Page 85 - bass

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Ba s s L ev e l 1
81
Bandwagon Music Studios
5. To Your Bass - Octave Tuning.
Another way of tuning is to use octaves. Octave
means that two notes have the same alphabet
name e.g. E, but their pitches are different. You
can play an E note and then play the same named
note either lower or higher. It may be one or
more octaves higher or lower. An easy example on
bass is any open string and then the note on the
same string at fret 12. Both notes have the same
alphabet name but the fret 12 is an octave higher
than the open. You can also say that the open is
an octave lower then the fret 12 note.
When tuning we use the same named note for
each string e.g. you can tune all the four strings
by comparing E notes at different octaves on
different strings to the E note on open string 4.
You could of course choose any note for this
purpose. Quite often we use the A note as the
preferred tuning note. It would be ideal if your
guide note was tuned to concert pitch. This
approach has the advantage that all the strings
are compared to the same string and not to each
other. So any small mistakes that can happen
between two strings won’t affect your tuning of
the next string.
The same principle of listening is essential. Even
though the notes are not the exact same pitches
they will still have an in tune sound when they are
one or more octaves apart. Beating will still
happen when notes are one or more octaves
apart.
Check this diagram and find the same named
note on each string to tune by. Start with E and
then A.
Here are all the E notes.
O
O
O
O
O
O
Here are all the A notes.
O
O
O
O
O
O
G#/Ab
F
B
C
G
D
A
F
C
G
G
D
A
E
A
E
B
D
A
E
B
F
C
F
C
G
D
G
D
A
E
E
B
Fret Number - 3 5 7 9 12
G#/Ab
G#/Ab
G#/Ab
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
C#/Db
C#/Db
C#/Db
C#/Db
G#/Ab
F
B
C
G
D
A
F
C
G
G
D
A
E
A
E
B
D
A
E
B
F
C
F
C
G
D
G
D
A
E
E
B
Fret Number - 3 5 7 9 12
G#/Ab
G#/Ab
G#/Ab
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
D#/Eb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
A#/Bb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
F#/Gb
C#/Db
C#/Db
C#/Db
C#/Db