Tuning by ear, what is accepteble fault with it?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AnTz0r, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Ok so right now im trying to tune my bass by ear (my tuner has been gone for some time).

    Im using my keyboard as a reference, and used a PC tuner for the A. The A is tuned correctly.

    So i play an E on the 5th fret. If it is not in tune i can hear the combined tone going on and off (dont really know how to put it in english). BEcause something on my desk is resonating i can clearly hear the frequency of the beating of this combined tone.

    What is an acceptable fault for tuning this way? if the period of the beating is somethign like 2 secs, am i sufficiently in tune or not?

    Can someone explain to me how this works?
    Im trying to train my ears, i think my bass needs some intonation. So this method is not really good atm until i correctly intonate my bass right? So id better use the keyboard.... i dont really trust the pc tuner of guitar fx box :D

  2. use the 5th and 7th fret harmonics..they're more reliable. play a 5th fret harmonic on one string and play the 7th fret harmonic on the next string down. if the tones match, you're in tune. if the strings are out of tune with each other, however, you'll be able to hear the harmonics "pulse" when played together.
  3. I tend to tune via harmonics.

    Play the harmonic at the 12fret of the E string. While the harmonic is ringing out.. PLAY the note on the A string at the 7th fret.

    If the sound you get wobbles, then you need to tune accordingly. Once you get the sound to be completely flat that fades eveningly... you're in tune.


  4. jani_bjorklund


    May 22, 2002
    Tuning by using 5th and 7th harmonics simply don't work even if that's the most used method by a vast majority of guitar players. You simply cant get a guitar in tune that way. I'm not going to explain why here but if someone has an intrest in learnin why not, read this:
    http://home.swipnet.se/~w-37192/eng/handbook/Tuning/methods.html#5/7 Harmonics method
  5. very interesting, jani. unfortunately i lack an electronic tuner (old one broke and i'm too lazy to buy another), so harmonics are the best i have at the moment...
  6. ...upon further reading, it seems that merlin's method is the best, so i suppose i'll switch :)
  7. jani_bjorklund


    May 22, 2002
    Of course it's nice to be able to hear intervals correctly but that is not the right way to tune a guitar or a bass for that mather. You can't, or more accuratly, should not tune a guitar to perfect intervals if you like to have it play in tune. If you don't know what I'm talking about read the article about tempered tuning.
  8. I bought a Korg DTR-2000 on Ebay for $120 bucks and now everyone in the band can plug in the front to tune with out me having to unplug and it tracks really fast. I couldn't ask for a better tuner.
  9. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    its easy, just play a song that you can and tune on :D