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Drop D on a 5 string

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Joebin, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Joebin


    Aug 7, 2010
    HI. I have a 5 string, and don't find myself using the B string all that much except when play a song in D, and even then it is much more bothersome than just having a D string! So what i want to do is replace my low B with a D! I was wondering what gauge the D string gauge should be when using standard .045 or .050 string gauges. Also I don't want the D string flopping around, so if a set of thicker strings are needed so the D string will fit in the nut, let me know!!!
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Can't you just tune the string to D instead of B?
  3. Joebin


    Aug 7, 2010
    yes, but if kept like that, the uneven tension will screw your neck up. Also you could break your string.
  4. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sounds really counterproductive, usually the point of drop D is having the D and A strings right next to each other. I'd just trade it up for a 4 string... As for me, when I want to go drop D on my 5, I just tune the E to D and ignore the B
  5. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    i just play the notes
  6. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    I checked the D'Addario tension chart pdf. To make the D equal or a little higher in tension than the E ...
    For .100 E, .110 D
    For .105 E, .120 D
    For .110 E, .130 D

    (Have you considered DADGC?)
  7. T40Chump


    Jul 12, 2008
    Plano, TX
    I'd say get the biggest gauge E string you can find, put it on, tune it to D and getcha some! With a little adjustment in your style you'd probably be solid in no time. I've thought about it myself.

    And yeah tuning the low B up to D...not a good idea. I would think the neck would really get in a bad way over time.

    ...or just drop the E to D when you need to. Simplest solution, IMO.
  8. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Sure seems kind of pointless to me. I mean dropping your tuning on a four banger if you need to go lower I can see. but if you can already get a D and below on a five sting what's the point? Yes, I know it's supposed to make some metal songs easier to play (I don't do metal so I wouldn't know) but that seems like cheating to me. Just apply yourself and learn to play it all on the fiver.
  9. this.
  10. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    What I find to be counterproductive is people insisting "Just learn to play it on a 5 string". Some of the songs I play in drop C are almost impossible to pull off with a 5 string. The intervals between the C and G strings are totally different, and there's a ton of open C notes. Why make it harder than it has to be?

    In fact, I only need 3 strings, not 5. I never play on the high F string. It's only there to keep idiots from asking me why my nice bass is missing a string.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sigh ....

    Why ...

  12. Joebin


    Aug 7, 2010
    I know it would be easier to just drop my e down, but about half of the songs i play are in D, so instead of having to keep tuning my e up and down, it would be nice to just have a d string. And alot of the songs i play would be near impossible in standard tuning. I would also like to thank everyone for their input! I greatly appreciate it!!!
  13. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    Your tuning spells DEAD-G, kewel :D
  14. get a four string this a hip shot Dtuner. that way when you need to tune down its just a flick of a switch.
    or you can just learn the songs without using open strings.. it will really help with technique as well!
  15. don't mean to hi jack this thread, but can you explain to me your tuning?
    i don't see how a song in drop c is impossibly to play on a 5 string.
    i don't understand how you have a high F and a low C

    if you had a 5 string you can tune the B a half step up to C... seems pretty easy if you didn't want to play the frets.
  16. Jon_West


    Jan 8, 2009
    GTA, Ontario
    lol, I love how no one is actually answering his question. Guys, he already has a solution he wants to stick with, he just wants to know how to pull it off.

    (this post was completely useless)
  17. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    Re-read my post...I highlighted the important part for you. ;)
  18. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    Honestly it shouldn't matter how your bass is tuned (as long as it is in tune) you should be able to hit any note on any string at any given time.....That being said, I am guilty of doing just what you (op) suggested. I tune my B up to D so it is DEADG. I haven't had any neck problems. Maybe if you have high tension strings.....I don't know....I like to use DR Low Riders or Black Beauties but I do prefer a light guage
  19. Assuming you're using a .105 E string now, just get a .110 string for the D. Don't need much more than that if you're only dropping that string a step down from your current E.

    I've played a few songs where drop-D was easier than using the D note on my B-string, so I've tuned BDADG for those, but it's rare. The biggest reason I found was that the fretted note just didn't sound right compared to the open D. It was more the feel than anything - something about the open D made it work for the song.

    However, having to jump over the E to make that work adds a totally different complication. Sure, you can get used to it, but it's a big jump over that E-string. I'd rather just detune the E, or get a 4-string...
  20. Zitch


    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    Why not tune the bass dadgc?

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