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Odd six string tuning- what do you think?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by 5stringDNA, Apr 27, 2003.


  1. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I am fairly sure my next purchase will be a fretless 6, because I really liked my old fretless 5 (had to sell to pay off other gear...) and I would like to have a little more range. At first I was going to go with a 5 with a high C because usually when I need the C I don't need teh B in the same song. My band has a few songs where the guitarist plays simple bass lines and I play lead. That in mind, would it be a stretch to get a six string tuned E-A-D-G-C-F ? My idea is that I could play all my standard bass stuff as well as some chord parts. I also like to experiment with melodies and such. If I did this, what would be a good string maker to order the C and F from? I would want to just order those two in sets, because the high gauges don't tend to last near as long.
     
  2. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    You should check out juststrings.com.

    They sell singles by a bunch of different manufacturers, in a lot of different guages.

    I dig the tuning idea, BTW.
     
  3. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Cool, thanx. I just thought it would be really cool to be able to crank out crisp chords and have all my standard bass range on one decent sized neck. :D
     
  4. you might want to consider guitar tuning, EADGBE, for playing chords. of course, if it was me, i sure wouldn't go with a fretless for playing chords.
     
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Just FYI - that's not a really unheard-of tuning. But I love playing melodies and chords (they're the meat and potatoes of solo bass), and I think that's a great way to do so.

    I've never understood the point of the irregular interval (G to B), but I know there is a reason. Ask a guitarist. I agree that it's an unusual choice to get a fretless for chords, but if it's what you want and are comfortable with, go for it. The metal tends to clear up mud with chords, so with a fretless you'd have to either be okay with mud, or EQ differently. But my guess is that you already knew that. :D
     
  6. well, guitarists use barre chords, which involves pressing all the strings down with an index finger, so you hit the root note on the low E and the high E at the same time. you probably won't be playing barre chords on bass though. still, it's nice to know that the highest string on a given fret is the same note as the low string. plus, this tuning puts a two-octave major scale within 4 frets.
     
  7. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Yah I was thinking about teh fretless thing and chords the otherday- I'm in a weird situation because I like the fretless sound on the high strings much better, but the chords are muddy. I'd like to be able to get both out of teh same bass, but it is looking rather unfeasible. I'll probably just end up with standard 6 if i go fretless and use the previous mentioned tuning if I go fretted. I can deal with the interval change on G-B, but I really don't like it much, and its actaully more difficult for me to chord with, especially if I have to find notes on the fly.
     
  8. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    You could try having it partially fretted - frets under the lower strings, fretless on the higher ones.

    OR:

    You could work with a highly skilled luthier/engineer to make a bass with frets that raised up and down with the flick of a switch, changing the world of bass as we know it.

    OR:

    You could go to Dunkin Donuts, get 6 Bavarian cream, 5 lemon-filled, and one bear claw, and come eat donuts with me.

    OR:

    Just give me the donuts and go away.
     
  9. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    well after all this fretless 6 and weird tunings nonesense, I finally made up my mind. I order a spector 5 string Czech, and I am converting it to a tenor 5 string (E-A-D-G-C). I ahve found that 5 string necks are by far my favorite, and I don't use the low B very often at all. Eventaully I get a regular 5 which will be a fretless jazz.

    I was going to get a full set of DR's, but my bass teacher hooked me up with a Ken Smith High C string that was new, so I only need to pick up a 4 set of lo-riders now. Are tehre huge tonal differences between ken smith rounds and DR lo-riders?
     
  10. Jmann

    Jmann

    Apr 29, 2003
    Lexington, Ky


    they make a bridge that makes your bass sound fretless (slides & all)
     
  11. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    And some company made a bass that did that....there was a big knob where the headstock would be, that raised and lowered the frets.

    supposedly it worked pretty well...but I guess it was just a prototype never realyl took off.
     
  12. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    That's nuts, I didn't know such a thing was doable for common purposes.
    I can see the infomercials now.. "its a fretted, no waite, fretless bas!! 2 in 1 for our low low price of not $29.99, but only 15 easy payments of $19.99!!!":D
     
  13. Killdar

    Killdar

    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I think it would be sweet having an EADGCF 6er with frets only under the EADG only until the 12th fret. That way, you can chord and such accurately, but still have lots of fretless area.
     
  14. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    The funny thing is that I was a participant in both of these threads. In fact, I started the one on a converting fretted/fretless. The company that made it was Steinberger. I think it's still on the front page of the Luthier's Corner. It "worked" in a sense, but, by hollowing out the (wood) neck, it made the bass sound terrible. I think it would be a worthwhile pursuit with graphite or that compostite stuff that Basslab uses. See the thread in LC for a long and intelligent* discussion about the possibilities of converting fretless/fretted basses.

    No. That would be the F Plus bridge, made by (or at least installed on) Neuser basses, that you're thinking of, but, no, it can't make slides or vibrato sound like a fretless. All it does is make mwah. Unless it can sense which fret you're on and to which fret you're sliding, then somehow make the notes go flat and sharp gradually, it ain't gonna happen. But it would be cool.


    *intelligence contributed by Peter Puleo, Mike Zimmerman, JP, and a bunch of people that aren't me.