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drop D with Jazz bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by smellah, Jul 19, 2013.


  1. smellah

    smellah

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    I need any advise on an issue I'm facing.

    I've been playing the bass since 20 years in powerful rock bands with my American Fender Jazz Bass tuned in E.
    I play it with the pick, saturation and attack the strings hard.
    My strings are 105-85-70-50

    In a new band I'm in, I have drop the tuning to D. And here starts my problems. With the height of my stings I can't get the D string tuned all the way through the octaves. I have try to put a 110 string for the bass to hold better the tuning but it makes it worst at the octave.
    The advice I've been having so far: change to 5 strings bass,
    the jazz bass not being good at D tuning with hard playing.
    I don't like the idea since I've always played on four strings.

    Does anyone play in D tuning with a Jazz Bass ?

    What d would be your recommendations ?

    Thanks a lot for your input.

    Souheil
     
  2. manolo578

    manolo578

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    maybe adjust your action?
     
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Dingwall ABZ Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Media:
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    Albums:
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    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Sounds like you need a good setup of your bass. Seems like you need to lower your action and adjust your intonation.
     
  4. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Disclosures:
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor, Lakland
    Ive played Jazz basses tuned to C#. they handle low tuning well.

    Sounds like your action is too low. You basically have to choose between low action or attacking the strings hard. I choose the former every time.
     
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  6. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    personally haven't had any problems, but i play hard finger style with medium low action
     
  7. Schmorgy

    Schmorgy

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    It really sounds like an intonation issue to me.
     
  8. tomnomnom91

    tomnomnom91

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    A simple setup should do it. I'm always throwing my basses between standard and drop D, including a Jazz. Any bass set up properly can switch between E and D, it's not that big a change. Hope you get it sorted :)
     
  9. smellah

    smellah

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Thank you all for the comments. What do you mean by low action ? The height of the strings ?
    Does it worth it then to play on a 110 string when changing from E to D in between songs ? I use 110-85-70-50

    Thanks for the support.

    Souheil
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    I used to play with 3 basses ...

    A Rickenbacker 4001 tuned EADG
    A p-bass tuned EbAbDbGb
    and a Jazz bass tuned DGCF

    I set up each bass for the tuning. It all worked great.

    Then I got a 5 string bass and no more detuning needed.
     
  11. jamminology101

    jamminology101

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Indianapolis In
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    U gotta shorten the saddle where it is setup to a 105 string E hz....to where the low B and octave match up. Your low E is way down there on the 5th fret now....thats it.
     
  12. jamminology101

    jamminology101

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Indianapolis In
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Every note should have its own personalized length and thickness(like a piano) to operate OPTIMALY with the same force applied(plucking) with the same tension on the strings...dingwall operate on this premise with its fret layout being kind of like a double parabola....sorry I went and smoked some whooch motivated by some new poster yesterday and its making me stupid I believe...
     
  13. smellah

    smellah

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Do you mean that when seting up the saddle to make the strings tuned all the way to the octave I should not use the D ref when to adjust but the note B instead ?
     
  14. jamminology101

    jamminology101

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    No...D is right. I was thinking BEAD. D is it dude..
     
  15. 39-Bassist

    39-Bassist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6
    I use a Jazz bass with 45-105 boomers and a Drop D tuner.....I have no problems, maybe you should think of this option. You may just need to setup your string height a bit higher and then readjust intonation....I think that may help (as an idea) Good Luck
     
  16. smellah

    smellah

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Okay okay,

    I'll go adjust my setup again. But at this stage, the only thing I can do is to lower the action and get back to 105. Because the problem I'm having is that the saddle can't get further back and the D is still to high at the octave.

    I'll report. Thanks
     
  17. Shardik

    Shardik

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    Halden, Norway
    I play 3 basses, all with a DGCF tuning. One is a Peavey BXP Millennium, which follow J bass standards pretty closely.

    I use string sets with balanced or progressive string tension on all the basses. They all work great for EADG, DADG and DGCF tunings. I started out on EADG, then tried drop D, but finally tried DGCF and made that my personal standard. To me it doesn't seem like I need to change intonation between tunings as long as I keep to the same strings.

    On balanced / progressive tension sets, it seems that the thickest string are a bit heavier than on "standard" sets. I think you should try a heavier string or a complete balanced tension set.

    You'll have to adjust intonation when changing strings, of course.
     
  18. hover

    hover Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    This is only tuned one whole step. Pretty benign stuff.

    Re-setup your bass to play well in this tuning. Or, sounds like...pay someone else to do it.

    Done.
     
  19. jamminology101

    jamminology101

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Indianapolis In
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    Take the spring out of it....There 7u be
     
  20. jamminology101

    jamminology101

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Location:
    Indianapolis In
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    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    The d tuner works well...the only thing I would nitpik at would b some time it takes the fundamental a tad sharp after u release the lever...petty I kno
     
  21. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    To the OP:

    I'm assuming you are talking about detuning your E string only down to D (a whole step); and not detuning the other strings. But, I can't really tell from your OP.

    IME, detuning the E does not have a significant effect on bridge determined intonation; and detuning works quite well IF the bass is properly intonated to begin with.

    I do this on several J basses with few issues, aside from the very slight irreproducibility of the Hipshot previously mentioned. There is otherwise no general issue with drop tuning a J Bass E string. Many do it successfully on a regular basis.

    Can't tell if that addresses your question or not.
     

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