Advice after tuning down a full step

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by formulaz, Apr 2, 2018.


  1. To the OP, do the songs lowered a pitch sound the same or really "dirgee?"

    I was in a band once that the singer demanded the same thing. Besides sounding "dirgee", it turned out since we were playing Classic Rock the singer had all the original keys burned into his brain from hearing the songs for years in the recorded keys and when he tried to sing with the lowered tuning, he kept going sharp. That experiment pretty much ended the band!
     
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  2. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    mikewalker and formulaz like this.
  3. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    "Taut" is tension.

    There is no difference in how "taut" strings of the same thickness with different core shapes are.

    There is only a difference in flexibility, which is a different measurement entirely.

    And I never said anything about how much pressure a string "could take". That sounds like a measurement of structural failure. I'm talking about the lbs of pull required to reach pitch, ie string tension, ie how "taut" a string is.
     
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  4. mobdirt

    mobdirt Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    why are hex core strings less flexible? what does that translate to regarding the feel of the strings?
    im trying to understand this thats all :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    .110 strings. Done.
    I've been tuning to D or lower for 25 years. I don't remember the last time I played a regular E tuning. A slightly heavier string will do it just fine. If you are worried about it, go with a stiff Hex core like Lo-Riders, Ernie Balls, or D'Addario XLs. At most, give your saddles a quarter turn up to raise the action a hair if you don't like any fret noise.
     
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  6. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I used to run a bass in Drop D (as you describe). All I did was adjust the truss rod - no special strings - and it worked just fine.
     
  7. RickyWoo

    RickyWoo

    May 26, 2016
    LOL!
     
  8. Savage_Dreams

    Savage_Dreams

    Jan 8, 2007
    i'd say thats a little closed minded if the reason for tuning down is to accommodate voices. sure you can find all the same notes, but depending on the music, sometimes those open strings are important to riffs, or any of a million rock songs that are based off the E (now a D) string just arent going to sound the same when your playing it up an octave up because you refused to tune down.
     
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  9. Savage_Dreams

    Savage_Dreams

    Jan 8, 2007
    off topic, but.... why the full step down? most people make the move to a half step down first and save the whole step for when they get reeeeeally get old ;)

    a whole step can make some songs sound, just not quite right
     
  10. jaymelewis

    jaymelewis

    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    Take it to a tech; they'll set it up with the proper string thickness for you.
     
  11. RickyWoo

    RickyWoo

    May 26, 2016
    Hexagons aren't as bendy along their edges as straight up cylinders would be able to bend. That means less vibration. There is more restriction to the movement of the string's lateral movement, which is being confused with string tension/strain on the instrument/neck. For example, Switching from round core to hex cores with the same gauge, no instrument adjustments required. Changing from any core string with a .100 to .105 gauge, instrument adjustments required.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  12. mobdirt

    mobdirt Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Cool! thanks RickyWoo :)
    one last question, does this mean that hex core strings will feel less "slack"
     
  13. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Hexagons are less bendy than circles.
    Hex core strings feel less bendy than round core strings of the same thickness, but need the same amount of pull from the tuner to reach the same pitch at the same length.


    Nope. If there was less vibration they would be quieter and/or have less sustain than round core strings. And that doesn't happen.
     
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  14. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
  15. mobdirt

    mobdirt Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Thanks lz4005 :)
     
  16. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    What lz4005 was trying to say is this - two strings, one round core, one hex core, same gauge, same scale length, same tuning, will have the same tension. But a hexagonal core makes a string less flexible, so the hex core string will feel stiffer than a round core string. So technically the same tension, but hex core kinda gives an illusion of higher tension.
     
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  17. mobdirt

    mobdirt Guest

    Jun 14, 2017
    Gotcha :)
     
  18. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Inactive

    Mar 1, 2018
    Denmark
    With tuning down you decrease the tension of the strings making them floppy.

    The obvious answer to solve this is to use strings of thicker gauge than you use now.

    My advise is to go .005 to .010 up in gauge.

    Remember also to set the intonation after you swapped to the thicker strings, as well as an adjustment of the neck relief will likely be needed to fit the tension put to it.
     
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  19. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I think another reason hex core strings are stiffer is due to the fact that the sharp edges of the hex core get a "bite" on the wrap wire, so the core and wrap wire are pretty well locked together, where they're not with a round core string.

    Also, this is why you really need to be sure to give round core strings a 90 degree bend first, then cut to length when installing new. If you don't, the wrap wire can loosen up on you.
     
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  20. TuneSalad666

    TuneSalad666 Inactive

    Mar 1, 2018
    Denmark
    If that was the reason strings with round core would always be out of tune.

    A more plausible reason would probably be that the core of hex core strings has more mass, although I do not know if this is the correct explanation either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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