tuning your instrument

Posted: 3/20/2005 3:00:51 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

How do you guys tune your instrument before you start so that you make sure your practice is useful? How do you make sure that your muscle memory will be equally useful irrelevant of when you play?

Do you try to, for example, get a low A when you stand perfectly still with your hands by your side or something? How do you make sure that you can always play in the same 'key'?
Posted: 3/20/2005 3:41:01 PM

From: New York City

Joined: 2/23/2005

I always tune the instrument so that that I get the same number of intervals per certain number of hand or finger motions each time. I think this is probably the difference between really useful practice and reinventing the wheel, so to speak, each time.
Posted: 3/20/2005 5:35:41 PM

From: Dallas Tx

Joined: 2/14/2005

I myself simply tune it so that I am standing at zero beat. When I warm up before each practice session I am able to naturaly make small adjustments to compensate for any difference in note spacing from the last time I played.

To answer your question, I would be concerned only to give myself a large enough space to play comfortably in while tuning, and then make my practice useful by doing a warm up (I ususaly do a few scales and some simple rhythm patterns) before hand.
Posted: 3/21/2005 12:59:50 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I set it at zeor beat also, Then I usually try to play a familiar tune.

I keeep a radio nearby and at some point turn it on and play with whatever is on.

Posted: 3/21/2005 12:46:55 PM

From: Philadelphia, PA

Joined: 3/21/2005

I play an Etherwave and I tune depending on what I'm about to practice. In general, I never play extremely low notes - so tuning just above zero-beat makes for a comfortable range. It also spreads out the higher notes a bit.

I also focus mostly on warming up and getting a "feel" for the current settings instead of worrying about them being consistent from session-to-session. I found that this way I can still have productive practice sessions even though things might be slightly different from last time.
Posted: 3/21/2005 4:53:08 PM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I think they will always be slightly different no matter what.
Posted: 3/21/2005 7:03:05 PM

From: chicago illinois

Joined: 2/15/2005

agreed, i notice even when i have tuned pretty accurately to what i usually do i am a little of every time
Posted: 3/22/2005 11:55:21 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

How long do you find you need to let your Etherwave (or other theremin) "warm up" before the pitch stabilizes?
Posted: 4/25/2005 4:49:00 PM
Paul Kray

From: Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Joined: 4/25/2005

Hi everyone. This is my first post. After a couple of years of research and consideration, I placed an order today for a Kees Theremin and it will be my first Theremin and experience playing one. I maybe should ask Kees this queston, but since it is a topic here, I will ask. Is there an FAQ or "How To" tune your theremin page? Maybe it will be self-explanitory when I have one in front of me, but by reading the above posts, I'm getting confused. I play drums and know how to tune them, I mess with a guitar and bass sometimes and know how to tune them but I'm a bit confused how to tune an electronic device. By tuning, do you mean figuring out the placement of your hand to hit a certain note at the beginning of each session to know which note you are hitting after that? I can't imagine how a circuit board falls out of tune. (I always assumed that playing a Theremin was kinda like playing a fretless guitar or bass.) But since I want this to be the best experience possible, I want to know what to do when I do get my Theremin so I know it is working properly and in tune by the Kees specs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Posted: 4/25/2005 5:43:56 PM

From: Dallas Tx

Joined: 2/14/2005

Youve got nothing to worry about. It all sounds confusing here, but once you get the insturment you will see that you are not really even tuning to a certain key or pitch. It is all a matter of how far from the antenna you want to stand. I have a Kees, and he provides ample instruction for tuning. It is literaly as easy as turning a knob.

You must be logged in to post a reply. Please log in or register for a new account.