6 String Bass tuned like a Guitar?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jason Hollar, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Not sure if this should be in the Altered Tunings thread or not...

    But since guitar was my first instrument, I've always had a strange desire to buy a 6 string bass, and tune it EADGBE...an octave lower, of course.

    I'd love to be able to comp familiar chords and take bluesy solos on certain jazz/funk gigs.

    Just wondering if anybody here is crazy enough to play this way?! :bassist:

    I tried this once on a 7 string bass -- a Conklin -- but it was just way too big to handle.

    I'd probably need some kind of thin-neck, narrow string-space bass like an Ibanez or something. I also tried a Fender VI but the low end wasn't very happening for me...that's a little too narrow I'm afraid!
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Many people tune in this manner, not at all unusual ....

    Lots of options open for 6's with somewhat tighter string spacing, as well ..... :cool:
  3. Kobaia


    Oct 29, 2005
    Denton TX
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amp Gruv Gear and Mono Cases
    ... baritone guitar...:ninja:
  4. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    It's not unheard of. Many people also tune their 5 strings to EADGB for this reason.

    - get a 7 string set

    - or a 4 string set and individual C and F strings

    - tune the C and F down a semitone (maybe get a slightly heavier C and F for more consistent tension)

    - Setup your bass and you're done.
  5. lol, i put baritone guitar strings on my acoustic before. It was a .085 bronze roundwound...practically a light A string.
  6. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    One of my local bassist buddies tunes his 6 string like a guitar, but with the low string being a B.

    From what it looks like, it facilitates playing chords.
  7. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Fender Bass VI anybody? Danelectro Longhorn 6? Lots of off-the-shelf options for this approach, which predates "extended range" boutique instruments by at least a decade.
  8. Wow -- that Status is slick lookin'!

    I'm ashamed to say I haven't really checked out much of Jonas' recent work...but I have heard him before.

    Can you recommend any tracks where he's playing this type of axe?

    Must...fight...Gas...for 6 string...
  9. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I used a Fender Bass VI on a bunch of recordings. Very nice but not bassy enough, I agree, but it really sings through a tube amp with the bass turned up.

    If you're worried about strings you could just buy the strings from the Fender VI and just toss them on something else...
  10. Ocon


    Oct 18, 2012
    I use 6 string.Ibanez SR1206 and Ritter Okon 6st.Tuning is D-A-D-G-A-D.I don't use low-B.Sometimes confusing when I play 2nd string to 3rd.But really fun to play!!