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DADG Tuning?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RunngDog, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I'm planning to get my first bass shortly and have been considering 5-string vs. 4-string. The only real advantage to the 5-string for me would be access to the low D on the B string -- useful since a lot of the Celtic rock I play is in D. But I'm wondering about the alternative of simply tuning the E string down to a D (perhaps using a higher string gauge to compensate). I realize this might complicate life on that low string, what with a full 5th interval to the A, but I'm curious if anyone has tried this tuning with any success?
  2. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    I have used this tunning for most of my bass playing life, it's a very common tuning. Alot of metal bands play In "Drop" fashion, to get easy one fingered 3 string power chords. I don't think it hurts string life that much, and i doubt you will have to change to a heavyer gauge string. unless you use REAL light strings that is. I had the same delima, 5 string, or a 4 string tuned DADG. went for the four string, makes more sense to me.
  3. It's a very popular tuning. You might want to invest in a Hipshot Bass Xtender to be able to switch back and forth between E & D. I had one on a Warmoth Jazz Bass and it worked beautifully:

  4. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    DADG has definitely been done before, and it really doesn’t affect your string tension that much. If you want a 5 string simply for the low D, then you might want to consider getting a 4 with a D-tuner, which is a device that replaces the tuning machine on the low E, and allows you to switch between D and E with the flip of a lever.

    The best advice, however it to just go and try all of the basses that you can and pick the one that feels and sounds the best to you.

    Also you might want to consider filling out your profile a little better. If you do, people will take you more seriously, and will be able answer questions for you more effectively.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    If you play celtic rock that relies a lot on pentatonics and octaves, may I suggest DADA that will make you life so much easier ?
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Its been done many many many many times.

    I like having the familiarity with my fretboard based on intervals in standard tunning, so Id probably tune down a whole step on all strings giving me: DGCF if I needed a slightly lower range.

  7. Without question the most common alternate tuning on 4's. I use it occasionally for certain Rage Against the Machine songs that call for it, like "Freedom", for example.

    I personally will move to 5's though, cause that is just my calling. I can't explain it. 6's I find too large and bulky, 4's are good but I like the low B; it enables me to not have to move up and down the neck as much.
  8. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    Chris, agree--me too. I used to use the drop D on all my 4-strings (and still have one I use once in a while) but I prefer the 5 string. That's why all these options are great.
  9. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Hey, thanks so much to everybody here for all the quick responses to my dopey question.

    I'm an Irish bouzouki player, and we screw around with all sorts of different tunings (I use ADAD myself), but I was hesitant to pose this question because I couldn't find a lot of discussion here about alternative tunings. Nice to see that bass folks are just as experimental as we are!

    At this point, I'm inclined to go with the DADG tuning on my soon-to-be-purchased 4-string Big Kydd and hold off on a 5-string until I get better acquainted with the bass.

    Now, if I could just find someone to sell me a used Big Kydd at a discount ...;)
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    That's what I do, too. I have a .105 for my E string, and it works very well.;)
  11. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Go check out a bass player named Michael Manring.....
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I use a Hipshot D-tuner so I can drop down and play in DADG on some songs. It's really convenient.

    I use light strings too with absolutely no problems.

    brad cook
  13. you could invest in one of those Kubicki X-Factor basses with the extended range down to D.
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Kubicki(?)'s are :cool:

    Their way makes alot of sense. to bad no other basses can have the idea due to some copyright legal garbage:(
  15. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I just don't understand how those hipshot D-tuners can be precise. Won't anything from string gauge to the age of the string be a factor in how far you have to tune to get down to D?
  16. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Those Kubickis do look pretty cool. There's a Swedish bouzouki maker (Adin & Ekvall) who do the same thing on a mandola/bouzouki type instrument. Theirs actually allows the player to drop a full 4th lower from the zero fret -- from a G down to a D.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I have played three basses with Hipshot detuners. They all worked very well. There is a thumbscrew that lets you fine tune the dropped note.
  18. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Im actually thinking of getting one of those to use on my G string.

    I sometimes detune it down to E or raise it to A or other notes to be abel to play harmonics in some of the louder stronger positions so that they sound louder and clearer.

    Only thing is I use some of the versatility and familiarity with the string, but its worth it on occasion.