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Approximate string guages for CGDA tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Fretless Friday, Nov 22, 2001.


  1. I have been experimenting with alternate tunings, in preparation for the completion of my 35" scale 4-string fretless.

    I have an irrational (emotional, don't ask) dislike of 5 string basses, and have found that BEAD tuning is very limiting in the upper range, so I have been experimenting with CGDA tunings, which I find very appealing, in both retaining the upper end of the range, and increasing the lower end.

    The question is, what approximate guages of strings should I be looking at to keep string tension fairly consistant? I've searched the archives, and came up with very little in the way of information on string guages.

    I would appreciate suggestions for both my 34" scale Jazz bass, as well as the new 35" (when its done!)

    I'm currently using 50-70-85-105 guages for EADG tuning, to give an idea of the tensions I am looking for.

    Thanks guys,

    FF
     
  2. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I myself would start with .120 - .85 - .60 - .35. A friend of mine tried out different guages (this was on an Ovation acoustic), and came up with .125, .084, .058, and .035 however.
     
  3. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    OK, duh I just looked at the guages you've been using on EADG. Hmm. . .maybe .125, .90, .70, .40 is for you then.
     
  4. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Hmm, how would you tune a 5 stringer in fifths? Sorry for stealing your thread, but I'm interested in trying this tuning when I get my next bass.
     
  5. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Actually this same friend was doing that, that's why we were talking about string guages lately. He added a high E on top. A low F would also be possible, but rather sick, ask JT about that. :)

    Actually for either you're in 7/8-string bass territory. So a .145 for the low F, or a .022 for a high E. For the high E I only know two sources of wound strings long enough (the .020 in an eight string or piccolo set are usually plain steel, which is horrible IMO), Conklin and Stick Enterprises. Mark Warr probably also has some, and maybe some of the major manufacturers are starting to carry them now too.
     
  6. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Ack! Too bad a low F would require a few thousand worth of equipment to get an audible sound, otherwise that'd be awesome... A high E sounds like it'd be useful though...
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Well, nobody said (to further hijack the thread! :) ) that you had to base a 5er on CGDA. You could tune it Bb,F,C,G,D (Bb just below normal B, F above E, C below D, same G, D above C). That's just a little stretch in each direction. Or, A,E,B,F#,C#, or. . . :D. One tuning, in fifths, for 8-string tapping instruments (Chapman Stick or Warr Guitar) is Bb,F,C,G,D,A,C,D (with the funny A,C,D on top because you can't tune higher than that D on a 34" scale instrument).
     
  8. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Ahh, I see... Hmm... Now I just have to wait til I get my next bass, try out these tunings, then try to convince my guitarist to try these tunings...
     
  9. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Good luck! :D

    Then again, if you succeed, I've been using CGDAEG on guitar for a year or so now (I never really played guitar before that), and it's a pretty good tuning I think. If you tuned to BbFCGD and he tuned CGDAEG (again the A-G funniness because G is as high as you can really go on guitar, of course it also opens up some new possibilities chord-wise), then you'd overlap on the CGD strings.

    Or he could try BbFCGDF ... hmm ... :)
     
  10. Ely

    Ely

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Lots of possibilities there... It might actually give the band a unique sound! Of course, we don't do many originals yet, but by the time I get a new bass we'll probably have a few.
     
  11. Wow, thanks guys.

    I got one solid answer. However, I do need to say that all the other stuff was interesting. Continue hijacking, I love interesting reads.

    FF