Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeffrey Taylor, Oct 20, 2001.

  1. Wanting to get opinions on alternate tunings for 6-string basses. Are 1st & 6th always tuned to a 'B'?
    Has anyone tried different tunings? Just curious.........
  2. No, the standard tuning is all in perfect fourths (i.e. BEADGC). If you are a former guitarist thing about putting a major third in there I wouldn't recommend it. The bass is more of a linear than a chordal instrument, and unless you are a Michael Manring, doing many more chords and harmonics, it doesn't make a lot of sense. There has been a trend to do drop tunings (i.e. dadg instead of eadg) but the main reason behind that is also guitaristic and not needed on 6 strings because of the already wide range.

  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The common tuning for a 6 is BEADGC, but some people do tune them BEADGB or even BEADF#B to facilitate guitar type chordal voicings.

    Or, if you buy one with a really stiff neck, and have the sound system to handle it, you could tune it F#BEADG.
  4. Chris, thanks for your reply. I have played 4-stringers since 1967 & have had no desire for a 5 or 6, but the Mrs surprised me with an early Christmas gift of an Alvarez AEB6. Now if I can just wrap my fingers around the neck! ( the bass, not hers )
  5. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    When I had by fretless 6, it was tuned F#BEADG - I had to adjust the nut and bridge - worked well, although you do need a good bass rig like embellisher stated. I know a guy who tuned it EADGBE (like a guitar) for chordal stuff.