by Brendan G-W
This week’s Gear Nebraska is a column that has been a weight sitting on my chest for many years now, long before HearNebraska.org was even a glimmer in Andy’s eye. That weight my friends, is a matter of tuning your instruments, or a lack there of. Nothing aggravates me more than hearing an instrument that is not in tune — be it guitar, bass, banjo, violin (especially painful) woodwinds, etc. That is my version of nails on a chalkboard, the ring of hell that Dante created especially for me (imagine a chorus of out of tune oboes, plucked from a fifth-grade school band).
And now I’ll step off of my soapbox and get down to brass tacks. There are many simple solutions to tuning your instrument. Rack mount, hand held and stomp box pedals are three of the most common.
I have owned my Boss TU-2 for about 10 years now. This pedal has been a staple of my setup. It has toured the country and been through countless rehearsals and has never given up on me. The three basic tuning functions of the pedal are chromatic, guitar and bass tuning. The chromatic setting shows the digital readout of the note you are tuning to. Using the guitar and bass settings, the display uses numbers to denote the string you are tuning. I prefer the chromatic for ease of use.
A less expensive option is a handheld tuner, like the Korg GA-30. It has a ¼” input as well as mic built in, for instruments that don’t have a pickup.
Regardless of which method you choose, the crux of the matter is to use a tuner before you play. It will make the experience better for you and for your listeners.
Brendan G-W is an Omaha native. Some of his fave things this week are sunny days, bike rides and a well tuned guit-fiddle. Think he is off key? Leave a comment here or drop a line at email@example.com.