Page 82 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
78
Bandwagon Music Studios
With some of the tuning methods you will lose
one or both of your tuning notes when you move
your chord hand to the tuning peg. There are two
ways to get around this problem.
Firstly you can tune “overhanded”. Use your
picking hand to change the tuning peg while
leaving your note hand on the bass. Listen to the
string as you change it - keep comparing it to the
guide note and in one smooth move you should
have the string almost in tune.
The second solution is to remember the pitch of
the guide note in your head and tune the new
string to the remembered pitch. Keep humming or
singing the pitch of the in-tune string and change
the out of tune string. Remember to listen to the
pitch of the string you’re changing. Keep
comparing it to the pitch you’ve remembered.
Move the out of tune string in a smooth action
towards the correct pitch.
When your string is close to being in tune with
the guide note you will hear the two notes start
to “beat”. Beating means you will hear a “wavy”
and “wooh-wooh” sound. Beating will only happen
between two pitches and not just one. Beating
also only happens when the two notes are very
close in pitch - when there is less than a semitone
or 1 fret difference. Hearing beating gives you
the clue that you are close to being in tune. You
still have to decide if your string is flat or sharp.
The speed of the beating will give you a clue to
how far flat or sharp you are. The faster the
beating the further apart the two notes are. As
you bring your string into tune the beating will
slow down. When your string is in tune the
beating will stop, and it will sound as though only
one note is being played.
Another handy hint is to slightly stretch the
strings to make sure they are holding their pitch
and that there is no slackness in the windings on
the tuning peg. Once you get the string in tune
hook your finger under it and pull the string
lightly. Then check the tuning again.
Think of these following steps. ALL THE TIME
LISTENING HARD! :
(a) Play a guide note. Maybe another instrument
or a string on your bass.
(b) Comparing. Is your string in tune or out of
tune? If it’s out of tune is it flat or sharp?
(c) Adjusting (if necessary). When adjusting be
sure to play the string so you can hear it change,
and then come into tune. Adjust the tuning peg
smoothly, not in jerky movements. Keep listening.
There are several ways to keep your bass in tune:
1. Electronic Tuner.
This is the easiest way to keep your bass in tune
- the machine does all the listening for you. It
will tell you if you are flat or sharp, even when
you are changing the string to bring it into tune.
All you have to do is follow the needle or lights.
The other advantage of electronic tuners is that
they are set to the world wide accepted pitches
for notes. This is called concert pitch. So when
you tune your bass to concert pitch you will be in
tune with every other musician in the world. Very
handy when you want to play along with CD’s.
2. To Another Instrument.
This might be a guitar, piano, trumpet or
synthesizer. You will have to listen to pitches and
not the colour.
3. To Your Bass - String to String Method.
Here one string with a finger on at fret 5 and a
neighbouring open string should have the same
pitch. You can use this method to tune either the
fingered or open string. Remember the secret to
tuning is to listen hard to the pitches.