CAJUN ACCORDION DISCUSSION GROUP
"First and foremost, tuning is mainly about personal preferences: if YOU like it, it is good."
I just want to clarify so as not to be misunderstood: I agree with this way of looking at tuning as personal preference. However, there are also some objective -- and very measurable -- standards of tuning. An octave that is not a perfect octave is out of tune no matter how you look at it, for instance. And 15 cent flat (from equal temperment's standard frequencies) is 15 cents flat. So my point, which I guess I wasn't being clear enough about, was that when dealing with a tuner, I think it's not a good idea to use terms that are debatable, such as "Tune it for Irish music," but rather, terms that are based on an objective, measurable standard, such as "tune it to equal temperment, with the tremelo reeds tuned 8 cents sharp," etc. Using terms like "dry", "swing" etc. will get different results with every tuner.
Yes, even "dry" can be different with each tuner, since "dry" can be anywhere from 0 to 2 cents difference between the 2 middle reeds. A tuner who uses only electronic tuners with a margin of error of + or - 2 cents will produce a different result than a tuner who gets the 2nd reed into a certain sound by ear!
I think one of the scary things about sending a box to a tuner is: exactly what will it sound like when it comes back? Will he follow -- or even understand -- my instructions. Sending to a Cajun tuner might involve getting the box tuned to his liking, not yours, but that's the risk you take. Sending to a "generic" tuner who tunes boxes of all style, you might also not end up with what you like.
The problem is, you might or might not really know for certain how to communicate the tuning you like most -- so what are you supposed to do, go to a tuner and just say, "tune this to my preference"? He won't know what the heck you want!!
Probably a decent route to take is finding someone else whose box' tuning you like, ask them who tuned it, then send to that tuner and request that it be tuned like so-and-so's box.
Another route to take is not to be so picky about tuning!!!!
Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you find someone with an accordion that has the the sound you like your accordion may not sound the same even though you have it tuned the same way. Wheee!!
Right. The things are amazingly inconsistent, even when apparently identical!
Boy I sure thought that myth about the regesters (stops) being only used for tuning had been put to rest long ago. You guys (Andy and David) are giving them some good information. I sure hope they use it.
I agree that it boils down to what a person likes, now getting it may be tuff.
The best piece of reference I have seen around "how to tune" a box is the Marc Savoie dvd volume II. I've attached the link above. Once on www.savoymusiccenter.com Go to "store", then to "films" to see it.
I imagine someone who is used to tuning accordions (wet or dry) would be certainly be able to understand the tuning method displayed on the dvd and do.
Buttons 1,4,7 and 10 tune 15 cents flat on push. Buttons 2,6 and 10 tune 15 cents flat on pull.
Buttons 4 and 8 tune 15 cents sharp on pull.
All rows are tuned the same for dry tuning.
Use an electroinc tuner like a Peterson Strobe tuner. Check each note for beating (there should be non for dry tuning).
All notes tuned at normal playing pressure.
A Big thank you to you all.
That's it. Not much to explain.
Dry or slightly wet sounds good for Cajun in my ears.
I want to get a hohner tuned only 5 cents. The thing is so wet, it's drenched.
Anyone know how much that kind of job would run from a builder? Can anyone email me with their preference of builder by pricing?
I don't know how many builders are still willing to do that job, I only know that Junior advertises that kinda work. Don't know if Larry would any longer. I know Marc won't
Joe wrote: "That's it. Not much to explain."
Not exactly. That's one version of tuning that goes beyond just flatted thirds, so it's going to please some ears and offend others.
I'm not doubting its authenticity. I just don't think that it goes without saying it's not the "basic" tuning. It's one answer among many.
It also didn't handle how to tune the two mid-range reedbanks in relation to each other, i.e. how dry is dry.
I'm also wondering how many of you out there have Cajun boxes where the indicated notes are sharp 15 cents, and if so, which makers tune this way?
My John Doucet box is tuned 15 cents sharp on 4 and 8 pull. The one I made is also that way. I'm pretty sure Jude tunes his the same. I belive Martins are also. Acadian I think is not. Maybe Dana will chime in here he has some tuning experience.
the most popular tuning for cajun accordions is for instance, on a C accordion. E's and B's 15 cents flat and all F's 15 cents sharp. Acadians are tuned this way.
Tuning is a touchy subject.
Most "Cajun tuning" I have seen is mainly the E's and B's like Joe says. Marc is one of the few folks that also tunes the F's from what I have seen.
Are ya happy, Bruce? :)