Droped Tunings

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RotoSoundPro, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. RotoSoundPro


    Jun 1, 2011
    Im starting to play a lot of core music on bass and many basses in bands that play in these low tunings are only using four string basses playing in tunings that range from drop C all the way to even drop G. You can hear this really unique bass tone is songs like O.G Loko by Of Mice and Men or The Motivation by Attack Attack and im just wondering if anyone has any idea how they are creating these tones. These bass players in those bands were using Fender Precision basses and LTD Phoenix-1004 basses. Does it have to do anything with the gauge of their strings or their specific settings on their heads. I use a Galien-Kruger stack with a 700 watt head and still have trouble getting these tones. Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions to create nice tones on four string basses in very low tunings?
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Be prepared to have a lot of people tell you that you cannot, that you only hear harmonics of these notes, etc, etc, etc. I do not have any specific suggestions for you because I don't do this. The most common problem is that speakers are not normally designed to go that low so getting a significant SPL at low frequencies is difficult because of speaker limitations even if everything else is working right. I am not familiar with your speakers or with any speakers really because I only play in a church band and the sound system is someone else's problem. But I would start there because if your speakers will not do what you need to do then nothing else matters. There might be some minor problems with pickups, strings, and amps but they pale in comparison to the speaker issues. Once again you will likely attract a lot of naysayers to this thread if it generates much traffic at all but there are a few people here on TB who try to do what you want to do rather than saying it can't be done and you should listen to them and filter out the noise from the critics. I'm not taking sides, I neither know nor care who is right and who is wrong. I only know that progress is never made by listening to the critics and giving up. The critics will tell you what the challenges are which does make them useful but they seldom give you any encouragement in overcoming them.

  3. I also drop tune and the best string I have found for this is Circle K strings. They are online order only and the sales staff will help you to get the right string.

    Heavy tone is all about tension. Getting a bigger guage of string will more than likely require a new nut to compensate.
  4. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    This is mostly true, but it depends on the type of tone you want in the lower frequencies. Obviously, if you want the fundamental to be the strongest component, yes, the drivers and cabs are going to have to be designed to be reasonably efficient at those frequencies.

    OTOH, if the harmonics are more important (i.e. you want a more grunty, agressive, middy tone), you might be able to get by with what you have.

    As for the bass, light gauge strings tend to exhibit more harmonics and heavier ones tend to give a better fundamental.

    Those are the general rules of thumb, so experiment/adjust to suit.

    Also keep in mind you're going to have to hump that cab to gigs; a cab that delivers well at 30hz (around where a low B is) is going to be huge and heavy.... So budget for some roadies in that case ;)

  5. played drop C on a Stingray strung with Ernie Ball power slinkies. no problems what so ever.

    moved to my new band and played Drop A with the same set up. easily doable but did require a gentle touch which can be hard to do on stage when you're getting into it.

    I've since bought a 5 string fender Jazz so i'm drop tuning the B to A, and have tuned it to G, not too much of an issue, still using ernie ball power slinkies.
  6. PatQ


    May 11, 2011
    Siegburg, Germany
    I play a Gibson Thunderbird in Drop C with D'Addario EXL 230 strings - trough a Sansamp into a Glockenklang Heart-Rock and a SWR Goliath Sr box.

    The Sansamp does a lot for that sound you mentioned, a lot of growl and grit. Playing with a pick helps, too.
  7. spector_boogie

    spector_boogie No Limit Honky

    Apr 15, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    The right strings + the right setup will get you there.
    Been playing drop C for quite a while now and don't have any issues w/ it. The "lightest" over the counter gauge I'll go is .110 but I have the .118 drop tuned Circle K Strings set and that's all I've used just about the last 2.5 years now. The gauges "seem" heavy but they're very flexible.
    I don't bother with the "what you're really/aren't really hearing" stuff. Inconsequential, if the sound I want is coming outta my cabs and amp.
  8. zachreh


    Mar 7, 2008
    south florida
    the way to get that tone is to record with joey sturgis. Im in the same boat as the op and I found out that joey gets those bass tones by running the bass through a guitar amp on a line 6 pod. joey has recorded asking alexandria, the devil wears prada, of mice and men, attack attack, pretty much all the big core bands. the album the flood by of mice and men has the absolute best bass tone imo