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String Tuning Guage

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DeepDeath, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Hi, I need some help I'm probably joining a band that tunes to Bb thats Bflat and I'm gonna use a 5 string, does anyone know a brand and model thats bright and bassy and the feel will be little lose but with crazy clarity and tension sound. What are the guages I should be using also.
  2. Why tune down that half step if you're using a fiver? I'd just keep it tuned standard at BEADG. But if you do decide to tune down the half step, your regular strings should be just fine. My B string is .130 guage if it makes a difference, and I've got no tension problems tuned standard. I use Markley Blue Steels on my 5er.
  3. Because they tune to Bb and I can't change that.
  4. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    Two possiblities:

    If what you're saying is they tune a 1/2 step sharp, then the A string is actually tuned to Bb, thereby increasing the tension on the strings. so what you should do is use a lighter gauge thatn you usually do.

    If what you're saying is they tune like a Bb instrument: i.e. a Tenor Sax or Trumpet, Than your C is = Bb, and your A is = to concert G. You are actually tuning down a whole step, making the strings too loose - not enough tension. Then you need to use heavier gauges.

    Then try to hip these guys as to why there is such a thing as concert pitch and all the advantages to using it. Your playing in an altered tuning constantly is bad for your relative pitch - and also the intonation on your instrument would have to be adjusted for you to be in tune all over the neck.

    The suggestion made above for you to continue to playt in normal tuning is the correct answer. Transpose the parts and keep the Bass in concert pitch. Find guys to play with who know enough about music not to do such an asinine thing.
  5. I am tuning my B string half a step down to B flat as well as the EADG strings. In reality I could care less about relative pitch. My ear sucks at telling notes so it doesn't bother me. You guys are not really helping me at all.
  6. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    I'm not going to start a fight, but I also tune to Bb,(from standard BEADG), and I just can't say that it is asanine. I've seen many different tunings that are crazy, but whatever works, works. Every musician has a favorite key(whether they realize it or not) and Bb happens to be the center of many of our songs. So, it makes plenty of sense to have that note available to us on an open string. Why tune to A just so I have to jerk up to the first fret after a melodic part? Why not just strike the open string? We see no reason to write our songs in a key which everybody else uses just for the sake of conformity. We don't ever plan on pulling a Metallica and playing an orchestra, and just don't care who we're in tune with, as long as we are in tune with each other.:)

    To answer your question, yes, the 130 should do just fine. That is what I use(taper wound, of course) and I have no floppiness problems. The rule of thumb is, the thinner the string(and lighter;less mass) the looser it must be to vibrate at a certain frequency. Thicker string, more tension. The playability of the different sizes depends on your certain taste. Try the 130. If it is too tight, or thick, go thinner. It really just boils down to hunt and peck until you find what you like.
  7. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Silence, newbie. Standard 5 string bass tuning is B E A D G. Tuning to Bb is a half-step DOWN from standard, not up.
  8. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    Maybe if you guys talked like MUSICIANS instead of lame guitarists your meaning might be more apparent...that's one reason why tuning standards and MUSICAL terminology exist...to convey exact meaning.

    This thread is AMATEUR HOUR.
  9. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Seems pretty clear to me. :rolleyes:
  10. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    Just to show you I'm a nice guy and would really like to add to your overall knowledge of music, before Ted Mack puts this thread in his archives and I leave this THIS thread for good, I'll leave this one final bit of knowledge for those of you who would like to learn to talk about MUSIC without embarrassing yourselves.

    "I tune down a 1/2 step"

    That's the way the big boys put it. :cool:
  11. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I think I know a thing or two about "MUSIC" since I'm the one who actually knew that deepdeath was tuning down half a step. As for embarrassing myself, well, your pointless posts are only embarrassing YOU.

    Are you talking in the third person or what? You aren't making a lick of sense here.

    Oh, yes, no one's ever said that one before in the history of TalkBass... :rolleyes:
  12. i am jacks colon
    i get jack cancer
    i kill jack :)
  13. what was this thread orginally about again? :rolleyes:
  14. DeepDeath:

    Use Foderas. They are tight tension, and somewhat(but not excessively) bright, with good "thump" behind them. I don't know if Fodera makes a .135, but Fodera's .130's are at least as tense as some brand's .135's. PM Peter McFerrin about the Foderas; I know he uses them, and he could give you any info u need.

  15. homer:i want a lil brother
    office lady:what is your reason for one
    homers mind: dont say revenge, dont say revenge
    homers mind:aww crap im out of here (sound of walking and closing a door)
    office lady:good enough

    heh i dont know i really want the brightness. but ill think about it. thanks
  16. No offense, but this isn't right. Tuning the strings to different notes has absolutely no effect on your sense of pitch, either relative or absolute. All it means is that the strings are at different pitches.

    And I think you've confused alternative tuning with changes in concert pitch. When you tune your low B to Bb, you have not left concert pitch--you have merely exchanged a concert B for a concert Bb. A low B will still be about 31 hz on a well intonated instrument, even if you now have to hit it on the first fret.
  17. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    It would depend on how the individual player is "thinking" about what he's playing. If he's fretting the the third fret on the A string and thinking C and the pitch if actually a B natural, I think it would effect relative pitch. Perfect pitch of course wouldn't be affected.

    [/B]And I think you've confused alternative tuning with changes in concert pitch. When you tune your low B to Bb, you have not left concert pitch--you have merely exchanged a concert B for a concert Bb. A low B will still be about 31 hz on a well intonated instrument, even if you now have to hit it on the first fret. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Again, It would depend on the thinking of the player. If you're "thinking" the correct pitch what you are saying is correct. I don't think these guys are thinking Bb when they hit an open B string. It's not impossible, but I doubt it.
  18. of course Bb is what im thinking, i dont use relative pitch, sorry my ears are a piece of crap. i go by frets so if im play a led zeppelin song id play it in the same fret range and tune up not do it in another fret, that would mess up my thinking and coordination skills.

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