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6 String Bass tuned like a Guitar?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jason Hollar, Nov 20, 2007.


  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    Not sure if this should be in the Altered Tunings thread or not...

    But since guitar was my first instrument, I've always had a strange desire to buy a 6 string bass, and tune it EADGBE...an octave lower, of course.

    I'd love to be able to comp familiar chords and take bluesy solos on certain jazz/funk gigs.

    Just wondering if anybody here is crazy enough to play this way?! :bassist:

    I tried this once on a 7 string bass -- a Conklin -- but it was just way too big to handle.

    I'd probably need some kind of thin-neck, narrow string-space bass like an Ibanez or something. I also tried a Fender VI but the low end wasn't very happening for me...that's a little too narrow I'm afraid!
     
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Location:
    Monroe Twp, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works/Barker Bass
    Many people tune in this manner, not at all unusual ....

    Lots of options open for 6's with somewhat tighter string spacing, as well ..... :cool:
     
  3. Kobaia

    Kobaia

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Denton TX
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    ... baritone guitar...:ninja:
     
  4. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    It's not unheard of. Many people also tune their 5 strings to EADGB for this reason.


    - get a 7 string set

    - or a 4 string set and individual C and F strings

    - tune the C and F down a semitone (maybe get a slightly heavier C and F for more consistent tension)

    - Setup your bass and you're done.
     
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  6. meev992

    meev992

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Location:
    Union City, California
    lol, i put baritone guitar strings on my acoustic before. It was a .085 bronze roundwound...practically a light A string.
     
  7. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Disclosures:
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    One of my local bassist buddies tunes his 6 string like a guitar, but with the low string being a B.

    From what it looks like, it facilitates playing chords.
     
  8. BassBus

    BassBus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Reiver Country, Scotland
  9. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    Fender Bass VI anybody? Danelectro Longhorn 6? Lots of off-the-shelf options for this approach, which predates "extended range" boutique instruments by at least a decade.
     
  10. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Pittsburgh area
    Wow -- that Status is slick lookin'!

    I'm ashamed to say I haven't really checked out much of Jonas' recent work...but I have heard him before.

    Can you recommend any tracks where he's playing this type of axe?

    Must...fight...Gas...for 6 string...
     
  11. BellBottomBlues

    BellBottomBlues

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    Disclosures:
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I used a Fender Bass VI on a bunch of recordings. Very nice but not bassy enough, I agree, but it really sings through a tube amp with the bass turned up.

    If you're worried about strings you could just buy the strings from the Fender VI and just toss them on something else...
     
  12. Ocon

    Ocon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    I use 6 string.Ibanez SR1206 and Ritter Okon 6st.Tuning is D-A-D-G-A-D.I don't use low-B.Sometimes confusing when I play 2nd string to 3rd.But really fun to play!!
     

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