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My Bass Question.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brianerwin, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. brianerwin


    Oct 21, 2012
    You guys gotta love these newbe bass players and some of the questions that we come up with huh???

    Anyway, this is one of those "not a big deal" questions as it really isn't a big deal, just more like I noticed.....

    Ok anyone who has been around here the past couple of weeks may know that I just got started playing bass and I just got my first bass as well. The SR505 5-string bass.

    I play this thing everyday and just this week I have been doing a ton of overtime at my regular job (factory work).
    Sorry to say that my bass has been sitting in the case most of this week. About 5 days.

    Winter is coming and it has been chilly and we had the window slightly open in our bedroom. I keep bass in case under the bed.

    Last night night I took it out and played around with it just to keep my feeling for bass active. I put the tuner to it and was a little bit amazed.

    First of all let me state that I have never had problems with this bass staying in tune, in fast I am quite confident that it doesn't slip out of tune at all or slightly if at all.

    Anyway. Last night I checked it and noticed all of my strings were just a hair sharp....

    now I could have picked it up and done a gig with it and nobody would have said a word about this bass being in tune. it was really that slight.
    not a big deal at all.

    In fact I try to tune it sometimes to the point where when you pluck the string it shows a little sharp then settles down to playing in tune.

    My question is that knowing that it was not played for a week I had expected it to be flat and that I would have to retune it anyway but I was very suprised that it was still in tune.

    Is this because the wood got cold and settled tighter making the strings sharp or just sitting did this?

    Has anyone had this experience with this?
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I can't tell you why it happens, but it does. Sometimes they'll be sharp, sometimes they'll be flat, and sometimes it'll be perfectly in tune after sitting for a month or longer.
  3. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Yep, temp. changes will affect tuning. Not sure if the wood or the strings are the most affected, but guessing both to a certain degree, strings probably more so. Humidity can also factor in to a degree. I've even had to tweek my truss rod sometimes as the seasons change.
  4. Different coefficients of expansion of the wood and metal (strings and truss rod).

    Mine usually goes sharp when it gets cold.
  5. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Nothing to be concerned about. As stated,it's just changes in temperature and humidity..The cold makes your strings shrink slightly,creating a higher tension resulting in a sharp tuning..
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yep, nothing to worry about. Chances are that if you'd picked it up three days before it would have been perfectly in tune, two days before wildly flat, and then today it's back in tune again. There's all kinds of variables, from the stretching of the strings to the give of the tuning machines to the expansion and contraction of wood, etc. etc., all in response to air pressure and temperature and humidity and all. Sometimes I pick up a bass that was perfectly in tune this morning and it's out of tune, other times I pick up one I haven't played a week and it's perfect. It's just like that.
  7. wingmanborge


    Apr 12, 2012
    Simpel physics. Metal expance in heat and impance in cold. For the sake of your instrument you should keep it in the room in your house that has the most stabil temp. If your instrument are to be exposed to extreme cold, like in the cargo room of an airoplane, you should always loosen the strings. When you move your instrument between two different temp your should always give it time - open your case slightly and let your bass get the same temp as the room, and then you tune up.