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Alternate Tunings.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by lukeavenuedrape, May 20, 2011.

  1. I'm not sure where to post this. I'm just curious on some alternate tunings people use. I've been experimenting lately with E A C# E, D G D G, D A D A. Share any tunings you like!
  2. AcidFripp


    Jul 12, 2010
    CGDA is a good one, as is EEEE.
    Try them out, see if you like any!
  3. DGCF, CGCF, CGDA, Eb Ab Db Gb, DADG

    If you have a guitar, I like to tune it DADFAE. the bottom 5 strings are an open D minor chord, and the E makes it an add 9. On bass, it's the same concept if you tune it DADF. Hit a row of harmonics, and you get a harmonic chord with minors.

    With a 5 string, you can tune ADADA or ADADG and hit 3 octaves of A's or D's (your choice) in a "chord"

    Also, I seem to recall a certain bassist tuning CGCA... which seems weird given that the C to A is a sixth jump. But whatever floats your boat.


    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm sorry, but what in the world is E A C# E? I have never heard of this and can't really make heads or tails of what it's purpose is.


    Dec 29, 2009
    Back to the OP, I use standard mostly but when I'm not it's usually AEAD, CFA#D#, BF#BE, CGDA, CGCG, or EG#CE.
  6. rewopnayr


    Apr 26, 2007
    i usually keep it tuned to AEADG.
  7. CopperheadLXXIX


    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    I tune my 12 string CGCG, kind of like open C on a guitar, except obviously missing the two highest strings. My 8 string I tune EBEG...which is weird but works.
  8. It's an inverted A Major Triad

    E A C# E
    5 1 3 1

    Why anyone would tune to that is still confusing, but to each their own. Maybe the highest E string would be use to mimic guitar riffs on the high E?
  9. Plantbrain


    Oct 9, 2006
    Add some detuners, then you got both a standard or a detuned, or a change the detuned toa different de tuned(within the limits of the detuners of course).

    Lots of potential for tap and harmonics, take me a lifetime to explore this option.
  10. Yes, I've been playing in a 2-piece drum and bass band. So some of my bass parts do mimic guitar riffs just to try to add more melodic sounds. Oh, and the harmonics on the C# and E sound really really awesome together, at least to my ear.
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I like DADG and CGDA. For one song my old band did I tuned AADG, the low A was pretty floppy but it sounded good fatten up octave riffs with the adjacent A string.
  12. I tune GCFA for my acoustic bass. The intervals are the same as the middle four strings of a six string: as such it makes playing chords and arpeggios a bit easier, IMO.
  13. nshnth


    Nov 13, 2009
    Here are a bunch of tunings ive collected from here and there:

    4 String:

    Standard: EADG
    Drop D: DADG
    Drop C#: C#ADG
    Half Step Down: EbAbDbGb
    Full Step Down: DGCF
    Drop D/G: DGDG
    Raised G: GADG
    Low B: BEAD
    Low A#: A#D#F#C#
    Low C#: C#F#C#G#
    Low C# Dropped To A#: A#FA#D#
    Drop B: BF#BE














    5 String Bass:

    5 String Standard: BEADG
    Tenor EADGC
    Drop C: C#DADG
    Half Step Down: GbDbAbEbBb
    Full Step Down: ADGCF

    6 String Bass:

    6 String Standard: BEADGC
    Baritone: BEADGB
    Low C: EADGCF

    8, 12, 15, and 18 String bass:

    8 String Standard: EeAaDdGg
    Full fifths: EbAeDaGd

    12 String Standard: EeeAaaDddGgg
    Full Fifths: EbeAeaDadGdg

    15 String Standard: BbbEeeAaaDddGgg
    Full Fifths: GgdDdaAaeEeb

    18 String Standard: BbbEeeAaaDddGggCcc
    18 string baritone: BbbEeeAaaDddGggCcc
  14. I'm going to try the BEAD to have more low end on my 4 string, my hands are too small to move to a 5 string, and I never play the G string on my 4 string, so I always buy a heavy set of 5 string (singles when I can get them) flats and use the 4 thickest (65-130) on an EADG tuning, but I love the low end, so I'm going to re-tune down to BEAD and try that for a while.
  15. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    Someone explain to me like I'm five (that's a reddit reference) what's the point of some of these? Especially ones that give you two sets of the same strings.
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    It makes the notes on your bass be in different places. Also it changes the sound. So "the point" is that you can play different notes, with different sounds, whatever creative possibilities are best for each song. :)
  17. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    ^ Olay, I get that. I guess as long as you keep your tunings in fourths your patterns would be the same.
  18. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Exactly, which is why many players choose non-fourth alternate tunings, to break them out of playing the same old patterns. ;)

    For example, one of the most popular tunings is Drop D (DADG) which gives you a 5th and two 4ths between the strings.

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