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CGDA tuning?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by embellisher, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I am wanting to tune one of my four bangers to fifths, like a cello, only an octave down.

    Does anybody make a set designed for this? I am thinking the set would be something like .120 .090 .065 .035

    Anybody else tuning to fifths?
  2. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I plan on selling my fiver and getting a four to tune in fifths. Your string gauges sound about right, except maybe lower the gauge of the G to an .085 or maybe even .080. I definitely like the idea.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I think I remember Benjiman Strange saying he tuned his Steinbergers that way.

    Conversely, I have kicked around the idea of buying a cello and experimenting with fourths tuning, EADG. :D
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I've been tuning in 5ths for years. I'm currently stringing my bass with the heaviest strings I can get - .135, .105, .75, .45. Nobody out there makes a CGDA set as far as I know; I've looked. Single strings is the way to go. I've tried the gauges you are looking to use, and I found them to be a bit weak. You may want to bump them all up by .005.
  5. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002

    Dunno if it helps, but a few months back when I played with a previous band we tuned CGCF.

    I basically took a set of strings (Ernie Ball Slinky's I think) that were designed for a 5 string and I threw out the "E" string (100 gauge). I then used the remaining one's to get the correct tuning with minimal adjustments being a couple of turns on the T. Rod and a little filing on the nut/bridge saddles.

    I believe the exact gauges I was left with were:
  6. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I had my MIM fretless Jazz tuned in fifths for quite a long time. I just retuned a regular set of strings. As long as you don't use too light a set, the low C shouldn't be too floppy. Any decent neck ought to be able to handle the disparate tension.
  7. zcwilkes

    zcwilkes Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2002
    Barboursville, WV
    I've done this before on an old Aluminum Neck Krammer with standard gauge Rotosound 66s about 13 years ago. The C was a little floppy. And I've heard of Cello players tuning to fourths (Percy Heath).
  8. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    I picked up a mandolin a few years ago and really enjoyed playing an instrument tuned in fifths for the first time. Ever since then I've been wanting to tune a bass to fifths, but I'm worried about the change in tension. I'd probably go DAEB - actually, I guess as long as I kept (what is usually) the D string light and used a B from a 6-string set, I'd be ok. Any thoughts?
  9. You should go for gauges of approx .120 - .080 - .055 - .035 (or .130 - .085 - .060 - .040 for a higher tension set)
    Single strings are probably the only option (except custom sets)