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Problem with tuning my bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jarrodb, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. jarrodb


    Mar 27, 2009
    I didn't know what section to put this in... but I just got a new victor bailey 5 string bass and I hooked it to the floor pedal tuner on stage and the tuner was reading the proper notes (BEADG) but when I played through the amps the notes were obviously wrong. I've used the tuner on the other Ibanez bass I have and it has never had a problem and I used the other tuner that the rhythm guitarist uses and it showed the proper note, but again, it did not play the right note.

    So I tuned it by ear... got close to the note... hooked it back to the tuner and tuned it again and then it was fine? The bass holds the tune fine once it's right, but do you just think the tuners (they were the same kind) had a problem registering the bass? It's just weird that it showed the right note on the tuner, but did not play the proper note.

    I know that sounds weird... out of the 6-7 basses I've had, I've never had this problem. But then again I've always used a Korg hand tuner or my bass pod xt live.


    Jarrod :bassist:
  2. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    Do you tune harmonically or open string?
  3. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    First off you need to check if the floor tuner is tuning at 440, this would put you in tune properly. You should try tuning your bass from the G string across to the B string using the tuner. once that is done test each string at the 12th fret against the open string and the tuner should read the same note, if it doesn't make sure the open note is correct then adjust the screws in the bridge (lots of info here how) to make both notes the same. Get a book on harmonics and learn how to tune harmonically, it's actually the best way to tune.
  4. Sometimes if you are way off, the tuner will pick up a harmonic rather than the open string, so this sounds like your issue.

    I'm with pyrohr - I strongly recommend tuning by ear using harmonics - only use a meter when you need to be silent on stage.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    ?? you mean by the old 5th-fret/7th-fret "pluck the harmonics and tune til they stop beating" method? sorry, but that method is inherently wrong, and while it will get you in the ballpark, it will never get you 100% in tune. you'd be better off fretting one string at the 5th and tuning the next string up to match.

    i agree that knowing how to play your instrument means knowing how to tune it by ear, but being a professional musician means using a tuner every time.

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