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I use the Clear Tunes app everyday and I was wondering how accurate I have to be as a beginner. Also does anyone know what it’s measured in? So if I’m off by say a couple of dashes what does that even mean ? Obviously I know I need to be bang on but I’m a beginner do I not get any slack ? Thanks a lot !!
The space between notes is called a semi tonea to a flat is a semitone, a to b is a full tone. the dashes represent divisions of the tone or semitone. The gap in a full tone is 200 cents, in a semitone its 100 cents therefore each dash represents five cents, so if you are 1 dash out you are either flat or sharp by 5 per cent of one semi tone. believe it or not, goood violinists can quite plainly here if you are five cents out, soloists have to be perfec, and thats what everyone who plays violin should aim for, which is why ear training is so important..as well as practising intonation. You can have superb tone but sound terrible if you are slightly flat. There are cases when you play notes sharp on purpose, this is generally in pythagorean tuning, for instance you would shorten the interval between c sharp and d. If you were playing with different instruments you play in tune with them. Andrew could answer this question a lot better than I can it can be quiet complicated, I have said before all violinists struggle with intonation and practice it all the time, its one of the main reasons violin is so difficult, I myself struggle getting the note b perfect, (as well as all the others,)
Not recommending you get laxed, and still try to get the best intonation as possible, but, I was told that nobody is spot on all the time. When playing with a group, there are more hitting the note than not and it covers for those who miss one here and there.
I cannot remember who said it, but it was a professional player, not a student. Nobody is ever 100% spot on, you try to be as spot on as possible. That is one drawback of playing by yourself when you are no longer a student, you have no coverup. But, as student, I think you want to be able to hear it, and experience group playing. I, myself, cannot play in a group. I just cannot do it.
Cello, Violin, and Viola Time!
@mouse absolutely true, even Heifetz once played a note flat, apparently the audience were stunned, Heifetz stopped playing walked to the side of the stage and faced the wall, the orchestra just stared not knowing what to do, then he started to plày slow scales for fifteen minutes, after this he walked back nodded to the orchestra and carried on playing exactly were he had left off true story.
@katie m -
Bottom line - can't play with a tuner forever.
You need to be able to hear what a scale sounds like. There are things you can do to help you be close, but you are only going to be as good as you can hear - that usually takes time for most of us people (unless you are born with perfect pitch).
The more you listen to what's in tune, the better you will hear it and what's not.
I love Prof William Fitzpatrick's (5-part intonation series - watch ALL) explanation of perfect intonation and it's relationship with your finger pattern intervals, scales and how to help yourself find notes.
Here's part 1 - find the rest at the Virtual Sheet Music site.
Btw, I started another thread on "intonation", you might find informative.