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Tuning a five string... Up?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fingerpickingood, Feb 21, 2016.


  1. Fingerpickingood

    Fingerpickingood

    Oct 30, 2014
    Texas
    I know several people who buy appropriately light gauged fringe and tune their fivers E-C... But has anyone tried/had any luck with tuning a fiver to say, C standard or even drop C? I'd like to give it a shot, and I thought I'd tap your wealth of knowledge and experience. TIA!!!
     
  2. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    It should work fine if you buy a lighter set of strings.

    Kalium makes some drop tuning sets in lighter gauges. A .118 or .124 should work fine for the low C.

    BH-118-5DS - 5 String Sets - Standard Scale - Balanced Drop Tune Tension - Hybrid Bass Strings - Shop By Material - Electric Bass Guitar

    BH-124-5DS - 5 String Sets - Standard Scale - Balanced Drop Tune Tension - Hybrid Bass Strings - Shop By Material - Electric Bass Guitar
     
    Fingerpickingood and mbelue like this.
  3. Fingerpickingood

    Fingerpickingood

    Oct 30, 2014
    Texas
    Thanks! I transpose the drop B songs in my metal band on my existing fiver (BEADG), and it's pretty simple. I actually like playing fibers over four bangers (YMMV!!!), so I figured getting another fiver and putting it in C standard for the drop C songs would be a snap.
     
  4. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    Yeah, it should work great. It just takes a string swap to change tunings normally. Although sometimes when shifting to a heavier gauge you need to widen your nut slots. Since you'd be shifting to a lighter gauge I don't think you'll have any problems.

    I dig 4-stringers mostly because of the string spacing being wider (usually, not always) and also the neck being narrower at the same time. So I tune one of my 4 stringers to B-E-A-D to get the lower end stuff. I didn't have to modify my nut but I'm using a taper wound .120 for my low B.

    I could see needing a 5-stringer if you shift between extremes in register like in some metal. However for the music I play if I am playing low I am usually not also playing higher melodic stuff.
     
    Fingerpickingood likes this.
  5. Fingerpickingood

    Fingerpickingood

    Oct 30, 2014
    Texas
    Yeah, I like writing key changes mid-song, and I also like following the guitars up the scale on occasion.
     
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    One of my favorite 5-string tunings is to simply tune the B up a half step to C: CEADG.

    No special strings necessary.
     
    Fingerpickingood likes this.
  7. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I came close to doing similar once before but still didn't want to get used to the extra string.

    In my case it would have been DGCFA#.
     
    Fingerpickingood likes this.

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