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Any problems playing in Drop C with a 5 string set?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by FBS1996, Jan 30, 2014.


  1. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Feb 14, 2011
    Leeds, England
    Hey everyone

    I joined a band a couple of months back and we play in drop C. From what I've seen, there is VERY little choice in terms of bass strings with uncommon guages, so I started out by just tuning a standard 110 - 50 set down to drop c on a 34 inch scale bass (Fender Precision), but the E string would sound too floppy and rubber-bandy for me to use, and it would also slip out of tune very easily.

    So for the past few months, I've been using the BEAD strings from a 5 string set and tuning them to CGCF. I was just wondering if this would be too much tension to put onto a bass neck, or should it be able to handle it? There's been no problems so far, but am I likely to run into any problems in the long term?

    Thanks everyone
     
  2. I do it all the time but my next is 35" those. Plus am in the same but a tiny bit. But Really for C I would use a 125 - 135 string gange.
     
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  4. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    What gauge BEAD are you using?
     
  5. :confused:
    __________________
    damn kids and their ninjas
     
  6. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Put a string of them together and you've got an Indian river.
     
  7. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Feb 14, 2011
    Leeds, England
    ah yeah sorry, forgot to mention that one, I think it's 125/105/85/65.

    Chees
     
  8. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Here's some estimated tension, based on Circle K's charts (someone else may be able to calculate properly):

    125 for C - approx. 37 lbs - seems fair.
    105 for G - approx. 53lbs - pretty tense.
    85 for C - very tense, more than 60lbs but so tense the chart doesn't give a figure for C around this gauge.
    65 for F - again, over 60lbs.

    Not pushing Circle K strings particularly (although they are good), but using their charts, a balanced set for that tuning would be something like:

    130-86-63-47 (or 130-85-65-45 given more traditional gauges) - that's around 40lbs per string.

    Or 124-82-61-45 for around 37lbs per string.
     
  9. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    If you bought a 5 string set, you'd be best off discarding the E rather than the G.
     
  10. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    ^ What SVT said.
    EAD tuned up to GCF is too tight, buy a custom-designed drop C set or use a tension chart to build a set from singles with your preferred tension on each string.
    I you must use a 5 string set discard the E, 125 85 65 45 will be fairly balanced but perhaps too low a tension for you.
     
  11. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Feb 14, 2011
    Leeds, England
    Thanks for that fellas, that makes sense. The tension on the D and G strings had been pretty tough, there'd be no chance of getting a string bend out of them without breaking a finger haha. I think I'll try out the 125/85/65/45 and see how that goes. I've tuned strings down a tone before and the tension wasn't too loose for me so it should be alright. Cheers :)
     
  12. Would it be an issue to just tune BEAD? You'd have to play a fret above where the guitarists are. I don't see how that'd be a problem though.
     
  13. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Feb 14, 2011
    Leeds, England
    We have some pretty quick runs using the C string, so I'd need to have C as an open note. I would prefer to do that though, it would be easier
     
  14. I tune my Lakland 55-01 CGCFBb using a D'addario light gauge 4 string set (.090, .075, .060, .040) for the GCFBb and a single .125 for the low C. Requires some adjustments from standard but works great once it's set up for it. Plus, this is the best way I can do it and still use the through body feature - D'addario make Super Longs in those gauges. It also works for BF#BEA if I use a .130 for the low B with no extra adjustment.
     
  15. MrTaff

    MrTaff

    Jan 20, 2014
    UK
    What about tuning to C-F-A#-D#, just half a step up from BEAD so you can use a light 5 string set which gives you much more options for strings.
     



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