Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Converting 6-string to EADGCF tuning

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by akuma12, Apr 7, 2005.


  1. akuma12

    akuma12

    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    Has anyone ever converted a 6 string to an EADGCF tuning? Would it require a new nut, or would the string sizes be close enough that there wouldn't be a large gap between the saddle walls and the strings? I don't want a lot of movement or vibration at the nut, but I cringe at the idea of altering a new bass :) Any suggestions?

    Jim
     
  2. Never done it before, but it's an interesting idea. I'd imagine a new nut would be in order though, and a complete bridge/action setup and intonation will be necessary.
     
  3. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    I did it with a Brice 6, and did EADGC with a Godin A5. Neither one needed a new nut. I had to do a truss rod/string height/intonation adjust on the Brice, and I had the Godin professionally set-up (needed a neck shim but that's really all). The only issue I've found is getting the right gauge for the F string on the Brice -- at .017, it's still a little tense compared to the TI strings below it. Perhaps if I'd used a higher tension set than TIs it would balance better. It's a very minor issue, though.

    About all you can do is try it and see if it works on your instrument. If not, run over to your local guitar guy and have him make a quick nut for you -- not that big of a deal.
     
  4. akuma12

    akuma12

    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    What brand and gauge of strings would you recommend for a 35" scale, Yellow? I'm hoping to get the Brice Prestige 6 Neckthru, and intend to convert it right away. I hae little use for a B string. I've been out of the string buying game for a while (hell, haven't played in a number of years) so any advice is appreciated :)

    Jim
     
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    You'd probably need a new nut, but this is a minor procedure for a good tech. And you'd definitely need a setup.

    Personally, I'd tune to EADGBE (guitar tuning) if I were doing that--more congenial for some chordal things IMO--but that's just me.
     
  6. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Well, I don't know, to tell you the truth. I used a set of TIs, and added the string TI uses for six string sets, and then guessed at the .017 plain string. It's just a little too different in tension than the others. Next time, I'll try a .016 and see. But the .017 might have been fine if the strings had been some other brand -- TIs are relatively light-gauge.

    Like you, I don't find I have a use for the low B -- in fact, having it there confuses me about where all the notes are. (Oddly, the extra high strings present no problem; some kind of brain issue I guess.) These days, I mostly play in a trio that doesn't have a regular chording instrument in it (sax, bass, drums), so there's room up there for me to wander, chord, play counterpoint, etc. I'll also add (I don't know why you'd care, exactly) that I'm liking the 5 with a high C better than the six with a high F. The C string I use all the time; the F really only when I'm chording.

    I may have just been lucky about not needing a nut on either guitar. I couldn't get the Godin to set up right, but it would never have occured to me to adjust the neck angle. The Brice worked just fine with some tweaking. I've lent it to Superbassman2000 as his bass is a couple of hundred miles away. Perhaps he's have something to say on the topic.
     
  7. yes, the .017 is a little tight under my hands, but it is workable. i think that tuning EADGCF is a great idea...anyone with a six string bass should give it a try.
    as for the nut, the strings are snug, they aren't moving around a lot, and i doubt you would need a new nut!
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Me, too. For that matter, I'd just get a baritone guitar instead.
     
  9. akuma12

    akuma12

    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    I emailed TI to see if they could make me a custom 6er set with a .018 for the F string, but I don't know if they make a flatwound string with that guage. I might be paying out the nose for it too :)

    The reason I want a C and F string at the top is because I've always wanted a 7 string bass, but after playing one, I realized they're just a tad too big for my hands, and I never really needed a low B string anyway. Keeping the strings all tuned in 4ths lets me keep scale and chordal patterns in my mind better than the EADGBE tuning. I always sucked at guitar ;)
     
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Yes, but will you be able to play a minor triad in natural harmonics on the top three strings?;) :D :bassist:
     
  11. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    What, for your solo bass version of "Roundabout"?

    I fear the wound .018 might be too tight, so don't say I didn't warn you. You can get single plains from Just Strings with bass ball ends.
     
  12. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    You know it, baby.:bassist: :bassist: :bassist:
     
  13. akuma12

    akuma12

    Aug 25, 2003
    Sarasota, FL
    Ah, ok. I'll go with a .017 or .016 then. I was just afraid no one would have bass strings with such a light gauge. Thanks!
     
  14. Yes, do it! Go EADGCF!!! I use this tuning on all of my 6's and it is very versatile. If you use a slightly thicker gauge E string (try a .120), you'll be able to drop down to a low D or C#. Also, if you go with around a .20 high F, you'll be able to float between D and F# without serious amounts of string tension added. Just make sure that all 6 strings are WOUND, as I have found that going with a high F plain steel presents lots of imbalances. :)

    The big secret: Try my favored EBDF#C#E fretless tuning. :)
     
  15. chimp

    chimp

    Dec 4, 2004
    South Africa
    So the way to go is buy yourself a 7 string set?
     
  16. I use a .024 wound for a high F and .016 plain for a high A#.