Can I Tune to Drop C and Drop D on one bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JoshSmith, Nov 12, 2013.


  1. JoshSmith

    JoshSmith

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    I play songs in drop D and Drop C. More Drop C. Is there a strung gauge that I can do this? Please help thanks!
  2. scottiwkt

    scottiwkt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Area
    The last metal band I was in did all our tunes in drop C. I restrung my basses with the 4 heaviest strings from a 5 string set. After all, C is only a full step higher than the standard B string on a 5 string bass. The only issue was that I had to file the nut for the heavier strings. If you want to go back to standard strings, you have to replace the nut with one cut for standard guage EADG strings.
  3. JoshSmith

    JoshSmith

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013

    So could I play in both Drop C and D with the same strings?
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    You play four string, right?

    Also, are you talking about detuning just the lowest string, or all strings?

    If you are referring to all strings, well, I'd suggest just detuning the lowest one. In other words, alternate from DGCF to CGCF. Took a little bit of practice, but I got used to using detuned E string back when I played fours (then I switched to five and didn't have to worry about detuning any more :ninja:). Anyway, if you're just detuning the lowest string, you could just flip the lever on a Hipshot Xtender rather than detune/retune all strings.
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  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    Sure. You could check out DR strings, they make a 'DDT' set designed for drop tuning. Or, just try out any heavy gauge strings. Some brands offer custom sets where you can choose your own gauges, but for starters, just go with heavies.
  7. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Guys, I think he means Drop D, as in DADG, and Drop C, as in CGCF. This would be theoretically doable but very difficult. I would second Fuzzbass's suggestion of using D Standard and dropping to Drop C.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Please allow me to be "that guy." If you played a 5-string, this would be a simple matter.
  9. JoshSmith

    JoshSmith

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013

    Yes I'm using a 4 string. I'm referring to CGCF and DADG
  10. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Yep, me too
  11. IronSpatula

    IronSpatula

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Get a nice heavy set and tune to drop C. Capo second fret for drop D. You'd get the same tension in both tunings and wouldn't have to re-tune.

    Blasphemous? :bag:
  12. JoshSmith

    JoshSmith

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013

    Do you have a suggestion on gauge? Also could I do DGCF and CGCF with the same strings?
  13. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Yes, but the further up the neck you start playing the further out your intonation will be in 1 of the tunings.
  14. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Gauge, go for a...110 low D/C. For the rest a standard 85-65-45 set should work fine. I think. Try it! You can get custom gauge sets from some manufacturers through Bass Strings Online (and special VIP pricing!)

    And yes, DGCF and CGCF will work fine on the same bass, but either the D or the low C is going to feel a bit "off" until you get used to it. Considering investing in a D-tuner to make dropping easier.

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