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Nailing a note EVERYTIME

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Darrenmcbass, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Darrenmcbass


    May 17, 2005
    This has been on my mind for a while, how would you go about nailing the C#/D/Eb (around middle C) on the G string, for example ? I have been using a drone and playing along with a groove whilst thinking about tuning but I still have a 80% success rate. Anyone care to shed any light ?
    Thanks, Darren
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I don't think you ever get 100% accurate, but I think if you hear the note in tune in your head, your percentages go up. If you're trying to seek out the correct intonation by looking at the fingerboard or relying on sort of physical cue, you'll always be off.
  3. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think it is a long process. I am learning the fingerboard slowly and almost into thumb position. My low notes are fine. That C# is easy to approach from below, but is more difficult descending, and more difficult still in certain keys/situations. I remember when it seemed like forever that I couldn't hardly nail the F# on the D string. Eventually that issue was replaced by other concerns and so on.
  4. there is also an open harmonic for that D note you can use.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I've been really getting into arco lately and the intonation improvement is definitely noticable, esp for easier notes like the C-D notes on the G.
  6. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    All on G string - first finger on C#, second on D, fourth on Eb, classic Simandl
  7. Darrenmcbass


    May 17, 2005
    Thanks but its not the fingering, I mean if you're first entry note is a C#/D/Eb how would you take precautions toward making that note in tune everytime?
  8. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Nailing a note 100% every time out of the blue is not possible. The longer you play the more accurate you will be but it will never be 100% all the time. I always hear notes in relationship to others. Also hand position has to be set right and you have to hear inside how the melody will be before you play it.
  9. powerbass


    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Simandl is a upright bass method that develops intonation skills by focusing on precise fingering, pivoting and shifting exercises. If you do not have experience with Simandl or other structured UB methodology I highly recommend you find a teacher. There are many ways to find a C# it all depends on what finger you want to use and what note you are coming from and what note you are going to. Through precise practice and repetition muscle memory, ear training and theory all come together to allow you to think and play what you want to hear. It is pretty difficult to develop that skill without a thorough UB specific method
  10. I probably wouldn't do a good job explaining it myself, but try searching "vomit exercises" on this forum and the Orchestral Technique forum. The basic exercise is to shift back and forth between any two slurred notes on a single string, using every combination of fingerings possible on each note, and land as in-tune as possible each time. I've heard a lot of people espouse them as a bow-speed exercise, but they work great with intonation and learning smooth shifts (playing the exercies arco is the norm, but they can be done pizz as well). Some people will have a drone playing in the background while practicing this, as well.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Try this:
  12. sludgelord3000

    sludgelord3000 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I love Michael Klinghoffer's online lessons. And his super-relaxed, deadpan delivery is kind of hilarious.
  13. oren

    oren Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    I was having a lot of trouble with intonation. Recently I started studying with a teacher (the wonderful Marlene Rosenberg in Chicago) for the first time in about ten years. She immediately noticed problems with my left hand technique - I was collapsing the space between my fingers, not maintaining the arc of my hand (fingering with the pads instead of the tips of my fingers), and not being careful about thumb placement on the back of the neck. Concentrating on fixing those problems is really helping my intonation issues. So two lessons I've learned - left hand technique makes a difference, and there's no substitute for a good teacher!
  14. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Study a classical method with a good teacher. Then you won't need drones.
  15. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    What is a topic on on this forum without 'the teacher remark'?

    Using drones can be really helpful in my opinion.
  16. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    You have to go for it. Sometimes you have to try Cold when you grab a bass and go for the D. Play some scales, but dont just think vertically or horizontally. You need to see the whole fingerboard. Very Rarely will you play that D without reference.

    Do you have an Eb or a D neck?
  17. Tyghej


    Feb 17, 2013
    South West UK
    Just slide your thumb on the back of the neck until it stops, with your index finger lnline, that note on the G string will always be a D- so just pivot back a semitone for a see sharp, or more up for an eb - Easy ;-)

  18. chicagodoubler


    Aug 7, 2007
    Chicago, that toddling town
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland, Genz Benz

    Arco, work on landing in the harmonic tuning position until you can get there consistently every time. Now replace your pinky with your middle finger and repeat until you can land in this position with your middle on the harmonic D every time. Ta dah.
  19. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Lots of good advice here. Also keep in mind (and this might seem obvious but I'll say it anyway), it takes years of serious study/practice/experimentation to get good, consistent intonation, and even then it's still a work in progress, or a muscle that needs to stay in shape by continuous conditioning and exercise.
  20. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    everyone finds their own reference

    i.e. that C# I find as the third of the open A

    that and the D above I can hit rather tight most of the time, F# not so much