Alternate tunings and 5/6 string basses
Full disclosure, I've never played anything at all in an alternate tuning. I'm just getting back into bass after a long hiatus so I missed the whole downtuning thing. I have a 4 string Squire P right now but was planning on eventually getting a 6er. Now, as I've been perusing tabs I've been seeing a lot of songs where the E gets turned into a D. The other strings are A, D, G so, no biggie. Then I started looking up Chevelle songs. Typical tunings are B, Gb, B, E. Another is Bb, F, Bb, Eb. Now maybe I should be so musically proficient that I can tune strings however I want and instantly know what notes are where but I can't. I guess I could tune like is shown and then just memorize the pattern but that seems weird.
Is it normal for people with 5 or 6 string basses to use normal tuning and just reach for those weird notes on the low B or if you were playing an alternate tuning like this would you change the tuning of all 5 or 6 strings? Thanks!