6-string bass tuning.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MiniMoNK_17, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. I've got a peculiar question as to the possible setup of an Ibanez BTB 406 bass.

    I currently have it tuned B E A D G B, and have experienced much fun with the range of notes less a half step due to dropping the high C).

    I though about the possibility of getting a hip/drop clutch placed on the lowest string, but figured there would be not much of a point because I don't need to go any lower than B.

    Now, hypothetically, if I were to get a lighter guage of strings for my bass, a set of heavy Ernie Ball 4-strings (.115-.50) then get a 35 and a 27 for the next strings, could I tune the bass E A D G B E like a guitar, and throw on a drop/hip clutch on the E to drop down a fifth to B, and alternatively if I tune the low E down to a D, still be able to drop the string to an A without tuning problems?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as well as any solutions. Thanks.
  2. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I don't think you're gonna be able to use it any lower than D (maybe C - thats pushing it). Below that, the string will be soooo slack, you won't be able to hear the note most likely. Plus it will just be fuzzy sounding and probably require a real light touch to avoid buzzing.
  3. Yeah that's what I thought. I guess there's no point tryin out that setup. Not worth the money
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Even if you found a string that would handle the duty, which you likely won't, a hipshot detuner doesn't have enough rotation to move a full fifth.
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm not sure about the value of tuning a six string bass like a six string guitar. The weight of the strings and size of the neck mean you have to use different playing techniques, the length and tension of the strings will give a different sound and guitar chord shapes won't necessarily sound good played an octave lower down.

    With that out of the way, if you want a wider range, you could tune D G C F Bb Eb (4ths) and put a hipshot on the lowest string so that you could swing it down to C when needed. It depends how low and how high you want to go.