1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

5 String Tuning: Drop the high strings or tension the low strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ViciousXUSMC, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. ViciousXUSMC


    Mar 9, 2016
    New player, playing all types of stuff. Coming across stuff like D Drop C and other strange ones.

    I like the tighter feel of tensioning my lower strings, but sometimes I may need to go from say A to C on the 3rd string and I feel like the tension might be too much and cause the string to break. I have not broken a bass string yet, but have broken several guitar strings so I could be properly paranoid or maybe I am over worrying because bass strings are so much thicker/stronger.

    Is there like a rule of thumb as to how high you can safely tune up the average string?

    I am using D'Addario ProSteel XL Roundwound Nickel Medium.

    I think exact model is:
    EPS160-5 ProSteels 5-String Bass, Medium, 50-135, Long Scale
  2. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
  3. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Find the heaviest 5 string set D'Addatio sell and search out the total tension, it's listed somewhere, maybe in the website, or work it out from the tension chart. Then just don't exceed that total tension in your tunings by using the tension chart or the string tension app.
    Find the highest tension string in the heaviest 4 string set, that will be a rough upper limit for a single string's tension.
    50-135 is a fairly heavy set already, as a rough guide:
    70 and 50 are tight for D and G so don't tune those up.
    An 85 A can go up 1 semitone.
    A 105 E can go up 1-2 semitones.
    A 135 B can go up 2-3 semitones.
    It's always best to use a custom set of singles for the alternative tuning you're using.
    Or if switching between a few specific tunings, you need a carefully designed custom set of singles for those tunings used.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  4. ViciousXUSMC


    Mar 9, 2016
    Great answers guys thanks.
    One thing I do for the neck is detune the 5th string to help with the total tension.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.