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MMD > Archives > April 2001 > 2001.04.27 > 05Prev  Next

Tuning the Piano for "That Honky-Tonk Sound"
By Gary Rasmussen

John Tuttle asked about tuning a piano for a honky-tonk sound.  Way
back when, when I tuned pianos regularly, I had someone give me the
same request as John received.  I tuned the piano as I normally would,
then I detuned most of the piano flat, one string per note, just enough
so that it was a bit "twangy".  I don't remember how far down the scale
I went with my detuning but I didn't detune the bottom couple of octaves.

The piano was generally in tune, as far as playing with other
instruments, but was consistently out of tune so all notes had a
similar dissonance.  I don't think the exact amount of detuning would
have really mattered to this customer.  I thought it was awful but the
customer was happy!

I have a recording (I think I still do), probably from the 60's called
'Honky-Tonk Percussion' that was made with a piano that was apparently
tuned out of tune, probably similar to what I described above. If you
like that sort of music, it really doesn't sound that bad, along with
other instruments.

Gary Rasmussen

(Message sent Fri 27 Apr 2001, 21:53:31 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Honky-Tonk, Piano, Sound, That, Tuning

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