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What would be my best bet for tuning?


Northern Michigan, USA
I've looked around a bit and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for so I thought I'd post this here. I am taking my sax in tomorrow to be looked at and see just what it's going to need as far as repairs. I have been wondering if I'm in tune and want to ask what I should do or have in order to at least know for sure?
I have no other instruments to compare to and no tuning devices either. I thought this would be the best place for the info I need instead of searching online.
Is there something inexpensive I could use that would help me?
What, where and how much? Thanks in advance :)
Easiest bet for tuning is a cheap digital tuner like the ones Korg make. It's slightly easier if you get one that you can set to the instrument's key, but that's not necessary. You should be able to find what you need for about $20, if european prices are anything to go by.

But a lot of the tuning is you and your embouchure.
If you've got a smartphone, like an iPhone, then there are loads of Apps available which provide tuner functions. I've got a couple that were only £2 or so and are great.

Either smartphone (my iPhone boasts a free tuner app!) or dedicated electronic tuner - only use it as a check. If you have a mic on your PC/Mac then online tuners are available too, if you look.

I've written elsewhere on the forum that if you start tuning your sax by sight you'll be onto a loser - as Kev says you have to train your ear and your embouchure in tandem to play 'in tune'. The danger with a tuner is that you start altering your embouchure only when you see a red light, not when the note is off-pitch.

To properly use a chromatic tuner, close your eyes, play the note, hold it, then open your eyes to see how close you were.

Some saxes (especially older and cheaper ones) are more difficult to tune than others, for instance I have a 1930's tenor that is flat on middle B and C, though the rest of the range is fine, and I can play the notes in tune on other instruments. Perhaps your sax needs a tweak and hopefully your tech can help, though of course when they test the sax with the tuner they'll use their own embouchure!

Good Luck,

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My very very favorite chromatic tuner is a Arion UM-70. It will set for C, F, Bb, Eb, will set the pitch for A=440, and variants thereof, and has a built in metronome, and is amazingly cheap. ($ 14) One part I like best about it is to the left of the led screen are three lights; red, green, reed in vertical position. If you are playing sharp the top red light activates, flat the bottom red light activates, if you are in tune, the green one activates. It helped me get my intonation under control now so that I seldom stray from the green area. Hope this helps.
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I just got home from dropping my new (old ) sax off at the music store. They told me it needed 4 pads, just as I thought and they would tune up and or adjust what ever it needs. When I get it back they said it will be ready to play....the charge was $75 and I picked up 3 different's that were recommended here and a Krog electronic tuner. The tuner was $16. So for $105 in repairs, reeds and a tuner plus the $200 I paid, I will have a pretty nice 17 year old Yamaha YAS23 for $305 ! I don't think I did to bad there fella's .
Excellent value, and you can be certain that as long as you keep it in playing condition you can always get your mopney back - it won't depreciate now. Fine sax, as well, I had an alto version for a while and it was great.
Superb, as jon says, you can't go wrong with that price, even if you really can't get on with it, you should be able to almost double your money. Not that you'll want to do that of course!
Is there something inexpensive I could use that would help me? What, where and how much? Thanks in advance :)
fmit is a graphical utility for tuning your musical instruments, with error and volume history and advanced features like waveform shape, harmonics ratio (formants), and microtonal tuning. . fmit uses Qt for its GUI and ALSA (where available) or JACK as its sound input library. Homepage: . Costs nothing.

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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