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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pierreganseman, Sep 17, 2008.
Unless you're playing in an orchestra, where you'll be fired if it's anything less than perfect.
I am sure.
+1. Be sure to check every string and every fret. Things might surprise ya.
piano;'s are not in tune
i think its part of the charm and excitment of a fretless, sliding in to a note when your just out, somtimes even smudging the note intentionally sounds amazing. ... god damn i want a fretless
Then you're wrong.
I know this, if I'm not in the ballpark, I get alot of funny looks from my guitar player and drummer.
So you're saying that every single note on every single string is 100% dead on?????
Jim is correct, it is a physical impossibility for every note to be perfectly in tune on a fretted bass. Hence the equal-tempered scale.
So my tuner is wrong?
You are right. If you define "in tune" in terms you pick, I'm sure I would agree.
The simple fact is that frets are a compromise. You can call it in tune if you want to, and I'll call it out of tune if I want to. We are both right, and it is still a compromise.
Intonation and tuning are a huge topic, as I am sure you know, but this is not the place to discuss it. Agreed?
There's an informative article on tuning systems here.
The basic gist of this topic: there are numerous tuning systems out there and none are perfect. These days, most fixed tuning instruments (piano, fretted instruments, etc.) are tuned using an overall compromise called equal-temperament. With equal-temperament, intervals are not truly in-tune, and some are worse than others. With a fretless bass, you have the opportunity to adjust to be in-tune harmonically. But of course this may be subtle to most listeners.
Maybe because I'm usually singing it's different for me, but I feel I'm in tune most of the time. It just feels wrong when I'm out of tune & so it doesn't happen very often. I can't use a lined fretless, it confuses me. If it helped me I'd surely have one though. I admit the first month was a bit shaky, but once I started listening instead of looking it all came together. I sometimes listen to tracks & wonder if I used a fretless or not.
If I play any note on my bass when i'm in tune, my tuner will say i'm in tune also.
That's all there is to it.
Every note on a properly tuned piano will not register as in-tune on your tuner, or mine for that matter. If you played a piano where every note was "in tune" it would not sound natural or pleasant. Pianos are stretch tuned, meaning the lower notes are slightly flat and higher notes are slightly sharp. This is done in large part to make them sound in tune.
Most modern sampled piano keyboards emulate this feature. hold a tuner up to a modern sample playback type keyboard and see how in tune it is.
That's only a fraction of what there is to it. If you have a tuner that says everything is in tune, it's not even remotely sensitive enough. I suggest reading the articles that others mentioned on what tempered pitch is and the limitations.
Sorry about all the quotation...but I need to ask an honest
question, and I hope you don't think I am being facetious.
Do you think your tuner listens? I don't think mine does.
In my humble opinion, even if you have the ideal tuner,
music is much more complex than what a tuner understands,
unless that tuner is you.
The endless number of 'fretless' threads continues to fascinate me. Do violin, viola, cello, bass viol players go online and discuss intonation or discuss how awesome their instrument is because it has no frets? Probably not. It seems to me that we all spend way too much time finding new and creative ways to let others know that we play fretless electric basses. Let's get over ourselves. Just play bass!
As a very humble violinist and a passable double bassist, I must agree you have a good point! However, don't forget that the musical culture and technique of those instruments is older and actually much more formalized, even for folk/fiddle styles--and especially so for classical/jazz/southern Indian styles.
My point is that we players of the fretless bass are having conversations about something that is in many ways new. That's OK, IMHO.