Ambient beats (pitch differences)

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by moopants, May 20, 2007.

  1. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    I've been playing fretless bass for about a year and a half or so, so I still consider myself a beginner on it. I play well in tune, but, of course, I hit sour notes at times, or I play notes that aren't perfectly in tune, but close enough to the human ear. When I do this, I notice I hear beats, but where from? I noticed that it happens more often on E, A, D, and G, so I know that sometimes it's just my open strings barely vibrating. But, to test this, I put my finger between the in-tune F and F# on the G string, and I heard beats. This may sound weird, but do the objects around me emit frequencies that may cause the beats, or am I just mentally insane? Has anyone else noticed this?

  2. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    yea, i play fretless too and i sometimes have that experience. theres definetely the possibility of outside objects vibrating sympathetically, but it might be the instrument too. i notice on my bass that notes higher up on the E string, which get a more thuddy metallic sound, get those wavering beats. it could be the string reacting with the wood/metal hardware. maybe even stuff like 60-cycle hum...but that depends on your setup.
  3. Maybe it's beating against the note you imagined you were going to play.
  4. dulouz


    Dec 7, 2006
    Just a question...How is your pickup height? If the pickups are too close to the strings you can get all sorts of wierd effects.
  5. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    My pickups are about a normal height. I put them high enough that I can slap the strings with the tips of my fingers and they click against the pups. Hearing the beats is helpful, so if it is my pickups, I'll just leave them like they are.

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