Tuning gauges are a necessity in modern timpani playing. The gauge is directly linked to the tuning mechanism and a pointer moves as a pedal is depressed. Note names appropriate to the range of each drum are placed on a strip next to the pointer. Each of these note names is moveable to adjust the gauge to the note being played.The gauge is no way associated with the actual pitch being played, unless adjusted correctly. The gauge is a useful tool to help players get close to the pitch they need, but ultimately their ear is the only way to play “in tune”.