down tune to convert long scale to short scale?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DannyShem, Nov 4, 2017.


  1. DannyShem

    DannyShem

    Jan 31, 2013
    Is it reasonable/doable to down tune by 2 steps and then capo at the second fret to effectively turn a long scale bass into a short scale bass?
     
  2. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Sure, that works. Fret markers will be a little confusing.

    Of course you could try this approach....... :eek:
     
    DannyShem likes this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    sure. is this to get the experience of a short scale (somewhat) before a purchase?
     
  4. DannyShem

    DannyShem

    Jan 31, 2013
    In fact, yes, I am thinking of replacing my long scale with a short scale. So this would be a way of trying it out (not many short scale left handed basses in music stores in my neck of the woods). Actually, if it works out, I would consider just keeping my current bass (ESP B-50 left-handed).
     
  5. It's the perfect way to find out if you like short scale. Your strings/setup may be not perfectly suited, but you'll get an accurate feel for dimensions.

    IME tapewound strings take downtuning very well. I've detuned La Bella tapes 5 semitones (made it BEAD) and they feel and sound the most consistent.
     
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  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    got it! i say go for it...a good way to "try before you buy!" i think that if you like the overall feel of your impromptu SS you would want to look at a 'real' SS: so that string tensions are correct, side dots/frets, etc. also: a SS instrument would keep everyone else on earth from asking "why do you always use a capo on your bass?" (in case that's important to you!)

    let us know how things work out for you! :thumbsup:
     
    DannyShem likes this.
  7. If you want to keep running like this, a heavier gauge string set would help keep the tension where you like it.
    Hopefully you have enough adjustment range in the truss rod to handle heavier strings.
     
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  8. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Yes, heavier strings will do it, but I recommend you ditch the capo and join the D-standard club. :)

    -Alex
     
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  9. Showdown

    Showdown

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    If you down tune 2 steps, then put a capo at the second fret (one step above open), then you would be in D, not E. Are you possibly confusing 2 frets with 2 steps? A fret is a 1/2 step.

    Or am I reading the OP wrong?
     
    lowplaces likes this.
  10. DannyShem

    DannyShem

    Jan 31, 2013
    You are correct, I meant was 2 frets.
     
  11. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    Except for B to C and E to F ??
     
  12. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Nope. Still a half-step.
     
    OOD likes this.
  13. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    Yes, you are correct.
     
  14. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Woohoo! What do I win? :)
     
  15. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    You have won and will soon be receiving a two octave arpeggio.
     
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I used to do this with a guitar I had tuned C#.
    It was a double-locking vibrato system, which are a bear to re-tune, so I'd just capo it for anything higher than C# standard.
     
  17. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    Awesome! That will come in handy at today's practice. ;)

    Capo certainly more important when chords are being played.
     
  18. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
     
  19. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    When I play 5-strings above the 5th fret, I sometimes think I should be playing a short scale... :woot:
     
  20. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
    I'll wait, I've got a dozen of those already. :)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 17, 2021

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