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start tuning with A or D String?
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (3 votes) 
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mpship86
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December 8, 2012 - 8:34 pm
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Here is a quick question about tuning....most people say the first string to tune is the A string, however, my violin teacher says to start with the D string.  Which one is correct and does it even matter?

dunno

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
December 8, 2012 - 8:49 pm
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I'm not an expert, but I would guess that you would start with the A string if you were playing in an orchestra since concert A (440 hz) is the tuning standard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....tandard%29

When I tune, I'm all alone, so I use an electronic tuner and start with the G string just because it's first and lowest, then go up from there. But that's just me.

dunnoduncecap

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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December 8, 2012 - 8:56 pm
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Most tuners are set to 440hz which is the frequency of the A string and when in an orchestra setting, an A will be played generally from the oboe for everyone to tune to. The A on an oboe is actually at 443hz.

 

In answer to your question though, ask your teacher why he or she wants you to tune the D first?  Your teacher may have a very valid reason for wanting you to do it that way.

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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December 8, 2012 - 9:28 pm
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I've alway's heard to start with the A string first too. Tuning the A to 440 hz then tuning down to the D and G in perfect fifth's, to be tuned in pair's. Myself, I still can't do that, I have to use some sort of tuning device. My thought's before were maybe starting more to the center of the bridge for equal pressure, I dunno.  dunno

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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December 8, 2012 - 9:35 pm
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I have found that not tuning in order A, D, G, E causes the tuned strings to go out of tune when you get around to the A string. In my own experience, tuning G first then A causes the G to go out of tune. I believe its the pressure on the bridge exerted at certain points. Im sure theres a physics explanation regarding the best order of tuning. However, I dont know it.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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RosinedUp
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December 9, 2012 - 3:21 am
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This doesn't exactly answer the question, but is related.

During tuning I hit the side edges of the bridge with little fillips to stabilize things.  My idea is that that will cause the bridge to reach a stable position on the belly and cause the strings to be stable in their notches.  Also sometimes I press down equally on the lengths and afterlengths of each string.

Does it do any good?  How would I know?

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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December 9, 2012 - 5:45 am
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I guess if you do the G string first you are lifting the bridge at the E string. Only an infinitesimal amount but it will move .
So by the time you tune the E string, the pressure is equalised so the G string will be out of tune again.
I guess if you have a 5 string instrument, starting with the middle string will equalise the pressure across the bridge from the start.

Just my 2p worth, as I have no sense, sorry cents......

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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RosinedUp
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December 9, 2012 - 7:03 am
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When I pick up the fiddle, I try to tell---or should I say guess---by ear alone whether any are out of tune.  Then I use the electronic tuner and play all four strings in a row, noting which ones are out of tune and approximately how much.  If any are out of tune, I turn all the fine tuners of the out-of-tune strings the estimated amounts needed---without playing any strings---and give the bridge a little whack from each side with my middle fingernail as mentioned in my post above.  Then I start again---playing all four again to know whether they are all in tune yet. 

So in a sense I tune them all at the same time, not in a sequence.

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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December 9, 2012 - 4:29 pm
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If i have PC on - i check strings with FiddlerMan's tuner and can start to tune from any string i wish. If the PC is off - i use a pipe whistling tuner - this one is E, or i can use camerton A and start from A. Didn't notice any difference. Whatever i start with - i check it again after i tune them all, and then double check =) It's much quickier than it sounds, lmao =)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 9, 2012 - 11:22 pm
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Everyone I know tunes from an A first. I'm curious as to why your teacher wants you to start with the D string?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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scotty
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December 11, 2012 - 5:43 pm
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Chromatic Tuner makes things easy. 

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mpship86
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December 11, 2012 - 9:14 pm
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My teacher told me it had to do with the way the strings were wound up.  I guess it that was how she was taught to tune.  Can't say for sure...

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