This material seeks to answer your question on how to tune a bass guitar. Well since I don't know exactly how many strings are on your bass guitar I shall present you with different options, namely, 4-string, 5 string, 6 string, and 7 string basses.
First of all we shall look at the standard tuning of bass guitars.
The standard tuning of a four string bass guitar from highest (thinnest string) to lowest (fattest string) is G-D-A-E.
On a five string bass the tunings are similar with the addition of a low B string.
On a six string bass guitar, a thinner (higher pitched) string is added, and is tuned to C. In other words on a 6 string bass guitar the settings are B-E-A-D-G-C, where B is the fattest string or lowest note and C the highest and thinnest.
On a 7-string bass a high F-string is added. The settings on a 7-string bass are B-E-A-D-G-C-F where B is the lowest and F the highest.
Tuning your bass is all about matching the pitch of your instrument to that of a bass guitar tuner, pitch pipe, tuning fork or a correctly tuned piano or keyboard. If you do not have a tuner or keyboard instrument, you can find an online tuner by doing a search.
Now all you have to do is match the pitch of the strings to the corresponding notes on your tuner. Hopefully your ears are sufficiently developed (musically), for you to hear this. When the note on your bass is the same as that of your tuner, the vibration patterns will match and you will hear no wah-wah-wah sound when you play the two notes. There will be no clash between the two notes.
So how do you tune your bass?
Loosen the string and tune up to the correct note. In other words your string should be well below the correct pitch and only then do you begin to tighten. That way you avoid breakage by tightening the string too much. Listen carefully to make sure the two pitches match and that there is no wah-wah-wah or clashing sound between the two notes.
As long as the notes are in sync, you will hear no wah-wah-wah sound. But if you pass the in tune point, you will begin to hear that undesired sound again, and it means that you will have to loosen on the string a little until you get back to the in tune point.
Tune all your strings one by one by matching the sound of the strings to the corresponding note on your tuner.
Tuning your bass is not hard. But as with any other instrument it involves practice. And of course, practice makes perfect. After a while you may find that you do not even have to rely on an electronic tuner to tune your bass. Hope you found this guide useful. Good luck.
About the Author:
Mantius Cazaubon is a successful author and publisher of Bass Guitars Guide. A resource for bass guitar information, tips and reviews.