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Need some help with bass tuning.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by davidtal, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. davidtal


    Apr 3, 2013
    Hi guys.Im just learning to play bass,and I also play guitar and sing.Im shopping for a bass guitar and im trying to decide if I should go for a 5 strings bass or I can make it with a 4-stringer b/c my guitar is tuned to a lower D (1 tone down) b/c it's easier for me to sing,so my question is,if I play song in key of E on down tuned guitar,what are my options to record a bass? Should I play bass in regular tuning in the key of D,or should I just detune my bass? If I use the EADG in key of D will it sound deep enough with a downtuned guitar? Please advise.
  2. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    It will sound fine. 99.9% of bass parts have been recorded that way because most players generally use standard tuning.

    There is also a "drop D" tuning you can experiment with. Standard tuning with the low E dropped to a D.
  3. davidtal


    Apr 3, 2013
    ElectroVibe,thanks for your reply!
    I think I've got it!
  4. Not going to get into your dropped D 6 string guitar as I normally ignore all the special tunnings and capo stuff the 6 string guitar guys do and just ask; "OK fine, what key is the music to be played in.". Now to your question about the 4 or 5 string.

    What the 5 string gives you is the B string, i.e. one more low string, which comes in handy if you play from standard notation "piano music". Why? Piano music will of course be in standard notation and a lot of the times the ledger notes go lower than your E string --- so with those lower ledger notes, if you have a 4 string, you have to mentally move everything up an octave to catch those low notes- which I hate to do - but, with a 5 string you just catch those low ledger notes on your B string.

    Long story short. If you do not think you will be playing from piano sheet music, the 4 string will be fine. Plus most of the patterns you find in the "How To Play" books and on the Internet will be for the 4 string.

    Understand I'm a four string guy. Hopefully some 5 string guys will jump on this.
  5. davidtal


    Apr 3, 2013
    Thanks MalcolmAmos,for making things clear.I'm not going to play music from a sheet,so I don't really need that B string,b/c I've transposed some songs that I play in lower D to standard tuning on bass and it sounds just right,so I think I've got it. Thank you guys for your replies,that helped me a lot!

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