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Drop-C Tuning

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by blackhawk9813, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. blackhawk9813


    Aug 18, 2012
    I have sort of a stupid question about tuning down to Drop-C on the bass. The guitars i have now aren't set up to go down that low, and I was wondering whether or not to save up for a bass that had that ability. I dont want to set up the ones i already have, because i dont usually go down to to C. I'm also wondering whether I should get a 5 string bass and tune the lowest string to C. Since i have never owned a 5 string, i thought it would also be a nice change, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. It may sound like a stupid question, but some help on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
  2. bass10bfb

    bass10bfb Prophet Low End Provider Gold Supporting Member

    May 5, 2011
    Newport, TN.
    My band played a lot in Drop D as well as Drop C. 5 string basses worked best for me in this situation. I had a 5 string bass tuned normally except the top 2 strings. I tuned the top string to the Low C open note; I also tuned the E string to Drop D open note. It took a little getting used to, and it was challenging going back and forth for other gigs and tunings, but it worked and it made me a better player in the long run with the challenging tunings back and forth. Good luck bro; you could also tune a 4 string like the BEAD tuning, but use the Low C instead of Low B.
  3. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Depends a lot on your financial status, desire for new instruments, amount of time spent in each tuning, etc.

    My current band mostly tunes in Drop C so I have most of my instruments tuned that way. Changing the setup isn't a big deal, though... mostly just a small change to the intonation and a couple of turns on the truss rod. It helps that I like low string tension, so I use what would be considered relatively light gauge strings at that tuning (45 to 105) -- which means I could switch to standard tuning without a string change.

    However, it is very nice to have multiple basses for different tunings, if you would be changing a lot otherwise. I would not recommend your 5-string plan, though, if you are playing in a heavy band where a lot of the bass parts follow the guitars, since it will likely be harder to play the riff if your tuning doesn't copy theirs. That assumes you meant adding a low C on top of regular tuning... if you want to get a 5-string to do normal Drop-C tuning with an extra high string, and you think you'll actually use it, then knock yourself out.
  4. Get a big set of strings (I use .118 for C standard) and get it set up. You'll be fine with a 4 string 34".
  5. My buddy plays drop C in a band and uses a 4 string ESP. Don't know which model :/
  6. the bass you already use "has that ability" it ain't no thing but a chicken wing, drop it and enjoy.
  7. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL

    maybe go up a gauge ( 50-110 maybe? ) but just drop it and play on. no biggie.
  8. robot10


    Jan 16, 2013
    Whenever I drop tune I always increase the strings gauge to keep the same tension and stop the slap any guitar can do any tunning you just may need to ajust the bridge height to compensate then fatness of the strings, my rule off thumb is to go one gauge up for every semi tone down, all my guitars feel the same tension. Hope this helps.
  9. bri450r


    Jan 14, 2012
    Greensburg, PA
    I also use a 5 string tuned to c-d-a-c-f. It takes a bit of getting used to because I end up doing alot of string skipping while using the c. I also tune the d up to c sometimes to get a huge c chord easily.
  10. Get a 5er, and capo the 1st fret. It will feel a lot more natural with more possibilities plus you can do a 2 octave run straight across the fretboard that you can't do on a 4 banger.
  11. Primary

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