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How does de-tuning a lot effect intonation???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by suitlandkid2005, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. suitlandkid2005


    Sep 23, 2008
    I mainly play in standard tuning. I sometimes dabble in drop d. I was wondering how would my bass be affected if I were de-tune a lot. Someone on here said my intonation would be messed up on my bass? I looked up intonation and I understand it being about pitch so could some really cover that for me as well while addressing the de-tuning issue? I wondering could I mess things up if I occasionally play in drop b, drop c#, or all strings down a half-step? I have an 90's Ibanez ATK and it is a four string. Thanks in advance.
  2. SuperBassSam


    Feb 9, 2009
    Dorset, UK
    Intonation is basically when the natural harmonic produced at the 12th fret on every string is the same as the note played on the 12th fret on that string. Lots of things affect intonation from too much neck relief to an incorrectly positioned saddle/bridge, and even things like fret wear.

    IMO I would think that if you only play in those tunings occasionally and dont leave the bass downtuned for any length of time, it should be okay, but dont quote me on that. Also bear in mind if your planning to tune down to drop b from standard your strings will be flapping round making it difficult to play cleanly.

    I occasionally tune down to drop D for some of the heavier stuff we do and so far nothing catastrophic has happened to my bass.

    Have you had your bass set up professionally recently? If you haven't it is defintely worth doing.

  3. suitlandkid2005


    Sep 23, 2008
    Thanks a lot. That was extremely helpful. I haven't had it set up professionally but I plan to this week. You think a pro will prevent some bad things happening to your bass with a proper set-up?
  4. Unless it's way, way off, all you're risking is playing out of tune. If you slacken your strings too much you'll probably get less relief in your neck and throw the intonation off, and the lessened tension could affect it as well. Once you tune back up it should be more or less where it started.
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    If its something you do or want an option on, try fitting a drop tuner like a Hipshot. I have lots of friends that use them and no complaints from them. Follow the link and check them out


    I would assume there must be a thread about them on here some where Any directions anybody or any personal dealings with a drop tuner?

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