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Having a bad intonation day?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jazzkuma, Mar 11, 2009.


  1. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma

    Sep 12, 2008
    I just want to know if this has ever happened to anyone else. I played today and all day it just felt like my bass was being so naughty today by being out of tune all day. It doenst happen regularly but it just pissed me off and I didnt know what happened, before playing I was playing outside and it was kinda cold... I dont know if that would affect the intonation somehow but it was a terrible day. The strings wer also kinda cold.
     
  2. Basskimo

    Basskimo

    Mar 6, 2009
    It's more likely the player than the bass. There's usually not anything, intonation-wise, that can't be fixed. When it happens to me I just get this weird feeling. A kind of severe lack of interest of playing at that instant. The problem for me is the mindset. Like I've said before, so much of playing the bass and figuring things out and viewing things and theory is simply mindset. Some remedies I use are take a little break, get something to drink while you listen to a good song (kind of like what you are going to be practicing, tempo-wise, etc) and return after 15-20 minutes.
     
  3. +1

    The break idea is a great one. Even doing something physical to get the blood pumping can help as well.
     
  4. I've personally found that if you are able to practice through a bad day, the next day is usually stellar. Also I've been finding that the more regularly I practice the less frequent the bad days are. Or maybe the less severe they are, but that said just try to work through them when you have them. Sometimes its just really hard to wrap your mind around focusing on technique and the ability to practice falls off.
     
  5. Basskimo

    Basskimo

    Mar 6, 2009
    This might sound a little odd but if you live in a suburban area, go outside and just sit for a few minutes on a bench or something. We are so used to being sound-aholics and quiet-ophobics the 'silence' somewhat resets your mindset. Also another benefit, it gets you off of other noisy sounds and so when you return, you are more sensitive to your tuning.
     
  6. joel kelsey

    joel kelsey

    Aug 1, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Bad intonation days? I call those week days! Seriously though, if I am sucking more than normal I practice open note friendly scales like G, A, E (along with whatever other scales I am working on that week) slowly with my bow. In general, when I warm up my intonation is usually better too. Playing out of tune is not the end of the world. It will get better. If nothing helps put the bass down for a while.
     
  7. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    strings maybe dead? fresh set and a strobe might be the ticket.
     
  8. Jazzkuma

    Jazzkuma

    Sep 12, 2008
    yeah I just felt like **** today you know? I tried adjusting the pin to different heights cuz i thought that was the problem and then I had to check for tuning with the piano for a couple of times... so annoying. I really hope its just a one day thing.
     
  9. Basskimo

    Basskimo

    Mar 6, 2009
    Hahaha, yea, that's the feeling I'm talking about. Really the only (general) to fix it is to just step away for a little bit (or try what we've said before).
     
  10. Historically, I would have this happen with the guitar. It usually meant I was about to come down with a head cold.

    But also as Basskimo states, sometimes the ear, and the mind, need a bit of rest.
     
  11. ERMarks

    ERMarks

    Mar 2, 2009
    Portland, OR
    temperature has a little bit to do with intonation. it shouldnt be too bad though. i find it really hard to play jazz at 6:30 every morning when my strings are cold though. especially if i dont get a chance to really warm my hands up. but im assuming youre not really playing at 6:30 in the morning... haha. maybe its just me. :meh:
     
  12. KontraKurt

    KontraKurt

    Jan 8, 2009
    Hi Osmarokuma, high variation in temperature and humid will affect the bass pretty much. Think about that even the wood of the instrument will change when humid rise or fall. DB are made of wood and wood is a living material. My bass is able to keep its tuning perfect for a week or so but can change dramatically from a day to another because of weather. Perhaps that even high and low air pressure will affect your bass.
     
  13. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I find that my intonation is a good indicator of whether I've got my technique together in general, and how much I've been practicing. Especially at the end of a four-hour gig. It means I am doing something wrong, or don't have the stamina that I need. It could be caused by lack of practice, mental focus, being physically or mentally tired, or whatever.

    One more thought is that a cold bass could make your hands cold.
     
  14. bassbuddie

    bassbuddie

    Jan 8, 2003
    Montreal
    I sure had bad Intonation days. Every day was to me is a bad intonation day. And I took some lessons with a classical teacher who showed me how to play arco. I still have bad intonation days, but if I play arco about 10 minutes, it helps a lot to be good intonation day.
     
  15. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    You mean there is a such thing as a good intonation day?
     
  16. bassbuddie

    bassbuddie

    Jan 8, 2003
    Montreal
    ;) the day I pratice the G scale.
     

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