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

I Need Help Bad

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Forever_Unchage, May 3, 2001.


  1. Ok. I got my new bass. This is the first time I've ever touched a guitar with intentions of learning to play it. One problem, it's not tuned. And no one I know has a bass tuner. So, can anyone give me a very simple walk-though on how to do it by hand? If not, then give me a link to a site that will or something. Thank you very much.
     
  2. welcome to talkbass. you will need something as a reference point. if you have a song and you know what the main note is that might help.

    i.e. whole lot of love by zeppelin revoles around E

    or you click here http://www.enablesoftware.com/etuner24e.zip

    this will download a free tuner demo
    you will need winzip

    www.winzip.com
     
  3. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Mexico
    you made me remember my first months at bass... i started also without ever touching a guitar...

    i remember i tuned the E string at any random point (not really the E pitch) and then tune all the other string based on the "E" string (who could easily be a D, C# etc.)... you know... fretting the 5th fret (A) and tune A string...

    so i spend like 5 months playing in "Tune" (i played alone anyway)... then got my first tuner and checked that i was WWAAAAYY off the tuning...

    so now i check my tuning everytime i pick up the bass... and laught at my early days.
     
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    This is pretty cool...if you go to http://www.rhondasmith.com , she has a graphic on her home page that looks like bass strings. If you turn your computer sound on and move the cursor over the strings, it produces tones like you are plucking the 4 open strings E-A-D-G. I don't know is she ever intended for her site to be used as a tuner, but it works in a pinch. She ain't bad to look at either!
     
  5. That's all good, but I have a five string, and that site has four. and plus I know **** about notes right now. right now, all I know is that I have a guitar, a pick, an amp cord, a strap, and when I pluck the strings, they make sounds. and that is IT.
     
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I think I have a cheap tuner I would sell you.....cheap! You should eventually be able to tune by ear but EVERYONE should have a tuner when they first start out, IMO. E-mail me at Hategear@aol.com if you want it.
     
  7. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Too bad ol' Rhonda doesn't have some fretted notes on her site, I wanted to try to play a song!
     
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Never fear...all you need is one note and you can tune the rest easily. Choose the string on the bottom on the website, the one that sounds the lowest. Click on it with your mouse and listen to the sound it makes. Now, pluck the E string on your bass, which is the second-largest string and listen to the sound it makes. What you have to do is to make that string sound like the tone on the website by turning the tuning key...clockwise to make the sound higher, counter-clockwise to make the sound lower. Experiment with this until you think you have the sound of that E string the same as the E string on the website. Don't worry if it's not easy at first...keep trying. This is an essential skill (tone-comparison) you'll use for the rest of your musical life. In fact, you'll have to become reasonably adept at it before you'll be able to progress in the instrument much at all. Don't give up if it's tough...keep at it until you get it. It's extremely important.

    Now...once you think you have that string tuned, look at the dots on the neck, beginning with the nut (just a bit further down past the tuning keys). Locate the second dot, just above the 5th fret, and press your finger down at that point on the E string that you just tuned. While holding that note down, pluck the string and listen to the sound it makes. That tone is exactly what the next highest string (the A string) should sound like when played "open", or without being fretted anywhere. Peform the same experimentation with the tuning key to make the open A string sound just like the E string sounds when fretted at the 5th fret (or second dot). That's the drill to continue all across the remaining strings. Remember that any string "open" sounds just like the next LOWEST string fretted at the 5th fret. The biggest string is a "B" string and is the lowest. The highest string is the smallest string, which is the "G" string.

    I know you probably are thinking that "why do all this when I can just get an electronic tuner". As I said before...you have to master this simple beginning exersize in tonal relationships in order to be even a decent player. Be patient with yourself and ask all the questions you need to. Many of us experienced players on the list will be happy to help.
     
  9. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    But it's hard to master the tones of you don't know what they are. That's why I said that he should have a tuner.....because he should. As he gets more "involved" with his instrument, his ear will develop to where he may be able to tune his instrument without one. By the way, I can tune my bass almost perfectly without a tuner, but I usually use one anyway. By telling this guy that if he can't tune by ear the first time he picks his bass up, you may discourage him.
     
  10. everyone here is just making it so hard for you.

    there is a website, www.activebass.com, there, you can click on a link at the corner of the screen that will give you the sound of the OPEN E, A, D, and, G....but if you are going to be playing other than inside your room or house, you better buy a tuner or carry a piano around, hehe
     
  11. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Mexico
    Activebass.com has lots of stuff suited for you... besides a tuner it has metronome and beginner lessons... check it out...

    BTW: it´s up to you, but i think you should practice with your fingers instead of a pick... you will thank yourself for that...
     
  12. i agree...i can't stand ppl who use picks
     
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    That's like saying you can't stand people who play double basses with an arco. Or saying you can't stand people who use slap technique or tapping. Playing with a pick is just one more technique in an arsenal of techniques bassists have to get a sound out of their bass. It isn't any more or less valid than other ways of playing a bass. After all guitarists use a variety of methods to play their guitars. Why can't bassists do the same?
     
  14. gonzo85

    gonzo85

    Mar 25, 2001
    Rock on, Jason!

    I'm not necessarily a pick player myself, but its always a good option to have. Practicing with a pick shouldn't be compared with practicing fingerstyle--they're completely different techniques, and need to be worked on separately. It all depends on what type of bassist you want to be.
     
  15. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Mexico
    Picks are nice to get another sounds...
    please don´t hate people who uses them... i use one in some songs who need it... but mostly finger power!
     
  16. ok sorry...i get so irritated when i see teenagers at Guitar Center/Mars Music that think they can play 'punk' by busting out a pick and just playing anything that comes to mind (usually a lot of noise), and they look at me like they're pros...they all suck all punk bassists treat a bass like a guitar...they all don't have any knowledge in music theory. I was just venting off a lot of anger...i apologize to YOU...not anyone else
     
  17. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    FOREVER:

    Congratulations on joining the ranks of the bass guitarists! A tuner is a very important investment. In my opinion, you should run out to a store today and get one.

    Do you have any experience in music? If you hear a note, and then twist the nob (tuning machine) at the top of your bass (headstock), can you make the same sound you hear? If not, do you know a musician that can tune it for you? If you can't reproduce the sound you hear, you'll definitely need a tuner. www.activebass.com has a great one, but if you can't tune to it, it doesn't do you any good.

    Last but not least, I hope you can find a good teacher and are interested in taking lessons. It sounds like you're brand new to the bass, and after just one lesson you'll gain a lot of confidence in understanding many things about the instrument that would take you weeks to learn on your own.

    In regards to the pick thing, there are several ways to play the bass. You can use the pick or the fingers (as many as you like) to play the bass. Each style has it's own distinctive sound. Trick is to goof around with it. Try each style. Find what works for you.

    Good luck.
     
  18. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Ranting about something you've seen before at a store that irritates you doesn't answer FOREVER's question. If you want to vent, keep it in the proper context. Venting doesn't offer advice.

    By the by, I don't listen to punk, but generalizations are always going to upset somebody. And just because someone plays with a pick doesn't mean that they're "treating a bass like a guitar."
     
  19. about the "tuners" at activebass, etc...
    a long while ago when i got my first bass, i decided not to spend the extra $20 for a tuner. i went home, tried to do it with a piano and online sound files to try to tune it. kept turning it higher and higher and it still didn't sound like what the sound file sounded like. a few seconds later, the string broke and took a chunk out of the body by the bridge. memories...
     
  20. td1368

    td1368

    Jan 9, 2001
    Philadelphia
    Ditto on the tuner. But by a good one. I got a cheap one and I always end up flat. I think a metronome would be a good investment too.