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hey, i know this is stoopid, but i wanna make sure

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xaero187, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. xaero187


    Sep 2, 2002
    I'm in a band, and my guitsrist uses a 6 string, and i have a 5 string bass, he tunes to dadgbe, and i was just wondering what the correct tuning would be for me and my bass, i know it's stoopid, but i wanna make sure :):)
  2. bdadg.

    ofcourse your top string will not be the equivalent to his. Having the b string there you dont really have to detune but if you want to match the guitar with 4 strings this would be what your after.

    i might not have explained it that well.

    EDIT: typo
  3. xaero187


    Sep 2, 2002
    Cheers, i've been told many, like adadg, beadg, bdadge, or even tuning up to dadgb :S:S
  4. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member


    Fretting the D on your bass' low B will be exactly two octaves below your guitarist's open low D string. He is only dropping his low E one step to D.

    It's early Sunday am and for some reason this popped into my head: Neil Young used it a lot in the '70s up to today. And his bass player, Billy Talbot (?) used a Fender 4 string P.
  5. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    The way I look at it, a note is a note. I don't particularly care which tuning my guitarist uses. All I need to know is which notes I need to play. Especially on a 5-string, it really makes no matter to me, as I can find all the notes in one position.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Ahem... one octave. ;)
  7. Dumfish


    Oct 6, 2001
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    You beat me to it. And I agree with Brooks on the note theory. I could care less what my guitarist tunes to. It's the notes that matter.

  8. Ahhhh...... thank you brooks, your a step ahead of everyone else! heh =P
  9. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I'm so eccentric, I would get a 4 string and tune it DADG;)
  10. Suga


    Sep 26, 2002
    Ok I tune everything down on my guitar a whole step, which is two semi tones. DGCFAD and use drop D whole step CGCFAD and on the seven string got the low A also. What your guitarist is using is standard drop d tuning. You have a 5 string bass I usually like using 4 stringers for drop d tuning since I never use the low string and finding good tuning for it is difficult. But to acurately follow the riffs I feel you need to go drop D also going from top to bottom (high strings to low) tune as follows GDA and for the second lowest go with the D that will allow you to do pulloffs and such along with the guitarist. For the low B I would then tune it to a perfect fourth which would be A. You can still use B here but may find the minor 3rd difficult to use. The fourth tuning would be good in mu opinion and you can also go a perfect fifth but that would be a F# and you would at least need a 35" scale bass adn some heavy strings otherwise it would be loose as heel and crappy tonewise. You can also tune it up a little to C, but yet again that would be a major 2nd interval so playing riffs and stuff may be difficult for some on the other hand if you use a non standard tuning you may develope a unique playing style try different things.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You should tune your bass BEADG. That's a big part of owning a 5-string. You can play a low D any ol' time you want, with a B and a C below that in reserve.
  12. Suga


    Sep 26, 2002
    Being a guitarist also I can honestly say tuning in such a way will mean the bass player will need to comprimise most of the time. Very few are capable of playing very fast pulloffs to D with a 5 string tuned standard. If you drop to D you can follow all the riffs accurately. I'm talking mainly metal music here which is using a lot of pulloffs and open D notes while implementing chords underneath, tuning standard will make playing such riffs much more difficult. Instead of playing the open string after going up the fretboard you would need to fret the B string on the third fret. Could be a jump, and a drawback is the D cannot resonate which the guitarist may be doing so the bass will not be filling up the low end as it should. What happens then? The music looses all it's dynamics and power.
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    The only advantage I see to changing the tuning to match the guitarist's is that you'd be able follow his playing visually by playing the same place on your fingerboard. That's no way to learn.

    BEADG is a great tuning for bass and once you got it down, you don't have to relearn the instrument every time you're playing with a different guitarist.
  14. Suga


    Sep 26, 2002
    Sure playing your own thing is cool. But I gave several very valid reasons why to tune as the other instrument. This goes far beyond visual attributes. Try fretting your D on the B string and let it ring throughout and play some high notes up around let's say the 9 fret or so on the A string plus a few slaps and such on your G string an octave higher. And move those notes around, maybe that's what the song calls for. Try playing the same thing in a different position with the standard 5 string tuning. It's not very easy to do is it? Now drop D tune you bass play the same thing and keep the D steady groove. If you don't follow the tuning you're going to have to play differently but that may not be a bad thing. A good way to learn is to be able to adapt to various playing styles, including tuning prefs some people may have. Otherwise you get stuck in a rut. My advice get a four string bass drop D tune it and tune your 5 standard, then you have a choice. And you can mix the different approaches to playing.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Good edit;)
  16. Suga


    Sep 26, 2002
    One thing I would like to add I have written songs with such a bass line but the guitar is doing something totally different. The steady D has been a must for the song yet the higher notes must have complete freedom of movement. So it's not an emulate the guitar kind of thing. Ass for jazz it's totally different the bass will most of the time not be locked in as much as in metal with any other instrument, so a standard tuning would be just fine for such music. Keep that in mind.
  17. Suga


    Sep 26, 2002
    If he tunes non standard he can use such a tuning with other guitarists if it's part of his style just as well as standard tuning.
  18. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    You seem to know more about his style than the rest of us. How is that?

    1 vote for BEADG
  19. RedV


    Mar 19, 2002
    Eustis, FL
    I think some people need to think outside of jazz and the 'proper way' of playing/tuning bass.

    It's fairly obvious that a dropped tuning would make certain things easier, and as Suga as shown, some things can ONLY be done in such a tuning. I believe it's just as valid point as slapping vs fingerstyle....each one does certain things better.

    Either way, my opinion would be, if you're playing rock type music, I would go ahead and tune ADADG; like Suga said, that will give you the fourth, and you'll be able to riff right along with your guitarist. However, I suggest you take everything said in this thread as what it is....a bunch of opinions:)


  20. So you guitar player uses drop D tuning and you want to know if you should retune your 5 string?
    Do you ever have need of an open low D? As someone has already said, if you are playing something where you need to let an open low D ring while you do some chords or tapping stuff with it then you might need to return your E string down to a D. If not then just play low D on your B string. jmho

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