Posted by Deman on December 10, 2000 at 16:38:42:
In Reply to: HELP! I'm getting lazy posted by Denny on December 10, 2000 at 11:16:09:
: I never sit and try to figure out basslines anymore..I keep on getting tab, because it's quicker, even though they're wrong half the time but help! I feel my ear getting shot to shit...I also have a complaint..I don't know hot to tune using harmonics!! help!
About tabs...I started doing that same thing when I was really a beginner (more so than now, I mean ;) ) and It ended up that so much of them were wrong, or not to be found for the more esoteric songs, I went back to ear. I still use tab sometimes to record a song I've worked out, Because I love to forget lines, but other than that...anyway, I'm probably not much help there...self discipline, I guess. As for harmonics though...
A fellow bassist showed me this not too long ago. My favorite way to tune is to use an electronic tuner to get as close as possible, then make it perfect with my ear...the tuner also can help show you which way the string is out, because beat notes won't...anyway...
Pluck the B while touching at the 5th fret, letting the harmonic ring out. Now, while that string is ringing, play the harmonic of the 7th fret on the E sring. These should be exactly the same note. If the strings are not in tune with each other, you will hear "beat notes", a kind of waawaawaawaa of the sound (hard to describe) it's caused by the two slightly different length (period) sound waves interacting with eachother, making strong spots where they accent each other, and weak spots where they cancel each other out. You can hear these in the form of an occillation of the sound. The closer the strings are to being the same, the longer the beat notes will be. The nice thing about this method is that it leaves your left hand free to turn the tuning head. Play one string first, then try to hear whether the seconnds string's tone is above or below that notes. Tune the string up or down, while listening to the beats. The slower and longer they get, the closer you are to in tune. You'll get better at this with practice, and I'm sure I haven't communicated it extremely clearly. just try it...It's kind of self explanitory once you start.
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