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5 string question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by teenagebass69, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. im a bassist in a classic rock band and im looking to get a five string. I know most people tune it to B-E-A-D-G but im thinking of tuning it to E-A-D-G-C. What are the pros and cons of tuning a 5 string that way and how do u buy strings like that?
  2. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    5 String (Tuned Normal)
    -access down to a B, (having the D is really nice I find)

    -you can buy 5 String sets in most brandnames (easier access)

    5 String EADGC Tuning
    -access to higher notes than a usual 5 String

    -not sure if any companies sell a set for that tuning so you will forever be buying 1 string extra, and sometimes you may have a different brand or guage for the C string, which will be a little easier to break

    -you may have to adjust your neck tension & intonation, but no big wup!

    -you may piss off the Gtr players for walking into their range (hehehe - so what!)


    I'd try it as normal tuning for the convenience and to see if you like it, unless of course you NEED the higher notes, then by all means... there are guys out there doin it - so why not
  3. One of the pros of the EADGC tuning, is that the high C is easier to make sound good than a low B. I mean.. Commonly, the low B on average basses sounds weak if they're not 35" scale or their necks are pretty well made. If you´re willing to tune a bass EADGC, you dont have to worry about that matter, and get any nice fiver you can afford.
  4. Asaf


    Jun 9, 2003
    i have a cheap argentinan made 5 string, and the b-string is really tight although it's a 34" scale.

    and about the tuning, i think it's a matter of taste. i love the low B, and the G string on my bass sounds clear and high more then in a standerd 4 string or other 5 string basses - and that's why i bought this bass, it has low tones and high tones so ican play more solo high tones stuff and chords.

    EADGC tuning :
    pros : you get a different instrument, very sweet sounding with the right pickups and with a good set of strings.
    cons: getting a set of strings - the retail on a set is high, you can't get a cheap set like i do :D .
    i say : get a 6 string - and be happy from 2 extra strings :D .
  5. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    There was a lengthy discussion about what tuning to use a few months ago. A search should turn up the thread, there's a lot of good thoughts and philosophie's there already. :D

    My vote is for B-G tuning on a 5, and I actually tune B-B on a 6 when I do play one...
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    It's hard to believe that you would ever use a high C string playing classic rock.

    The low B not only extends your range lower but also allows you to play lower notes in the higher positions on the neck. I use this a great deal.

    Typically, the high C is common for 6-string players that like to do a lot of chording, soloing and lead play.

    If you get up there in a rhythm rock band setting, the guitars will just swallow it up anyway.
  7. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I used to set up one of my 5 strings like that for sight reading at work(Army Band) because of the lack of a need to shift for higher notes. It helped but I stopped because I had a regular 5 string B-G , a 5 string tuned E-C and a 6 string bass and I used to get confused about what bass I was playing and screw up more often than not.:eek:
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    From a technical standpoint, the main issue is that it might help to recut the nut for the smaller strings. And maybe the bridge saddles too, depending on how they're made.

    The other tidbit might be that if your bass is active and has a midrange control, it might need to be tweaked a little to optimize it for the different frequency range.

    I have a beautiful Alembic fretless that's EADGC, but it came set up that way from the factory. I love having the high C for jazz and fusion, but for most other styles (blues, any kind of rock) I've found the low B to be more useful.

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