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problem with short scale bass and tuner pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Scott Baiowulf, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    Anyone else have this problem? Whenever I play my short scale bass it just won't work with my tuner pedal. I don't have any problems with my 34" scale bass, but with the short scale it either won't recognize the notes at all or swings wildly and I can't get a solid read on when it's in tune.
  2. I don't have any helpful suggestion, I'm afraid, but I'm pretty sure that scale length is irrelevant for this. Even my mobile phone tuner app can deal with anything from guitars with 241/2" scale up to 35" 5-string basses...

    I have had some basses being a little more unstable than others when it comes to reading the tuner output. It generally comes with a bass that has lots of extra noise, maybe some fret buzz that produces extra overtones and masks the intended signal? Bits on the bridge vibrating? Single coils picking up interference?
    Plectrum72 likes this.
  3. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    hmmm. I recently gave it a full setup and the pickups aren't noisy (Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder P and Lace Aluma-J). The single coils on my G&L JB-2 are way noisier and it doesn't have any problems with the tuner. I figured maybe it was because of the difference in harmonics but I can't find any info online. Maybe I just have a poopy tuner.
  4. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Will it work if you send 12th fret harmonics to the tuner instead of the open strings?
  5. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    Slightly better but still not reliable. Nothing like the 34”
  6. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    No, tuner works perfectly well with all my short scale basses. You need a better tuner.
    Wesley R and ObsessiveArcher like this.
  7. Turn the pot volumes on your shorty up.

    Seriously....I've done a couple of times where I got no signal to the tuner..my volumes were all off....:bag:
    Duder, mcnach and Plectrum72 like this.
  8. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    Volume pots were all the way up
  9. Instrument jack good?
    I have an Ibby Mikro that kicks in and out of connection at the jack at times.

    Some instrument cables are a hair smaller in diameter than others too.
  10. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 We brake for nobody Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    What kind of tuner are you using?
    telecopy likes this.
  11. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    Cables and jacks are fine. Short scale plays nice with my amp and other pedals and my G&L plays nice with the tuner. Tuner is a cheap Donner. Thinking about just trashing it and getting a Korg.
    telecopy likes this.
  12. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    Problem probably solved..
  13. Scott Baiowulf

    Scott Baiowulf

    Apr 7, 2017
    Yeah I figured it was probably just a cheap pedal but I’m still super curious why it’s only with this one short scale. Maybe the missing harmonic or something?
  14. I use a clip on tuner and have zero issues tuning my short scale basses.
  15. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Play the harmonic note at the 12th instead?
    Wasnex likes this.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Shorter strings have less fundamental. The problem you describe is not unusual.
    Scott Baiowulf likes this.
  17. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Short scale basses have lower string tensions typically, and this can result in the notes being unusually sharp during the attack. The lower tension strings can also take a bit longer to finally settle down on pitch.

    If still a problem, even with a better tuner, try plucking the string softly without pulling it much from its rest position.

    Scott Baiowulf likes this.
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    mute the strings slightly when tuning
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  19. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    Don't know what bass you have, but if it's multi pickup, try it with each pickup solo'd and full-on?
  20. Josh Gone

    Josh Gone

    May 28, 2015
    I have issues with tuning my E string to drop D on my medium scale P Basses. Never with my 34" scale basses. Boss TU-3 tuner. You are not alone.
    Scott Baiowulf likes this.

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