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Bass VI. Possabile to tune like a normal 6 string bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by th30nlyAket, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    Wanting to buy a vm bass vi. Really would like to tune it like a normal 6 string bass (BEADGC). Any way to do that and it still work well? if so what strings to i use. Not worrying about it being low enough sound wise mainly worrying about the strings not being floppy.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Not with any production strings that I know of. You'd have to have it custom wound.

    The string would have to be the neighborhood of .130 and narrow down enough past the nut that it would bend around a guitar tuner. It's hard enough to find E strings that work well.
  3. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    what about a 7 string pack for guitar? that tuning is AEADGBE right? In theory i could take the usually really floppy a string tune it up to b and then just tune up the b to c?

    EDIT upon looking up the strings i was gonna use(i like chromes on my normal basses) http://www.juststrings.com/dad-ecg24-7.html

    someone has done this and reviewed it worked? still not sure tho would like more feedback
  4. rubendlr


    Mar 10, 2012
    Austin, TX, USA
    The problem using a guitar set is the scale. Most 7 strings top off like 27, maybe 28 inch scale and that's just some, most are the same 25.5 like a Strat. Bass VI is 30 inch scale.

    So it would probably either not be long enough at all, or start to taper before you get to the nut. Either way is a deal breaker.
  5. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    i see your point. last thing i can think of.

    these http://www.juststrings.com/dad-exl158.html

    BEADF#B. would it really be that breaking to tune up the bottom two strings to G and C?. Also im not sure of the scale on these strings looking that up now

    EDIT: http://www.juststrings.com/lab-767-6f.html

    what about these? the tuning they seem to suggest is BEADGC. and also seem to be made for bass vi and are flatwounds
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    That description is wrong. Those are approximately the same gauges of the stock Bass VI strings for E to E tuning. The low-E is about as floppy as it can be and still be playable.

    That's an octave above conventional 6 string bass BEADGC. The biggest string is a 0.065. Most conventional 6 string basses use a .120 or larger B string.
  7. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    dont guess this is something thats gonna be do able. damn
  8. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    -The first set you linked to is a flatwound set for seven string guitar, normal (electric guitar) 25.5" scale: I've used it in my bass VI-type instrument (see below which string went where), and I can attest it to be long enough for a string-thru 30" instrument, but the distance between bridge and vibrato tailpiece of the Fender/Squier VI is longer than a string-thru canal and might be too long for this set - the good news is it's not terribly expensive;
    -the second one is for baritone guitar, 26 ~ 28.5" scale, and probably up to 30", but again, may or may not reach the total length required by the Bass VI's tremolo - this one is even cheaper to experiment with;
    -the third one is a set specifically meant for the VI, but it's actually an EADGBE set: the chart on the product page on juststrings is probably precompiled for standard sixer sets, but wrong for this particular set.

    The "conversion chart" for using baritone or 7 string guitar strings in a post-Anthony Jackson "standard" 6 string bass tuning is the following
    g: x x B E A D G B (E)
    b: B E A D G C x x x
    In other words:
    -find a source for a short scale low B, or a way to get rid or tuck away the length of a long scale B that wouldn't be used on your VI - that means drilling a string-thru-body path just to place the anchoring point further away from the nut; or threading the string through a new ball-end and soldering it on the string at the appropriate length; or carefully unwinding the string at the other end to bring it down to size. As lz4005 wrote, you need a narrow end of the string to go into the tuning post;
    -use a short scale E;
    -if you want you may use the guitar B, E, A and D, tuned a step down;
    -discard the highest two, F# and B (if the guitar set is for baritone guitar) or three, G, B and E (7 string).

    Or, an easier way would be asking La Bella for a custom BEADGC bass VI set:

    If you decide to try this, be prepared for the first frets being seriously crammed. If I wanted a standard sixer tuning in a short scale, narrow spacing instrument, I'd probably convert a 7 string baritone guitar because they have wider necks; still the problems outlined above would require an appropriate address...-al...-ment...-ion...-ing. :ninja:
  9. I played one in a store today and tried to put it in Drop D. Nope. Sounded like garbage and the E string was way too floppy if it was tuned to anything other than standard.
  10. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    well balls. basically i wanted to mess around with a 6 string but none or comfortable to me. ill stick with my 4 string for now