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Playing along with a CD

I have what is probably a simple question that I thought maybe you could answer. I want to play along to a CD. I don’t know how to tune to the CD. It might be in the key of D- or not. And even if it is in the key of D- it might not be a true D with all that the recording has gone through in translation.
   In the old days, we had  a tape player we could speed up and slow down to change the tone a bit.
   I start to do it, can’t get it tuned, get frustrated and put the fiddle away.

A: I don't know of any pitch shift technology for CD players. There are lots that will change the speed, holding the pitch constant. There probably are machines that will change the pitch. I'm sure there are. I am just not familiar with them.
   Here's how I play along with CDs: First, with an electronic tuner, make sure that your fiddle is in tune. Then play drone notes along with the CD. Then go back to the electronic tuner. Play the drone note that you have found to fit with the first and last notes of the tune. On any chromatic tuner you will be able to see the name of the drone note and whether you are a few cents sharp or flat. Tune accordingly.
Steve Mason

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