Tripboba.com - Tuning your bass is one of the first skills you as a guitarist need to know. Because you have to tune the bass each time you play it. You can't expect your bass to always be in sync between practice sessions. As a general rule, keeping the bass in tune is easier than a regular guitar, but you will still want to check your tuning each time you play.
How to Tune a Bass Guitar
If it doesn't sound right when you play, or if it sounds "off" when playing along with the recording, we recommend checking your tuning. Check the following points of how to tune a guitar and be ready to set your bass!
Tuning 5-String Bass Guitar
The 5-string bass is becoming more common. They can be tuned by adding the extra low strings B, E, A, D, G or by adding the high strings E, A, D, G, C. In contrast to guitars where most of the strings are 4ths and one string is tuned to the a 3rd, bass tuning is generally done in all 4.
Tuning 6-String Bass Guitar
This is where you want to expand your range. Try the 6-string bass as this can add extra low strings and extra high strings: B, E, A, D, G, C.
Drop D Tuning for the Bass Guitars
There are simple ways to develop the sound of your guitar without adding extra strings. Drop tuning became popular in the 90s for heavier music. Drop tuning is when you drop the pitch of your lowest string, usually one step below the standard.
Tuning Standard Bass Guitar
If you play a standard bass guitar, you’ll notice that your bass only has 4 strings. The standard tuning for a 4-string bass is E, A, D, G (equal to the lowest four-string guitar but one octave lower). The bass strings are tuned in fourth.
How to Tune a Guitar with a Tuner
If you’re following the market today, you’ll know that there are various types of guitar tuners available. In fact, with the technology, you can even get a guitar tuner app, if it is your style. Almost all tuners should have essentially the same function. Some are connected to guitar, some have built-in microphones.
Before we’re sharing how to tune a guitar using a tuner, there are types of tuners you should know.
- Clip on headstock
- Desktop with mic
- Built in tuner
- Pedal type
Step 1. Tune your tuner and turn it on. And then start by plucking the top strings, and only the top strings. Use your finger or pick. Whatever you like is fine, but choosing can result in a slightly more accurate reading on the tuner.
Step 2. When you strum the strings, carefully watch the tuner. This should display the notes being played, and the scales that are moving. When the scale indicator is in the center, the strings are tuned to the displayed tone.
The basic method is to adjust each string to the correct note by plucking it repeatedly while watching the tuner. The strings are tuned using machine heads, or tuning knobs. You probably already know what it is.
Step 3. Pluck the top string again and again, and then accordingly adjust the machine head until the sting is set to E. You’ll always want to tune up, never tune down. If the string is sharp, tune it far below the desired note, then tune up the note. This will make sure that the strings are always stretched tightly.
Step 4. Now, move on to the next string down, or the A string. Pick repeatedly while adjusting the correct machine head and watching the tuner. You’ll realize that this just got easier! Almost the same all the time.
Step 5. Continue on the rest of the string, top to bottom, in standard tuning. After you have all the strings tuned, go back and tune them a second time. You will often find that something is out of sync during the process. This often occurs due to incorrectly turning the machine head at some point.
Step 6. Checking everything a second time will make sure that your guitar has the perfect tone. It's also a good practice to tune your guitar often, even if it sounds okay. The strings can expand and shrink depending on the conditions, and will become out of sync at some point.
As the strings age, it becomes more and more difficult to keep them in tune. This fact, along with light rust on the top and bottom of the strings, is a sure indicator that you need some new strings.