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Bass tuning


Trucks

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Hey people!! Im from up at the ego hangout... I mean Guitar Forum :) hehehe

 

My other half is learning Bass at the moment and I jsut had a general query on what you do with your Bass tuning... So I tune my electric guitar half step down (another hendrix wanna be lol naa i just prefer it over standard)and all she really wants to do is Jam with me and some friends... What is the done thing, should she also tune down a half step or learn to play in flat keys in standard tuning??? Whats the done thing??

 

Cheers

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I play detuned as you suggest with one cover band to match the guitarist. I've also done the same gig in standard tuning. I thought the lowered tuning sounded slightly better for that gig - especially with the low Eb.

You can choose either. At a jazz gig I wouldn't tune down but on the kind of thing you're talikng about tuning down is fine.

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This is a little off the subject, but I find the lowered 4 string tuning of DGCF is a nice compromise for those who would like to go a BEAD using 5 sting set without the G. The standard 4 string sets handle the lower tuning quite nicely and in many cases, if you have a flat spot somewhere on the neck, it may cure it. It did on my bass and the overall sound is much richer for a smooth jazz URB sound. Getting used to the new tuning is easy. Try it, you may like it.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Cheers everybody! Looks like its sorted.. Think tuning down is definaely gonna be the easiest thing for her to do to start with.

 

Pretty wierd that you asked a similar question Phil :D I guess it must be a common query.. :)

 

And as she is playing fretless (which rocks by the way) there shouldnt be too much probs with fret buzz etc... well im assuming not.

 

Thanks again.

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It might be helpful for The Other Half to tune down to match you while The Other Half is learning the instrument. After a while The Other Half may want to tune standard and try to continue playing with your Stevie Ray Hendrix Eb tendencies.

 

I tune my 12-string bass to Db Ab Db Gb because the guitar players tune half step flat and occasionally drop their Eb to Db. I get to keep the low E to Db because retuning a 12-string bass between songs would make for a very, very long between songs break. :)

 

Wait. Shouldn't that be Db Db Db Ab Ab Ab Db Db Db Gb Gb Gb?

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

It might be helpful for The Other Half to tune down to match you while The Other Half is learning the instrument. After a while The Other Half may want to tune standard and try to continue playing with your Stevie Ray Hendrix Eb tendencies.

Oh The Other Half is called Karen by the way :D This is actually one of the things I was worried about... Playing along with me tuned down then when she is learning scales and jamming to CD's etc she might start playing a fret up.. Then when she gets back into standard she'll have to re-learn it.... But for now I think to not complicate matters for her too much it may be best for her to keep re-tuning (PITA I know but she does have trouble with tuning, so its allll good practice :) )

 

I've mentioned to her to pop her head in here to get to know you knowledgable folk, so keep yer eye out for her :)

 

12 String bass sounds like it could be verrry cool... You got any soundclips?

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The only thing I have handy is a very brief clip of me playing the main theme to one of Yogi's songs. Click me for 12-string enlightenment!

 

edit: before someone asks that was recorded direct from my Mini Mo into Sonar. No cab, no effects, no nonsense.

 

Most of the old King's X albums feature mostly 12-string bass. Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam fame played a 12 on "Jeremy", "Why Go", "Black", and "Deep" on their first (and very excellent) album; he also played one on the song "Go" from their second album. Tom Peterson from Cheap Trick also plays the a lot and was the first 12 string bass player.

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DGCF

 

I like this idea. I may give this a go.

 

Oh, and Trucks.of.Love You didn't need to tell us you were from the Guitar forum. We would have figured it out from the size of your picture.

"Some people are like "slinkies". They're not really good for anything;

but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a

flight of stairs."

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Originally posted by Stackimo:

Oh, and Trucks.of.Love You didn't need to tell us you were from the Guitar forum. We would have figured it out from the size of your picture.

LMAO!!!!! I didnt even realise it was big as most the ones in the guitar forum a much bigger than mine :)
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Originally posted by Stackimo:

Oh, and Trucks.of.Love You didn't need to tell us you were from the Guitar forum. We would have figured it out from the size of your picture.

Yeah but it's a picture of Frank. A big ass avatar of Frank is always fine in my book.
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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by Stackimo:

Oh, and Trucks.of.Love You didn't need to tell us you were from the Guitar forum. We would have figured it out from the size of your picture.

Yeah but it's a picture of Frank. A big ass avatar of Frank is always fine in my book.
HAHA Somebody said to me the other day "is that karl marx"
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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

HAHA Somebody said to me the other day "is that karl marx"
LMAO @ "Is that Karl Marx"

 

Actually BTW TOL, thanks for shrinking your avatar. Now I don't have to side-to-side scroll to read posts (like I always seem to need to do in the guitar forum LOL). Yes, my PC's res is already set at 1280x1024.

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Originally posted by Newf Stimpson:

Actually BTW TOL, thanks for shrinking your avatar. Now I don't have to side-to-side scroll to read posts (like I always seem to need to do in the guitar forum LOL). Yes, my PC's res is already set at 1280x1024.

1280x1024! Why I'd kill for that kind of pixel space! ;)

 

Most of the time I'm reading on a 14-inch monitor, 640x480, and some avatars almost take up the whole screen! :o:P:D

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Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Most of the time I'm reading on a 14-inch monitor, 640x480, and some avatars almost take up the whole screen! :o:P:D

That's what I'm using as a secondary monitor. It works really well for youtube, media players, and IM windows cause it makes the usually teeny video (on 1280x1024) much bigger without making it grainy as heck.

 

It's ancient but works great. Still lots of life in it which is more than I can say for my primary monitor. I guess it's another case of "they don't make them like they used to..."

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Zappa, yes! We need to listen to him more. I met Ralph Humphrey this summer who played drums on Hot Rats, Apostrophe etc. I have Apostrophe but somehow I never heard Hot Rats. The tracks Ralph played me sounded great - in its way it was a seminal jazz-fusion album. Although Frank was listening to more contemporary classical stuff.

Ralph told me that Frank was frustrated that no-one in the rock scene could read or play the suff he was writing back then. The only guys who could do it were the jazz guys. Hence the jazz influnece on Hot Rats and other early stuff.

 

I don't know about this advice (it's theoretically incorrect) but I would say that this might be the best option. When playing down a semitone, the guitarist and I always name the key/chord/note by its postion/fret rather than the actual detuned note. We say: this ones in D or the bridge goes to G7 (when the actual sound we're referring to is in Db or the bridge is going to Gb7.

(When I tune down a semitone, I know (really) that we're playing the Elvis tunes in B but I approach them as playing them in C.

If Karen learns to play in this way, it's simpler than I've made it sound, she will be playing the right postions for the right notes anyway when she switches to standard tuning.

Once she has learned to tune the bass, it's fairly straightforward to switch between semitone down and standard tuning in order to play along with recordings/jam with other people. I think that the bass is the easiest instrument to play in terms of geometric patterns on the fingerboard so it's easy to apply the same ideas.

The only problem comes if you have perfect pitch or develop a version of that where your brain would associate a particular note from a particular place on the fingerboard (Isuffer a little with this) but if your brain is wired to/trained to recognise relative pitch -it's not a problem.

 

Fretless!!

 

Cool!

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Good advice Phil. I actually incorrectly name the notes on the guitar what they would be if I were in standard (it saves confusing my friends) apart from when I play with a keyboard player and he insists I tell him all the specifics.

 

I have to say ive let Hot Rats pass me by too!! Think I may have to pick up a copy :)

 

Yeah fretless is great... We were in the music store the other day and she was trying out some fretted bass's and couldnt get the hang of it at all... Give her her fretless and shes crankin out Low Rider and some hendrix tunes... Go figure, I thought it would be more difficult.

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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

I have to say ive let Hot Rats pass me by too!! Think I may have to pick up a copy :)

Hot Rats is a fantastic album. It's worth the purchase price for "Peaches En Regalia" alone. "Willie the Pimp" is a fun song and became a fairly regular staple on tour in the various bands. "It Must Be A Camel" is also a favorite from that album.

 

Hot Rats was one of many albums that were (in my opinion) very heavily jazz influenced and almost all instrumental. The others being Waka/Jawaka, Sleep Dirt and The Grand Wazoo. All are essential Zappa in my book. "The Ocean is the Ultimate Solution" from Sleep Dirt burns. Patrick O'Hearn shreds a big time upright solo on it.

 

Of course, this is not to say that the rest of Zappa's catalog wasn't in some way jazz influenced. I'm just saying those albums in particular are very heavy in that vein. Ya dig?

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There is so much Zappa that I never got to. But Hot Rats is incredible. It taught me the value of headphones - I can still remember hearing some of the piano parts in Willie The Pimp.

 

I have it on my Rio player, and listened to it this week. Fantastic.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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