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drop C tuning problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by paninkari, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. paninkari


    Jul 4, 2003
    hey all,

    I've tuned my bass to CGCF, with gauges 125, 95, 75, 55.

    The only thing is I find the Low C (125), still a bit slack and not a tight as i think it should be.

    From what I can remeber from a friends 5 string bass - the bottom B string didnt seem that slack, and that could definately have been no more than 130.

    so... am i right in feeling that the 125 tuned to C should not be that slack? it feels slacker than my my old 105 tuned to E.


  2. Dynna


    Oct 23, 2004
    Well, considering that it was a B string AND a 130, you've got 2 factors right there that tighten the string right up. A heavier string at the same pitch as a lighter string will always be tighter(as long as it's the same length). PLUS, you've detuned it a half step.

    If you want your C note to have the same string tension as your friend's B, you probably going to have to go to a 135. But even going to a 130 will be a big improvement to what you have now.
  3. zero7


    Apr 16, 2004
    Given that your tuning is dropped, it is not surprising that the C feels slack compared to the other strings.
    If you really want to stay with that tuning, you'll have to balance the drop by a higher gauge, as Dynna said.

    But you also have the option of using a non-dropped tuning, say C-F-A#-D# in your case, and use regular 5-strings sets.
    That's what I'd do, it just makes more sense than replicating the guitar setup.
  4. E.O.M.


    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    B is lower than C. That would give the C string a higher tension if it were the same guage and on the same bass.

    The more important factor is the bass itself. There are many factors of the bass' construction that go into having a tight B string, and your bass just might not have as many of those factors as your friend's bass.

    But as others have said, the only thing you can probably do is use a heavier string; at least on that bass.
  5. paninkari


    Jul 4, 2003
    I might give a 130 a go and see what happens..

    Forgive my ignorance but i dont get the logic behind the C-F-A#-D# tuning... this seems to drop the higher strings even lower (to what purpose).

    Plus I don't have a decent tuning pedal at the moment so this would be a bit of a pain in the ass.

    Thanks for the replies guys.
  6. zero7


    Apr 16, 2004
    To keep the standard 5 semitone interval between each string, while stil having an open low C. In fact, this tuning is BEAD uptuned a half step.
    You can then use regular 5-string sets, so you don't have to find singles all the time.
    Plus you won't have to relearn anything when moving from/to (B)EADG.

    But there's no bad tuning - that's just another option.
  7. paninkari


    Jul 4, 2003
    i see more logic now... but wouldn't the tuning be CFBE?

    I want to keep the dropped tuning CGCF - it works with the guitar better that way (lots of open stringed bits where i want to follow the guitar) but thats more down to the style of the music that anything else.

    cheers for advice.
  8. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    I think you are forgetting that B and E don't get half steps. I too play drop C in my band so this thread has been helpful.

    Zero7 what you are saying basically to drop 2 whole steps relative to standard right? For some reason It never occured to me to do that. Though in my situation, maybe like Paninkari, is that my guitar player plays a lot of riffs and not only is the open C a must but often the open G is used.

    Is it feasible to buy a set of lighter guage strings for a 5 string, and then just ditch the high G? Got a luthier that I usually go to, to have my bass setup, but I am broke right now.

    Thanks guys.
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Just grab a five string set and use the four lower strings. You'll be tunning up the other strings high from where they are meant to be but it should be fine.

    If its really an issue, just grab some single strings and get a 130 or 135 for the C.