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12 string bass question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by superbassman2000, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. well, i jsut got done reading fretless12ver's post about the new 12 string bass that is out, and i went to his website, very nice site, and i love the tim king interview...i love soil...

    but i digress

    so i was wondering about tunings with 8 & 12 string basses. i notice that the standard thing to do is Eee Aaa Ddd Ggg, or some combo of that. has anyone ever changed the tunings to make various chords?
    for example

    Ebe Aea Dad Gdg

    you know, like changing the small strings to make other chords, like in that case, tuning one string in each group to a fifth higher, i suppose you could even get real crazy and tune them something like E aflat b etc.

    you know what i mean?

    has anyone ever tried that?
  2. does this post make sense?
    i don't think so...basically i am saying has anyone ever tried to tune their 12 string bass with each grouping of string as a chord? for example, the group that is usually eeE could be tuned to ebE or the A group could be ac#e

  3. I've often wondered the same thing- if I had a 12 string, I'd try it. One drawback would be that you would be limited to the particular chord type that you tune to, if that makes sense(?).
  4. tiefling


    Aug 19, 2003
    Washington DC
  5. yes, but has anyone actually done it?
  6. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    I tuned my 8 string Ric to fifths and didn't care much for the tone. It sounds much stronger in octaves (IMO).
  7. jvbjr


    Jan 8, 2005
    Mark Egan has used various tunings for his "octave strings" other than the octave.

    You have to be careful what you choose is usable.

    I would avoid 2nds, 3rds, and 6ths as too limiting to stay diatonic.

    4ths would be fine except for the IV chord, 5ths except for the vii

    You could do 7ths, if you go b7 you'd be good over the ii iii V vi vii chords, only losing the I and IV chords.
  8. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001


    I messed around with this idea for a little while on the 12 that I had, but it (the bass) was so painful (literally) to play I didn't get far.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


    You are as demented as I am! My guitarist and drummer hate my love for the tritone. Never thought of tuning my twelve that way. I'll have a little surprise for them next rehearsal.:smug:
  10. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Ouch. :(
  11. snake


    Jul 21, 2004
    Aurora. CO
    A twelve string bass? Dude, buy a guitar.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    No thanks. I'll play my twelve string bass.