Bass Strings making No Sound After Down Tuning on Open Notes

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DankJaguar, Oct 14, 2019.


  1. DankJaguar

    DankJaguar

    Oct 14, 2019
    I have been playing bass guitar for only a year and I recently bought a Spector Legend 5 Bass. I was using D'addario Nickel Wound Strings. Gauges are G-.45 D-.65 A-.80 E-.100 B-.130. I wanted to try playing a song that was down stepped to ADGCF. At first, the G and D strings made an ugly rattling sound on their open note. So I decided to just play at standard. I decided today that I would try down tuning again and I got the same out come. I put the strings back into standard but now all strings make almost no sound and rattle. I did not string the bass so I don't know what the problem would be. My guess is maybe I don't have the right strings.
     
  2. I'm no luthier, but my first guess would be that the lower string tension could be causing your neck to bow backwards and lowering the action too much.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  3. DankJaguar

    DankJaguar

    Oct 14, 2019
    I just decided to put new strings on, they are the same brand but I’m going to get new ones that are a little higher gauge.
     
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    If you put heavier strings on it, you'll experience higher action at standard tuning unless you adjust the truss rod accordingly, which may cause the same problems when you drop tune.

    The most obvious reason for your issue is the setup, the bass is probably set up with low action. So, when you drop tune, you are lowering the tension enough to cause the neck to lose enough relief to cause your issues.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Neck most likely acclimated. I had that happen on a gig once. I had to play everything from the 6th fret up. Strings were laying on the neck at the 1-5 frets. Happened on an extremely hot day middle of the summer.
     
  6. DankJaguar

    DankJaguar

    Oct 14, 2019
    What would be good way to adjust the truss rod? And also, are you saying that higher gauge strings would make this problem worse?
     
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    The pitch or “note” that string makes when plucked is a function of its mass, it’s length and its tension. On a bass, the length doesn’t change. So, if you add mass, that is, heavier strings, you must add tension to make it oscillate at the same pitch. In contrast, using the same string, de-tuning, or releasing tension, is going to cause the neck to bow less.

    When you add tension, tighten the tuner, the neck will bow more, creating higher action. Just like drawing a bow string. Less tension equals less bow. The truss rod is set in the neck in such a way that, as you tighten it, it bows the neck the other direction and acts as a counterforce to the tension of the strings. So, generally, heavier strings equals a tighter truss rod and lighter equals a looser truss rod.

    For any given tension, or “tuning,” there is a correct truss rod tension that will allow for the right playability.

    In short, you’re never going to be able to have it where you can have two alternate tunings that far apart and get it to play well in both tunings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    Obese Chess likes this.
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Sep 17, 2021

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