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Intonation: Some days better than others?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by funkymonk77, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. funkymonk77


    Jan 21, 2008
  2. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Yup. Sucks doesn't it.
  3. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    And there you have it - the Ultimate, Universal Truth of Playing Double Bass.

    Oh man, this needs to be a sticky.
  4. Had one of those days on Saturday night...
  5. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I'm certain it is always the piano or the weather that is to blame.:)
  6. funkymonk77


    Jan 21, 2008
    its frustrating... its funny, you think getting your hands independent on a piano is hard, but im thinking: intonate...ok dig in alittle more....no no, with your right hand...ok, no your squeezing to hard with your left...ok, relaxed, wait your not digging in anymore...**** im not in tune anymore...and repeat.

    Id always wondered if experienced old bass players still had days like that, like maybe mingus was thinking his tuner's battery's were dead
  7. :eyebrow: That's funny :bassist:
  8. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Yea man. Some day's I'm on most of the set, then others I can't drive into a barn with a dumptruck.

    Those days I think I just suck.

    The others I'm pretty sure I just suck.

    Anything in between is the drummer's fault.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    You mean a day will come when I'm actually in tune? :D
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Nope. I play pretty consistently out of tune. :)

    Seriously, it mostly depends on my ability to hear myself and the harmonic instrument together in the mix.
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    and then trying to get a tempered instrument (piano) and a non-tempered instrument to sound in tune with the note you're playing.

    I'll be playing with just the tenor player and the piano player will come in and all of a sudden nothing works any more. It's like the bass is supposed to split the difference...
  12. I'm loving this conversation. It's not often that you're laughing and crying at the same time.

    Seriosly.... Eddie Gomez has a master class style DVD where he talks at length about intonation and how it is a big challenge for him each and every day.

    Ed, you have been a busy poster today... some great thoughts... mahalo

    Trey :ninja:
  13. My teacher was talking today about how it's really important to warm up every day. I think that having a really specific, detailed warm up will fix a lot of problems with your playing. I know that for me since I've started I've been feeling good about my playing.
  14. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006

    At the bars I play at, the sad truth is 95% of the audience usually can't tell the difference. Whether I'm having a great set or not, it seems like just the fact that I show up with a Double Bass and pretend to play it is enough for them. They also appear to like it if I wear sunglasses on stage, act aloof, and drink 19 beers...it makes me a 'jazzer'. :rolleyes:

  15. For me, my intonation accuracy is directly related to how much I've been practicing lately, especially practicing with the bow. Imagine that...

    Yup, some days (nights) are better than others. Just ask Ron Carter.
  16. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I think they just happen and we have to accept it. I have noticed that while there can be good days when I have had to walk in and play cold, the bad days rarely happen when I am up on my practice routine.
  17. Pocket Groove,

    The sunglasses are a nice touch!!

    Many times the accuracy of my intonation directly correlates to how well I'm hearing myself while performing. It rarely happens when I'm practicing!!!

    Here are a few examples. I'm sure some of you can relate. How about a room you are playing that has extremely poor acoustics and/or a horrible slap back echo; maybe a drummer that is using size 8b sticks when he should be using brushes; Playing on a stage that is so small, the sax is pointing directly into your left ear; Horror of horrors, you have a new sound man that just got of the road with Metallica and he is mixing your stage sound!! These are the times when my intonation can and usually does suffer.

    A great concert hall; A great band where everyone can hear themselves and each other... usually not much of a problem :bag:

  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Man. I feel like my intonation usually sucks. I think it is actually a sign of a developing ear. As you learn you get better at fine tuning your ear.

    At least I tell myself that.
  19. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Yeah, there is that for sure - as your ear gets better the first thing it does is tell how terrible you are playing, then it moves on to trying to fix it.

    As I have said many times there is no one key unless it is not to put all your eggs in one basket.
    You need your ear and your hands to both work at the highest level you can attain.
    Singing is one of the most useful things you can do for intonation but what separates Pavarotti from Edgar Meyer is the hands.
    Also, if you are struggling with intonation and not practicing arco, practicing arco will without question change things for the better.
  20. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    ...and a couple hundred pounds.

    ...and about 6 feet of dirt.

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