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I still have difficulty tuning the open strings, and I find it more convenient to tune by harmonics - i.e. play the D harmonic on the G string and compare it with the first harmonic on the D string, and so on up to the E string. I realise this will only work at home and not in an orchestra, where I probably wouldn't be able to hear myself. Is this a stupid habit, or does it have support among better violinists? @AndrewH or @Fiddlerman . Apologies to other experienced violinists I have left out, but I don't know who you are, lol!
Gordon Shumway said
Is this a stupid habit, or does it have support among better violinists?
I agree with @Fiddlerman
No, this is not stupid. What you are trying to achieve is a tuned instrument, correct?
My ear is still not quite where I need it to be as far as hearing the perfect tone. So many times I need to resort to using a tuner and I do use fifths to tune from the A string, like traditional tuning. I find this to be not only easy and fast, but what my ear is used to.
I end up with a tuned instrument that sounds beautiful. If this is what you can achieve using harmonics, I say go for it! I have not ever tuned that way before, and I think your ear is very good if you can hear the tones that well.
I do not have a specific or defined sound when I know I am in tune. When I hear the correct fifth in tune, it just feels right. I just know it. I wish there was something I could put my proverbial finger on, but I do not know what it is exactly. When I hear it, it is right. Is there anything you specifically listen for?
- Pete -