DGCF(Bb) Tuning?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RunngDog, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Anyone ever try this tuning on a 4 or 5 string as a way of extending the range a bit downward without giving up 4ths intervals (as you do with a detuner) or a tight & "thin" bottom string (as you do with a BEADG 5-string)?
  2. I played in DGCF tuning for about two years, because of the bands I was in at the time. I grew to really like having those two extra low notes at the bottom. I've been thinking about getting a 5-string at some point and tuning it DGCFBb.
  3. I play in DGCF sometimes, just for fun. But it might become my main tuning soon, because me and a couple of friends are planning on forming a band soon and the guitarist plays in D standard.

    If that will happen, I'll have to take my bass to a shop and give it a good set up with some thicker strings probably. Because when I tune down now, the strings rattle and buzz too much. I doubt anyone wants to hear that when we're jamming. :p
  4. I have tuned my 6 down to A D G C F Bb, it gives quite a dark tone, rich with harmonics. After a bit, the neck will naturally straighten out, so if you decide to stick with this tuning with the same strings, you'll have to loosen your truss rod and lighten your touch.
  5. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Alternatively, you should be able to adjust simply by going with a somewhat heavier gauge of string. Though in your case it might be tricky finding anything thick enough to drop down to that A.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I use DGCF as my main tuning on my 12 string.

    I have started a couple of times to setup one of my five stringers ADGCF but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    I am moving this to the Setup forum. If you decide to do this, it will be more of a setup issue.
  7. Yup - you will get tighter string tension that way, though you will have to compensate the intonation at the nut, possibly adjust the truss rod and nut slot width.
  8. if you go up in string guage, chances are, the tension will be greater, leading to truss rod tweaks either way. you will have to adjust the intonation to compensate for thicker strings at the bridge not the nut, unless you want them to do teh buzz feinten tuning system too. the nut slots will most likely have to be widened a smidgen so that the strings will fit.
  9. Depends how the natural tension of the string is offset by the change caused by the tuning.
  10. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I don't really think you have to go up that far in string gauge -- you're just using the gauge increase to offset the down-tuning and maintain constant tension. I'm guessing that a .105 or .110 string tuned down to D will have roughly the same tension as a .095 or .090 tuned to E. And since all these gauges fall within the "normal" range (from light to heavy) for an E string, I'm not convinced that a lot (or any) of adjustment would be needed on the bridge or the nut.
  11. Heh, a bigger string requires more room to vibrate, hence more relief. truss rod adjustments will most likely be nessecary along with bridge adjustments for intonation and string height. the nut WILL have to be cut if its cut for 90-95 gauge Es cause one hundredth of an inch (95 to 105) is alot to go up and expect it to fit. it might if the nut is worn, who knows, but its supposed to be with in a few thousandths of the actual gauge of the string.
  12. I wouldn't say that is necessarily true.

    I would argue that a thinner string, because it is more floppy, would actually require more room to vibrate. Try tuning your A string down to E and hear it clatter against the frets unless you pick much more softly.

    Within a matched set of strings though, I do agree that the thicker strings need more room (an E string tuned to E will need more room than the A).
  13. and you think a 110 gague E downtuned to d isn't going to vibrate a little more freely than the string at normal tension? the bigger the string, the more relief, least in the 7 basses i am/was in charge of setting up.
  14. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Actually, I think a 110 gauge E downtuned to D is going to vibrate about the same as a 90 gauge string tuned to E -- or maybe less.
  15. A .110-gauge E downtuned to D is of course going to vibrate more freely than the string at normal tension... but it will vibrate less than a .130-gauge downtuned to D. Hence, generally bigger string the less relief, for the same pitch and scale length (of course there are other factors such as core / wrap ratio etc but generally speaking).