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tension issue on down tuning

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by thehangingmist, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. the singer of our band requested everyone to tune half step down as it made his life easier to sing some led zepp covers and other real high pitch vocals.
    so we all tuned half step down , this was the first time i was doing so, and i found that the strings are rather loose(?) for me
    guess after some time i would be used to it but anyway should i opt for heaver gauge strings next time i change the set?
    should i set up my bass slightly differently? if yes then please tell me which way to go
  2. Heavier gauge strings.

    Impossible to know what else to do until you do that most important step.

    You may need to make the action a touch higher. Keep in mind the thicker strings will bow the neck a tiny bit more so you might not have to raise action.
  3. Dr Illing

    Dr Illing

    Feb 4, 2008
    San Francisco
    Yes heavier strings will cure the slack issue. As said before you will likely need to readjust your string height and torsion rod. I suggest going up by about .05, so If right now you're using a 45-100 set try a 50-105. Or something similar. Or maybe go to a hybrid set. 45-105. The E is usually the most problematic.
  4. thanks guys
    more replies are always welcome! :)
  5. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    If you like how your bass plays tuned to standard. Tune it up and make relief and action measurements. Then go get thicker strings as advised. Stick with the same brand assuming you like them. If you are using 45-100 today, tuning a set 50-105 to Eb will be a bit tighter. Meaning you may need to add a 1/4 turn or so to the trussrod. If you are already at 45-105, you could most likely get a 50-105 set to work for you. There are 50-110 sets but they are not as common and do not come in all brands.

    Or you could stick with the same strings you have today and do a new setup. Probably loosen the rod by 1/4 turn or so. When you down tune, your neck probably gets straighter which will make the strings buzz more and feel looser.
  6. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    A longer scale bass also helps (even more than thicker strings), although it's a pricey option. If you're in the band for the long haul and using 34", switching to 35" AND thicker gauge strings will make a big difference.
  7. alright! thanks felllas!

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