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Essentials for Guitar
Tuners and Capo in the Toy Box
I was at a bluegrass concert once when a well known musician commented,"Please forgive me, I need to tune my guitar." I knew what he meant because as with any stringed instrument changes in temperature or humidity affect the strings and can make for some terrible sounds when not in tune. Today we have some pretty high tech tools we can clip right on the peg head of our instruments to quickly put a string back to its normal 440 tuning. For guitars, banjo's, fiddles, and mandolins the process of tuning the instruments are as easy as raising or lowering the strings to the desired pitch displayed on the tuner.
There are many chromatic tuners for accomplishing this task but the Intellitouch is by far the best for the average musician. When the strings are plucked to tune the key of the string lights up on the tuner and to be in perfect tuning three arrows on either side of the string pitch point to indicate the string is in tune. For example when tuning the E on a guitar the tuner would look like this:>>>E<<< and for B: >>>B<<< when tuned properly. Arrows to the left of the key only would indicate the string is flat and if to the right only would indicate the string is sharp and needs to be lowered to get the 3 arrows on each side of the key showing on the tuner. . The remaining strings,G,D,A, and the low E would each have the three arrows when the strings are properly tuned. Other tuning which may be a step above or below can be adjusted on the Intellitouch tuners. Some tuners do not have the arrows but correct pitch is indicated by a green color displayed on the tuner.
Another essential tool for guitar, banjo, and Dobro is the capo. The capo is a great tool to allow players to play using the same chord patterns while the neck or frets are shortened. For instance if a player or vocalist desires to sing in the Key of A, a capo would be attached at teh 2nd fret and the chord positions for G could be used for the A key. Capo's come in many styles and it is usually the musicians choice and preference that determines which one he will use. I personally like to use a capo because with arthritic hands some chords which are difficult in their normal neck position are less stressful to my fingers and hands when using a capo.
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