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Tuner for blind musicians

08 Oct 02 - 07:33 AM (#798808)
Subject: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Mikey joe

I have a friend who is blind. We were talking last night about guitar tuners and were wondering if there is a tuner on the market for blind or partially sighted musicians. All of the tuners we have seen rely on flashing lights or LED displays. does anyone know of a tuner that operates on a system where a high ptiched beep is heard if the note is sharp, low pitch for flat and contiunous for the actual note? Or any other method for that matter? Pitch pipes are rarely accurate enough and we are aware of tuning forks. but us there an electronic tuner out there that can be used by blind/partially sighted. If not who wants to invent one and make a few bob???


Mj


08 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM (#798822)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Willie-O

Shouldn't be hard for the right sort of techie. The sound cues for aiming a satellite dish would be a good model. This is not a real high tech operation with the current generation of small dishes. You start by pointing it to the prescribed compass heading and angle from vertical, according to your location, then turn on the TV & satellite dish using the "aim dish" feature, and turn the TV volume up. When the dish is not locked into a signal, there's a low-pitched broken sound, when it locks in it goes to a higher pitch without beeping, and the closer it is to 100% signal strength the higher it gets. You just keep "tuning" the dish position by moving it a tiny bit at a time, until the pitch starts to go down again. The analogy is obvious.   

Of course it seems a little odd to use a sound-based system to tune a sound, but its easier to discern because the signal tones are prescribed "steps" instead of always changing in an analog fashion. One must tune to 440 or whatever in order to be a sociable musician. One refinement you could make on the satellite system is to have the signal solid when the tone is flat, and beeping when it's sharp. (Danger, danger Will Robinson!)

I guess if no one has made it already, it's because the market is perceived as too small, since the perception of blind musicians is that they have such great hearing that they wouldn't need a tuner!

Gee, there are software tuners on the market, a programmer should easily be able to modify one to emit sounds.

W-O


08 Oct 02 - 09:04 AM (#798850)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: JohnInKansas

A quick look at the usual sites for aids doesn't turn up anything. This doesn't appear to be a commonly found item.

It should be fairly simple to "hot-wire" an existing tuner to make one sound when the high "red" light is on, and another when the low light is on, but most tuners show the green light when you're at any note within their range. You also have to know which note you're close to.

To be useful to a blind musician, it would seem that you should be able to generate each of the six guitar string pitches individually, and compare each generated pitch to what the corresponding string is doing. The comparison could be done with a fairly simple "beat frequency" output audio signal.

The required circuitry is "conceptually simple;" but unfortunately, making such a device work usually involves a significant amount of "cut and try" - with some additional effort to make something that will survive long enough to make it worth building.

Perhaps the simplest solution would be for your friend to carry a spare banjo player - just to tune his guitar. Or as one acquaintance does - he always asks to try someone else's guitar, and hopes they'll tune his while they've got it. Hasn't had his own tuner in years.

John


08 Oct 02 - 09:15 AM (#798857)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Bagpuss

A google search found this site which details modifications to an electronic tuner. Don't know if it is any use.

Bagpuss


08 Oct 02 - 11:12 AM (#798923)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Jim Krause

I don't know what instrument your friend plays, Mickey-joe. If he/she plays guitar or fiddle, mandolin or banjo, how about thinking low-tech? I use an old fashioned tuning fork. They are precise, they are as accurate as you can hear, and they don't get confused by extraneous noise.

Jim


08 Oct 02 - 12:32 PM (#798977)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Bullfrog Jones

If they still make them, I've got a tuner that looks like a little Marshall stack. It cost about 18GBP in Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley)five years ago. It looks a little gimmicky but works fine. It has chromatic and guitar settings, with built-in mic, in-out sockets and lights, a meter and a beep. Ironically I disconnected the beep on mine because it's so irritating!

BJ


08 Oct 02 - 03:55 PM (#799077)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: greg stephens

Train the guide-dog to look at the tuner and use a different sounding bark for sharp and flat.


08 Oct 02 - 06:34 PM (#799145)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow

While searching for a technological fix, your friend could maybe, when necessary, just collar a sighted person in the next seat, and use his or her eyes. It wouldn't have to be someone with any musical knowledge, just the ability to tell the difference between red, green and orange, or say when a needle is pointing straight up, and provide feedback.

I know it's an imperfect solution, because not having to ask for help is an important part of being independent, but pro tem it would do the trick.


08 Oct 02 - 07:16 PM (#799171)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Nigel Parsons

It doesn't help for the blind, but I remember my physics teacher (28 years ago) showing us how to tune a single string. He had it stretched over a pair of bridges at least the length of a guitar apart, and he had a 'C' tuning fork. He folded a 'wodge'* of paper over the string, struck the tuning fork, and applied it to the string where it crossed one bridge. Nothing happened!
He repeated this several times, each time adjusting the string tension by use of a tuning nut. As he got close to 'C' the 'wodge' started to be thrown off. This happened with the greatest vigour once the string was correctly tuned.

Nigel

(*Wodge= a piece of paper folded & re-folded to provide a small, heavy, 'v' shaped piece which would sit on the string)


08 Oct 02 - 11:58 PM (#799292)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

Is it just me or doesanyone else find it even somewhat *surreal* to be recommending a tuning "thingy" requiring "eyesight" that replaces "listening" to pure tones; listening being something the eyesight impaired use with more heightened sensitivity.

I dunno ,but all this "tuning for the sighted" sounds to me like....
well elementary schoolers learning math using calculators.

just a thought.



09 Oct 02 - 12:54 AM (#799324)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

I always thought the blind had a "more refined sense of hearing" than the rest of us.

My piano tuner is blind - he states that is why the blind were trained in the piano trade.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


09 Oct 02 - 05:42 AM (#799351)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Yeah - and Black people have a better sense of rhythm, don't they?

People vary. If I lost my sight tomorrow I doubt if that would that mean I immediately developed perfect pitch.


09 Oct 02 - 06:06 AM (#799355)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,.gargoyle

Mc - It would mean you would HAVE to learn how to tune by ear.

Why are people so LAZY?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


09 Oct 02 - 06:28 AM (#799357)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Laziness is the foundation of all technology, from the Stone Age to the 21st century.


09 Oct 02 - 06:39 AM (#799358)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Ed.

I'd disagree with that McGrath. Surely the need/desire to do more in a shorter time is the driving force?

Look at the way major technological leaps are made in times of war. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Regarding gargoyle's point on blindness improving hearing, it's a misconception (albeit a widely held one)

Ed


09 Oct 02 - 07:06 AM (#799363)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Same thing, much of tyetime. Getting stuff done quicker, so you can take it easy. That even applies to war, get it over so you can go home.

And of course, getting other people to do your work for you.


09 Oct 02 - 08:52 AM (#799376)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Foe

I think it was McCabes in Santa Monica, CA, where you could phone in, hit a number, and get an A 440 over the phone.


09 Oct 02 - 09:25 AM (#799397)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Ed.

I'm sorry McGrath but that's nonsense.

Do a little research into why Linus Torvalds created Linux, and you'll find a different motivation.

Classifying all human endeavor as being motivated by laziness is utterly idiotic.

Ed


09 Oct 02 - 10:00 AM (#799424)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Well, obviously I don't mean all human endeavour is motivated by laziness. Just that a great many developments in human technology at all levels have been adopted as a way of trying to avoid doing more work than we have to, either on the part of the person doing the development, or on the part of other people who might make use of the innoivation.

And yes, I said "all". Exaggeration and simplification of that kind is a customary element in human discourse, and is normally understood in that sense.

For example sentences beginning "I always.." are very rarely strictly and literally true. When we hear someone say "I'm going to kill that man" or "I'd give my right arm to..." we do not normally assume that they are speaking the strict and literal truth.


09 Oct 02 - 10:22 AM (#799447)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Pied Piper

Its unbelievable to think that blind people do not develop a generally greater proficiency at processing sounds than most sited people. And if that's not PC tuff. PP


09 Oct 02 - 10:23 AM (#799449)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Ed.

Thanks for the clarification, McGrath.

At best, my nature (or possibly nurture) is somewhat pedantic.

I've also had a particularly crap day dealing with ill-informed, uncaring and uninterested bureaucrats. Hence, my ability to deal with people saying/writing things that they don't actually mean is more than usually diminished.

Ed


09 Oct 02 - 10:32 AM (#799452)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Bagpuss

"As Vision Fails, Do the Other Senses Become Keener?

    The senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch don't improve when sight is lost. But people who have lost vision learn to concentrate and listen better and to pay more attention to information gained from their other senses."

From this site




09 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM (#799454)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,A. Sufferer

Any hope of getting a tuner for the unaccompanied singers in British folk clubs? One disguised as a shotgun.


09 Oct 02 - 11:16 AM (#799485)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

(quoth the MacGrath )
"Laziness is the foundation of all technology, from the Stone Age to the 21st century."

Oh this is just plain 21st-century-challenged Ludditine bushwah,balderdash, and cockpoppy in spades.

Ham-handedly obvious case in point :
Yeah right, cavemen "invented" caves rahter design and "build" their own shelters. Suggesting perhaps that our author is aware of evolution being different in pre-industrial England .
Forgive me for letting rip with a right ribald hardy-har har. ;-)

I suppose sailing ship engineering ( which made the British Empire possible) was a labor-saving technolgical system.
Any villiage idiot should know that the reason for the lionshrae of technolgy was, and continue to be , to *extend* human capability through opposing-thumb celebrating instrumentailites.

Perhaps this concept is lost on them whose knuckles still graze the pavement in spite of the inention of the "pocket".

My gawd, this was "supposed" to be the 21st centiury where most literate people "get it" by now.


09 Oct 02 - 12:03 PM (#799537)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: open mike

my piano tuner is blind, too.
I am reminde that there are clocks/watches for the visually
impaired which are read by feel--perhaps something along this
line could be arranged for the purpose at hand--except that
the hands are busy plucking and turning pegs...my Sabine tuner
has an r input (or out let) jacks-one for instrument and one for another use-amplifier?? does this mean it can generate a tone
and send it out?? perhaps that would work - something that would
generate a tone so that one could listen to how the note should
sound and tune while hearing the correct note...


09 Oct 02 - 12:08 PM (#799542)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST

Don't be too hard on Kevin McGrath,

He is getting old, so some incoherent bumbling is to be expected


09 Oct 02 - 12:59 PM (#799574)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Maybe I'll start a thread on this some time. But just think of how many clever inventions are essentially labour-saving devices, at all levels of technology. Flint knives; wheels; this Internet thing which saves me having to go up to the public library to consult books I don't have on my shelves when I want to check my facts. It even saves me having to hunt down the books that are on my shelves. And of course Columbus only got to America because he was looking for a short cut to the Indies.

Mind, you sometimes have to work damn hard at being lazy.


09 Oct 02 - 01:11 PM (#799586)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST

But this is where you are fundamentally wrong, McGrath.

Of course improved technology saves time. However, in nearly all cases, the time saving isn't intended to allow someone to sit on their bum all day, but rather do something else more interesting.

Jeez, we'd have never even got past the stone age if that attitude had been widespread


09 Oct 02 - 02:26 PM (#799651)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

(quote)
" But just think of how many clever inventions are essentially labour-saving devices, at all levels of technology."

I knew you were , and I understand that you are, defining "technology" mostly from the perspective of the "consumer "
and products mass produced for your convinience . You're reference to the purely commercial term "labor saving devices" confirms this. But this is a miscomception as these home-use contraptions are but one small portion of what has been the technolosphere.

That is why , for example , I intentionally mentioned the technology of ocean sailing ships of which the U.K. built its empire upon. Not to mention the mass production mechannics of the Industrial Age. Any student of Charles Dickens would wonder out loud where some get the "quaint" notion that this was meant as "labor saving" ( least of all *child labor*-saving ).

The railrodas were hardly labor saving , but labor multipliers as in moving more freight faster than horse drawn wagons or canals barges . Do you then believe that canal transport traffic was more labor intensive thus causing the creation of so-called "labor-saving" locomotives? ( How many folk songs written about the hard life of the railroad wage-slaver need one be reminded of ).
Most technology is designed for evermore levels of concentration of power; natural, corporate, and political and "saving labor" is but a colateral effect when convinient of profitable.

Man ,this is supposed to elementary-level history for anyone who knows their the British Pre-Indistrial to Post-Industrial Age.


09 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM (#799710)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: jimmyt

This is what I enjoy most about Mudcat. A subject like this evolving in to a"lively "discussion about caves, Luddites. tuning forks and Political correctness. should we find out that this blind...sorry, visually impaired person is an Irish traveller who plays with Punch the Horse, we'll be getting somewhere!


09 Oct 02 - 05:41 PM (#799817)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

"To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes". That's how Locke put it.

How I'd put it is that it's a good idea to understand what someone is saying before launching headlong into an attack on it.


09 Oct 02 - 06:16 PM (#799840)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: greg stephens

McGrath, I think these Amuricsns are very keen on working hard, they dont dont like to think all those clever inventions were just so as you can lie in the hammock. I'm with you. I use Mudcat so as I dont have to SHOUT.


09 Oct 02 - 06:30 PM (#799849)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Ed

It's a good idea to understand what someone is saying before launching headlong into an attack on it

That is a wise saying, Mr. McGrath. I might modify it to trying to say though

I'm going to print it out and tape it to the bottom of my monitor. May help me to not criticise others just because I've had a bad day.

Ed


09 Oct 02 - 06:34 PM (#799851)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Actually I think what drives things onward and upward is a combination of laziness and greed.

New things get invented to enable us to take it easy - but then the greed kicks in, and we realize that we can use them instead to accumulate more loot and possessions, and we end up working harder than ever. Which means we then have to come up with more more clever ways of cutting down work and getting a bit of a rest... and so on.

The engine of progress...

"...we'd have never even got past the stone age if that attitude had been widespread." I suspect that if we were all hardworking and abstemious by nature, we probably still would be in the Stone Age. And that might not such a bad thing either. The planet would be in much better shape. And the music and the songs would very likely be great, because that's one part of life where laziness and greed aren't too important (leaving aside the odd electronic tuner).


09 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM (#799854)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

(quote)
"How I'd put it is that it's a good idea to understand what someone is saying before launching headlong into an attack on it. "

Excuse mre,dear sir, but not being psychic I can only work with what you yourself have written and I fail to see where I have misread you and you have yet to define whereof I have misunderstood you.

It's been my experience that it's usually the older whom have corrected the younger over not knowing the history underlying an issue. What else is one to do then when one reads a "blanket" declaration that (quote) "Laziness is the foundation of all technology, from the Stone Age to the 21st century ".

Sorry if challenging such a sweeping generalization ruffles a feather or two out of place , but you've yet to make your case answering this challenge to your sweeping generalization.

Yeah ,there's _"many clever inventions that are essentially labour-saving devices, at all levels of technology", but this is hardly the lionshare of the vast majority of technology that undergirds *industrialized* civilization.

Call me hopelessly provincial ,but I learned that from a few key authorities on that subject while at university; namely the writings of Frank Lloyd Wright , Lewis Mumford and R. Buckminster Fuller whose generation predates you as well. Throw in the late Marshal McLuhan whom went so far as to consider the act of "writing" and the "written word" as the first technology of civilization for without which there would be no civilization.

The had-writing of books is hardly "labor-saving" while printing, which replaces hand-written books , is hardly labor-saving when the effort of hand-writing is transferred to setting the type ,preparoing the inks and press ,and actually working the press
( not to mention the building, installing, and maintainance and of each press ).

The point in this example being that actual labor wasn't so much saved as much as transferred to accommodate the industrial business of far vaster amounts of print production made possible. Much the way the "information age" was supposed to *eliminate* so much paper work.

If ,as you say ,you're crying foul over being misunderstood, they pray, make further your case. It's just open and fair debate that's all.


09 Oct 02 - 06:42 PM (#799858)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

DGYKIAT


09 Oct 02 - 06:45 PM (#799861)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST

Hmmm, according to Google, DGYKIAT didn't match any documents.

Might you be kind enough to explain?


09 Oct 02 - 06:54 PM (#799869)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

(quote)
"McGrath, I think these Amuricsns are very keen on working hard, they dont like to think all those clever inventions were just so as you can lie in the hammock."

Point well taken , my friend, only give a thought ,if you would, of where would you or any Mudcatter, be without the fine labors of the musical instrument maker?

What if they all thought like as you prescribe?
Touche'? ;-)

(quote)
"I'm with you. I use Mudcat so as I dont have to SHOUT."

Does that mean you're also content to leave your "labor-saving" guitar at home next tour and just sing?

C'mon. T'ws as fair as it was cheap a shot. ;-)


09 Oct 02 - 08:07 PM (#799942)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: McGrath of Harlow

Why do you think we're so keen on unaccompanied singing back here in the offshore islands?


09 Oct 02 - 08:30 PM (#799973)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: jim100_1

Hello there,
I've been reading this thread with much interest. You see, I am totally blind and am learning to play the guitar.
I also thought of looking into some kind of tuner because as of late, my guitar seems to be out of tune more often than not.

Someone wrote that blind people's listening is hightened because of no sight. I hate to disappoint you, but that's not the case. That's a stereotype. Yes, we listen and use our listening more, but that doesn't necessarily mean our hearing is more hightened.

Also, I can agree with asking a sighted person for help, but what if there's not a sighted person around to ask. When I practice, I do it alone, and sometimes, that's when I end up getting it out of tune the most.

I was looking at some of the websites you guys posted and I found them neat.

Believe me, this message is not to attack anyone or anything like that. I just thought I'd help clarify any misconceptions and stuff like that. I haven't really responded to these forums because I've only joined a few weeks ago, but I do look forward to joining in more and seeing what more I can learn from you guys.
Feel free to write.
Jim


09 Oct 02 - 09:41 PM (#800018)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: GUEST,Taliesn

(quote)
" I've been reading this thread with much interest. You see, I am totally blind ....."

Forgive my asking , but am I wrong in taking it that you thus employ some form of digital vocalization software that "reads" the text out loud to you or do you have one of those motion braile pads that have pins that rise in the correct braille pattern to transmit each letter of text to fingertip in succession?

With this in mind in mind then the way "any" form of tuning a musical instrument , that doesn't use a visualization of each waveform , still requires heightened "listening" no matter one's level of eyesight.

As far as the "heightened" sense of listening it is *not* a steroetype at all ,but a matter of heightened *perception* due to lack of the distractions of sight. I always prefer to listen to complex orchestrated music with all lights out to get the full effect. It's just the way we are wired so your polite protestation
of "steroetyping" really sounds like a tree falling in forest with no one to hear it.

And to think all this over suggesting using one's own trained ear, perhaps aided by a tuning fork , to tune one's instrument.


10 Oct 02 - 04:46 AM (#800164)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Bullfrog Jones

Thank you, Jim lad, for bringing the subject back to the point and away from all the knicker-twisting blether above. If I come across one of the beeping tuners I mentioned I'll PM you. Sadly it doesn't tell you whether you're you're sharp or flat, but even if you're as inept as me you can probably work that out for yourself.

BJ


10 Oct 02 - 06:31 AM (#800205)
Subject: RE: Tuner for blind musicians
From: Pied Piper

Taliesn. The "Technolosphere"; is it a subset of the "Bullshitoshere"?
   All the best PP.