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Tuning fretless

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Dmitriy_Kudrin, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Hi, I've been playing fretless bass for 3 years, but the question about tuning is still important for me. How do you tune? Using harmonics, or 5th frets or tuner? I've found that the method you choose results in different tunings actually. There would be a very slight difference in a pitch for example if you're tuned by tuner, or if you're tuned by notes picked on the neck, etc. But this small difference is so important for good intonation! Some times when i'm perfectly tuned by tuner(and other guys in a band also are), I realize that I need to pick notes a little bit down the markers, say, on G string, to be in tune. Other times it seems that the best is to pick the notes a bit higher.. This situation is often confusing. You practice thinking of markers in one way, and then on stage it turns out to be a whole different thing.
    Can you give me any advice about this thing? Thanks
  2. kcolyar


    Feb 28, 2007
    Moab, Ut 84532
    I use a tuner. Then check by ear at the octave. Then the only thing imperfect is me!!!
  3. cmewhinney


    Jul 11, 2008
    Concord, NH
    You might need to intonate your bass by adjusting the saddles either toward the nut or away from it. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me has written about how to do this in the set up section. Good luck!
  4. Randy S

    Randy S

    Jul 7, 2008
    Western WA
    I use a tuner with both open string or octave harmonic.

    I also set intonation to be spot on at the old 12th fret position.

    Set your own for the way you play.

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