Not a musician, barely know a bass clef from a treble clef, and you can forget about reading music....

So, stringing an instrument (I'm looking at the 2-string bass plans). Seems to me that the way to do it before getting out the tuner, is to rig the first (largest)string, and then start applying tension, listening for the point where the twang goes away and true notes start sounding, then go to the tuner and start looking for your first note, tuning up, not down. Example: note sounds good, but it's D and you want a B, so keep cranking til the first B comes around, not drop from the D to B because the twang starts.

Am I wrong?

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm not entirely, 100% sure what you're asking. Firstly, I'd get out the battery powered tuner out right away. I'm not much of a musician, but I've found no reason not to let myself be entirely dependent on $10 tuners. I get a new one for each instrument.

You can certainly drop from D to B, there's no rules against this, no damage, temporary or permanent, afaik. Are you thinking a particular octave might not sounding good with your specific build?  Do you already have two strings you intend on using, or do you have a selection of gauges to pick from?  I've built a couple of Ukes, it's generally gCEA although doing "drop G" an octave down is sometimes desirable, esp. with some songs meant for guitar. I put on a different gauge string to achieve that, I don't tune the original string down. but this is all relative to other strings. Are you asking about just the very first string, or the second string after the first is tuned satisfactorally?

Actually I probably have no business answering this at all. Bear in mind, strings need stretching. This is particularly important for soprano ukes and small CGBs. They will go out of tune, a lot, until you break in the strings, stretching them as much as possible before setting them, and then again with several tunings. Being afraid to stretch strings out at the start just doesn't sound right to me. Being fearful to drop down a few notes would never work during the break-in process for a uke. The again, maybe there's bass-specific things I'm just not aware of.

" I'm not entirely, 100% sure what you're asking."
Um...maybe sneaking up on the first correct note I come to?

"Firstly, I'd get out the battery powered tuner out right away. I'm not much of a musician, but I've found no reason not to let myself be entirely dependent on $10 tuners. I get a new one for each instrument."
I've got a couple and I also use online tone generators.

"You can certainly drop from D to B, there's no rules against this, no damage, temporary or permanent, afaik. Are you thinking a particular octave might not sounding good with your specific build?"
I'm just entering territory that ...well...is beyond my very limited scope. This is where I'm trying to go...
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=fouke+rock&&view=detai...

 "Do you already have two strings you intend on using, or do you have a selection of gauges to pick from?  I've built a couple of Ukes, it's generally gCEA although doing "drop G" an octave down is sometimes desirable, esp. with some songs meant for guitar. I put on a different gauge string to achieve that, I don't tune the original string down. but this is all relative to other strings. Are you asking about just the very first string, or the second string after the first is tuned satisfactorally?"
Baritone lap steel. Was recommended D'Darrio  XL 157's. I think theu are .014-.068 (some sets go over .070)

"Actually I probabl"y have no business answering this at all."
LOL... hell, I've got no  business building instruments I don't know how/can't to play...



I think your on the right track. 

If you know the target note, an audio reference can be handy, if for no other reason than to assure your in the right range, correct octave..... (Many times you can find reference tones for the desired pitch on YouTube, etc.)

Many a person has made the mistake of attempting to tune too high by mistake and breaking a string, or worse.

One problem with home made stuff however is sometimes we dont know the target exactly as it can often be a bit experimental if you dont plan a lot of things out ahead.

But in general, your point about tuning up, not down, is "sound advise" If you pass the target, back down and ease up to it again. It will soon become second nature. Also you will find that the tension change of tuning one string effects the pitch of the other(s) and you end up going back and forth, gently tweaking.. Then as Christopher correctly points out, new strings stretch and settle in. You'll likely get plenty of tuning practice early on. Its just part of the learning curve!

Dont be intimidated by the lack of experience. Just dive in and explore. You'll learn far faster that way.

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