My intonation needs improvement

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by daystcity, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. daystcity


    Mar 23, 2008
    Where am I?!?!?
    Was in a music store a couple of days ago. Picked up a nice looking Spector, they had a wall full of 'em! Started playing and was like, this feels really good, very easy, even and smooth action, but it sounds horribly out of tune. Hit a couple harmonics, it was dead on. It was a fretless... :rollno: I think I might have to look into these basses now, I really like how they play! Just need to improve my intonation... a lot.
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Sorry to hear about your condition.
  3. rocknrollbandit


    Jan 15, 2009
    considering what he chose to put as his title I'd say it fits quite well actually
  4. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    I believe he is coming at it from the political correctness point of view.

    Certainly a pointless thread though. :rollno:
  5. Sharko


    Jun 18, 2009
    Washington, DC
    Right, because the usual "I've got terrible gas for an 11 string 6 pickup Pretenziouse Ultra Deluxe with a 2 tone paint job and black leather interior but I can't find one on craigslist in my area" threads are really important in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word.

    ..give the guy a break, I laughed at the story.
  6. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Chef is going to...ah...throw you out of the kitchen.
  7. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    The way I learned how to get intonation right on a fretless... was by learning how to play classical double-bass.
  8. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    This reminds me of when I bought my fretless. I was fine, knew what I was supposed to do, but when I handed it to my guitarist..... not so good. He thinks he can play bass, so he started some riff, quickly stopped and told me the "Intonation was really off." Of course, he was playing where you would on a fretted bass, behind the "fret". The bass is question had fretlines, making this more of a dumb*rse moment.
  9. haha. good for a laugh.
  10. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Here are some exercises to improve intonation on a fretless:

    1. Both Steve Bailey and Michael Manring advocate practicing octaves up and down the fretboard, doing this slowly and listening for the out-of-phase modulations that you hear when you tune with harmonics, then practicing listening and adjusting your finger positions. Once you have octaves down, try different intervals (3rds, 5ths, 6th etc).
    2. Steve Bailey also advocates practicing in the dark to free up your reliance on your vision in favor of your ears.
    3. Practice scales against a drone note (some tuners have a mode that plays a single note)
    4. Practice playing along with your favorite recordings
    5. Play with other musicians, especially keyboard players
  11. 6. Buy and try Steve Bailey's The Ultimate Fretless Bass Workout
    7. Play scales that include open strings
    8. Play intervals: 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 etc. etc.
    9. Sell all your fretted basses
  12. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007

    hmm i started BG on fretless, but i had played upright for a bit before that...initially, i was really hard on myself about a 'systematic' fingering method like on upright, and i was usually pretty in-tune. but then it was hard to break away from that and just use what fingerings felt comfortable, but that forced me to use my ear rather than my eyes and i recovered. pointless anecdote, but if you want to take anything away from it, you need both good technique and a good ear (although the first will probably come much faster than the latter).
  13. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    - Practice in the dark
    - Use as many open strings as you can

    Takes at least one year to get there...
  14. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Or play DB and accept fretless is easy peasy in comparison :D
  15. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass

    Oct 10, 2008
    Canada eh
    It should be pointed out that the OP changed their original thread title (it was offensive to some)
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view, intonation and technique go hand and hand. When I am playing notes consistently out of tune, I look for what I am doing wrong with my technique.