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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Do you adjust your tuning on a string mid-song ?

Contributing Member


Dec 6th, 2018 10:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

It would have to be serious for me to try to do this.

I would probably just not play those notes on that string.

Can you do it as slickly as Chas Chandler does at 1.32 in this video ?

Please don't let me be out of tune on national tv

Contributing Member

USA / Virginia

Dec 7th, 2018 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Between songs, not during. All the basses I have played are solid body Fenders, and they don't get that much out of tune one song to the next. In fact we used to play a full set without retuning.

Hollow bodies, who knows.



Dec 7th, 2018 08:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ive watched will lee tune mid-phrase almost. He doent even appear to use a tuner. His basses just seem to be extensions of his body. He seems to sense the slightest thing and he is lightning fast with his movements.

Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Dec 7th, 2018 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

If I can do it without disruption, yes.

However, the beat comes first. When playing bass, you can't drop out for even a beat or two without EVERYONE's ears perking up.


New York City

Dec 7th, 2018 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Only one time I can think of that my bass went so far out of tune in the middle of a song that I could hear it. Even then, I waited until the end of the song to re-tune. Wouldn't have the moves to try and adjust it during.

All my Fenders and even the Dano seem to be very stable. I check tuning a few times over the course of a gig but they rarely show any drift at all.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 7th, 2018 10:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, unless I’m playing a fretless, then it can wait.

Chances are nearly certain that the tuning is going flat, and a small tweak will set it straight.

Steve Dallman

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Dec 7th, 2018 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just played for a showcase as part of a Performance Art Series at a university. First song, my A string was flat, despite tuning it before the show started.

I reached up and tweaked it up. It's on the video they did of the show. I did it quickly and didn't miss a note.

Good to go for the rest of that song and the next 3 we did.

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

You DESERVE an Ibanez Iceman!
Dec 7th, 2018 02:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Counterpoint: I think he actually pushed it out of tune!
Bass sounds weird on the bridge. So he probably heard something that wasn't there.

I can tune on the fly, (thanks to Snark!) but it's easier on the guitar to hold a note or chord with the left hand and flip a tuning peg with the right hand, but only on Fenders! Hard to get the lower pegs on a 3-on-a-side headstock without hitting the strings!



Who is E. Sandoval?
Dec 7th, 2018 09:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here's tuning story for you guys. Something that happened many moons ago.

I once did a set with a 3 piece, bass-drums-guitar. It was at a jam at a club using the house band's gear. I used the bass player's tuner which I was not familiar with.

The tuner had a setting a half-step flat which I didn't know about and of course I unwittingly used it.

We started off Cream's White Room and immediately knew there was a problem. I looked at the guitar player and he looked at me like what the hell do we do now. Neither of us knew who was out. There was a big crowd and we couldn't stop the song to figure it out.

I managed to get out of this disaster by playing a half step up on the bass. We got through the song and actually got a good hand from the crowd.

Contributing Member


Dec 24th, 2018 03:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Found another example of tuning your bass while playing on a live TV show

This time it was the band backing Darlene Love for her first christmas appearance on the David Letterman show.

At 1.31 you can see the strings are being bent then at 1.41 he reaches and adjusts the tuner

A christmas example on tv



The Plankster of Love
Dec 30th, 2018 03:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

I check my P-bass tuning annually. Thanks for the reminder.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Do you adjust your tuning on a string mid-song ?

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