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Tuning DGCF

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by odin70, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Does anyone here tune their bass two steps down? Pros and cons? I did it yesterday and my bass really loved it. Better tone, way better sustain, heavenly mvvaaa, a dream to play, low Eb and D. I really consider to keep it like this.
  2. That's one step. Two semi-tones.

    The con is you are probably losing some volume and projection. hitting those lower open strings might make you think differently, but I bet this is the case.

    But hey, if you like it, and are willing to transpose everything you know, go for it.
  3. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    My bad

    I know it will make life harder :) But i think i will go for it and see. I wonder.. will lighter strings give the same effect or can it be that tuning down just works better with my bass?
  4. That's the way I've been tuning my four strings for years. I use Custom GHS strings .110 - .07, and it helps with the tension.

    I really like this tuning, it's like gaining two extra frets.
  5. @chump stain: This is the double bass section.

    DGCEAD is standard viola da gamba tuning and a popular one for violone.
    So you are not far from this, but gain a bit more if you use at least a five string bass.

    You might drop a heavy string set. (If you also want the high D, you better get a complete violone set.)

    I play EADGC which is another popular violone tuning, but also have a very small violone in DGCEAD. (I used to play a little bit of viola da gamba during my school days, so this is not unusual for me.)

    Others only drop the E to D and play a fifth in the lower range. (Probably only using the low D string for anything below the low A and nothing else.) But this way you get lost of the (major) tenth double stops, I'm afraid.
  6. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Curiously, I don't find it strange at all. I recall that years ago, I ran into a couple of piano players that only played in Gb/F#. They were strictly self-taught ear players. The only logical reason that I ever got from them that explained their choosing Gb/F# over C was that "the black keys stick up" and are easier to find :)
    Anyway, a "trick" they used for their bass players was to have them tune a half tone down, often without their knowledge(!), and they often got away with it in those gut string days. In most cases, playing in G did make it easier on the bass players hands and the piano players's ears:D
  7. Sorry, I read this thread from the home page. :bag:
  8. Lighter strings might give a similar effect. I'm using Spiro Weichen right now, and they are really dark. Almost too dark for my bass.
  9. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    If you like that tuning and choose appropriate strings, then why not? I have a fretless P-Bass on which I added a fifth string and tune D-G-C-F-Bb. I find it really great for standards, being able to play low Ebs and having lots more natural harmonics for soloing in the keys of the tunes than I do with standard tuning. If you're playing jazz standards, consider that the keys of the tunes are more often chosen by horn players than bassists, and E-A-D-G was after all created in a different time and a different place, and for a completely different kind of music.
    dfp likes this.
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Rock and Roll, baby! :hyper::bag:

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