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Posted by Kerry on December 21, 1999 at 15:43:19:
In Reply to: tuning problem posted by Geoff on December 14, 1999 at 14:11:18:
: when i learned to play bass, i had an electric tuner. So i never learned how to tune my bass without the tuner. And now i've lost the tuner. How do i tune bass by ear?
You will need a reference pitch. You may need to buy a new tuner, or if funds are a problem buy a pitchfork. Next thing you need to know is how to produce a harmonic from the fifth and seventh frets of each string. I don't mean to talk down, I don't know what you know. Produce a harmonic by lightly touching the string with your left hand at the fifth or seventh fret, play string. The resulting high pitched note is a harmonic. The harmonics of the fifth fret are the same note as the string. The harmonics of the seventh fret are a fifth, ie; E string is B, A string is E, D string is A, G string is D. Once you have one of your strings in tune with the reference pitch, then use the harmonics to tune to each other.
It sounds more complicated than it is, or maybe I'm making it sound more complicated than it is.
If you don't have a tuner, this is the way to go.
So, if you get a reference A pitch...tune the D string 7th fret harmonic, then use the D string 7th fret and tune the A string 5th fret. Then use the A string 7th fret (E) to tune the E string 5th fret. Then use the D string 5th fret to tune the G string 7th fret (D).
Besides, using high pitches makes it a little easier to hear.
Now ask someone about the waves that are created when two pitches are not in tune.
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