B E A D G...or...C E A D G???

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by earthdan, Dec 23, 2001.

  1. earthdan

    earthdan Guest

    Dec 22, 2001
    A couple of quick questions: what is the normal tuning on a 5 string double bass in a standard symphony orchestra? Would this be any different from a double bass in a contemporary (classical) music ensemble?

  2. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    CEADG is the standard 5-string DB tuning in all circumstances (except, of course, non-standard).

    Tuned BEADG, the low string tends to be a little weak and flabby, and the better tone with CEADG offsets the lack of even fourths across all strings.

    5-string bass guitars are tuned BEADG because CEADG would confuse too many BG players.

  3. olps


    Nov 12, 2001
    :D :eek: :D that... was below the belt :D
  4. Whats a C ?
    I don't think any of my basses has one of those.
    If playing and the guitar player says "Blues in C" my reply is always "C? Um, my dog ate it"
  5. jfgsquaredragon


    Jul 18, 2006
    DHOSEK is misinformed; the standard tuning for a 5string is BEADG , especially in classical applications. For confirmation, just check with the major string makers - B is labelled as the low string. My Viennese5-string has always been tuned B low. If your instrument seems to lack power with this tuning, you might try the C low for better projection. The practicality of the B speaks for itself when considering Strauss tone poems or Beethove symphonies, not to mention hundreds of Baroque applications. Good luck on finding what works. jfg
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I've been taught that low C was more common because it matched the octave down to the cello.
  7. When I first brought home my Joseph Bohmann (1888) I found the beauty of having the low string tuned down to the low B, was that I didn't even have to know the names of the notes down there....just follow that fourth tuning fingering pattern straight down. (or up)
  8. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Those notes down there have names? :eek:

    Gedoutahere....next you'll be telling me those notes above octave-harmonic G have names too...:(

    :D :D :D

  9. What ever it takes to get your attention, Andy...