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Tuning Your Bass

Posts: 2147
These days, tuning up is as simple as plugging into an electronic tuner and off you go but theres no gurantee that the bass is totally in tune with itself, yes, each string will be E A D and G, but when you come to play two notes together is it still spot on? What I do is use a tuner to set the E string then I switch the tuner off. Next, Fret the E string at the 5th fret and adjust the open A string to match the E string at the 5th fret. Now play a natural harmonic at the 5th fret on the E string and at the 7th fret on the A string, to play a harmonic, lightly rest your finger on the string directly above the fret and pluck the string with your picking hand and release your finger that was resting above the fret, you will hear a high ringing tone, this is a Harmonic. So when we quickly play two harmonics, one at the fifth fret on the E and one at the 7th fret on the A both harmonics should be perfectly identical, if, however, the two notes'Wobble' then the A string is not in tune. Play the two harmonics again and while both notes ‘Ring’ adjust the A string tuner until both notes ring perfectly flat without any wobbling or shimmering. Now repeat this for the other two strings, fret the A string at the 5th fret and the D string at the 7th and adjust the D string accordingly. When you have completed the G string your Bass will be perfectly in tune with itself. It sounds like a right pain but it only takes about a minute, try it. Mark
Posts: 1499
This is good advice.
Hey. That's what I do. Are you stalking me? Just kidding, also for drop tunings, for example Db you do the 7th fret harmonic on the now Db and match the harmonic on the A string 12th fret to make it an Ab. This applies for all drop tunings.
Also I do a ton of improve with harmonics. It kicks ass.

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