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Intonation Insanity!!!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Marc Piane, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    This is more a rant than anything but here goes.

    As I clock more years behind the bass I find my ears continually improving to the point where I am crippled if something is out of tune.

    Couple examples.

    An out of tune piano. Death. I feel lost. I know that it is an inherently 'out of tune' instrument but I think my existentialist hell is to play with an out of tune piano for eternity.

    A hard blowing (overblowing) sax player. Is it just me or are guys like this almost always sharp?

    Fretted EB. I get calls for this sometimes.

    A drummers bass drum tuned to an out of tune note. The bass drum is so close to the bass.

    I actually find a horn player with good intonation the easiet to play with. I did a duet gig with a sax player buddy last weekend and it was great.

    What are others experiences?

  2. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    They are if their names rhymes with "Kenny G".
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    My best days with this is when I'm independently in tune. This, meaning, that the bass is in tune and I'm in tune with myself, torpedos be damned.
  4. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    A stand partner with poor intonation....neck strains...constant second guessing (is that me? is THAT me!?)
  5. I have the most trouble with guitars out of tune. I play with some ladies for church. They love Capos but it always bugs me becase the guitars are never quite in tune with the capo. It makes me feel as if I can't find the pitch on top of having to transpose a bunch of chords by sight, somtimes without warning. "Oh I had to bring it down/up because...."
  6. Reuben


    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Accordions are my biggest problem. A few players I know have them perfectly tuned to 440, but they are in the minority.
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I'm no accordionologist, but I do know that many of those devices use more than one reed to produce a note and that those sets of reeds are often somewhat out of tune with each other -- it's intended to be that way.

    Does anyone here cross-country ski? The intonation thing varies like skiing varies. Some days the track is nicely glazed over with ice and you've got exactly the right wax and just the right feel for the ice and you just glide with minimal effort and you are skiing, baby -- it's practically effortless and it's extremely joyful. Other days something in the causal mix is a little sour and then it can be like dragging a dead body through the slush.

    No, I'm not saying it's all about luck. What I am saying is that there's always a little bit of mojo in there that makes the performance thing a little unpredictable. The "mojo" probably has more to do with the musician's brain and its current state than it has to do with the alignment of the planets, but if you don't understand it it might as well be mojo.