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Just got a 5-string.....Drop D tuning ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sbbassslapper, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. I just recently purchased a used ESP/ LTD 205F, which to me a is a beautiful looking bass and i enjoy the active eq. The question i have is that I was and still own a 4-string Ibanez Ergodyne 600, and in the band that i play for we play in standard drop d-tuning. Now with this five sting do i keep it B-E-A-D-G or should i change it to B-D-A-D-G? Does it matter, which is the easist way to learn so that i'm not like most 5-string metal band bassist and sit on the b string all night..... please let me know!!!

    Your help is appreciated!:bassist:
  2. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    B-E-A-D-G.. the low D can be had on your B strings third fret.
  3. Slapped

    Slapped Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Queens, New York
    Well if you were to drop the E string to D, there would only be 1 and a half steps difference between the B and it. Therefore, I think you should drop your B string to A, making your tuning A-D-A-D-G. You could do some funky octaves.
  4. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    can't you just fret the D on the B string? that seems the easiest to me.
  5. Schwaa


    Feb 25, 2006
    Yeah, if you change all your strings to odd tunings it's going to be difficult finding the correct fingering patterns. Seems like the low B would make up for the Dropped E anyway.
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Personally, if I were you, I'd tune I'd A-D-A-D-G.

    Tune it so it serves you best.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    B-E-A-D-G served me fine.

    But on a four, I'll go with D-A-D-G.
  8. metalbob


    Aug 2, 2004
    so california
    In my band we tune to D so I tune my 5 string bass B,D,G,C,A I thought tuning the B to an A might not stay on the neck but I find this works best for me
  9. is that tuning (B,D,G,C,A)easy to use and to get use to if you haven't played like that before? If i tune the B string to A, how much further is that to tune down, i haven't gotten my tuner to recognize A yet, I know for the moment i may be playing in b-d-a-d-g so that i'll still be in tune with the band, and went i want a lower d to play i can use the b string, once i get comfortable with that i'll revert back to b-e-a-d-g or i may try the other different tunings ideas that have been provided. I am have to get thicker strings if changing the tuning to a-d-a-d-g, or B,D,G,C,A As well as some intonation adjustments.... i think, let me know....
  10. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    DR or Ernie Ball strings.

    Tuned ADADG on my Lakand, play metal....sounds great. I played BDADG for a while...when I tuned the B to A...it was a breathe of fresh air. Like Nick said the ovtive thing is fun to do and can add quite a bit of menacing darknes to a metal band.
  11. flash99


    Jun 8, 2005
    New York City
    Try your bass lines in standard tuning and see what happend. I swithed to 5 string initially when a band I was in was playing in Drop D a lot and it worked fine. BUT I was playing in another band a while back that played a lot in Drop D tuning and when I tried the bass lines on a 5 string in standard tuning, some of the lines were a fingering nightmare.
  12. Dustinvavak


    Jan 17, 2006
    Kansas City
    I disagree with most here, I tune my five string....

    I think harmonic overtones are a key here, a fretted D on B-string doesnot sound the same as an open D on a dropped E-string, that is why we played certain things in certain postions.

  13. Hey man, what is the benefit playing in that tuning? does it compliment the guitars that are in drop d well?

    Sorry for the multiple questions guys, i've only been playing for a couple years at this point, with no real training on music theory, all i know is what i hear, and that is what i have gone by the entire time. And the wierd thing is that i rarley follow the guitars, i pull off my own melody to the guitars and it makes the sound much fuller, i should probably learn scales, octaves and things of that nature, i'm sure it would take a lot of the guessing out of my playing, but let me know what the benefit of playing in octives are does it help the sound a lot? I may do it already, the only recording that i have of us playing together is www.myspace.com/sourblood and its one of the songs that i don't do too much different, but you can tell when i do, plus after a full night of recording and listneing to it the next day, we figured out that the guitar and bass were out of tune with eachother.
  14. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
  15. Giel


    Sep 9, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Why not tuning it D-G-C-F-A#? A little unusual I guess..
    D-A-D-G-C is an optain aswell.. Do you think your gonna use the Low B allot? Maybe those things are to unusual or something, I dunno.. I always tune B-E-A-D-G, this works for me..
  16. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I've done this tuning too with great results. It lets you keep your Drop D sound , and when playing fast (metal) licks this is handy, especially since your fingers are in the same place as the guitarists.

    You basically have a standard bass tuning in Drop D, but your B is dropped too, so patterns can be played between the B (dropped A) and E (dropped to D) without a heachache, and between D-G too. I've played 4 and 5 since Day one, and this is the best way I've found to swap between basses when you have 5 string songs, Drop D songs, etc. It takes a little getting used too, but it's worth it.
  17. Thank you for everyones input, i know when i first thought about getting a 5 string, i was basically like what is the point of the b-string and decided against in instantly. Then i started playing one and i liked how much bassier the b string is, but wasn't sure if it would work with our drop d-tuning, and i know that the d sound can be fretted on the b on the third fret, but its not the same sound like you do on an open d on the e string. as for the unusual tunings, i've never heard of anyone using d-a-d-g-c, or D-G-C-F-A#, i think that the a-d-a-d-g could be interesting but i think i may need thicker strings then what is on here and adjust the bridge, should i take it to the shop for this, or try it myself?
  18. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Depends on what genre you guys play. If you have a lot of metal and faster stuff, the guitarists probably play stuff from fret x to open D... If you are comfortable playing fret x to B string 3rd fret then stay BEADG if you want to keep up and play with them and you might have an issue then ADADG is for you

  19. It sounds like this may be the route to go, if this case do i need to get thicker strings then what is on the bass now, i'm not sure what they are because they came with the bass, and do i need to have the intonation adjusted for this to cope with the lesser neck tention, because the a is lower then b correct.
  20. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    This is EXACTLY what led me to come up with ADADG on my own years ago. Playing fast licks that involved alot of open D triplets then moving around on alot of frets, there was just no way I could do it and get back to the B strings 3rd fret. This tuning made it simple again, and actually opened up my mind to new tricks altogether with some interesting chords. I won't go back.

    Yes you'll need heavier strings (I use 45-130 DR's) and a minor saddle/neck adjustment might be needed, but nothing I'd be afraid to do myself.

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