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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000353.txt from 2005/04

Subj: Re: [kl] Tuners
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 17:47:17 -0400

In a message dated 4/22/2005 4:01:57 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<<That brings up another point, how do you explain to someone that can't hear
relative pitch what to listen for? I think something that might help train
the ear is to play a note on a piano (or other instrument), and then try and
match the note....>>

I do a lot of duet playing with my students. Before we play, we tune
carefully. I do not tell the student to "pull out" or "push in". I have then tell me
whether or not our two notes are in tune or not. The vast majority can tell
when two pitches are not in tune. Then I ask them to assume my pitch is the
correct one, and if they are sharp or flat. Here we are now much closer to

I simply tell them they have to do SOMETHING, it is not acceptable to play
until tuned.

This is usually followed with an explanation of "lengthening the tube makes
the pitch lower" and "shortening the tube makes it higher."

I have them experiment until the two tuning notes are identical.

I then ask them if we "are in tune." The ones who have been through the
drill before, smile and say no. The newer ones always say yes.

I then have them play another note with me, say D three spaces above the
staff. We are usually very far apart and they usually grimace.

I then explain that the tuning process, at best, tunes ONE NOTE, and simply
puts you in a position where you can BEGIN to play in tune with another

In almost every lesson, I try to slip in some vestige of the tuning process.
to "lock it in" as it were.....

Walter Grabner
World-class clarinet mouthpieces

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