How often do you tune?

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I check/tune my batter heads every single time I sit down to play. If it's really wonky, I will tune the resos also. I feel it is my responsibility to make sure my instrument sounds it's best each time I play it.

I have been researching bass guitar stuff lately as I am going to buy one. I have come across numerous complaints of people who don't like specific instruments because it requires tuning each time they play (Example: Ibanez Mikro). Is this a thing?

I'm of the opinion that an untuned instrument makes the performer sound bad no matter how well they play. Thoughts?
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
In decades of playing, I haven't come across a guitar or bass yet that would hold perfect tuning for extended periods. Some remain very close but there is always at least a string or two a few cents off. Complaining about or expecting an instrument to maintain tuning like that is amateur hour stuff in my opinion.

Drums are more forgiving from a tuning perspective as they are generally tuned for timbre and punch as much as actual pitch generally but even then, a more refined ear well heard things that have gone astray
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
What?!?

If it doesn't sound right I tune. As a guitar player, in the right(or wrong) environment sometimes between each song. Comes with the territory. You also have to know how to compensate for the imperfections of the instrument.

If complaining about tuning is a thing? Sure. I've have some 9-12 year old students that don't get it initially. Grown-ups like that I'll stay far away from.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Every single time!?
I have a Sonor 3007 maple kit at the bands practice space. It gets cool temps at night and warms up in daytime. I play this kit at least once a week or so and it never needs tuning.....for many many months. Quite amazing, and I am fussy too.
My kit at home is in a basement stays at fairly constant temperature, also rarely tuned.
I tune snares a little more frequently, but not each time I sit at the drums.
I think it can depend somewhat on the climate where your drums reside.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Every single time!?
I have a Sonor 3007 maple kit at the bands practice space. It gets cool temps at night and warms up in daytime. I play this kit at least once a week or so and it never needs tuning.....for many many months. Quite amazing, and I am fussy too.
My kit at home is in a basement stays at fairly constant temperature, also rarely tuned.
I tune snares a little more frequently, but not each time I sit at the drums.
I think it can depend somewhat on the climate where your drums reside.
Perhaps I should also add that sometimes I don't have to tune anything. But I check every single time I sit down.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
My kits and I have come to an understanding-

I hit them... I like them... I play them.

I hit them... I don't like them... I re-tune them... I play them.

It works for us.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Sonor tune safe feature actually works. It's not just marketing mumbo jumbo. So rarely would be my answer.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
When I was gigging I would generally have to tune at least something after transporting them to their destination. At home, whenever they start sounding wonky.

One of the things that drove me nuts with my previous PDP MX Series was how often I had to tune them. At least once a week, because they would sound off even through isolation earbuds.

With my Gretsch, not often at all. It’s been a couple of months since I last tuned them. They have gone lower in pitch, but they are still in tune with each other and still holding a decent stick feel. They still sound great through mics too, so I’ll ride it out for a bit yet.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Should mention, likee many, the drums in the shed are rarely tuned. Sound change would be the main reason, but I mostly have different drums for that.

On the rare gigs I do though I always go to town. I usually only bring my snare and generally don't agree with the tuning nor the 10 pounds of tape on each drum.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I tune roughly once per week which is not bad considering I play every day, usually for an hour or two.

It's a mixed blessing but I use a Tune-Bot to tune to notes and musical intervals. My ears have become so accustomed to hearing actual notes when I strike the drums that I can quickly tell when they're out by even 2-3 Hz. I'm probably fussier than most but it bugs me when they're off by even a little bit.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Drums are more forgiving from a tuning perspective as they are generally tuned for timbre and punch as much as actual pitch generally but even then, a more refined ear well heard things that have gone astray
People have different ideas, but I'd tend to agree. It's just where the drum sounds and feels the best to me and then the intervals will be more or less even from that.
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Will tune properly before I tour. At every gig I will check tuning as acoustics can change from venue to venue & re adjust as necessary :)
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I'll check every time I play, but I actually need to tune very rarely.

I tune my bass every time I pick it up, and at breaks in longer sets.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Guitar players silently tune there guitars with those digital guitar tuners.
I wish someone would invent a silent tuner for drums.

.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
I usually play the main kit for 1 and a half hours each day, that varies slightly according to life.

I find I rarely need to tune the toms, just the odd tweak if I feel saucy.

The snare gets the same attention.

My Acousticon holds it's tuning really well.

My bloody voice on the other hand......I try to tune that every day, still sounds like a pair of socks stuck in a vacuum cleaner.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Does the Tension Watch work like a torque wrench?

The Tama Tension watch is probably the first generation of drum tuners. It registers the tension of the head. There are several versions. I've never bothered as it's said to be a bit unreliable.

As far as I know there are only a few drum tuning products out there:

Overtone Labs Tune-Bot (3 versions, but they're more or less the same)

Tama Tension Watch (one of them is digital)

Circular Science Reso-Tune (the most advanced product, but maybe too advanced?) I'll probably get one some day.

iDrumTune app (I've used it with my iPad and it works, just not very convenient and the amount of misreadings is also a bit annoying)


I know about the torque keys, but since there are so many other reason than head tension a lug's tension is dependent on it seems strange. Maybe for quickly changing heads on a drum you know, but how often does that happen and how much does it actually help?

The Reso Tune doesn't seem to make much noise either. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjyLy47S4bY
 
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SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I used to tune mine often. However, I started tuning what might be considered very low(like a quarter of a half turn past, finger tight as a reference). Counter intuitively, I don't need to tune very often. I think it is for several reasons. One, the fundamental tone of the shells are driving the resonance, rather than the heads. Two, the heads don't wear out as fast with less tension. Three, uneven tensions don't develop as the head as the heads have freedom to move.
 

roncadillac

Member
I live in Florida, practice in the AC, and gig usually outside in the elements so honestly... I've got to give them a quick 'spot check' pretty much every time I move them. Rarely does it result in anything more then a couple quarter lug turns across a whole kit but it's enough to cause unwanted overtones especially in mic'ed situations. Beyond that, usually a 'spot check' before recording or when changing heads is about it.

One thing I can say for sure is when I switched exclusively off Remo for Evans several years ago my time spent tuning (and re-tuning) dropped dramatically. Not trying to turn this into a Remo vs Evans debate as Remo also makes quality products, just stating my personal experience and what has seemed to work best for my needs and playing style.
 
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