While in my Saxman alter ego, I was searching the web for tuning note tones in mp3 format that I could download for my phone and iPod. (Yup, I have a phone AND an iPod, but I don’t own a tuner.) I didn’t find much that was useful and free. I did find a blog post by Mike O’Connor,
Tuning notes — MP3 files for your iPod or player, ~ http://www.haven2.com/index.php/archives/tuning-notes-mp3-files-for-your-ipod-or-player ~
which included tones for orchestral and guitar tuning using the pitches A, D, and E Concert. I found the mp3 files straightforward, well-done and easy enough to download. [Thumbs-up Mr. O’Connor.] Oh yeah, …and I loved the price (free.) Still, as a Tenor Saxophonist, I was looking for pitches that would help me center the intonation of my axe. So, I booted up the ol’ Finale music notation program to generate the pitches I really wanted and convert them to mp3’s.
Well, once I saw the manuscript paper I was in Tunesmith mode. I couldn’t just stop at four whole notes of Concert G. Time to tinker! Even though I realize as a practical matter most musicians can tune their horns in 8 to 16 beats, I decided to take things a little further by adding a second pitch and additional reference devices to help center a performer’s intonation on the same track. Needles on tuners are nice and usually very accurate, but during performance we rely upon our ears to stay in tune. It’s better to check more than one note, as a horn player, to be certain you’re ready to play in tune.
Naturally, I couldn’t leave my section-mates hangin’. So, I forged similar tracks for Alto, Bari, Trumpet and ‘Bone. Remember: Tuning aids are nice to have, but the best performers make time to WARM-UP and KEEP Their EARS ON. Listen! Listen! LISTEN! Following are links to the Tuning Note mp3s. The tracks are geared for a quick reference for seasoned players or as a training tool for newer instrumentalists. If there is sufficient request, I’ll forge more of these for different instruments.
Many thanks to Anthony (Tony) Aguilar and Phil Blass for their invaluable input. Thanks again to Mike O’Connor.
Here’s a sample I posted on YouTube:
Any instrument can use any track for tuning. I hope you find them helpful.
Sample of Tuning Jazz Ens. Horns… manuscript.
- Reference of tuning notes and intonation devices.