Anyone of you tried using SKULL BONE tuning live on stage?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Honch, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Now the title may evoke scratches to your head. It isn't about grave robbing and digging up someone elses skull.

    It isn't a new brand of pedal tuner. It is what you make of it, if you, when playing live:

    1. Has no tuner at all on hand, neither clip on or pedal. Or forgot it at home.
    2. You can make NO mutes or pause in your playing, you have to turn the tuning pegs while you're playing.
    3. Due to/thanks to that you wear these molded customized earplugs you don't really hear slight out of tunings by ear only.
    4. Or, you're sitting down while playing, in an orchestra pit or the like.

    I e leaning your head, jaw, chin, or ear part firmly against the body of the bass, FULL CONTACT to feel the vibration through your head, and detect it that way, if it's in tune or not?

    To me, this overrides ANY volume on stage almost, and you can get a clear signal through the bones in your head, that travels its ways into the cochlea. Louder than anything else, but not really damaging anything. I've done this a few times when the reach for tuner, or pressing a pedal tuner is out of the question. Normally, if I do anything without earplugs I can hear it in a split nanosecond if something is off. I was surprised how well it worked, and I've only seen one professional artist do this live on stage, of course he's sitting, and he's a gtrd. No, not Robert Fripp but Norwegian ECM Jazz stalwart Terje Rypdal. He doesn't even use a tuner I think. Of course, you must have your hearing worked up right, so you can HEAR if anything is out of tune anyway, and not rely on any pedal or electronic tuner device at all.

    I've come across 2-3 situations myself like this when playing, and it made sense. I usually stick one cable from the bass into the amp, and no tuner, and no clip ons. I tune it up beforehand of course, but it can drag and slack ever so slightly during the course of the set.

    Anyone else?

    PS. Agree, it's a bit of a major feat trying to do this on Steinberger paddle basses though...
  2. Ox Boris

    Ox Boris Inactive

    Nov 23, 2015
    I don't think I could tune by it, but I can feel if I've played the wrong note, through my sternum.
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I do that a lot when I'm in the middle of a song and don't have the luxury of using a tuner. Works really well in a pinch.
    TonyP- and Honch like this.
  4. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I know I used to place a tuning fork in my mouth (owned ONLY by me and used by me only) back in the days, and bite it between my teeth and knock it, and then have two hands free for tuning. That A resonated within the head, and equally in both ears. Sustained forever. Today I just use my tinnitus as a reference note... if I know what pitch its at... ;) Same kind of resonance in the teeth and bones throughout the head. Reached the ear hair cells from inside so to speak.
    gebass6 and seanm like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I'm 51 - for several decades, no one had a tuner on stage. You had to use your ears. Just as easy for me to use harmonics on 5th/7th frets.
    EdO. likes this.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I started on cello. At some point, I discovered that I could press the tuning peg against my head to hear a note and check my intonation. I also learned to tune my cello by ear from day one, so I've never bothered with an electronic tuner on stage.
    Honch likes this.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    And here I was getting all excited!

    kesslari and Honch like this.
  8. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I find a great way to hear what a bass body or neck sounds like is to press my ear against the part and pluck an open string really hard. You can hear how good the fundamental is the overtones and the decay.
    Honch likes this.
  9. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    The thing is if the - say - open string are out of tune, and is in the key of the rest of the band, you'll FEEL the beating it causes, through your head. It's like a huge wobbling chorus or vibrato occuring. It wavers big time.
  10. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Oh I get it. Yea.... bass against the head. I wish I'd known about that years ago. That would have avoided all the teeth marks on the neck. Dude... I'm buyin' a new bass.

    Honch and craigie like this.
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