#1
I've bought a chromatic tuner because I want to play the metal songs I listen to. Its great when I want my bass (4 string) to stay in standard tuning. However, every time I try to down tune to either drop D or drop C (sometimes lower for a few songs) the tuner doesn't register.

The tuner I have doesn't have a # or b button. All it has is a 'calibration' button, a 'guitar/bass' button and the power button ( the latter two are self-explanatory).

Since I've only started playing bass, tuning by ear is a timely option, but I can never be sure as I haven't trained my ear yet.

I figure that if this tuner does have this option, it would probably have some thing to do with the calibration button. I have the choice of 440, 442, 444, 436 and 438 (440 being the original setting).

Do I have to set my tuner to one of the above mentioned settings? If so, which one?

Can anybody out there help me? The instructions are as useful as tits on a bull and I don't want to have to buy a new tuner.

Thanks, any advice is appreciated.
#3
Those options are only to change what your tuner recognizes as the base A note.

the default is 440Hz but some scientists/music people believe that the true A is 442Hz/444Hz/436Hz/438Hz. For your untrained ear, none of this will make a differences, as +/- 4Hz won't register to your ear.

As for it registering your bass, are you playing through an amplifier, plugged into the tuner, or just acoustic?

Unless you have active pickups (battery powered) you won't get a result from plugging directly into the tuner.
#4
Its not a Korg tuner, But I'll definitely try that

So does that mean for tuning to low C, I should use it for the 10th fret (for Eb tune to the 2/3rd fret and so on)?

Thanks for the input, btw
#6
Quote by Camm
Those options are only to change what your tuner recognizes as the base A note.

the default is 440Hz but some scientists/music people believe that the true A is 442Hz/444Hz/436Hz/438Hz. For your untrained ear, none of this will make a differences, as +/- 4Hz won't register to your ear.

As for it registering your bass, are you playing through an amplifier, plugged into the tuner, or just acoustic?

Unless you have active pickups (battery powered) you won't get a result from plugging directly into the tuner.


I'm playing through an amp. When playing through the tuner, nothing registers (obviously I haven't got active pups. (Its my first bass, so its a cheap one I bought from a friend).
#7
That's weird that it doesn't pick up a low C or D... I use a guitar effects pedal to tune, and goes all the way down to Ab.

And about the active thing... if the tuner is battery powered, it should work on it's own.

As has been said, 440Hz should be used- it's the Western music standard (Indian music is slightly higher IIRC, and pre-Baroque music is slightly different as well)

Finally, tuning E to a higher fret is risky business if you actually want to be in tune- it requires your bass to be correctly intonated, but this is going to be a pain if you can't tune straight to C I think...
#10
No offense, but is it like a cheap tuner? I had one that I bought when I first picked up guitar that never worked for my bass on the lower strings.

I bought a Korg Ca-30, that works for everything now. I would say just buy one of those, they're not amazingly expensive.
#11
Play the 12th fret harmonic and then tune it. My tuner doesn't recognice my low B string, but it recognises it an octave up.
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#12
what i do if im too lazy to tune using the tuner (KORG GA-30) is figure out where A would be on the fretboard if in drop tuning.
for example, in standard tuning, A is at 5th fret (thus the 5th fret tuning method), although in drop D, A is at 7th Fret. once you do that, all you have to do is use the 5th fret method and tune. to be sure your in tune (well, close enough), listen for a wavering sound. if the waves get shorter when you sharpen/flatten the string, your getting closer to in tune, and vice versa for getting out of tune (i.e. the waves get faster). i got this information courtesy of the "Bass guitar for Dummies" book.
#13
Well, for one, you need a tuner that will tell you what note you are playing when you tune it. Korg makes a $15 tuner that does this, and has a neat little pitchpipe type thing. This way, you can do some research and find how to tune to different tunings, then tune them accordingly.

And Ben is right, having an active bass has no bearing on whether or not your tuner will work. If your tuner doesn't work when you plug your bass straight in, then you need a new tuner.

And also, tune with a tuner, yes, but learn how to tune by ear. Learn the notes and learn how to tune by ear, it's not hard, just takes practice.
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#14
Quote by jazz71286
I'm playing through an amp. When playing through the tuner, nothing registers (obviously I haven't got active pups. (Its my first bass, so its a cheap one I bought from a friend).

Don't think you need active pickups for a battery powered tuner.....If all else fails there's a tuning thread you could use..
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#15
As was suggested, tune to the 12th fret harmonic instead of the open note. I would suggest that you have your bass properly set up to play down-tuned with the same string tension as you would have in E standard. perhaps the LOOSE string tension has something to do with why the tuner doesnt register?
#16
Quote by to_the_grave
As was suggested, tune to the 12th fret harmonic instead of the open note. I would suggest that you have your bass properly set up to play down-tuned with the same string tension as you would have in E standard. perhaps the LOOSE string tension has something to do with why the tuner doesnt register?


set up the bass to play in drop D permanently? ew....

i personally tune to 5th fret, if you drop often, you could get one of those fancy de-tuners
#17
Thanks guys, I'm going to the music store after work today. The tuner I bought may be a cheap knock-off (my first tuner so I wasnt sure what i was looking for). Now I have a better idea.

Over the weekend I used the various methods that have been mentioned above. I found that when I tuned to what I thought to be low C, the neck of my bass gave an audible creak. I got the bass in a starter pack online, so its not of great quality. That being said, should my bass make these noises? Should I invest in some heavier gauge strings?

Once again, any advice is appreciated.
#18
I have a Boss TU-80 and its not a bad little tuner, its chromatic and has a metronome.

Its the only tuner I've ever owned but most my friends have the same one. I would recommend having a look at one of these if you see one but the Korg one could be better, I'm not sure.
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