Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Double Bass Tuners?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by mazaremba, Mar 29, 2005.


  1. mazaremba

    mazaremba

    Apr 15, 2004
    Well I am looking for a chromatic turner that will be good enough so that I can pin-point every note in whatever I am playing. (it's got to be better than EADG) Any one know of any good ones? Lemur's got ones all the way up to 200 some dollars, but are they worth it?
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A better study is playing with accompaniment, recording and listening back. I have the Boss TU-12, which is a great tuner. I haven't had a battery in it for years.
     
  3. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I use the intelli-touch tuner just for tuning. But interestingly A few weeks ago i left it attached to the bridge by mistake when we hit and i found myself constantly looking at it !

    Ray is right, interact with another musician. Preferably one that plays a fixed pitch instrument...
     
  4. mazaremba

    mazaremba

    Apr 15, 2004
    I don't want to sound upset...but I asked for a tuner not a lecture on teachers and other musicians. I currently study with a double bassist who was not only principle of the Civic orchestra of Chicago, but she has also substituted for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I have plenty of experince with playing with other folks as I am currently involved with an orchestra and jazz ensemble....

    I am looking for a tuner for individual practice and thanks for showing the Boss TU.
     
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have at least a half dozen tuners and have given away twice that many. Every year, someone will put one of those $15 Korgs in some Christmas package for me. I have an old Sabine chromatic, a Boss that I have owned at least 20 years and a $200 Korg rack mount tuner in my preamp rack. I also have the origlnal style intellitouch tuner and one of the newer, white cheapo versions. They are all pretty much the same. They all work really well.

    That being said, I never use any of them and usually just check tune against the piano in the den. :)

    Thing is, none will do what you are looking for.

    All string instruments, with the DB being the worst culprit, tend to waver around the pitch a bit. They will start a bit sharp, settle and fade flat as the note decays. depending on the composition and condition of the string, it may move in and out of pitch the whole time.

    Things like Lefthand pressure, bow pressure and pizz attack strength can alter the pitch as well. So, if you are playing a moving part in time, your ear is going to tell you more about whether or not you are in tune than any tuner really can. The tuners just aren't quick enough unless you are paying long bowed tones.
     
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've never used one, but those strobe-based tuners (made by Peterson?) seem to be the real deal. I believe people like them exactly because they are fast and accurate. There seems to be a small, pedal-sized unit these days, too.

    But it sure wouldn't be my preference for working on intonation, unless I had zero faith in my ears' ability to tell apart what sounds nice from what sounds raunchy. I find that playing against a drone is the most effective for me, as well as the most musical.

    Hope that's not perceived as a lecture. Just my two bits.
     
  7. I've seen and read about the Intellitouch tuners online. Some reviews say they're slow to determine a pitch, don't pick up low frequencies well, sometimes are affected by loud ambient noise, etc. All of this from guitar players.

    How do they work for double bass? Seems like it might be a problem- solver for me. At rehearsal, if I don't get tuned before the horn players start 'warming up' (16 pc. band), my plug-in tuner struggles to find a pitch it can read. And does the clamp fit a bass bridge without cobbling?
     
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I can get get the intellitouch to work pretty well clamped on either the bridge or on the pegbox. I usually clamp it on the inside edge of the bridge so it stays out of the way. It is a little slow, but I have never had a problem with it not working.
     
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    They work OK on DB. Clamps on to the bridge no problem and you can even then rotate the unit so you're reading the display right-side up. Pretty convenient and they work.

    I find two things about 'em, though:

    1) They're not fast
    2) They are not impervious to acoustic bleed from other sources. If something else is making your bass vibrate stronger than the energy you impart to the string, the unit is gonna read that other thing.

    I find in any non-quiet environment they're better than trying to read your bass out of the air with a tuner's mic or -- heaven forbid -- your ears. In that case I think it's best to plug your pickup's output into a tuner with a patch cord.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You don't sound upset, you sound like a jerk. Since you "...study with a double bassist who was not only principle of the Civic orchestra of Chicago, but she has also substituted for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra..." what tuner does she use or recommend using for practicing intonation? Does the principal use a tuner as a principle?

    It's great you have a teacher. It's great that she's even a good teacher. It's good that you have experience playing with other people in orchestra and jazz ensembles.

    Ray does, too. A lot. It would well behoove you to pay a little more attention to his advice and a little less attention to catching a snit.
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I've found that the fresher the batteries the quicker the intelli-touch responds...
     
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I exist but to serve.

    I do tend to get a little cranky when I perceive cats getting all hot and bothered when somebody who I know and like and who's playing I know and admire gives them the benefit of their hard earned experience.

    But that's just me.

    We SHOULD get together for a refreshing beverage with ray and Savino and PeteSwanSong and Marco and the whole New York crew...

    Oh, plus somebody says "DB tuners" to me and I'm thinking Sloanes, Baker style.....
     
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Me too. I am considering swapping out the tuners on my bass, this thread caught my eye. So, since I was here, I thought I would put in my two cents. Which, as usual, turned into a buck sixty.

    We get one of these now and again:

    Thread Starter: "I'm looking for the best shoes to wear when playing in traffic. Any ideas?"

    Some TBer:
    "It's unwise to play in traffic."

    Starter: "You people are so #%@^^&!!! All I asked for . . . "

    :rollno:
     
  14. I can never figure people like you out.....you come on all defensive and insulting to some of the best players around, then you take up most of your post bragging about all you've done...but, yet, there is absolutley nothing in your profile including telling us where you are..I don't get it!
     
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    As a jazz bassist, I rarely see a tuner anywhere near a bandstand, or even in the studio, for that matter. I've never seen one anywhere near any of the orchestral things I've done. I do see them in the hands of pop guitarists when I work with them, and these are usually the most out-of-tune situations in which I find myself.

    Infer away.
     
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I'll pipe in and say I'm no great fan either. Not out of principle or anything high-minded. It's just more practical to get a note from whoever the note authority is and then quickly tune the bass. Sometimes difficult in a real noisy environment. That's when the tuner can come out of my gig bag.

    Groups hardly ever check to make sure their tuners are in agreement. He's got 438, this other guy's got 445, she's got 441. Ai yai yai. Can't anyone hear that it sounds bad?
     
  17. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Principal, not principle. Getting this wrong is not the effect you're after.
     
  18. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Might I suggest smooth, plastic-soled formal shoes like the ones that you get with a rented tux? Also -- playing in traffic with these shoes is best on a rainy day.
     
  19. oliebrice

    oliebrice

    Apr 7, 2003
    London, UK
    how do those of you who don't use tuners get your first note right? ahve you got a G or whatever perfect ritch in your ear?
    UI tend to use a tuner to tune my G, then tune the other strings to it by ear, but in a noisy gig situation where I've had to bring a pickup I will use the tuner to tune all four strings, simply because I can't hear myself. And i do seem to be less in tune on those occaisions!
     
  20. Let's not forget the humble tuning fork. One player I know uses nothing else. You can hold it right up against your ear when it's noisy around you.

    Unfortunately, I seem to need three hands to do this. Luckily I have a Third Hand on order from Bob Gollihur.