5 String Bass, tuned ADADG? Right?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PollyBass, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ok, im fixing to get a five string. our band tunes to Drop D. What tuning would i use on the B string? A? And i have to have the open D for faster riffs. im new to the 5 string. Thanks.
  2. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    actually, I dont have a five string, but Im very close to having the 1600 some-odd dollars for a Stingray5. Here goes anyway...

    The standard tuning for a 5 stringer is B-E-A-D-G, but for you, I would recommend that you tune A-D-A-D-G which would give you three advantages:
    1. You would get down to low A.
    2. You would have the open D string you said you want.
    3. You would have 2 sets of open octaves, which could be very useful.

    you could also experiment with other tunings if you want to, but thats my best suggestion. I just hope you have a good enough amp to really hear that low A.
  3. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    I forgot to mention one other thing...

    someone mentioned that they tuned their 5 string D-E-A-D-G because they didnt like the fact that their B string was too floppy. You could also tune B-D-A-D-G so you'd still have the open D. You probably dont wanna tune that B string down to an A unless you either: dont have a problem with how floppy its gonna be, have a good amp so it will have enough punch and definition instead of just toneless bass, and have a heavy enough gauge on that fifth string (like 130) You will probably need to have higher action too so it doesnt crash on the frets when you pluck that loose string.

    I hope all my advice helped you. Of course, in the ideal world you would tune B-E-A-D-G, which is standard tunung for a five string and your low D will be on the third fret of that B string.
  4. merlin

    merlin Guest

    What is wrong with the standard B? My band uses B pretty much extensively and when we have a standard tuned guitair its easy for me to play the next string down. B is pretty fat. gives so much body to the song.

    I love my B string... can you tell? :p
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you don't have to drop tune a 5 string - the low d is readily available. i wouldn't drop tune at all with a 5 string - once you decide you want to play non-drop stuff, you'll have to relearn your neck.
  6. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Thanks. but i really would like that open d for fast fiffs. Thanks Lo-End. maybe this should be a new thread, but i hear people talking about the A String not being heard very well on some amps. do i need a bigger speaker? like a 15'? if this is so, why does feildy (dont start on him, im just useing a refrence) of korn only use 10's when he tunes his b to a? just wondering.
  7. you had to go there, didn't you? well the thing is, fieldy uses tens, but lots of them, with lots of power and headroom, which means he's moving a lot of air. i doubt a single 15" could handle a low A. maybe an acme cab or a bag end or something.
  8. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    what dancehallclasher said, plus the fact that fieldy uses Mesa/Boogie cabinets, which are top-end enclosures. (Just for everybody's reference, theyre 4x10's)

    IMHO, you shouldnt tune down to A because you really just dont need a note that low. There is already an A string on the bass that should be low enough for ya.
  9. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    you say you want the D for fast riffs....

    but just imagine how good you would be if you practiced everything and got it down with standard tuning?

    and then you'd be able to play anything...not just your bands songs.

  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ok, myabe this should be another thread as well, but would a 18 inch cabinit do the job? because i have the chance to get one pretty cheap. would that hit A? i mean, faithfuly sound it?
  11. of course, but don't run that 18 by itself or it will be mud city.
  12. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Listen to jason, he is right on.

    Learn to play the songs in standard tuning. It will be much more practical down the road.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No sir, I don't like it. You're gonna end up ham-stringin' yourself in the long run by going to some funky tuning.
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I wouldnt advise tuning the B string to D, theres no need to do it, as stated by John and others, just relearn your neck
  15. MypartnerStinks

    MypartnerStinks Guest

    Jun 19, 2001
    I play in a cover band and a lot of moderin bands use a drop d tuning. For most of these I use a standerd Tuned 5-string. But i understand that for some songs its not as practical. Droping your E to a D is simple and takes about 3 to 6 seconds. So if i were you I would drop only on the songs where you really need that E droped to D to play the song right and tune up for the rest of the songs. I would keep the B sting tuned to B even when your in drop D, and just use it to get some FAT accents when you want them. Seems to work for me.
  16. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I've just recently got a five string again and as it was a 35" neck I decided to try A-D-G-C-F. I knew at the time that I'd have to relearn everything I'd ever played. Fortunately one of the first books I ever read on bass playing suggested not to use open strings, so nothing I play used an open string (apart from the occasional open E).

    So how difficult was it to relearn everything ?

    Real easy my friends, real easy - I had a gig two nights after I'd put the bass together and I made one mistake in two and a half hours due to the different tuning. Most tracks were easier to play because they were two frets higher (and not as much of a stretch)

    I've got a .130 on at the moment, which is a little flappy (see my thread in strings) but as soon as Overwater can get some made I'll be going up to a .140 I think.

    I ordered the strings from a shop which I won't name in the UK, but the guy their told me it wouldn't work and would sound terrible - well I think it was worth £22 ($30) to see if it would work or not. And it does and I'm quite happy.

    So - to sum up, try it out - if it works for you then it works for you, if it doesn't at least it didn't cost that much to find out !
  17. I know a guy who uses ADADA tuning, but then he also runs his bass through a MesaBoogie Triaxis, so he's definitely left of centre!
  18. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    I know at one time, I tuned down my E to an A, and it was FUN. I have a 15 inch cab (peavy's never say die!), and it sounded the note right, and i know my friend kai ran his keyboard through it, and hit the lowest not (looking for the brown noise?) and it was sounded, so my opinion would be, if you have a good 15 inch cab, it'll handle a low-A well.