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Timpani Tuning Gauges
By Percussion Source
12/30/2014 11:11:00 AM

Tuning Gauges

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”.

Fine Tuner

The fine tuner on some timpani is a hand adjustment used to make smaller pitch adjustments without the pedal. Fine tuning on timpani is a constant part of playing – there is no “set it and forget it” in timpani performance. Being able to make these small adjustments by hand instead of the more inaccurate method with your foot.  Regardless of the design, all fine tuners work the same way – moving the tuning mechanism without mechanically moving the pedal.

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Tags: timpani, tuning, tuning gauge, fine tuner
Categories: Concert Percussion
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