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Tuning lesson learned

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tobie, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    Last night just before leaving home I've tuned my bass in order to 'save time' at church where we're practicing for a play coming up in a fortnight. We did not follow the usual pattern of first 'setting up' the band and a few seconds into the first song I realised that something's very wrong! I checked my bass' tuning and ALL of my strings were way too flat!

    The band went ahead full-steam and I had to improvise in order to tune (placed the tuner right in the bass amp's face) - no opportunity to unplug the cable & plug in the tuner as the soundman had his own problems in setting up the vocalists (now that I'm thinking of it - I should check whether the amp has a line out and plug in the tuner in advance every time we're playing)!

    Lesson 1 learned: Always leave your bass for a few minutes at the venue where you'll be playing (to adjust to temperature differences) before tuning!

    Lesson 2: Always insist on a proper setting-up session before playing the first song!
  2. ByF


    May 19, 2009
    Lesson 3: Arrive early enough to get your gear ready before rehearsal starts.

  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I always tune before playing. It takes 2 minutes or less plus all my amps have mute switches and tuner outs so I always have my tuner at my disposal.
  4. stflbn


    May 10, 2007


    You're responsible for your own preparedness. If you're not setup tuned and ready it's your fault.
  5. tobie-
    good advice.
    Never let someone start a song/rehearsal/gig before you're in tune. Everyone will regret it, including the audience.
  6. ChrisPbass


    Jul 18, 2006
    Fairfax, VA
    or buy a modulus that doesn't go out of tune ;-)
  7. Tune twice cut once : )
  8. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    You mean it wasn't tuned at the factory?
  9. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    They only open the doors after everyone has arrived, so all of the band members enter at the same time. The band leader should allow some time to get the group settled in, though...
  10. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    You mean you never tune your bass? ;)
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    here's a "secret" trick to speed up the process: put your hands right on the strings for about 10-15 seconds to warm them up to your body temp (which will make them expand slightly and thus go flat), then tune. do this after every set break.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Absolutely right!

    Another lesson: don't use a tuner that is out of the circuit, or that prevents you from muting to tune at your convenience. Then you can tune up in a few seconds at any time.

    I like my TU-2 a lot!
  13. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Let your bass aclimate to the room.

    I either play fretless or a modules for these type rooms.
  14. blubolt


    May 18, 2005
    Turlock, CA
    ++1 on the TU-2 - Inline with mute or bypass plus the added convenience of being able to daisy chain power to your other pedals. I love mine!
  15. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    Sounds like a nice-to-have but way too expensive for an amateur! ;)
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    umm, no, a stage tuner can be had for well under $100, and having one is as important as having say, an E string on your bass! you'll never get past "amateur" status until you get this sorted out.
  17. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    could be worse. my guitarist will not use a tuner. he always tunes to my bass. has a nasty habit of being a bit flat
  18. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    I've discovered that both my personal & church amps have 'Tuner Out' slots. Just turn the amp volume down, do the necessary string adjustments and turn the volume back on. A bit more of a hassle, but it works for me (considering that the likelyhood of any re-adjustment after start-of-play is minimal).
  19. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    A carbon fiber neck will not prevent thermal expansion of the strings.

    On the other hand, a cf neck won't move with changes in humidity which means you won't have to adjust your truss rod when the weather changes.

  20. I just pull the cable out of the amp and plug it in the tuner, then put it back after I'm in tune !!

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