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Recommend flats for CGDA tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Rayjay, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Rayjay


    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I want to experiment with CGDA tuning on one of my basses (Warwick fretless - Nordstrand vintage split Js)

    I love TI flats on my 5 string P - just not sure how the G string would do tuned up a step, or how the A string would go tuned down - they tend to get flappy. Plus that's a $130 experiment and I'd have a leftover string. I also like GHS Precisions, but when I tune to drop D they don't really cut it.

    Any recommendations on brands or gauges is appreciated!

  2. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    Buy GHS singles if you already like them, in gauges appropriate for the tension you want for that tuning. It's great fun! After a year or so I gave up however. Good luck!
    For an ordinary set something like 125 or 130 for C, 90 for G, 60 for D 35-40 for A should get you going in the approximate ballpark.
    Atshen and Rayjay like this.
  3. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    What the hell?
    Are you tuning 2 steps down on the E, one step down on the A, leaving the D alone and tuning one step up on the G? Why in god's name would you do that? You'd have to buy custom sets every time.

    Its your funeral.
    .125 or .120 on the C
    .090 on the G
    .065 on the D
    .040 or .035 on the A
  4. Rayjay


    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    Because I need the extended range, but don't have the budget for a 5 string at the moment. Plus, this tuning makes perfect sense to me, and I'm a nerd.
  5. It's called tuning in fifths and is used by many bassists. It's cello tuning an octave lower. You almost have the range of a five-string on a standard four-string.
  6. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    Yup, a half tone step more than a fiver, given that there is the same amount of frets.
    That's why I figured ''Hey, why not tune my fiver in fifths?'' but you only get a kind of bass/guitar hybrid that way. But it is fun! I gave up on switching back and forth between that tuning and regular though after a year or so.
  7. Yes it's commonly used on the Chapman Stick as well as other touchstyle instruments.
  8. ofajen


    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Having played both tunings for a long time, I would agree with Emmett that it is a trade off. Fifths tuning lends itself to vertical lines and the wider intervals offer a lot of chords that sound better and clearer than with fourths.

    Fourths tuning is easier and more comfortable for scales on a bass. I've played the bass in fifths on Stick and also have a 125-90-65-40 set that I've used on the Ripper.

    I'm thinking of trying a 105-80-55-35 set on the import Sterling tuned DAEB that should work without alteration of the nut slots.

  9. ixlramp


    Jan 25, 2005
    I often tune my basses in fifths, my 6 string was for years to create a full-range (5 octave) guitar.
    What gauges do you prefer for EADG?
    You certainly need a custom set of singles, Bs are floppy so use a B string tuned up for the C. The D gauge is of course unchanged.
    For roughly equal tension add .010 for A detuned to G and subtract .005 for G uptuned to A.
    Perhaps check out the D'Addario tension chart for Chromes to design your set.

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