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Getting Rid Of The Twang (Page 15)

Hearing The Beat
Illustrated chart of this exercise
MP3 clip of the Beat
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     Choose any note in the center of the keyboard and follow these directions:
     1. Place one of the rubber mutes to the left of the trio of strings and the other one to the right of the trio, leaving only the middle string free to vibrate. Push the mutes between the strings firmly, just below the upper bridge and above the hammer striking point. For this first exercise, we will just assume the middle string to be at correct pitch, and we will adjust the two outside strings to match the middle string's frequency.
Place rubber mutes behind the strings above hammer striking point     2. So, with only the middle string free, strike the key a hard, firm blow and hold it down to make the tone sustain. Listen closely. You should be hearing a smooth, unwavering, steady tone. Strike the note several times and get the sound fixed in your ear.
     3. Now remove the RIGHT mute only, leaving the left one in place, so that you now have two strings free. Strike the note firmly again, holding the key down, and listen carefully. Do you hear a difference? Unless your piano has been recently tuned, you should hear a sound very different from the single string sounding alone. It will probably sound twangy to you; i.e., it will have a beating, wavering, pulsating, wave-like sound IF both the strings are not vibrating at exactly the same speed. If you hear absolutely no difference, it means these strings are in tune. Replace the right mute, and remove the other one. If you still hear no difference, try another string, or just continue to Step 4. This wavering soundwave, which becomes audible only when two strings are sounding at difference frequencies, is more difficult to describe than to hear. It is much like the vibrato of a saxophone or violin, for example; a wavering, quivering WAH-WAH kind of sound (or WOW-WOW).

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