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How Far Up Can You Go with Alternate Tunings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dradder, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Dradder


    Feb 7, 2013
    Reno, Nevada
    Just as a general rule, how far up in pitch can you go with alternate tunings on a bass guitar? Would taking a string one and a half steps up in pitch be too much tension on it, or would there be some other negative factor to take into consideration? Thanks for any info!
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    It depends on the gauge of the string.
  3. Dradder


    Feb 7, 2013
    Reno, Nevada
    I'm thinking of the low B string on an Ibanez Mikro five-stringer.
  4. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    I go until the strings snap, and then just remember the tonal value, and never go beyond a half step flat from that note :bassist:

    It is still April 1st, no?? :bag:
  5. KodyAudette


    Apr 30, 2012
    I have tuned basses and guitars up a step and a half and the world didn't explode, the neck and strings didn't snap, but I can't say I liked it. The tension on those strings generally makes them pretty unplayable at those tensions. I had a 5 string with standard 5 string gauges tuned up to C-G-C-F-Bb (meaning 4 strings were tuned up a step and a half). It was playable but exhausting. I discovered Circle K Strings recently and learned that it pays to get the right string gauge for the tuning you want. That is if you plan on keeping it tuned that way for a while.
  6. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    If you go to places like Bass Strings Online or Circle K strings and buy strings appropriate to the tuning you want to use then you can tune almost any way you like, your bass will be fine, and you may not even have to touch the truss rod. If you want to up tune a set of EADG strings it depends. I once broke a G string by trying to tune it to A#. I almost had it there but it went SNAP just before I got there.


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