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intonation practice

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by nickchalk, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. nickchalk


    Jan 30, 2001
    Does anybody know any good excersices for intonation practice (apart from scales and general practice)?
  2. Nick, there are a couple of other threads you can check out, but in short, the best way to improve your intonation is to practice slow arco against a droning tonic pitch. Don't bother with the practicing in the dark bit, if you read the post closely you'll realize that guy is a bass guitarist unaware of which forum he's in.
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    misplaced posts removed.

    with nary a comment :D
  4. One way is to record scales or anything else that is simple on a fixed-pitch instrument like a piano. Then play along in unisson, octave, fifth, third... flat ninth.:)

    Stop somewhere in what your playing and check with open strings. Say you stop on a C, check with the G string.
  5. Doh! :eek:Sorry about that, I hadn't had my 3rd cup of coffee yet!:D
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    On the other hand, practicing in the dark is not necessarily a BAD thing, either - especially if you are often in the habit of playing with your eyes closed onstage. I still do this (candle light, but not pitch blackness) on both piano and bass, and I find that it helps me to practice and play in a more sonically focused way....this may not hold true for everyone, but I find that paying attention to what I am seeing takes away from my ability to hear as completely as I would otherwise.
  7. I know everyone probably won't agree with this, but I've been working with a method called The Accompanied Rudiments Course by Don Hermann. It's Bassically the Same scale and interval work from the Simandl, but with piano accompaniement that goes from whole notes to sixteenth notes in every Key. I think it's helped me quite a bit.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I occassionally play long, slow scales in the dark; for tone more than intonation
  9. That's what it's called! I was trying to remember the name of that. My teacher let me borrow that last year when I got my new bass. That's a good set!
  10. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    One thing I've found helpful is to use harmonics to check intonation. There's the obvious ones where the fully stopped string and the harmonic are the same note (e.g., after playing a note an octave up the string, check against the harmonic). But also, in lower positions as well: On the G string, you've got F over Bb (I list the harmonic then fundamental in each case). B over B, G over C, D over D, B over E, etc.

    I've been typing up a chart of all these which I may go ahead and put up on my website when it's done.

  11. I've found the best method for developing good intonation is to use your ears. Know your intervals by ear. Sing along if you can. Of course, this is easier slow than fast. And you can always check your intonation against open strings.
  12. Indeed, practicing with a drone is the best way to develop really good intonation. It's something you can do with any excerpt, any piece; just have tonic droning....

    Using harmonics to find notes is a good idea, but it in fact only finds the placement of that note as it would be in the key of that string! Finding the D on the G string, for example... the harmonic rings where the Harmonic Series says D will be in the key of G. This may not be the correct D if you're in the key of B major, for example, but it's still a good general landmark if you're coming back from turning a page or something.

    Practicing in the dark is good also, as your hearing is heightened in lack of visual stimulus, but it'd still be good to have a drone.

    Practicing with a piano (Equal Temperament) might be good practice for "matching pitch with something", but it won't be really In Tune, depending on the performance goals....

    The best policy for learning to play in tune is to always practice playing in tune. That is, *always* make it a priority no matter what else you're practicing or playing.

    No matter what style you're playing, you always have to be in time and in tune.
  13. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    David, kpo, or anyone else - what do you use for your drone pitches? Tuner, piano, elec. keyboard? I want to begin working on my intonation using a drone, but at this point do not have a source at home and need to find one.
  14. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I use a Seiko chromatic tuner, which emits an awful electronic tune for all twelve tones. Ugly, but a pitch is a pitch. I use a pillow to absorb some of the sound.
  15. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    I use Cakewalk Home Audio 9. It is very simple to create a program of tonics drones to play scales over. Plus, it has an available metronome. Additionally, I use the software for accompaniment. It does have some drawbacks, but I can program a string quartet or piano, etc. It is pretty limitless. I think the software is under $100.
  16. lucifer

    lucifer Guest

    Nov 7, 2001
    i find when i play, it makes better practice to play with eyes closed, and no disruption or distractions in the room. I tend to listen more to what noise im making rather than what frets im playing.
    when i started this, i realised the difference!
    You dont notice at first, but when u are concentrating on hitting the right frets at the right speed...e.t.c, u end up not listening to the sound you are making, and simply take for granted that u sound right.

    more waffle later.
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Playing with your eyes closed is a wonderful way to practice intonation on a REALBASS. However, the only way to practice intonation on a fretted PLANK is by turning those little knobs at the end of the headstock.

    POSTING ON TALKBASS with your eyes closed will NOT help your intonation one bit, but it does increase the likelihood that you will inadvertently post in the DOUBLE BASS forum rather than the TOYBASS forum. When you do this, no real serious damage is done, but you do risk being ragged mercilessly by a bunch of elitist bastards who think they're better than everybody else because - among other things - none of their instruments have FiElDy stickers on them.


  18. lucifer

    lucifer Guest

    Nov 7, 2001
    ahem, merely holding up your theory.
    :rolleyes: :confused: :rolleyes:

    ps, fieldy? ***?
  19. lucifer

    lucifer Guest

    Nov 7, 2001
    anywayz, who says i dont play double bass? i dont own one, cos they cost more than my house, but i try to get as much time on my schools one as possible.
  20. lucifer

    lucifer Guest

    Nov 7, 2001
    still, u beat me, so i shall leave this place ........booooohooo.

    (nah, seriously, im sorry guys, just dont jump to such fast conclusions, just cos im 15, dont mean im a feildy addict, whatever that is)

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