Out of Tune

tuning pegs on bass guitar

When I was a young guy, I played in several rock groups. At first, I played 6-string, electric guitar, but through a fluke, I picked up the bass guitar and played that. After I rededicated my life to Jesus, I continued to play bass in my church’s orchestra and in a gospel group, where I met my wife. One of the first exercises I learned, for both the six-string and bass guitars was tuning. Unfortunate for me, back in the 70s and 80s, there wasn’t a device to help me tune my bass while performing or ministering. Having an unexceptional ear for music, I could tune my bass by ear while playing a song unless all the strings were severely out of tune. That happened one time.

Way Out of Tune

I had tuned my bass during our sound check and then set it on my guitar stand and left – I don’t remember why. Anyway, while I was gone, a child had become fascinated by the big, silver tuning pegs. So, the child played with them…a lot!

When I got back it was time for us to start and right out of the gate, I knew I had a problem. All the strings on my bass were woefully out of tune. I transposed my notes to a place on one string that was not horribly between keys – Jack Bruce was wise when he chose to play a fretless bass. But I had to focus on getting each string back in tune. That evening, I didn’t play as I should have.

I learned more from that experience than to never let my guitar leave my sight after a sound check. I learned that keeping my instrument in tune was part of my performance. It wasn’t enough to get my bass in tune; I had to guard my bass to prevent it from being tampered with. The same is true with our walk with Jesus.

Keeping my Soul in Tune

pic of man playing a bass guitar

As believers, we work diligently on our prayer times, Bible study, and fellowship with one another. However, while doing these things, it’s easy for us to take our eyes off sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16). Casual conversations, quips from workmates, and even Christian broadcasts can cause off-key beliefs to seep into our hearts and minds.

We can easily retune our beliefs to be in harmony with God’s Word if we remain diligent. But if we start to just “go with the flow” then we quickly become out of tune with God.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

My kryptonite is the beauty of the bass when played by exceptional soul and jazz bass players. Nevertheless, our testing of what comes in our ears or through our eyes is of utmost importance. This is why God’s Word states, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23) So, let us avoid discord and remain in “in the pocket” with Jesus, the living Truth (John 14:6). What I ask of the Holy Spirit is for me to have a soulful tune, one that is in tune with the matchless music of Almighty God!

Feature Photo by Łukasz Rawa on Unsplash, Bass guitar player: Photo by Seif Eddin Khayat on Unsplash


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