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Drop tune C-A

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PhilOliveira, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. PhilOliveira


    Dec 7, 2013
    I have always been playing in Standard and every now and then to a drop D or D sharp, well now I've been listening to some heavier stuff and am now interested in playing to drop C and Drop A. Any recommended strings I should get that are most likely available at Guitar Center? I also have a Fender Squire vintage modified and a Yamaha RBX-10, which one should I play this type of stuff on?
  2. i think what you need to focus on (if you are happy with the type of strings you have now) is string tension and gauge. i play d'addario nickel 50-105 and switch from standard to drop c all the time. i would think with a drop a, you would want something a bit heavier.

    as for which bass, i think that is strictly preference.
  3. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I would suggest you'll want two different string sets to pull this off. If you change pitch more than a whole step you are compromising on setup and tension too much for it to be reliable - or even good - at either extreme.

    For drop C you might want to find gauges that are close to; .130 .086 .065 .047 .033

    For drop A these gauges will work well; .158 .106 .079 .059 .043

    Any pre-assembled set won't do drop tunings well . . .
  4. Can give a +1 to the drop A gauge, thats what I'm running on my 35" scale Spector.
  5. PhilOliveira


    Dec 7, 2013
    I can still tune up right? From A to C? Or would that ruin the strings?
  6. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    The idea with changing pitch is that you select a gauge that is right in between your two extremes - in your case it would be between A# and B - so that when you tune down it doesn't get too loose and when you tune up it doesn't get too tight.

    Normal tension is between 40 and 43 pounds.

    If you are determined to use the same set to do both a set like this is as in between as you are likely going to get; .150 .102 .076 .057 .041. What this will do is make the per-string tension 36.7 pounds - a little loose. When tuned up to C the per-string tension goes up to 51.8 - on the tight side to be sure, but isn't awful. When you have the bass set up tune it to drop B so that the intonation falls somewhere in the middle.

    A 15 pound sway is a lot - a whole step is as much as you ought to push things, but you can get away with this. The strings will take it better than the bass will. You are adding 60 to 75 pounds of overall tension to your bass (depending on whether you play 4s or 5s) and your neck will move. Perhaps quite a bit.
  7. I say just take a 5 string Set and use the First 5 strings if your useing a 4 string bass. five/six.... well am still trying to Finger that one out.
  8. I just use 45-105 for all my needs, and it works just fine. I like playing stuff from Tarja, Disturbed, Godsmack, Pantera, Metallica, Nightwish, etc, and that gauge works for all those tunings.
  9. I like going down to the drop A-C myself. Thats only because my music is lower tuned than yours is.
  10. Fender05


    Oct 20, 2008
    I play in drop C with my Warwick Custom Shop Thumb 5 (low-high G-C-G-C-F) I use the DR DDT's, .45-.125, and they sound great. No issues with them being too loose. Never gone down to A-can't think of any reason a bass needs to go that low :meh: