Six string tuned Bb Eb Ab Db F Bb?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kryz, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Kryz


    Sep 18, 2006
    Freiburg, Germany
    Does anyone else tune his six string like that? Basically it's like a baritone tuning a half step and 1 octave lower.
    It's a home-made 35" scale bass and I used to have it in standard tuning until I broke the single(!) truss rod, which I replaced. Meanwhile I also started playing Fender VI (EADGBE) and soon after that, 7 string basses, tuned BEADGBE, because it allowed me to play guitar chord shapes on the top strings, which I like a lot. So I thought tuning the six string Bb Eb Ab Db F Bb would give me lower tension (so I wouldn't break the truss rod again) as well as guitar-like top strings. Also a low Bb seems very useful to me as well as having a high open Bb and open F.
    I guess the main question here is if I can really get used to that tuning and actually know the notes I'm playing. It's very different from my 7 strings, which I will keep playing in BEADGBE for convenience. The scale length is close to 35", so it doesn't seem to get too loose on the low Bb string. In theory it seems like a pretty good idea. So I'd love to hear any opinions and recommendations about it! Cheers!
    HaphAsSard likes this.
  2. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm Guest

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    Other than the F, why not, while I would used a Gb, to use standard left hand fingering, even with the F, why not?
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013

    If you want lower tension get skinner strings. Also, standard tuning doesn't break truss rods. Your rod was probably defective from the start.

    If you want a different tuning, use a different tuning. Nobody else can tell you if you'll be able to learn the notes or not.

    There are a lot of people who tune a half step down on instruments with a low B, particularly in bands that play in horn keys.
  4. Kryz


    Sep 18, 2006
    Freiburg, Germany
    The reason for the truss rod failure was most probably because I didn’t put 2 of them in there, which is how most if not all other regular 6 string basses are made. It was obviously too weak for the amount of pressure from 6 strings. Learned that lesson for future builds.
    But maybe it’s a good idea to try some very light strings in standard tuning. And yes, of course nobody can tell me if I can learn to play reliably in Bb Eb Ab DB F Bb tuning, I was just wondering if anyone else had done it and stuck with it.
  5. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm Guest

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    Truss rod failure,:
    Let me guess,
    1. course threads rather than fine,
    2. Metric rather SAE
    3. 60 degree rather than acme,
    4. Mild steel rather say a 4130,
    5. Failure in the threaded portion?
    6. Threads cut with a die, rather Than turned?
    7. Failed after playing a while.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Change the F to an E#, to confuse the guitarists. ;)