... Is this a stupid question ... ?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Godcreep, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. Hi guys ...

    I'm playing for about only 2 years now (and I think I really suck, but that's another thing) , and today I played along with a cd. Now, I had to drop my strings to C F A# D# .. Is this used often with bass playin' ? I ALWAYS played E A D G
    and it felt really strange ... off course I had a very deep sound ... but my C string rattles sometimes... (finger style) and it just didn't felt natural ...
    Is a 4 string not suited for playin' C F A#D# ?
    This may sound as a very stupid question...but hey, I'm still a beginner ...
    Thanx for your replies ........
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    probably was something that was played on a 5 string.

    you can tune your bass that way if you want, just get heavier gauge strings (thicker), that should work fine.
  3. ..... Well, is there anything like an OCTAVER pedal,
    or something ? Who has used something like that before ? Isn't that the best solution ??
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think that the best solution is to get a 5-string bass and not tune down at all.

    Seriously though I can never see the point of tuning down - as you say it just means that you get rattles and buzzes and the lower strings get harder to play. There are always alternative ways to play things and if you take a 24 fret 5 strings - that's 120 possible notes - more than a piano. Somewhere in all that is more than enough to play and excellent bassline. I think people get too hung up on playing exactly what was on the original - if people want that, they can buy the record! ;)
  5. It could be tuned drop D and then down a step.

    Could be octaver.

    Could be a five (or +) string.

    To answer your "stupid question", it is not particularly common (Soundgarden do it a bit) and you shouldn't worry about it too much.
  6. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Well not exactly true Bruce, 120 possible FRETS but not different notes. Actually, 125 if you count the open strings.

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Pedantry rules OK!!

    But the point is that you have more than enough to play a line that fits in perfectly with the song whether it's 80, 120 or 125.

    Nothing would ever convince me to tune down - no matter what anybody said I would find a line that fitted given what I have and not "mess about" with thigs like this - just covering for poor technique in my view. :rolleyes:
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Actually it's only 45 different notes on a 24-fret fiver. 3 3/4 octaves :p

    24 frets + empty B = 25 notes

    25 notes + 4 additional stings x 5 notes = 25+20= 45

    So a sixer will give you 50 notes aka 4 1/6 octaves and a 7-string will 55 notes = 4 7/12 octaves.
  9. Yo guys, your replies are very interesting indeed, but my question still isn't answered ... Is there such a pedal I talked about ? I looked at the BOSS site ... but there's only one for the guitar ...

    Anyway .. this is why I asked that question about droppin' to C ... A band asked me to play bass for them .. (it's metal, abit like Godsmack) They have recorded already one cd ... and that 's the one I talked about ... The music on the cd is
    tuned C F A# D# .. So that's why I HAVE to play that way ... I NEVER played with that tuning before .. but it doesn't sound bad at all ... just the rattling (only with the C string) makes me crazy ..
    I don't have the money to buy a 5 string now ....
    Maybe you guys can buy one for me ?? :D :D

    (I know that their former bassplayer played also on a 4 string!)
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    An octaver won't help you, because the added note is created artificially and octavers don't track that well. You can blend out the original note, but it will sound more like a synth bass.

    You can use the BOSS OC-2 for bass. Actually it's pretty popular among bassists (Will Lee and Pino Palladino used it), but the EBS Octabass tracks better (costs twice as much though).
  11. This will happens all the time on this site;)

    Ask these guys what color the sky is and you will get fifty different answers and only about two of them will say blue:rolleyes:
  12. Thanx JMX ...

    Then I have a problem I guess ... I still wonder how the guy did it then ... I'm sure he played a 4 string ... Really strange .... (Well, this is all very new to me ...)

    So, with that Octaver, you always hear 2 notes, but you can turn down the original note ... but it's just not natural if I understand it correctly ... too bad :( :(
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You don't have to play that low, you can use the C on the A string too, for example...

    A Octaver has 2 (or 3) volume knobs.
    Original signal, Octave 1 (and Octave 2).

    So you can adjust the volume individually.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree with that 100%.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    C on the E string (8th fret) always sounds best to me and I start a lot of lines from there. It's sounds bassier than C on the A string, but still cuts through. Of course I have the low C on my 5-string, but I don't use it that often, as it often gets lost in the mix.

    From C on the E string - F, A# and D# are all in close range - my advice would be to boost the bass and play around the 6-8th frets on the E and A strings.
  16. purple_haze


    Jun 29, 2001
    London Town
    If you don't own a 5-string, just try putting the bottom 4 strings from a 5er on your 4 string bass, i.e. BEAD tuning, low register, no buzz.
  17. So .. that should take away the rattling then ?
    Maybe that's the solution ...
    What do you guys think about that OCTAVER.... give me your opinions guys ... :confused:
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But they almost certainly won't fit the slots in your nut, which will need work and depending on the bridge you might struggle to get a B string through the space or it might sit at such an angle that you have problems with intonation!
  19. Hey godcreep, I think the best you could do is get thicker gauge strings, as Jhon T. said..

    Im actually using a heavier set of D´Addario´s which feels and sounds pretty well on C F A# D# ... The tension is just fine, not even a bit floopy.. You may need to do some simple adjustments to the nut and bridge depending on your bass..

    by the way, an octaver wouldn´t make your notes sound an octave lower... it adds bottom..
    ..A pitchshifter would help changing the pitch of the notes, but the ones I´ve tried (for guitar) sounded too synthetic ..

    get heavier strings
  20. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    In my own opinion mind you, octavers suck!