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what do you tune your bass to?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by aaguudis, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. aaguudis


    Apr 3, 2001
    i got a pitch pipe. that thing sucks. all out of tune. the guy at the music shop tells me a pitch pipe isnt supposed to exact, just an approximation. well what the hell good does an approximation do me?

    my metronome plays pitches, but i think thats out too. or maybe not. but jamey abersolds a=440 sounds like a=441 on my metronome. sure not a huge difference but big enough. is my metronome off too?

    what does everyone else tune to?
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    The keyboard in the band or one of my Korg tuners. I have an old BT-2, but I like the tiny CA-30 I got last December, because it is so small, is chromatic, and in spite of its LCD "needle" it reacts very quickly. And it's cheap, under $20.

    The CA-30 is tiny (3.9"(W) x 2.44"(H) x 0.6"(D)), which is an advantage-- but also a disadvantage, as in-- I haven't been able to find mine lately :rolleyes: . The little sucker has a built-in mic and also has a tiny speaker, so it is an electronic pitch pipe as well.

    http://www.korg.com/gear/info.asp?A_PROD_NO=CA30 will show you what it looks like.

    No, I don't have Korg stock and I don't sell them, but have thought about it.
  3. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Boss TU-12H tuner. It has a low frequency mode that can accurately tune a low E. But often I just tune the G to the tuner or another instrument and do the rest by harmonics.
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I just hear the G in my head and then tune the rest of the bass to it. It's usually spot on. It's not perfect pitch, just an aural memory of where the pitch is after years of playing on a daily basis. One of the benefits of being an old fart.
  5. I must have been in the wrong line when they gave out that benefit.:)
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I find tuners to be fine for slab, but useless for DB in my case because the strings (whether new or old) change pitch during their duration, starting out a bit sharp and then going slightly flat. I find that I have much better luck just tuning by ear to a reference pitch, usually from the piano.
  7. blackbass


    Aug 30, 2000
    Aurora, CO
    Spend $30 on a quartz tuner. You can't go wrong.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    If you study with Linda McKnight, you use a fork, and if you spend 30 minutes getting it to her satisfaction, tough s---. She trains your ears, not your eyes, for the real world. Watch any symphony tune up.
    HOWEVER, in a noisy club, with crashing dishes and Muzak, there's nothing like a Korg, especially since Linda doesn't go to those places. It takes my amplifier lead, so ambient noise has no effect. They also make a little pickup that clips to your bridge if you're not using an amp.

    Finally, if you don't have a fork or a tuner, you can take your bass into a phone booth. The standard dial tone is F natural, with a faint A a tenth above.
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Is that what Clark Kent was really doing in those phone booths?:D

    Thats cool to know, Don. Although I dont think I'll be taking my plank into a phone booth anytime soon, im impressed with the ingenuity bass players have to come up with something like that.
  10. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    You should use harmonics: D on the G string and G on the D string give the same harmonic note. They correspond to the same left hand position: 4th finger on G string and 1st on D. This can be translated to the other strings, itÂ’s much easier to do this with a bow, and your teacher should have shown you that little trick.
  11. I carry a tuning fork around in the event there is no reference pitch ie piano or guitarist who has a tuner.

    If it's too noisy, I'll bang the fork and clamp the handle between my teeth, using my skull as a natural internal resonator whilst I tune.

    Luckily, I have a good dental plan.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  13. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I tune to the oboe --but first I use a Krog CA-30. Most of the time I don't have to make a change. I did check the oboe a with the Krog and it was right on.

    There are diffrent models of the 30 one of for Guitar/Bass and it sucks big time if you get one make sure it it the model that is chromatic. I know I got one of each. it is the CA that is the good one.

    It is still good to use the harmonics to tune with just to keep in parctice for when the batterys fail.

    So ditch the pitch pipe get a CA-30 and a tunning fork and you will be good to go.

    Oh, get the clip on mic for it too. That way you can tune in a real din and you know it is you instrument you are seeing on the meter.

  14. cabooke


    Jan 26, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    I use a small boss tuner, but If there is a piano, I'll have w hoever is playing it roll out an Emin7/A chord. It has all of the notes on the bass.
  15. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...surprised no one has mentioned those clip-on Intellitouch deals. Ideal for DB.
  16. here is a technique that iv been using since i started my site singing class-

    For class, i tried learning a pitch just for referance, so when im around the house, between classes, at work or anywere, i just contantly hum a small C. Its gotten to the point now were its pretty dead on, so il usually just put my hand in half position on A string, put down fourth finger hum my C and match it, and from there il tune the rest. Im sure a tuner or something would be much more reliable, and in concert i use a tuner, but this (to me it seems) is an approach that makes you rely less on a little box, and more on your "musical intuition."(thats not meant to be taken in a negative or pretentious way) Plus its good for a newer guy like me who's working on his pitch recognition. As im sure theres flaws to this in ways iv yet to discover/am overlooking, id like to see what more of the expierenced (ahh heck, and unexpierenced as well) think of it. THanks for reading.

  17. I started out learning to tune with a pipe and it's still my favorite (unless there's a piano). You just have to be mindful that the amount of air you put through can effect the pitch. I just try to stay in the middle. Since I like to mess around with my wife's flutes, that may have somthing to do with it.

  18. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Is this kinda like cross-dressing?

    Sorry -- couldn't pass that one up, particularly with all the talk about pipes, flutes, middles, and your better half.
  19. Never thought of that but thanks for the mental image.

  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Dave - take any and all ribbing about gender-bending from Ray with a huge grain of salt, since rumor has it he likes to put on the powdered wig and play house too: You should see the little French maid outfits he makes Isabella wear when no one's looking. And ever noticed how he says things like, "mon cherie....come with me to de Casbah...we will make ze beautiful mooozeek together" a lot? I think the guy's closet is full, if you know what I mean.....

    Next to this, your pipes and flutes seem downright pedestrian.

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