Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by fu22ba55, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Dear pianists, drummers, horn players and obviously guitarists. My instrument is a giant sound-magnet. In order for it to amplify the meager sound of my strings, it needs to be VERY SENSITIVE to sound vibrations in the room.

    That means when I say "I need to tune up for a sec," I'm actually saying "I NEED YOU TO STOP TWIDDLING ON YOUR FUTHERMUCKING INSTRUMENT FOR A SEC."

    Don't try to figure out that phrase... don't play that awful fill you missed... and PLEASE DON'T give me your own awful out-of-tune G or A. I've got a tuner--actually I've got TWO TUNERS on my bass in an impotent effort to actually tune my instrument before the sound of your incessant noodling travels into my bass and screws up my pointless effort to tune up.

    When I say "Whatever, it's close enough" I'm actually saying "I CAN'T TUNE MY INSTRUMENT IN THIS ROOM FULL OF DOLTS. I GIVE UP."

    This ridiculously impractical instrument is hard enough to play when it's in tune. PLEASE STOP PLAYING and let me TUNE??? FOR A SECOND???

    </end rant>
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA

    Especially horns, because you may not actually be in tune and that is NOT HELPFUL!
  3. The old squeeze the bass between your knees to tune because your bandmates are insensitive ********...
    fu22ba55, JC Nelson and Seanto like this.
  4. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I sympathize.

    Being unable to get quiet time to tune, and since the tuning also moves as the bass warms up or cools down when taken from car to indoors, I have found that the plug-in electric bass tuner pedal running off my pickup is relatively insensitive to surrounding noise. I can almost always tune with it. I think the brand is TC Electronics, is that right? It also mutes when in tuning mode, so I can quietly tune in between songs without it coming through the amp (when playing with amp).
    JC Nelson likes this.
  5. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I haven't yet broken this news about the nature of double basses to my friends in one band that I recently joined... The BL tends to give me a look that says "are you done tuning that thing yet???"

    I'm the new guy on the block and I really don't want to rock the boat much, but I do like being in tune so that my intonation requires a little less guesswork.

    After I've proven myself totally indispensable to everyone in this band, I may say something. Or not...

    J_Bass and JC Nelson like this.
  6. FWIW, my 5+ year old Spirocore mediums almost never need tuning. Usually only in the case of a large temp change when changing rooms.

    But I do understand the motivation of your rant, and I do feel your pain.
    JC Nelson and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  7. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    C'mon man. Tune up. I've had good results with clip ons.
  8. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    wait, you guys tune your basses?
  9. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Well, I'm guessing you haven't played with many mandolin or banjo players.
    J_Bass and james condino like this.
  10. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Actually, the other 3 members of this band play banjo, mandolin and guitar... And I also play banjo, mandolin and Dobro in multiple bands and for lots of jamming (I'm most known for my banjo playing). So yes, I've been exposed.

    I do reserve the right to amp up so I can tune and hear myself play bass. Haven't had to yet with this band, but I always bring the amp.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  11. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I play with a banjo player, he never seems to be able to stop tuning. And a guitar player that I wish would tune more. Mandolin player is right in the middle (fortunately he usually just plays a 4-string electric).
  12. Stewie


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Try one of these, TC Electronics, about $30. Works well in a noisy bar, even if noodlers are present. tuner.jpg
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I never use tuners, ever. Better to tune to the piano, wherever it is, or the guitar, wherever it is. That, and tuners are wonky with the pizz stroke, starting sharp and then settling when the string excursion lessens. The question is always, "which part of the envelope am I tuning?" I've always found it much easier to do by ear, where it's a feel thing rather than the moving target the tuner provides. As always, EEMWCB. :)

    But on topic, it's good to develop a caustic stinkeye for noodlers during tuning time. When that gets potent enough, you'll be able to tune in peace.
  14. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I dunno, I thought I had a pretty potent stinkeye but that was before I met two drummers: Bashy McBash and his distant cousin Twiddly McNoodles. And the banjo player named Tuneo Interminabilio.
    unbrokenchain and JC Nelson like this.
  15. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Ok, so we now have proof of 'prior art' if someone decides to make bank off this T-shirt idea:


    P.S. I want to go back in time and have my 14-year self start a hardcore band called CAUSTIC STINKEYE
  16. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    I've found the caustic stinkeye accompanied with the simple request, "HEY! SHUT THE **** UP" to be 100% effective. Leaving the stinkeye turned on as you tune helps wayward band-mates understand this is something they need to remember.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  17. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    You beat me to it, I was gonna suggest you put your entire rant on a shirt. And pair it with a generally constant caustic stankeye.
  18. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've used the more direct approach with horns "Hey, you play an intonation instrument and if you want to be able to hear the pitch, stop playing for a minute, so that I can tune the bass to the piano."

    But, this continues to be the bane of my existence.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  19. You may have to throw more than a dirty look from time to time. Cymbals, for instance. Just to the ground mind you!
  20. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Instead of the mute button, you could use the volume control. Some howling double bass feedback will get every one’s attention.