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!  

6 string alternative.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mike M., Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    The "alternative to a 5 string" thread got me thinking.

    Has anyone here tried stringing up thier 5 string basses E thru C? I tried out a 6 string bass a while ago and while I was very intrigued by it, another bass purchase is out of the question.

    So I'm thinking about trying E thru C on an old 5 string bass I have to see if that higher string would even agree with me in the long haul. It may and it may not.

    My other 5 string is staying B thru G, but I feel like experimenting a bit with the other.
  2. I bought one of the first Ibanez 5 strings back in the '80s, and nobody I knew had ever seen such a thing before. It came with another nut already cut for E through C strings, so the idea has been around for at least 25 years if not longer.

    If you're into higher notes or chords, a high-5 bass is a great way to go.

    I recommend a new nut and a good setup.
    When strings are in too-wide of a nut slot, they can buzz and create weird overtones, and it might cost you some volume and sustain.

    Go for it.
  3. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I know Steve Swallow plays one. Gary Willis' "Bass Lite" is an Ibanez ATK 5 strung with a high C. I had a bass teacher in college who played a Modulus with one and a Hipshot D tuner so that he could have the range of a 6 while only playing a 5.

    I'm sorry I don't have any personal experience doing this I just went for the 6.

    Rev J
  4. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    But I have to contribute that the only way to approach a 6er extension on a 5er, without tunin' it by 5ths, it's usin' a bass extender and downtunin' it a full step

    I mean... You take a 5er you decide to string E, A, D, G, C, then place a Hipshot bass extender (if E machinehead's open to do that) so that you go D, A, D, G, C
    Finally you downtune it a full step:
    D, G, C, F, Bb and whenever your bass extender works: C, G, C, F, Bb
    This way you're just a half step up from 6er low B and a full step down from 6er high C

    Otherwise I don't really get how your teacher could cover the extended range of a 6er with regularly tunin' 5er and detuner.

  5. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I believe (and I could be wrong) that you can adjust a Hipshot to go down to any pitch below the one it's tuned to with the only limitation being the distance between tuning heads. I also read recently they have an extender key with 2 adjustable stop points so you can detune to any 2 notes.

    Also realize I'm trying to remember about 20 years ago. I seem to remember him telling me that the bass in question was a Modulus 6 that he had a new nut made for and the extra tuning machine removed because he didn't like the spacing on the 5. This is the best of my recollection and I could be completely wrong on this.

    Rev J
  6. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    The first 5-string bass, the Fender V, was strung E-C.
  7. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Absolutely. I briefly had a four-string tuned CGCF with the Hipshot set all the way down to A, in order to handle a Mastodon cover in AGCF tuning that my band played in its live set.
  8. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    A lot of people here use EADGC on their fivers. It is a matter of opinion if that gives you an alternative to a six string just it is a matter of opinion if BEAD gives you an alternative to a fiver. If you plan to stay in the high range on the six and the low range on the five then those two tunings do let a five and a four do the job for you. I tune my fiver CGDAE so it really does give me more than the range of a BEADGC six.

  9. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    Not a new concept, many people go EADGC, as stated before.
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 5, 2021

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.