How to accurately "hit" the low D coming from standard tuning?

So, I just re-watched some of the Marcus Miller concert on YouTube. At one point, at the end of a ballad, Marcus is playing a cadence down the fretboard, and it HAS to end with the low D. There is a ritardando in the run down, then a short break (fermata), which he uses to tune down the E string to D, before playing that final note. However, he is not using a mechanical detuner - he just seems to know how much to turn the tuning peg… or how does he do it?? There is not enough time to mute the bass, look at a tuner, find the D that way and crank up the volume again. So, is it just experience, or is there another trick?

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if the string is ringing, you can do it by ear very quickly, with some habit. I do it all the time because I alternate between standard tuning and drop-D.
if the instrument is not playing, I guess the tuner option is obvious :slight_smile:

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It could also have been going through a tuner the entire time and you just couldn’t see the tuner.

But for Miller? Probably by ear.

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If I had to do something like that I would probably take some time beforehand to figure out how much I needed to detune the E, i.e. an 1/8th turn, a quarter turn or whatever then practice building muscle memory for that movement. Luckily though, I’m not Markus Miller so I don’t have to worry about it. :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I think that is probably how he did it, @Korrigan! Thanks!

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Yeah, muscle memory + ear. Victor Wooten does a lot of live tuning stuff, sometimes just for practical reasons, but he also does it as an effect in some of his solos.

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In what lesson do you teach us how do whatever it was Mr. Wooten was doing starting at 3.50?

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Those are secret bonus lessons that only get available for students who adequately finish the slap bass lessons (i.e., none :crazy_face:)

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Ha, that IS the lesson video!

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