You Don't Tune Basses!



photo:John Stapleton 1969

When you're a self-taught musician, artist or whatever, you pickup information wherever you can find it. Sometimes it's mis-information.

My first band was called 'Pulsation'. I was the drummer. I got the gig over a far more competent musician because I had long hair and went "wild" when I played. It was 1969.

I used to wonder why every song we played sounded the same.
I now realize that we were simply out of tune.
Simply, completely and utterly out of tune.
Without tune.

I must have suspected something was terribly wrong because I remember asking the bass player, whether the bass was tuned the same as the guitar.

He looked at me incredulous, "Are you serious?" he asked rhetorically.
Shaking his head and sighing deeply, he patronizingly explained,
"You don't tune basses!"