Right strings for Drop C tuning?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by anarchipur, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. anarchipur

    anarchipur Guest

    Aug 4, 2010
    I want to use Drop C tuning on my 4 string Yamaha BB424 bass for a more heavy sound (I like the heavy sound of Shavo Obadjian from System of a Down).

    Question 1:
    So what if I buy a 5 string set and use the fattest 4 strings for example the Ernie Ball Power Slinky 50-70-85-105-135 (compared to Ernie Ball power Slinky 4-string set 55-75-90-110)?

    Question 2:
    is using such strong strings dangerous for the bass guitar neck, i mean could they deform it? I suppose I will have to adjust teh bridge al well..

    I've never done this before, so I really appreciate your help.
  2. My band plays in drop C#, which is C# G# C# F#. I use a .105 .85 .65 .45 set for it, and enjoy having a little lower tension than normal. I tried a set with a .110 string and liked it, but the tension was a little high for me, might be just right for Drop C.

    Shouldn't be "dangerous" for your neck, you will need to adjust your truss rod since the thicker strings will probably put a little more tension on your neck.

    ...and I think there have been other threads started on this subject already, so try a search too see what others have said.
  3. anarchipur

    anarchipur Guest

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thanx slend3r!

    what is difference does the tension make in the sound here (sorry I am new..)?
  4. Krustinator


    Jun 24, 2008
    Arvada, CO
    I play Drop Db (C#) in one band and D-standard in another. I have a 4-string rigged with Rotosounds with .50-.65-.85-.115. They work really well for both tunings and keep things from getting floppy.

    To figure out string tension, you can use Circle-K and Dunlop's tension guides. From there, a good solution is to use bassstringsonline.com's build-a-set option. They have a bunch of options for brands and sizes that you can't get retail and very competitive pricing (plus Jason is a TB'r and offers discounts to members). Circle K is also a good option with many guages, but I've not used their strings (yet).

    You'll probably need to set up your bass with whatever you decide, and if you go with a larger string, you might need to have your nut adjusted (slots widened). Get a pro to do it, or you can learn to do it yourself.
  5. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    For Drop C I use gauges .120 .085 .065 .045.

    .125 .090 .070 .050 could work really well too, if you were to get this 5 string set: 50-70-85-105-135 I would use the 50-70-85-135 and not use the 105.
  6. LouieV2


    Jan 9, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Order a custom set from naked strings. I did the same for drop c on my jazz bass and they worked well for me. I used the .125 for the low strings.
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp Guest

    Jan 25, 2005
    Drop C as in CGCF?
    ^This. The fattest 4 strings of a 5 string set would have dangerously tight GCF strings, however a B string tuned up to C is fine.
    You need a special set with the lowest gauge increased to avoid a floppy low C.
    Circle K Strings have 'drop tune' sets designed to have equal tension strings in a drop tuning here: vStandard Drop-tuned 4 Strings these are nickelplated roundwound, top-load bridge only.
    Or you could build a set from singles of another brand with gauges similar to one of the CK sets.
    Use these tension charts to discover what tension you like and then choose gauges for all strings at that tension:
    You can use these charts to approximate the tension of other brands, there is only a little variation.
  8. anarchipur

    anarchipur Guest

    Aug 4, 2010
    Thank you guys for the great advice!