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Tuning your bass...

2424 Views 20 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  oddio
What do you all use to tune your basses? I have a Korg DT-10 pedal that works great for guitar... but I can't seem to tune my low E string... I can have the volume knob all the way up but it still won't show anything... thoughts?
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lo E

see if your tuner will recognize the lo E harmonic at the twelfth fret. If that doesn't work try fretting the lo E at the fifth fret and tune to the A. this may not be right on as the fifth fret is often not perfect.
I use the DT-10 and it works great. I bought it because it works better than the boss tuner for tuning the low E and low B
Peterson StroboStomp. I've got various rack tuners around the place, but the SS is the most precise and convenient to use.
Not to dis electronics, but,
have you tried a tunning fork?
It's this little thingy that
I'm holding.
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I've heard great things about the Peterson. I have a Boss TU-2 that works as well.
Thanks... I'll try tuning at the 12th fret... right now, I'm tuning at the 5th or 7th fret and I can tell that my low E isn't quite in tune. Suggestions for a rack tuner? I'm thinking of building a rack for my bass rig and I'd kind of like a tuner in it and leaving the pedal for my guitar rig.
TU-2. I check at 12th fret harmonic then the open strings. Finally, I check [and adjust]accuracy at 7th fret. I figure that I play very very few open strings and seldom play aroundthe 12th fret, therefore accuracy at 7th fret for all strings ensures I'm tuned on the area of the neck that I'll be using.
Prior to this, I've checked intonation at the same points and ensured accuracy is tolerable at 3rd, 5th frets as well.
I tune using the 12th fret harmonics.

I've had the same Korg DT1 Pro tuner for 20 years now, and other than the mute footswitch input going south (which I don't use anyway), it's been a great, accurate tuner.

They still have a similar one.

I've heard good things about the Fender RT1000 and even the Behringer BTR2000 tuner I've heard is good and looks really cool - but it does not track a low B string - you will need to go by the 12th string harmonic.
To be clear, (and god knows I've had problems with clarity lately), I don't mean to fret the string at the 12th fret, I mean to pluck the open string at the 12th fret, with the tone rolled off.

I've seen some bad reviews about the behringer tuner but it's definitely one that I will consider. It does look great... lol. That it doesn't track the low B doesn't really bother me much because I don't really have an interest in a 5 string and I tune to drop D.

Thanks so much for all your help!
Not to dis electronics, but,
have you tried a tunning fork?.........
Yeah, Hi Laristotle, Have a 'C' and 'D' around here somewhere, used to use them, and/or tune off records, pianos, keys..

I just started using a tuner last year, new one is a Korg GT-4, cute little thing, uses motion and led's so it can be read from a distance, I find it good for doing intoation too. But it does have a bit of a problem with the 'B' at first, if I go E-A-D-G then B it is ok. <need a shrug smiley>

I tune by ear (surprisingly, considering
all those years of playing metal on 11).
I too use 5/7 harmonics.

Hey Michelle!
Here's your shrug smiley.
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Thanks... I'll try tuning at the 12th fret... right now, I'm tuning at the 5th or 7th fret and I can tell that my low E isn't quite in tune.
I use a simple Kork GA tuner and it works great. The problem with trying to tune using another note on another fret (including the 12th) is that the intonation of the bass must be spot on. Usually it's not, so your bottom E will be slightly off. So really there are two things to look for, one being a tuner that recognizes the bottom E (rack, pedal, or whatever), and second, the intonation of your bass.

"What do you all use to tune your basses?"

Boss TU-2
I use either my Fender pedal tuner (when playing live) or my Tascam Trainer's tuner when playing at home. I also carry a BA-20 Korg tuner in my gig bag in case I need a backup. Occasionally I will tune my E to our keyboard and then use the 5/open to tune the rest of the strings.
Boss & Korg

Like many other I use a Boss TU-2 and Korg Guitar/Bass Tuner GA-30. The Korg is cheap and works remarkably well.
I guess I should reply and say that turning my tone knob down to 0 worked really well - my tuner picked up the low D/E! Thanks to whoever said to turn the tone down.
Another nice trick is to turn down one pickup if you have a two pickup bass like a Jazz. It is easier sometimes to pick up the signal with just a single pickup and it is normally best to use the neck pickup to tune from (more string vibration I think).
Peterson StroboStomp.
Peterson StroboStomp.
Peterson StroboStomp.

I cannot say enough good things about this tuner. In 30 years, I have not seen anything better.
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